Is the best Google phone the HTC One... or the iPhone 5?

Is the best Google phone the HTC One... or the iPhone 5?

Android Central names the HTC One the best of the current batch of Android phones -- but is the iPhone 5 even better for Google users?

The incredibly smart and well groomed folks over at Android Central have done their typically masterful job distilling down the current crop of flagships and picking their favorite Android phone of bunch -- the HTC One. They say:

There's a lot to like here. The (mostly) all-aluminum body looks and feels more sophisticated than a plastic phone, and the gentle curve fits the hand nicely. While we've still got our quibbles with the Sense user interface, Sense 5 is the most stylish version yet, and most important is that it doesn't exhibit the lag that we've seen in the Samsung Galaxy S4.

However, after Google started getting their iOS app act together, I posited that the iPhone 5 had, in fact, become one of the best Google phones on the planet:

Yet in other ways, Google on iOS is even better [than Google on Android]. Using Android without wanting to use Google isn't pleasant, but on iOS you can easily pick and choose your Google Services, and mix and match between them, Apple's built-in services, and offerings from Yahoo!, Microsoft, and others. You also get the benefit of Apple's still much smoother user interface, which doesn't offer all the features of Android, but handles everything from scrolling to swiping to tapping with far, far more buttery-ness than even the latest version of Jelly Bean.

The HTC One is probably my favorite current generation Android phone as well, but the value I get on the iPhone 5 is still far greater. With the iPhone 5, I get amazing Google apps, but I also get indie apps like Fantastical, Letterpress, Tweetbot, and countless others.

So while the HTC One is quite possibly the best Android phone on the market today, could the iPhone 5 be a better all around value for Google users?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Is the best Google phone the HTC One... or the iPhone 5?


I think it depends what you are looking for. If you want a larger screen the htc one is the way to go, I guess if you want an IOS device the iphone 5 is better but that's about the only way its a better "google phone' since they both have access to the same google apps.

I must admit the HTC One is an amazing phone with a refined interface from sense and great build and a perfect size for my hands.. This is one android device I would consider.

Iv would have to agree. The iPhone 5 doesn't have the lag the android phones have but is still able to run all the apps that make android so great. I would say the iPhone 5 is a win win for users.

The HTC one doesn't lag. The Galaxy S4 does stutter a bit, due to touchwiz being an absolute pig. The only reason that an even moderately specced (by today's standards) Android phone should lag is if the software is a butchered disaster, which I think the word for in Korean is Samsung.

I've been using the htc one for over a month and while it is a step up from what I remember android being, it does in fact lag. I tried to open a tumblr blog that I read which contains many gifs and videos and the htc one could not keep up with my scrolling. It took around 10 seconds at times ( not even exaggerating) for it to scroll and then it would go into a up, down, up, up down scrolling seizure. I've never encountered this on my iPhone. I can even post a side by side video of the same website on both phones if anyone's interested.

It depends on what your definition of a "Google phone" is, I suppose. Like already mentioned, if you like to mix and match certain Google services, then one could argue the iPhone 5 is the "best Google phone" available. But if you're tied into Google services as a whole, then the HTC One is the way to go, IMO anyway.

well i think that its cool that google is trying to push their apps and stuff onto ios phones but i dont thnink its neccessary right now bcause with android phones when i use my bro galaxy 3 it seem like google apps were already integrated with android phones but for ios phones, they already have their own apps for maps and stuff so why would we need to have google apps on ios devices? it just gonna be wasted space and having duplicate apps for things that ios already have integrated with their phones.. unless google wants to replace ios integrated apps with their apps then that would be different.. i just feel that why have google maps if ios already have maps on their phone or have google search when safari u can make google the main search? do i make sence or is it just me?

You really need to slow down and use punctuation. Your comment is really hard to follow, so it makes it hard to let you know whether or not you make sense (as you've asked). The point I think you're trying to make, however, is that you don't feel iOS users should download Google apps, because Apple has already incorporated their own versions of those apps. Does that sound about right? If that's the case, then the answer is simple, however there can be many:

-Some users prefer the way Google goes about creating and laying out an app.
-Kind of along the lines of the before-mentioned point, some users really dislike the shortcomings they may experience in the iOS counterpart of a Google app, and therefore they're using a "better-than" solution (i.e. Apple Maps v Google Maps).
-Some people are engrossed in the Google ecosystem, but they prefer the attention to detail, quality and software offerings of the iPhone.

I'm sure there are more, but I'm just naming a few.

iOS still limits 3rd party developers in general. For example, the Gmail app not being able to hide the email preview on the lockscreen, and only being able to push notifications but not download email in the background like It's unfortunate that Apple does this stuff, but if they allowed developers access to things the default apps can do, not many people would use the default apps so this is Apple keeping a bit of control over the OS and developers.

And Apple not letting the end user change their default apps (Siri > Google Now, > Gmail app, etc) is another limitation.

Your title and your article ask two different questions:

Title question: Is the iPhone 5 the best Google phone? If by that, you mean, the best phone for Google services, as long as services like Google Now and Gmail are better on Android (and they are), the answer is clearly no.

Article question: Is the iPhone 5 a better overall value/better overall phone for people who also use Google services? For me, the answer is yes, without a doubt, as the other goodies in iOS are more important to me than the relative deficiencies in iOS <-> Google services.

I completely agree. The better immersive google experience is without question an Android phone. If you only want a select few of Google's options while not allowing Google to take over your phone entirely, iOS is great and why I choose it. Mr T-shirt with Blazer who always has a constipated face will never understand this though.

Perhaps it will be the best Google phone when third party developers can integrate their services with the system like Android does

The level of integration of software and services in Android bests that on iOS. Unless Apple lets you change the default apps in iOS to Chrome, Google Maps, and Gmail, I can't say Apple makes a better Google phone.

What can the iPhone 5 can do that I can not do on my htc ONE?... Nothing!.. But My htc ONE can do many things that the iPhone 5 can't!
The phone is simply better. But again, average users who user their phones to text, call, see weather, game scores and call grandma on the weekends the iPhone device is a good option. Android (htc One) offers a powerhouse of features. Freedom to customise your phone to your specific needs. On my phone I can switch, change, edit, move, delete, arrange anything on my device. Freedom to access files, share music, share apps and more. Closed, manipulated environment where I can not share what is mine "that just works" is not for me.

One of my favorite things about my iPhone 4S is the fact that I can easily use my Google services without any form of lag. That was my biggest complaint about Gingerbread, back when I had an HTC EVO 4G. I have to say that Google services are awesome on the iPhone, especially Google Drive. For two companies that appear to be enemies, Google services work great on the iPhone.

This is part of what would drive me nuts with Android. Am I tempted by the HTC One? Yes. I agree it's the best Android phone on the market FOR NOW. In 3 months it will be something else. 3 months after that no one will give this phone a second thought. At least with an iPhone I know everyone has the same phone, no one has anything newer/better than I do. I know it's kind of backwards thinking but oh well.

You couldn't have said it better. I went from an iPhone 4s to the HTC One and I'm loving this phone and the android experience, however, in a few more months they will probably release their first and last update to the software and start the production of a new device. It is what it is and that's why I stayed away from android for a while after having the Motorola Atrix...

I believe the iPhone is a great platform to use Google services is it the best? No not until they can be set as default. But that doesn't mean their not good. For me the kicker is I can also use apple services on an iPhone I can take advantage of Imessage, Icloud, and others. That is the reason I'm selling my HTC one for an iPhone 5.

Google certainly must think that the iPhone is best.
They make more money from iPhone than from all of Android.

Oh come on, this is laughable! Until my iPhone gives me access to Google's All Access (not to mention the 8000+ songs saved on their servers without a third party app), Google Now notifications without the need to first open an app and as others made mention, the ability to change the default browser and map apps, the iPhone will never provide a better Google experience than an Android device. I've been happy with my migration to iOS (hence ny outdated screen name) based on the far superior App Store, but from a Google experience, I'm three steps back from where I was a year ago.

I don't believe so. There are some Google services that do not exist/or a have a good client on iOS (all access is a good start), not to mention Chrome. iOS is probably the best non-Android Google experience, but is a distant second to the Android phones (the other platforms are a veeerrry distant third from iOS).

After using the Nexus 4 all other Androids lag compared to it as they ultimately have some bloatware. Sorry my friends the best Google phone is a Nexus phone, I do like the Google Apps on iOS however as they have a unique look and design to them, too bad there isn't a Maps app yet for iPad.

doubt it. I use gmail. apple's mail client isn't that great. i use google music and gmusic is a third party client. it's ok but i'm not sure it's as good as on an android phone. I got a browser so searching on is a wash to me.

That being said, google use isn't that high on my list of concerns. If a phone connects to gmail pretty much job done.

Best "Google Phone"? No.

I don't see where everyone get's all this talk about lag, I've used everything from Windows Mobile, webOS, iOS, Android, Windows Phone & Blackberry. If you've seen a phone really lag then you know how it can be, but with my HTC One I have zero lag anywhere even with Chrome.

My iPhone was great in its' own ways as well, but I prefer all the customization and control I get with Android.

I kind of agree that iPhone has become a great Google phone! my Gmail and other Google services work much better on my iPhone 5 than it did on my S3 when I had that...

Re: "So while the HTC One is quite possibly the best Android phone on the market today, could the iPhone 5 be a better all around value for Google users?"

Apparently it doesn't matter that the HTC One is the best Android phone on the market today. The unwashed masses who buy Android phones have spoken. Samsung is the winner.

It will be interesting to see how much longer HTC can survive in the smartphone market.

" You also get the benefit of Apple's still much smoother user interface, which doesn't offer all the features of Android, but handles everything from scrolling to swiping to tapping with far, far more buttery-ness than even the latest version of Jelly Bean."


I am a Google user on iPhone5, the only thing i feels missing in iOS is Google Contacts, i hate the iOS contacts and iCloud.

If you don't want to buy iphone then htc one is the best choice, But i don't have any reason why i shouldn't buy iphone 5.. is a trustworthy site to buy those electronics. Their aim to bring Chinese goods with high quality and low cost to the world. Personally i like this site. They are committed to becoming the best reliable marketplace on the net by offering high quality low cost products with the widest selections, reasonable price, worldwide free shipping and superior customer service.
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After playing with a nexus 4 for about to weeks I'm already back to my iPhone five . I really understand why Apple decided not to go with a bigger screen. It's a nice device but not quite nice as my Iphone 5