The mobile market has never been fuller. Since Apple’s initial foray into smartphones in 2007, competing brands were left struggling to keep up. Today, iPhone, Android and Windows stand equally, each with a wide variety of versions, models and options that can overwhelm unprepared shoppers. When on the market for today’s best phone, there are a number of things to consider with each brand. You can compare the most recent iPhones and most recent Android phones on the Android vs. iPhone page.
iOS has stood the test of time. The sleek, easy-to-use interface has become the norm for all smartphones. Apple has the top product with the price tag to match. You won’t find more than two versions of the iPhone on the market. If you want a cheaper version, you can only purchase last year’s model.
You’ve probably seen the headlines in the news, either praising or decrying Apple for putting out a new iPhone regularly. Being aware of Apple’s release trends will get you the best smartphone available. Don’t purchase a full priced iPhone a month before the new version gets released. If you like upgrading your phone often, picking up the newest iPhone upon release will ensure you enjoy the longest time on top.
When it comes to customizing your iPhone, while you get all the safety and security of Apple, you're stuck with only their options and store. iPhones only allow Apple Store Apps. Since its inception, the iTunes store has always had the best tools and features for artists and programmers to share their creations. New apps and games will almost always make it to the iOS first before any other system. You will never get a virus from a download or email, but you do it all through their system. The updates are regular and effective. If your iPhone isn’t working, expect an update just around the corner.
As far as hardware is concerned, iPhones stand the test of time though they have been known to have shorter battery lives than their Android competitors, and Apple’s iCloud has yet to catch up to Google in usability.
The new iPhone 6 features a bigger screen, faster processor, longer battery life and higher quality camera. The iPhone 6 Plus has an even larger screen with a full 1080p resolution. The new iOS7 has a simplistic beauty and fluidly moves from app to app.
Of all the brands, Android has improved the most over the last few years. Because Android is an open operating system, the look and feel of the interface can vary greatly between seemingly similar models. Since the operating system is run by Google, it receives regular updates, but it’s up to the phone manufacturer to get the software in their system. The open software does give you access to a wide variety of stores, apps and programs to customize your phone. From the moment you purchase your device, you have control of all of its features. Android is the only phone OS that allows you to completely jailbreak and reprogram your device, however this does leave you open to more viruses and malware than other models. If you’re nervous about security, stick to Google Play.
Because there are so many versions, picking an Android phone can be difficult. These brands include Samsung, Sony, HTC, Huawei and LG, along with others. There are so many models that even if you select the most modern one, another version comes out the next month. It’s best to look for which phones have the newest Google operating system. These are often labeled as Nexus products, and all products released soon after them will have all the newest features. Be sure to purchase a phone that has been on the market for at least a month, giving the manufacture time to work out any kinks. As long as the phone was released in the last six months, it should be in perfect working order.
When it comes to cost, the sheer number of Android phones drives its own competitive market. The open software means there are low tech phones that run on very simple operating systems, allowing them to still work quickly and efficiently. Android app stores and Google Play also feature the widest selection of free apps, though it does trail slightly behind Apple in volume. If you run your life on Gmail and other Google products, you will find everything you need on the phone straight out of the box. Google already has amazing cloud infrastructure and is expected to continue having it into the future.
For Android in the last year, Samsung’s Galaxy models have climbed to the top, featuring the smooth interfaces that Apple has popularized. With upgraded processing power, screen and camera resolution, you can expect the phone to retain its value for some time.
Windows phones also host a variety of manufacturers and models but are not quite as diverse as Android. The easy-to-use interface and tightly controlled regulations means each model runs smoothly. Of all the brands, Windows offers the best web browsing programs though you will have to go through the Windows store for any customizations or applications. If you're looking for a video chat system, you will have to use Skype. Being the newer brand on the block, Windows only hosts about a third of the apps available to Android and Apple phones.
While the newer smartphone brand, Windows’ minimalistic home screen has become the standard for most modern smartphones. You can choose which information you want to showcase on your homescreen grid, but it is not very customizable beyond changing the size of the boxes or what's showcased in them. This can make it feel rather clunky to some users, though each iteration of the WP operating system feels better than the last. Windows’ cloud is effective but hasn’t yet caught up to Android. Surprisingly, Windows’ newest voice assistant has taken the lead over Siri and Google Now. Cortana encompasses the ease of Siri with many of the voice control functions of Google.
Since all the software is uniform, choosing a phone is really about hardware. Screen size and camera quality are their most diverse factors. Windows phones have seen multiple much needed upgrades since their release, so try to purchase a phone that came out in the last six months. Microsoft’s hardware provider, Nokia, releases phones in bursts, targeting different budgets. It gives customers a number of options but doesn't reach the selection of Android.
The most recent upgrade to Nokia’s products has been a better front-facing camera. The screen size matches that of the iPhone’s HD display, and the phone also houses a quad-core processor.
If you want a phone that works perfectly right out of the box with great support, pick an iPhone. The security and ease of use along with the manufacturer’s support will make it the best phone in the long run.
If you are looking for a work companion and already have taken advantage of other Microsoft products, choose a Windows phone. Their security and simplicity follows a close second to Apple, particularly if you backup your information often. Windows phones offer a sense of customization while still protecting you from viruses.
If you currently use multiple Google products or have the know-how necessary to take advantage of open software, Android is an obvious choice. The Android market has the largest selection at the best prices along with hosts of free applications.
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