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The Great Debate: iPhone vs. Android

By Joshua Graber

Apple reported that it sold more than 4 million iPhone 4S devices over a matter of just 3 days after it became available for preorder. But after this initial surge, when most die-hard Apple fans bought the next generation iPhone, it remains to be seen if iPhone 4S sales will continue to break records or if many people will skip buying the 4S and instead go with an Android phone or wait for the iPhone 5.

If you are deciding whether you should spend your hard-earned money on an iPhone 4S or an Android phone, the iPhone vs. Android comparison below might be able to help.

First Impressions — Winner = Android Phones

In my opinion, the iPhone 4S starts off with a disadvantage that really has nothing to do with the phone itself. The disadvantage of the iPhone 4S is that it is not the iPhone 5. There are going to be at least a million people out there who would rather wait for the iPhone 5 than upgrade to the iPhone 4S from their iPhone 4. Or, they might even move over to the Android side of the world after seeing that Apple has lost its chief innovator, Steve Jobs. Many companies have been less than spectacular after the founder left the company. Only time will tell if this will happen to Apple.

Design –– Winner = iPhone

When it comes to build quality, I have to say that the iPhone 4S is still a clear winner. Apple phones have always been made of premium quality materials. However, that can’t be said of Android phones. Though there are some great Android phones with mind-boggling specs, some designs incorporate plastic or the new flexible rubber plastic that tends to give the phone a slightly cheap look and feel. But then, there might be some people who might entirely disregard this, as looks are not everything.

Screen — Winner = Android Phones

The iPhone 4S already seems to have lost this battle. Despite the fact that the market has a number of 4.5 inch Android phones, Apple decided to stick to the 3.5 inch screen that was seen on the iPhone 4. This could prove to be a costly mistake, as people seem to like bigger phones. Though the iPhone 4S still has one of the best looking displays in the market, Android phones are constantly coming close to matching the screen resolution of the iPhone. For example, the Google Nexus Prime, a 4.5 inch Android 4.0 phone, sports a sensational 1280 x 800 pixel resolution that will put it way beyond the reach of any iPhone when it comes to screen resolution.

Storage, expandability and flexibility –– Winner – Android Phones

Android phones are the clear winner here. Though a 64 GB version iPhone 4S is now available, users might be interested in 64 GB Android models that will cost a lot less. A peeve with the iPhone has always been the lack of expandability, as it does not have any compatibility with SD cards. With Android phones, storage space can be dramatically improved since most Android phones come with expandability options.
The iPhone 4S, though improved, still poses many challenges when it comes to compatibility with a PC or TV, whereas Android phones make the user experience a lot easier.

Camera — Winner = iPhone

The iPhone 4S has an 8MP camera with improved optics. I have to say that this camera is better than most of the Android cameras out there. For example, the whole camera user experience on the iPhone 4S is much better than the user experience with the camera in the 5MP HTC Desire.

iOS5 Vs Android 4.0 — Winner = It is a TIE

Software is as important as hardware when you choose a phone. Recently, the iPhone 4S was launched on the iOS 5 platform. The core of the iOS5 is very similar to iOS4 although the introduction of Siri, Apple’s hyped-up voice recognition virtual assistant, has made the iOS5 significantly different from the iOS4.

If voice recognition is something that really excites you, I would say that the iOS 5 will give you a better deal than does the slightly buggy voice recognition on the Android operating system. But Android 4.0 is a definite winner when it comes to customization options.
Calling a winner in this iPhone vs. Android comparison will be a difficult one, although I may have to side with the iOS5, as it seems to be bug free. Android operating systems have always had a history of bugs, especially when they are first rolled out. However, I will call it a tie here as Android’s customization features hold a lot of weight for some people.

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