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Are Android phones better than iPhones?

This is a big question.

android and iphone on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Ah, the near-eternal question when you’re in the market for a new smartphone. Do you buy a phone powered by Android or one powered by iOS? Usually, this is an easy question to answer, depending on your personal needs, but recent developments in the smartphone space have made it more complicated.

There’s the blacklisting of both Huawei and ZTE, meaning their phones won’t come with Google apps. Shame, as Huawei has some of the best smartphone cameras on the market, but that’s just how things are currently. Then there’s the updated iPhone SE, which comes with the A13 chip that’s powering the iPhone 11 range. That $400 handset has added competition back into the mid-range market, a battleground ceded by Apple years ago to focus on flagship devices only.

There’s also the upcoming yearly update to Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 14, which brings multiple features that Android devices have had for years, like the ability to add widgets to the home screen. Not exactly revolutionary, I know, but it does mean that choosing a handset based on software features is even harder than before.

So, are there any reasons to buy an Android phone over an iPhone?

Short answer: Yes, but it depends on what you want your phone for

Okay, let’s go for the low-hanging fruit first. If you’re on a budget, you won’t get an iPhone for less than $400 new. It’s also not really worth buying a second-hand iPhone, as while they hold their resale value well, the chips used to power them tend to struggle after a few years. That makes Android the clear winner in the sub-$400 range, and there are many good choices in this range.

At $400 though, you have the iPhone SE entering the race. It’ll be a great handset for many years since the A13 chip is powerful, and the changes to iOS might even tempt the most diehard Android fans. There’s one small problem though – no 3.5mm jack. If you want to use headphones without a stupid dongle or Bluetooth, you need to buy an Android phone. While we’re talking about connectors, most Android handsets use USB-C nowadays. That’s handy for not needing multiple cables around, and for super-fast charging.

Then there’s the last point, and probably the most important one – customization. Sure, you can get your iPhone in one of several fetching colors, but that’s it. The sheer number of Android devices on the market means you can choose one that fits you, whether you want a rugged phone, a svelte shiny one, one with a stylus, or one that fits on your wrist. The open nature of the software also lends itself to customization, whether you want to reskin your UI, cover your home screen in widgets, replace the stock launcher, or even flash a completely custom ROM to replace the operating system that your phone shipped with.

Overall, it’s a big decision. What you choose may dictate future decisions for other gadgets (smartwatches, earbuds, and more), so make sure to take the time to weigh all of your options properly.

What do you think? Do you plan on going with Android or iOS for your next smartphone? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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