Whether you are considering your first smartphone, are thinking of switching phones, or are currently content with your device of choice, it’s worthwhile to consider the pros and cons of each platform to help make the decision of which type of phone to buy next. After all, smartphones have a limited shelf-life, and you’ll likely want a newer model every couple years or so.
Why Android is the Better Choice
The following are a list of reasons why should choose Android for your next smartphone. Not all of these may apply to everyone, but they are good reasons to think about when making your choice.
1) Android is More Popular
Android is number 1 in terms of sheer number of users and market share, while iOS leads in terms of app revenue, but not app downloads.
Popularity of an operating system provides benefits for you, the consumer. Going with Android means you’ll join a larger user base, which is attractive for developers. Realistically speaking, most app developers will likely have both iOS and Android versions of their apps.
However, that Android makes less revenue than iOS is a blessing in disguise; it suggests that using Android apps could be less expensive for the consumer than iOS apps. Since it’s less costly for Android developers ($25 one-time fee) to publish their apps than iOS developers ($99 per year), there are likely more low cost or free apps on Android by hobby developers. Often, these are awesome apps that will meet your needs in lieu of a costly pro alternative.
2) Android has More Variety
iOS is only available on Apple’s iPhones (in the smartphone form factor). Android, on the other hand, has a wide variety of device manufacturers making and pricing products from almost free to ridiculously high-end.
That means it’s more likely you’ll be able to find a device that more closely matches your particular needs and wants. You can choose to be different and get something that you won’t see everyone else holding up in the train. You can get a device with a built-in stylus for note-taking, a curved screen to contour your vision, or interchangeable modules for the ultimate customization.
With the iPhone, it’s Apple’s way or the highway. This is true for the software as well. If you are a power user and want to change the operating system, the possibilities are much greater on Android. See this comparison between Rooting Android and Jailbreaking iOS to understand the differences.
3) Android is a Better Value
Perhaps the most compelling reason to go with Android is the possibility to save hundreds of dollars every time you buy a new phone. Apple sells it’s current model iPhones at a consistent starting price of $649 for the 4.7-inch screen and $749 for the 5.5-inch screen. Prices increase by $100 for each level of storage upgrade.
While some Android phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S series seeks to compete with the iPhone and match their pricing, there are much more affordable Android devices with equally high-end specs. Of particular note are Google’s Nexus line and OnePlus, who currently offers the amazingly specced OnePlus 3 for only $399 ($250 less than the iPhone 6s!). Think about what you would do with an extra $250 in your pocket each time you upgrade your phone.
4) Android is Better on Smartphones than Tablets
This reason is not particularly advantageous for Android, but if you are in the market for both a smartphone and a tablet, the most viable choice is to choose an Android Smartphone and an iOS tablet (an iPad).
That’s because Android works well on the smaller phone form factor, but is far worse than iOS on tablets. When the iPad was released, Apple’s push for developers to support it resulted in a vibrant app ecosystem of iPad apps that work well on the larger tablet screen. Unfortunately, Google did not manage to make Android tablets cohesive and popular enough to be well-supported by developers, which means many Android apps are stuck in portrait mode and are simply stretched to fill the larger tablet screen, providing a subpar user experience.
For those who want to have the best of both worlds with both an Android and iOS device, going with an Android Smartphone and an iPad will give you the best experience.