The smartphone market is quite crowded nowadays, but even though there are several dozen models on sale worldwide, they’re all pretty similar and even the low end handsets can do most of the things that you’ll ever need in an everyday setting. The real choice comes down to the operating system, which can often make or break a device.
Apple’s iPhone is the most popular handset with consumers nowadays, thanks to their excellent marketing and very easy to use interface (plus of course, they were the first to introduce such a smartphone for the masses). But times are changing, and today we have a pretty serious competitor to iOS (the operating system on the iPhone and iPad) – Android, which, as of its latest versions 2.3 and 4.0, has a lot more to offer and is just as user friendly as iOS, while looking sleeker and having more capabilities. Here are just 5 of the reasons why you should at least consider getting an Android smartphone instead of an iPhone:
More choice. With Apple you have basically three choices – the iPhone 4S, the slightly slower iPhone 4 and the very slow by today’s standards iPhone 3GS, which had a different design that many people prefer. That’s it. Android, on the other hand, runs on over two dozen different handsets, all with different designs and features. Maybe you want a hardware keyboard so you can see the whole web page or app when typing, maybe you want a bigger screen, a faster processor or more memory, a more compact device – with Android, you have that choice.
Lower prices. Obviously, because Android itself is practically free, a lot of manufacturers are using it on their new phones, and this competition means that the prices are going down, quickly. You can get a device that is even more powerful than the iPhone 4S for the same price (like the HTC Sensation XE), something fast but not expensive (the LG Optimus 2X is retailing for about $350 unlocked and is just as fast as the iPhone 4S), something reliable, fast AND cheap (say, a previous generation Droid X – they’re still around and they’re awesome, at a price lower than ever), or other combinations.
Better design. While the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S look great, their design is getting kind of boring. Do you really want to upgrade to an iPhone 4S from the iPhone 4? Maybe you want something fresh, something that not everyone else on the block has. Like a HTC Amaze, a Samsung Epic 4G Touch or maybe a stylish Xperia Arc S? Or you could go in the opposite direction with the industrial and tough looking Motorola Droid X2 or Droid 3? They all run Android, and the choice is yours.
Sleeker user interface. iOS has a great interface for beginners, but it’s getting boring seeing the same rounded icons on the home screen and the same gray colors in apps. Meanwhile, Android has evolved and the latest 2.3 Gingerbread version that is on the market looks amazingly sleek, with the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich bringing yet another change in style – not only that, but you can fully customize the home screen and colors, too – you can even make it look like iOS or Windows 7 Phone if you want, then go back to something else in a month or two.
More capabilities and features. The first versions of Android really sucked in the features department. The thing couldn’t even play videos properly! Thankfully, with version 2.2 everything changed, and now, 2.3 provides all the features you can think of and more. With over 200,000 apps on the marketplace, you’ll most likely find something that suits you, not to mention that most iPhone apps have also been ported to Android and the OS has a very tight integration with Google. You’re also free to do things like edit system files, use tethering apps and other stuff without having to ask your network or Apple for approval – it’s your phone, after all.
While the iPhone is a great smartphone for almost every purpose, going with an Android device might be a better choice. Aside from the slightly harder to get used to user interface, there’s nothing that Android cannot do that the iPhone can. With the wide variety of models out there, you can get a very capable smartphone for a very low price, or something more powerful than the iPhone 4S for the same price – it’s definitely worth considering.