iPhone vs. Android vs. BlackBerry vs. Windows Phone: Which phone should you get?

iPhone vs. Android vs. BlackBerry vs. Windows Phone: Which phone should you get?

2013 iPhone buyers guide: How to choose between the iPhone and other phones, including Samsung Galaxy, HTC One, Moto X, Nexus, Nokia Lumia, BlackBerry, and more!

Apple has released the brand new, top-of-the-line, flagship iPhone 5s and less-expensive, colorfully fun iPhone 5c. But is either of them the right phone for you? While everyone here at iMore certainly believes the iPhone is still the best phone for most people, most of the time, we're lucky that every major platform now has one or more great phones for us to choose from as well. The iPhone may have the best overall user experience, the highest quality apps and games, the widest range of services, the biggest selection of accessories, and the best customer support, but there are also things the iPhone doesn't offer that other phones do, like much larger screens, physical keyboards, high power cameras, greater hardware options, or simply no Apple about them. How do you know which one is for you? Keep reading!

Most delightful interface and experience

Apple prioritized iPhone user experience from the get-go. It didn't have as many features as other phones of the time, but it had an interface that made every other phone look obsolete by comparison. From slide to unlock to pinch and zoom, it became a mainstream sensation. Over time, Apple's built on that with everything from FaceTime for incredibly easy video calls to Siri for incredibly engaging voice control. A lot of other companies throw a lot more features at the wall, hoping something sticks. Apple's focus on the best, more coherent, most usable features. iOS 7 makes it even better. They re-built the entire interface on top of a game-style physics and particle engine, so it's even more discoverable, playful, and powerful than ever before.

Plus, with the new iPhone 5s, you get Touch ID, a breakthrough fingerprint scanner that lets you unlock your iPhone and buy from the App Store and iTunes Store without having to enter any long, difficult passwords. Simply touch your finger to the Home button and you're in. And it can recognize up to 5 distinct fingerprints!

Highest quality apps and games

Best selection of apps and games

Apple is neck-in-neck when it comes to sheer number of items in the App Store, but they're still way ahead when it comes to the quality of items in the App Store. Sure, every platform has more than its fair share of junk, but the best of the App Store is still unmatched. There's a simple reason for that: Early iOS developers came from the very design-centric, experience-centric Mac developer community. That set the bar very high. Likewise, some of the biggest and best gaming franchises came to the iPhone early, and still come to the iPhone first. While you can get a lot of name brand apps on multiple platforms now, many of the boutique apps are still iOS exclusive, including Tweetbot, Fantastical, Drafts, Screens, Twitterrific, Vesper, Launch Center Pro, Infinity Blade, Tiny Wings, Letterpress, and more. That's not even including Apple's own apps, some of the best in mobile, like GarageBand, and iMovie. Other platforms are attaining breadth. iOS has kept ahead on depth.

Widest range of services

 Best selection of services

When you get an iPhone, not only do you get instant access to all of Apple's great services, like iCloud backups, and iTunes in the Cloud re-downloads, but you also get access to pretty much all of Google and Microsoft/Nokia's best services - like Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome, Google Drive, Google+, Hangouts, Outlook, SkyDrive, Bing, Skype, Here Maps, and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) coming soon, and to the best third party services like Dropbox, Box, Spotify, Songza, Pandora, Netflix, Amazon Kindle and video, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, and many more. Apple doesn't offer their stuff on any other phones, but almost everybody offers everything on iPhone.

Biggest selection of accessories

Best selection of accessories

From protective to decorative cases, to macro and wide-angle camera lenses, the choice of iPhone accessories remains the best of any phone on the market. Part of that is due to the iPhones popularity. Part of that is due to Apple releasing new designs only once every couple years, and keeping designs on the shelf for 3-4 years. That means accessory makers can sell the same accessory for a lot of phones, for a long time, which is the best thing in the world for them - and for iPhone owners. Instead of worrying about making something for a wide range of phones, they can concentrate on making a wide range of things for the iPhone. No matter what kind of case you want, what capacity battery charger, what kind of photo mount or lens, what type of Bluetooth accessory, chances are you won't only find it, you'll find several different options to choose from.

Best customer support

iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C buyers guide

If you have an Apple Retail Store near you, there's no point choosing any other phone. Apple will not only sell you an iPhone, but they'll help you set it up and show you how to use it, give you free lessons on all the main features. More importantly, if anything goes wrong, they'll fix it for you or swap it for a new phone, usually while you wait. You can make a Genius Bar appointment, walk in with a broken iPhone, and thanks to Apple customer service and iCloud, walk out half and hour later with a replacement phone containing all of your stuff, that's essentially a clone of the one you walked in with. No one else comes close to matching Apple's level of customer service. Appallingly, no one else even tries.

iMore!

iMore for iOS 7 app coming soon!

Even though the iPhone's user experience is unmatched, the app, accessory, and services unequaled, and the customer service the best in the business, there's still more you may need. That's where iMore comes in. We'll help you get used to your new iPhone, help you figure out which are the best apps, accessories, and services for you, and help show you all the things you can do with it, like photography, music, and more. And when you're ready, we'll help you upgrade to your next phone. Whether you keep up with us on the web, with our iPhone app, or via RSS, Twitter, App.net, Facebook, Google+iMore, YouTube, or iTunes, or some other way, you'll quickly find out the iPhone doesn't only come with great stuff, it comes with a great community!

Who should get the iPhone?

If you want a phone that just works, and that has all the great user experience, app and game, accessory and services, customer support and iMore community benefits, then the iPhone is for you. It's smaller than many competitors these days, doesn't have a hardware keyboard, and there's no giant camera bolted on, but it remains the single best phone in the world at what it does, and what it does it does very, very well.

Unless you have a very specific set of requirements or use cases that make something else a better option for you - see below - get an iPhone. You'll be glad you did.

Who should get Android instead?

Who should get Android instead?

If you absolutely need a bigger screen, anything from 4.3-inches all the way up to 6-inch "phablets", you should get Android instead. Apple probably won't make any iPhone that size until 2014 at the earliest, so if you need something between a phone and a tablet, and can't afford both, or if you need something that emphasizes the computing device more than the mobile phone aspect, you'll have to go elsewhere. Both the 4.7-inch HTC One and the ironically named 4.3-inch HTC Mini are great phones with excellent build quality. Samsung isn't quite as well made, but the 5-inch Galaxy S4 and the 6-inch Galaxy Mega are extremely popular and very large respectively. Google's Moto X provides a big screen in a small package and includes highly customizable back plates. LG's Nexus is the best option for those who want a big screen and a stock Android experience.

Who should get BlackBerry instead?

Who should get BlackBerry instead?

If a physical keyboard and a focus on communications above everything else are a deal-breaker for you, then Apple's iPhone will never fit your needs. BlackBerry, however, is phenomenal at hardware keyboards. They also rebooted their operating system, bringing them fully into the era of modern smartphone. The BlackBerry Q10 is currently the latest, greatest high-end keyboard BlackBerry. The BlackBerry Q5 is lower-end but still terrifically tactile. If you simply insist on being old school, a few BlackBerry 7 devices remain on the market as well.

Who should get Windows Phone instead?

Who should get Windows Phone instead?

Windows Phones come in a variety of screen sizes and price points, and all run Microsoft's elegant Metro (sticking with it!) interface and experience. The biggest reason to go with Windows Phone - literally - is the amazing camera available on the Lumia 1020. It's almost like they grafted a dedicated point-and-shoot onto the body of a phone. It's also got a big screen and some of the best build quality in the business.

Still undecided?

If you're still not sure about the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c - or even the still-on-the-market iPhone 4S! - jump into our iPhone discussion forums and the best community in mobile will happily help you out. If you're not sure in general, head on over to your local big box or carrier show and ask to try them out. Don't settle for dummy phones, ask to use demo units, and ask a lot of questions. Then dive into Android Central, Windows Phone Central, and CrackBerry and the experts there will help you make a final, fantastic decision.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 115 comments. Add yours.

ianberg says:

A great article breaking down the pros for each mobile environment and there's even some cons thrown in their about iPhone. For me the most important factor is price. I've bounced around from Nokia Symbian to BlackBerry to Nokia Windows Phone 7 so I'm probably a prime candidate for Android or WP8 for my next phone. However, the $99 intro price on the iPhone 5C makes that decision more difficult.

Timelessblur says:

Not really. I say it is part for a course of an Apple fan site. But their break done of the other devices was very poor at best. There are a huge list of reason why you would not want apple. (Dealing with Apple lock in and sub par performance of the other services)
Android has by far better Google services support and allows much better customization of the the interface.

Derrick4Real says:

yeah. So the only reason to get android is screen size? What if you like the email program better or you're using google play and have all your music their for free, what about a cheaper cost? And Windows? The only reason is metro? I think maybe liking office is at least a reason. I'm not saying any of those sway me but as you say it's expected but the break down of other devices is a tad skinny.

kevinbhayes says:

Apple lock in, as opposed to Android lock in, or Windows lock-in? If I buy an Android app, I can't move my apps to Apple or Windows either.

But I get your point. If you like to tinker, modify the OS, etc. then Android is for you.

By the way, isn't it "par for the course?"

1966cah says:

While apps purchased on any platform are part of the lock-in, I think media is more of a factor. iTunes has been around for so long and people have invested so much in music and video purchases that I think Apple has more of a lock-in factor than Android. I know that you can get at least your music out of iTunes, but it can be a lot of work and a huge disincentive. Videos, magazines, and ebooks? I don't know if you even can get them transferred at all...

Timelessblur says:

I am not talking about the app lock in at all. I was referring to the fact that fact Apple products do not tend to play nice with anyone but Apple products and services. Everything else is sub part at best and normally due to Apple's limitations. Apple TV really only works well with Apple stuff. Limited tie in and so on.
An article like this would be what i would expect from DaringFireball which I put the stuff from that site below what I flush down the toilet. This is a fanboy article plan and simple. For the most part I like iMore due to the pretty much lack of fanboy articles. Heck most of the mobilenations sites do not go about bashing other products. This one does and just starting to put iMore on the level of a fanboy site.
iMore is better than that.

Ray Picone says:

There are enough reasons to stay away from Android too. There is no real standard, each manufacturer makes their own flavor of the OS. There can be apps that work on one Android phone that don't work on another. The apps are just not up to the high standards of the Apple apps. There are a lot of crappy Android apps. The build quality of the handsets is mixed as well. If your handset stops working good luck getting a replacement. You will have to depend on your carrier so you better have insurance on that phone. More people regret going to Android from iPhone then the other way around. Sure you will find a number of people that are glad they switched over to Android but there are many that regret it too.

I have not used an Android phone because I just find that there is no set standard. Some are running Jelly Bean, some or running Ice Cream and some are running older versions and its not that easy to update either. Sure you can customize your phone but at the price of it not working properly with some apps and services. I have heard more situations of phones resetting themselves and losing settings way more frequently than iPhone users experience. The Apple Store is there to help out if you run into any problems with your iPhone too.

wamadden4 says:

Most important factor is price for a phone? Dude, its simple... get the new iPhone 5S... the rest is junk... its only $199... That's not a whole lot of money...

oliouten says:

the 5s is junk just like the 5

Steven Rivera1 says:

You're kidding right? I was searching for comparison between iphone and blackberry and all I got from this article was 90% Apple fanboy and 10% pathetic blurb about other phones. <Product vs. Product vs. Product> articles should at least make an attempt to do a comparative breakdown. This was not one of them.

return_0 says:

The Galaxy Note 3's screen is 5.7 inches, not 6 inches...

Hamza Salau says:

galaxy mega 6.3 has a 6.3 inch screen

return_0 says:

Yeah... that's not the Galaxy Note 3, though.

Hamza Salau says:

Yes but the article says 6 inch galaxy mega it doesn't mention the note 3

return_0 says:

It originally said 6-inch Note 3. The article was edited.

Hamza Salau says:

oh that makes sense now. I apologize

NickA says:

"iPhone vs. Android vs. BlackBerry vs. Windows Phone: Which phone should you get?"

Get them all and enjoy! I regularly switch between iOS and Android. Right now I'm using the Moto X, but getting ready to install iOS 7 GM Seed on my iPhone 5 to test my apps.

Sorry BlackBerry, I have no room for you in the phone rotation...

MaxC. says:

Sadly not all of us have the money for that, even though it's the best option by far.

winenerd says:

Even as a diehard Android user, I steer a lot of people towards iOS for the reasons listed. Android is far more powerful and flexible, but that's not for everyone. For a small, friendly learning curve and fantastic customer service, iOS is the clear choice, but with that comes some limitations. Good article though.

coolqf says:

I use to be the same, but lately i've been suggesting Android. If the person's still on blackberry I might suggest the iPhone though.

What made the iPhone king was consistency, but Android has been improving on this a LOT. My girlfriend purchased the Note 10.1, and part of me always thought that I should have pushed her for the iPad4 (She owns an iPhone), but no, she loves the tablet. Three features that make her love it 1) All apps auto update when wifi 2) Chrome auto translates, and the expandable memory.
Her iPhone is a 16GB. Everything about the phone is perfect for her, but the space is not enough and the battery dies right away. She always has to plug it in at the office. She uses her phone less, yet mine lasts longer (Nexus 4).

The times when the iPhone was clearly supreme are over. Their great new feature.... a new GUI and a fingerprint reader.

Premium1 says:

The note is 5.7 not 6"....

tlegend2012 says:

No Android,No IOS,and NO Windows... BB wins

Illustrator Joe says:

Wow Rene, I enjoy your articles, but this is almost offensive. You pretty much said the only reason to chose Android over an iphone is screen size alone, and the only reason you would need a phone with a bigger screen is because you are poor and can't afford a phone and tablet. You literally used the words "Can't afford".

The bullet points are not facts, but written as they are.

Most delightful interface and experience- Subjective
Highest quality apps and games-I'll give you that one
Widest range of services-I am not even sure this is true
Biggest selection of accessories-Maybe for 1 phone, but encompass all Android or Windows Phones, then no.
Best customer support-Subjective and in my experience absolutely not.

I mean yes we should be excited for the 5s and 5c... but this article SMH.

richard451 says:

Basically if you need a bigger screen get an Android. If you need a keyboard get a Blackberry and if you need a great camera get a Windows phone. Doesn't seem very informed, but it's an Apple fan site so I'm not sure what kind of intelligent comparison to expect.

Illustrator Joe says:

Don't get me wrong I respect Rene just as much as any other Mobile Nations writer. I am all for a little friendly competition between the sites. I think Rene is a great writer, but this article just sits with me wrong.

YourMobileGuru says:

It still amazes me how Rene can be so diplomatic and balanced in the Mobile Nations and Talk Mobile stuff but when he's back on iMore he's back to the same old crap. Rene like all of the Mobile Nations writers uses multiple platforms so I would have expected better of him in this.

Derrick4Real says:

As if Windows doesn't have large screen phones either.

jasongeiger says:

I have a note 2 and a note 10.1. Being poor had nothing to do with my decision. There's 2 ipads and iPhone 4 in my home. Just here to see what's new with Apple.

Dr. Impossible says:

...And the only reason to get a WP8 phone is the Lumia 1020....c'mon. Every platform has a lot of great things going for it, end of story.

romsas says:

I just don't think Rene gets the whole phone decision thing. Why are you always trying to compare which is better than the other. If you're a person who hasn't bought a phone yet than yes this information is great. But if you're a person who already has a phone, tablet, etc, I don't see many people switching because you've already invested into that company ego-system when buying apps for that device. Who wants to paid for the apps all over again for a new device? This isn't about just a phone, tablet or etc but more about which company offer that person want they want and use plus which carrier gives them the best usage for their money. Let get real here and stop pinning one against the other, you're always doing this, which makes not senses.

Nathan Bael says:

I recently sold a phone to someone on craigslist. We got to talking about operating systems. They said that they preferred android to iOS because all of the apps I pay for on iOS they can get from alternate sources for Android, for free. So apparently stealing apps is another reason to go Android.

calbrs04 says:

You can steal apps on iOS if your jailbroken.

tomar5e says:

Rene clearly is trying to justify this website by upselling the underwhelming new iphone. Cant blame him, he's got bills to pay too.

MaxC. says:

An effing fingerprint scanner!!!
An effing 64-bit Microprocessor!!!
An they named a color Space Grey!!!

The galaxy s4:
Better camera.
can wave your hand in front of it.

Derrick4Real says:

honestly none of that is that impressive by either phone. It's all a wash to me. Making it a matter of taste. But nobody is doing anything special in my mind. I can tell you if i was in the design room a finger print scanner and waving my hand in front of a phone would be about 1000 on my list of things to add.

Nathan Bael says:

I actually like the idea of a fingerprint scanner as it avoids passwords, but yeah, I know what you mean. Personally, I would like to see the app size download limit on iOS be optional as some of us want to use our phones and don't care about the data charges.

return_0 says:

Motorola Atrix: An effing fingerprint scanner!!! Released in 2011!!!
And you don't want me to name how old devices with 64-bit microprocessors are...

And on the GS4 side (which by the way isn't the only Android phone and is far from the best Android phone), you just forgot, oh, a better processor, more RAM, a better screen, thinner, lighter, less bezels, and some other things that are as minor as what the 5S adds.

Nathan Bael says:

Actually you don't know if the processor is better as this is a new processor. However, I do expect android to pass the new process in the 5s within a few months of release, if the iPhone has a better processor right now. There are androids that do pretty much all that you say, but not really 1 android device that does all of those things.

Personally, I was a little underwhelmed by the 5s. I'm not really excited with iOS 7 either. However, I do plan on getting the 5s, as well as the 1020 (if it comes to Verizon).

Etios says:

Fingerprint sensor was available in Motorola Atrix and it worked fine for me.

kevinbhayes says:

Would love to see a comparison of these fingerprint scanners. Is the Atrix one the same as on lenovo laptops, if so, it's not that good. Also how secure are they. Where does the Atrix store your fingerprints. Is it a hash, or raw data, etc.?

c_hack says:

The only reason I'm not trading my 4S for a 5S is that after 2 years my 4S is still getting updated to iOS7. You rock Apple!

I've had half a dozen Android phones, most of which were abandoned by the carrier / manufacturer within a year. None has ever received updates after two years. Android phones are built to be obsolete quickly and their resale values show it. Their parts (displays, flash RAM, controllers, etc) are cheap and just don't last anyway.

The whole "Android is open" argument is a joke. Long time Android users know they have to unlock and root their phones to make them "open". The typical user is locked into their carrier, bloatware, late (if any) updates.

kevinbhayes says:

So Nexus is the only choice for Android if you want a phone that can be updated over the years without rooting, unlocking, etc. There goes the choice argument for Android.

Illustrator Joe says:

I was half joking, but all the things he complained about android in his post could be solved with Nexus device. That doesn't mean you still don't have choice.

And also him saying android being open is a joke, makes no sense, it is a fact android is open.

MaxC. says:

Apple was always dinged for not supporting older macs

Now the tables are turned.....

jasongeiger says:

They support updates for a couple years actually but beyond that your correct. But sure you can root and update to the newest version a soon after the nexus gets it typically these days. It's considered open not only because of that but customizations that don't even need root. Don't like the keyboard then change it. Want your phone to look different? Change the launcher and start customizing. Or leave it alone and let it "just work" I don't get that catch phrase...

return_0 says:

Hmm... my Android phone (Nexus 4) and tablet (Nexus 7) has no carrier bloatware or OEM bloatware, and both have received OS updates within a day of release.

jcarlos100 says:

the Z10 is also a Blackberry phone(but with a full touch screen no physical keyboard) just saying since people might not see the chart at the end there.

boovish says:

Apple will never make a 5-6" iPhone. If they do, I will take a hit out on tim cook, and I will take apple hostage

abolds4397 says:

You never know! That is one reason Android is leading in sales (price and the operating system is another). Apple should bring the screen size up a little, it will help somewhat.

kevinbhayes says:

1. Android is not leading in sales of only 5 - 6" phones. Take out all the cheap crappy Android phones, and you get a different number.
2. Android vendors don't release sales numbers. Just shipments. There's no way to tell for sure.

mazzmoney95 says:

You only mentioned screen size as a reason for android, and I disagree. Price is also important, and Android has the best value in mobile right now, the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (the nexus 10 is also pretty cheap for the specs). Then once Xiomi (or whatever its called) goes international, you'll have even more choice when it comes to value. You also neglected to mention Android as the most customization OS on the list. Furthermore, Android has plenty of great apps not available on iOS, from widgets to launches to apps that give you complete control of you device (come back to me when iOS has an app that could compare to tasker). A lot of apps are iOS first, but there are just as many apps that are Android only (what I mean is more apps and games eventually come to android, while most android only apps never go to iOS because apple wouldnt allow them, like tasker). Lastly, which OS has the best UI is subjective, as there are things I like about them all.

unstoppablekem says:

Sorry, but I think BlackBerry isn't anything special. For me, it's Windows Phone>Android & iPhone (tied)>BlackBerry.

Derrick4Real says:

interesting. For me. ios & Android (tied) > Windows phone & Blackberry (tied). Possibly Windows a slight lead but not by much for me. It's all about what works best for the individual though.

NinerJet9 says:

Disappointed w the Apple launch. Luckily I'm satisfied w my iP5. However, should I become dissatisfied I would go to a Blackberry Z10.

BB fan forever says:

It's fast and gets things done super quick. The Hub and BBM Share, etc. Super Fast yup

kevinbhayes says:

Were you looking for a particular feature?

Playah0101 says:

I read most of the mobile nations pages as often as I can, to get all encompassing perspective, although I am an android user, but I am pretty annoyed by this post in particular.

Rene, if you are going to make a post like this, let the other Editors bring in their own input because this is obviously slanted towards iOS and Iphone.

I guess I will pretend to be Phil, or Jerry for a second.

A) Interface - Usability.
In terms of a lament user iOS wins, but even you'd have to acknowledge that iOS has been stale for quite a while when compared to anything like Android 4+. This will improve with iOS 7, but there are still things to be made up for. I wonder how people deal with the lack of customization on iOS, its just stale I'm sorry. As bad as TouchWiz, or LG's skin is, its still able to be customized and made your own simply by downloading Nova Launcher.

B. Apps and Games:

Overall, I'd give it to iOS, but its still really close, and in alot of areas iOS is in trouble. One of the biggest issues plaguing iOS is not opening up API access to iOS to the developers that made the platform and apps what it is today. ICloud is a disaster, and while Itunes is an advantage it iis leveling out with Google play as things move along. You still win in games and apps, but its only really noticable in tablet apps overall. Google has really evened things out by pushing things along despite the fragmentation issues, and if you don't grant access back to the developers you'll slowly start to lag behind.

C) Widest range of services
I'd have to say it can be argued either way, but I'd have to say its about even. A good number of the apps you named are googlecentric and I'm sorry, they do run better on Android, and they always will to a growing degree. Apple's cloud services simply can't compete with Google, and they won't allow 3rd party developers to help close the gap, and thats going to hurt you soon.

D) Customer support -
Again, for the lament nothing beats an Apple store, and I will support that, so iOS wins. But if you take a minute to go into XDA-Developers, and read just a few hours worth of material on any android forum per device you'll find a much more knowledgable and accessible, along with being a free resource that makes your phone "smart". Android has gone much further in terms of supporting 3rd party development in the past few years and its really starting to come full circle, encouraging more and more android support, therefore android $$, by allowing rooting and tinkering in its various forms.

So if I was to be simple like Rene I'd say this. iOS is like the Toyota Camry of cellphones, it works and its the easiest to master, if you don't want to get to indepth this is your ticket to almost anything you'd want on a smart phone.

But Android has really surpassed iOS in alot of ways and its growing as far as I can tell. If you want your phone to be tailored to you, android is just plain more accessible and much more deversified.

GeniusUnleashed says:

I disagree about Apple apps being the best; I don't use any of them because they suck. Apple has the worst messaging app (so I jailbroke it) and use Bite SMS to make it more like Android. Apple has the worst email app, so I use Mailbox. Apple has the worst browser so I switch between Chrome and Dolphin. Apple has the worst phone dialer app, but I'm stuck with it since they won't release the API, Android is the best by far for this. When I got my 4S, there was nothing quite comparable hardware wise and camera wise combined. Now? I'm looking at you enigmatic Nexus 5, will you make me switch back?

dsignori says:

I wouldn't have minded much about the article if it was titled better. I was led to believe there would be more honest and complete pros and cons listed. I know it's an Apple site, and I know this was mentioned in a few other posts but : The only reason to get Android is a bigger screen?
- Not if you want better/more integrated Google services? (Chrome, Search, G-mail, etc?)
- Not if you want Google Now, which is better than any service Apple has?
- Not if you want better, even excellent notifications and interactions?
- Not if you want to actually customize your screens more than just putting apps into folders?
- Not if you want to choose better keyboards?
- Not even if you want actual choice of sizes, colors, form factors, OEM's, (and yes, screen sizes)?

I could name 20 more in a second. It's an Apple site, so there's nothing wrong with the article, I just don't know why the title insinuates that the article will actually evaluate other platforms ...

p.s. I use Android phones and an iPad, I am not tied to any platform .. Just saying ..

BBooDad says:

My wife and I both tried Androids. They worked well, for a while. But then they slow down, Force Close a lot, and hardly they ever got updated, and never to the newest Android OS.

Since we switched to iPhones, have never looked back. Have a 4, 4S, and 5. All work well and reliably and still get updates to the OS.

Android phones can have phenomenal memory for huge music and video or game collections, but in our experience, they don't have good longevity like iOS phones do. That doesn't matter if you get a new phone yearly, but does if you want it to last longer.

Just my opinion.

darrenlowjq says:

Actually Android 4.3 added TRIM support, which would fix the slowing down issue. I acknowledge that it doesn't do you any good if your current Android devices never get updated but any device going forward with 4.3 or higher should not encounter this problem. If this issue of slowing down was the deal breaker then you may reconsider Android.

abolds4397 says:

That's a great deal! I have the Samsung Galaxy S4 (no problems with it) but I love what Android does, that is why I will stick with it. I have 4.2.2 right now.

darrenlowjq says:

As a flagship, I have no doubt the S4 will be updated to 4.3 or higher sooner or later, think this should not be an issue for you.

abolds4397 says:

I agree with you! I have an Samsung Note 10.1 and an iPad 2 (which to me is still tops when it comes to iPads). A person's choice makes all the difference for that person.

BB fan forever says:

Why did you add the picture of the Iphone going up to heaven? Does that mean it's going to die?

jkomo001 says:

thanks for the article. good read. I believe the points you made about the right-fit phone for different types of consumers were all on point.

escapedrift says:

its all about design, interface and ux for me, android, blackberry, windows are all awful. Bigger screen, removable battery, pirating torrents, changing theme, widgets, google services mean nothing to me.

itunes store is awesome, with everything available on apple tv that I purchase..movies & music. facetime, iMessage, passbook, airplay and more apps are what keep me interested.

Chex313 says:

How this wording...If you use Google services(and who doesn't) you might want to look at Android,,probably a Nexus...If you put up with Apple service(and you know we all have) maybe get an iphone...(and then add Google services)For the other 2 people try BB or MS.

DravenX says:

I will be waiting for the iphone 6.

mjfadaway says:

I honestly could care less about Android and Blackberry, but I heart Windows Phone 8

themaxigeek says:

What a tool of a "writer" this guy has to be... the article should have been called.. everyone praise the iphone its the best around, oh and there are some others as well..

if you label a story as a comparison between the 4 major phones, then perhaps you should actually talk about the features of the phone. Not just list the thing you think is the most obvious feature and call it a day. Android devices, while there are some larger than 5 inches, also come in much smaller screen sizes as well. Windows phone is not just known for its layout, its also known for being easier to use, has office on the go and if your a gamer has xbox live onboard. I cant say much for Blackberry, as i have not used the new one, but just the fact that one of the new models has a keyboard in the real world and the other is all touch just shows how dumb this guy is.

I am not an iphone fan, there is nothing that interests me on those devices. I have an ipad, which i mostly use for games, but thats it. If you want to do a comparison article, perhaps get someone from each of your sister sites and have a little debate back and forth and actually compare them..

Racer X says:

This "article" could have been written by the Apple marketing department.

Trappiste says:

"The iPhone may have the best overall user experience, the highest quality apps and games, the widest range of services, the biggest selection of accessories, and the best customer support..."

This may or may not be true in the North America. Internationally, Apple is notoriously poor with after sales service, warranty and support. In comparative reviews, it tends to score the lowest. Also, unless you speak English (literally, not just read and write), iPhone has little to offer. The ecosystem is built around English-language apps and Siri only works in select few languages. Even the maps are useless outside North America.

To me, getting an iP5 in 2013 was a fresh breath of air from 2007. After a WP-experience, I was stunned. Did I just go back in time five years? What I got was an OS whose sole purpose was to act as a 3rd party apps' launcher -- and that's it. After the integrated, localised WP experience, this was inexcusably horrid. Heck, I could not even share photos without some (yet another) 3rd party app and service. This was like using Windows in the 90s. What was going on?

But imagine my surprise when I learnt my 1000$ phone actually carries only a one year warranty by Apple, when the competition offers two years -- the industry standard. This told me how much Apple trusts in its design and its manufacturing partners' work. A year is a short time. Even during the warranty period, the service would take between two to three weeks depending on the case. During that time, you need to cope as best you can, without an iPhone, since Apple will not supply you with one. Of course, there is no personal assistant or support should you run into trouble. Having a broken screen repaired costs 300$. That is, Apple is in fact making more more money repairing these phones than many others are selling their phones.

And the LTE-bands were designed for the North American market, or at least the sunny California. Of course. So no 4G. Since it is not the Apple way to do things.

In summary, the lackluster ecosystem and app selection aside, and the poor support notwithstanding, the phone looks pretty enough. But I expected more than looks for my money.

When I talk with people I now make the following recommendation: Unless you are a native English speaker (few in this world are) and you are techninally minded enough to figure out what apps and services you need to install and how to use them in order to share and consume content, you are better off with another phone. Iphone is simply not made for you. If, however, you merely want an expensive-looking phone that is slippery and cold in the hand, and that scrathes without abuse -- owing to its cheap? materials -- then iP5 may be for you. At least, if you can affrod one. For you will get five or six nice Lumia 520s or three 720s for the price of a single iP5 -- phones for your entirely family. The Apple tax is hefty indeed.

bed269 says:

There is 4 of us in our household that range in age from 16-44 and we have this discussion all the time. We have owned all 4 of the major os at one time or another.
My daughter which is 16 prefers the iphone. Her biggest reasons for her choosing the iphone over any other device is more choices in cases, imessage with friends, and facetime with friends.
My son which is 19 prefers android over the iphone. He is just waiting on the next galaxy note to come out and he will be buying it. He wants the big screen and widgets. He likes to customize his phone.
My wife(no way in hell I even say her age outloud) absolutely hates the iphone. She just returned a windows phone and has ordered a S4. She uses her phone for work and she doesn't like the small screen size that the iphone has. She also wants to be able to customize how her phone operates. She likes to have widgets. She also likes how on google play there apps that she wants that are free. What is funny about her liking android is she will undoubtedly root her phone and jack it all up and I end up spending all day one saturday reading on Android Central on how to fix it. All the sister sites imore, wpcentral, androidcentral and crackberry are great places of information.
Myself I prefer the iphone. I don't do a lot with my phone. Fantasy football, watchESPN, twitter and some tunein radio is about all I do. It just works and that is all I ask from my phone. Android in a perfect world is great but sometimes it can just be a crap shoot depending which phone you get. My wife and I owned the HTC thunderbolt and if HTC every goes bankrupt we will both do a celebration dance. If you get an android phone and it is one that is supported for a decent amount of time it is great but there is know way to know which phone that is.

At times when the 4 of us are sitting around debating which phone is best we sound like a mobile nations podcast.

Dark_Blu says:

As a Tech Support Specialist supporting Android Phablets and Tablets, I can tell you that Android's customizable nature may be fun for propeller head consumers who want to customize their smart phone experience to their individual tastes but it is the most frustrating thing about supporting the platform in a business setting. All you need are programmers who suck at writing code and feel the need to cover up that fact by deploying software updates that introduce bugs or kill devices to realize that a tamper proof operating system is better for both the user and the tech who has to support that technology. iOS devices can be used in business settings with applications that don't tamper with the OS, screw up applications, or kill devices. I was fascinated with the big screen of the original Galaxy Note that I have to support at work, until I was buried in support calls for issues that involved bad programming of a custom Android UI that never would've occurred on iOS. iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C for me. NO TO ANDROID!!

1966cah says:

:) As one of the propellerheads you speak of, I am an Android lover all the way. As an IT support worker, I wouldn't want to support them in enterprise either (without some strong lock-down policies anyway.) Android's openness and customization strengths are akin to running Windows as admin. There's more than enough rope to hang yourself, and as long as the users can make the mess and expect someone else (you) to swoop in clean it up, there's far less incentive to be careful than there is to play... At least you don't have to worry about running out of work!

NAMISH says:

I'd have preferred the article to have been titled "iPhone Vs Android Vs Blackberry Vs Windows Phone - Why you should prefer the iPhone"

Each platform has its weaknesses, even the iPhone has 'em. And each platform has its strength... (The Camera on the Lumia 1020 is not the only strong suit of the Windows Phone offerings, nor is communication and keyboards the only reason to go for a BlackBerry)

For newbies and those who are looking for a new phone and are open to opinion of others, I think Mobile Nations may be the only group of sites online that can break the barrier and provide a honest set of articles with pros and cons of each platform (and devices).

Anyhow... It was a good read nonetheless! ;)

ofutur says:

BlackBerrys are not just about the keyboard. The BlackBerry 10 OS is superior to iOS 7 when it comes to multi-tasking and top apps can match the ones found on iOS in terms of quality. There just aren't enough.

Jay Imerman says:

Does anyone remember the Commodore Amiga? That is proof that technical superiority does not a successful product make. In those days, I did not like Apple - Macs had no command line (tip of the hat to the rooting comment below), and the apps were restricted to a static allocation of RAM. But, today, I'd say they have the best all-around offering, and the most secure, stable mobile phone environment. Definitely very intuitive, I had a lot of trouble with Android. Windows Mobile was actually pretty easy to figure out, but that Metro screen twirls my eyes. I don't like it on XBox either.

abolds4397 says:

LOL! I almost forgot Apple and Samsung are not the best of friends, that's why there was a crack against them in the article! I have both Apple and Android (Samsung) products, both have their pros and cons. Overall I like them both but again it's whatever your preference is.

bobbob1016 says:

I have a few points of contention, but the Services thing is misleading. *All* of those services, except Here Maps, Outlook, and Amazon Video are on Android from what I can see. I know this is an iPhone site, and I'm not dissing the iPhone here (trying not to be as judgmental as I was) but still.

"Samsung isn't quite as well made" is a sort-of-opinion. I think it's better made because I can pop the battery/SD card, and put a folio case on it.

I chose Android because I like complete control of my device. I can root it, use a custom ROM, replace a built in app, and call over WiFi if on TMobile. I like to see what's in my backup, not just trust that Apple backed it up.

TenshiNo says:

Rene, I love to read your articles (despite being an Android guy, myself) and I enjoyed watching the live coverage of the show yesterday. I just have one request: please stop saying the camera has "bigger microns".

LOL. A micron is a unit of measurement that they use to measure the size of the pixels on the image sensor. I cringed, yesterday, every time you said "bigger microns".

Then I remembered the "reality distortion field" and figured, "hey, it's Apple. Maybe the microns really *are* bigger" ;)

ChrisFricke says:

How does Apple, or iMore, measure customer "delight" when using IOS in comparison to other vendor offerings to determine with certainty that iPhone delivers the "most delightful interface experience"?

Gus2259 says:

Why is it that trolls feel like they have to claim their product of choice is superior? There's good Andoid devices to pick and good for you if you like it but stop slamming other people's choices. The iPhone 5s is an incremental update just like most thought it would be. The fingerprint sensor, processors, and camera update are great. If Android has them also then good. Will the iPhone 6 set the world on fire? Come on people these things are just smartphones not the next wonder of the world!

Jay Imerman says:

I hear you. Basically I want my digital life to mesh, and Apple provides that in an ecosphere. As much as I like my Roku, I love the marriage of Mac, Apple TV, iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad (we have a total of 14 Apple devices in our house of 6 people). If it's just a phone, it's just a phone.

Jorge Anlehu Guillen says:

Nokia Lumia 720:

Why?

1. Design
2. Really good camera in low light
3. Micro sd
4. Not too small, not too large (4.3 inches)
5. Wireless charging (with cover)
6. Smoothness
7. Just sexy as hell

Jay Imerman says:

I'm REALLY curious about the camera now. As Phil Schiller said in the address, more pixels is not better - it's bigger pixels on the CCD collector. The multi-photo sampling is also an interesting feature, that compares portions of multiple photos taken around the same time, and stitches a sharp photo together. Then there's the 1,000 variations of flash warmth, I'd really like to see a side-by-side comparison of the 2. Rene?

Kenny G Jr says:

Well written Rene. Since my contract is up in January, I think I'll wait till then to decide which phone I'll be getting (Bell is trying to get me to upgrade my phone now....not happening). I think all these phones have something that everyone wants.

techmonger says:

Why does every phone get compared to the iPhone? If droids are better then why even bother? Apple is Obviously doing something right to have supposedly underpowered tech that can make a dual core chip run apps/games smoother and at most times faster than quad core chips!

Trappiste says:

"Why does every phone get compared to the iPhone?" They do not, unless of course you only read American Apple fan sites. So go figure. An example: A local IT mag compared high end samrtphones in the summer. They did not include a single iPhone but only Androids and WPs. No-one seemed to mind.

Jay Imerman says:

Am I an Apple fan? Yes, but as a matter of purpose, not a matter of fandom (see my post today at TechGeekJay blog). The absolute most important thing to me, and I think it should be to a lot of people, is security. Data security, access security, stability of the device, and the ability to retrieve or disable a lost device are paramount. The 5S takes it to a whole new level. As in the linked article, the entire Apple ecosphere taken into account, it is really appealing. But as just a phone by itself, in concert with the App Store, iTunes, and more, it is very secure. iMessages with other iOS / Mac devices are very secure, not like SMS messaging. The only antivirus software for iOS will scan mail attachments, so you don't accidentally forward a virus to a non secure device. When it comes to safety, unlocking your phone with a touch is very secure, and safe for tasks requiring concentration. Do I wish there were more improvements? Yes. But what are the alternatives? Microsoft? I've been a Microsoft expert for 30 years, I won't ever own another Microsoft device unless you hold a gun to my head. And iOS 7 Beta has been very stable for over a month now, so the release this Sep 20 will be even better.

UndergroundWire says:

Personally I feel that here in the United States, if you have T-Mobile and are looking to get a smartphone, you'd be foolish to get anything but a Nexus.

But all other providers is fair game. I also feel that this article is biased towards iPhone.

There is a lot of things Android offers that wasn't covered. I'm going to try and touch upon some of them here. Yes you can install a lot of Google Apps on your iPhone. However it is pretty silly that you have to login multiple times with the same account (Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, Search, Google+, Maps, Earth, etc...) on Android it is just there. I only have to log in once.

Second, the ability to designate default apps. On Android I can have multiple browsers, calendars, maps, etc. I can designate which is the default one. So when I am on my Twitter app, it will launch the browser I want it to by default. On Apple, this isn't possible natively.

Third, customization (without root I will not even talk about root since we are not talking about jailbreaking). I can designate a default launcher if I am bored with my stock launcher. I place apps I want to see on the homescreen (for example I have 3 homescreens [Work, Play, Social]) However the apps I show are not all the apps on my phone. They are hidden in the app drawer when I need to use it.

Lastly, NFC and Wireless Charging. A lot of Android devices now have this. Yes NFC is not as popular but I have it setup nicely in my office, car and home to automate day-to-day activities. This is something most people will never do but I just wanted to throw that out there. It is not just But Wireless Charging is great. Finally I don't have to buy a new doc every two years. Qi Charging is becoming a de facto standard. It is used in some Windows Phone devices and as well as many Android devices.

Bottom line iPhone is really good if you want something that works. It's not perfect but you might not know what perfect is. For most people they will just use what came with the device and not realize something is better. But if it works for them then that is perfect in their for them. For me, the big one is the default apps which drive me absolutely crazy. Apple doesn't work for me as a smartphone. Surprisingly it is fine as a tablet (although my day-to-day device is a Nexus 7 because of its size and beautiful screen).

brat1475 says:

Thank you for the article Rene. I am actually having a tough time choosing what my next phone will be, so many good choices today! WP looks nice and different from all the iPhones and Android phones out there, but I am missing the little apps, ie bank apps that I can take a picture to cash a check. That and I worry if I would get 8.1 on my phone when it was released. Blackberry is not a thought to me, never had one, nothing against it. iPhone in my opinion still has it on quality app selection, accessories, but it is too small for me today. Android has been my choice based on pure variety and some neat features like the ir as a TV remote, larger high resolution screens, and options. The 5c has caught my eye for the color options. IOS7 is a nice upgrade. I am bored with Android, and want something new, but I don't think anything else is compelling enough. I agree with some of the commentators that the other sister sites should have been involved and this could have been a cross site article with hopefully serious discussion, but I understand you were writing this with iOS users in mind. Just wanted to give my thoughts and feedback without negativity or device bashing. Thanks for your time and work. Your platform agnostic readers appreciate it.

Aleksandar Nedyalkov says:

Android is not only about the the big screen, it's about the level of personalisation that you have and all in all the option you have

CannabisHighway says:

I'm an iPhone owner, have been since day one but I came here to see the difference between Android & iOS and all I got was a sales pitch for the Apple iPhone!!!

You must be getting paid by Apple, Rene. You told me everything I already knew about Apple and nothing about Android. Shame on you, dude. What a waste of time.

khobia2 says:

And I suppose Rene giving links to the other dedicated OS sites on Mobile Nations where you can research it for yourself means nothing to you complainers. Complainers just love to complain.

Trappiste says:

"A lot of other companies throw a lot more features at the wall, hoping something sticks. Apple's focus on the best, more coherent, most usable features. iOS 7 makes it even better. They re-built the entire interface..."

If that is so, then why do I need to upgrade my iP5 to a Lumia 1020 in order to get maps and navigation that actually work? And no, services from some ad company do not count as working maps on a thousand dollar phone, so forget about suggesting some Google crap. I could go Android anytime if I wanted to sell my soul to that company.

Also, why won't I get Siri, or Passbook, or whatever Apple is doing these days on my Euroepan iP5? Why cannot I just share a photo or upload it somewhere directly from the camera app? Why on Earth do I need to launch Dropbox for that purpose!? Why is WP more user-centered and why do these sort of thing just work there, out of the box, without my having to fiddle with who-knows-what 3rd party apps on which I need to blindly trust my most personal data? Why doesn't iPhone play along with any other devices you may have? Why cannot I have LTE on my thousand dollar iPhone in 2013? Why is the WiFi reception so poor compared to other phones? Why do I not get any post sales service from Apple if I am not American? Why is the manufacturer warranty only 12 months, when even phones one tenth of this price come with two years these days? And so on and forth.

Apple may have thrown fewer features on the wall, yes, what ever, but even fewer still have stuck, it seems.

Somehow that quotation just does not add up with the reality I have learnt to endure as an iPhone owner. I did not expect it to be perfect in the iLand, of course, recognising the silly hype that revolves around this brand, but damn, I did not expect even the the most basic stuff to fail so badly. I mean, this is the most expensive phone on the market.

vinny jr says:

Rene, why are you recommending the SGS4 and that 6 inch piece of crap?? The Note 3 which is out is twice the phone of the two you are recommending. It is smaller than that 6 inch piece of junk that is slow as molasses. The Note 3 is the most powerful Smartphone built today. It doesn't have any, any, yes any lag. It is fast as lightening. The screen is beautiful and has the specks of a laptop computer and the camera isn't too shabby either. The Note 3 will get great Developer support for those who want to hack and flash custom roms. My final point is the Note 3 has great after market accessories. If you don't like that back battery door just wait a week and you will be able to buy real leather doors with cordless charging. It is just a great phone and that is the Android phone you should be telling your followers about. I owned the iPhone 5 now the 5S and just picked up the Note 3. I just enjoy tech, great tech devices. I have the best of both worlds.

Lateef Alabi-Oki says:

There's only one reason to get an iPhone. You're locked into Apple's ecosystem.

If you use Google services, the best mobile platform for you is Android. On Android, Nexus devices provide you with the purest Google experience. So if you want timely updates and no bloatware, get a Nexus device.

Obviously windows services run better on Windows platforms. The maturity of the Windows Mobile platform and ecosystem is up for debate.

There's no reason to buy a Blackberry unless you like investing dying businesses.

I've yet to read an article from Rene that isn't intellectually dishonest. Apple isn't going to make better products if they can do no wrong Rene.

You have an ethical responsibility to your audience to challenge Apple to be better. If all you do is ride Apple's dick, how's that going to happen, Rene?

Vamsavardhan N says:

But security wise there is a lot of differece between these operating systems ...
http://gadzetopia.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/ios-android-windows-phone-whi...

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Sanaya Irani says:

You just need to be smart with your technology. Using it is a privilege and responsible.
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iPhoneSon says:

It's funny how ANDROID users and lovers are quick to argue with how great their devices are, but end their argument that they have an iPad. iPad is made from APPLE, so if you're such an ANDROID lover, why do you have an iPad....I'm sure there are tablets out there for ANDROID users. Also is there not ANDROID phones that are just as big as the iPad....how come you guys are not using those??? Just sayin'

I have an iPhone 5s.....I LOVE IT.....I would never get an android or any other phones. I also have an iPad. APPLE user all the way. Again.....just sayin'

ANDROID users: If you're so against iOS....why have an iPad? iPad is on the iOS system.