Determining the right smartphone for you

iPhones, Galaxies, G4s, Xperias, Lumias, Moto — those are just a few of the names that you hear when it comes to that time of year for you to consider buying a new smartphone.  First things first, let’s clear the air and recognize that Android 6.0 and iOS 9.2 will get you to the same destination, one may require more or less clicks, one may look better or worse and one may look the same or widely different depending on the device but the end result is the same.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s break down the important components of a smartphone purchasing decision:
  • Amount of money that you are willing to spend, Price.
  • Ecosystem preference.
  • Peripheral preference. (things like USB, lightning, etc.)
  • 3rd party support.
  • Power user or simple user.

Apple puts iOS on devices that they build — that’s it; so, in a nutshell, one must conform to their prices and they can get expensive.  One thing to note is that Apple focuses on really marrying the software and hardware together to create one of the finest smartphone experiences that money can buy.  When it comes to Android devices, prices fluctuate all over the place from the biggest flagships such as the Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 5, HTC One M9 and more you will pay top dollar.  However, there are mid-range devices that can sometimes give users just as good performance without completely emptying out your pocketbook.
One important note, do NOT buy a cheap Android device (something less than $250 or something sold in Walmart) then complain to all of your friends that Android is not a great operating system.  The problem here is that you as a buyer, made a poor decision when buying your device (find another tech site willing to share that truth with you).
Quality and performance come at a price.
Ecosystem Preference
Some of us have large iTunes libraries with music going back to the days of the first iPod, while others cannot live without GMail, Google Keep, then you have others that simply need the embeded support of Microsoft’s suite of apps — everyone is different.  With that being said,the Apple App Store and Google Play Store largely have the same apps and games; however, please expect most apps to be developed and arrive first on the Apple App Store.  This is not due to an embedded hatred for Android it is due to the sheer number of devices that a developer has to account for when creating an app, versus iOS being on similar hardware at all times.  One thing to note here is that Google typically makes all it’s it’s services available on multiple platforms while Apple does not — with the exception of Apple Music appearing in the Google Play Store.
The Windows Store is really missing key apps though, examples are Instagram, Google Chrome and more — this shows that developer support as well as user support really is not there.
Popular smartphones from 2015.
Popular smartphones from 2015.
Peripheral Preference
USB is an industry standard.  Standards are good and are largely used and promoted by more open companies such as Google.  Apple, although screaming of quality, locks the user in here with a lone lightning port on the device alongside a 3.5 mm headphone jack.  Chargers and charging cables cannot be shared with anything that is not an Apple device.
Third Party Support
Literally everything you see from third parties are made to support Apple’s latest and greatest flagship device.  As noted above, this does not happen because OEMs dislike Android or Google, it is because iOS is only on a select group of devices, while Android phones and tablets can come from literally any OEM that gets the required certification from Google and others who do not.  Meaning, it is simply easier to adapt or provide an interface from an iOS device rather than account for each and every smartphone running Android.
Power user or Simple User
While some power users enjoy iOS, for those of you who love to tinker and have control of literally every part of your smartphone — the choice is simple, go with an Android device.  However, with great power also comes great responsibility.  Having an open platform means that you as the user could change a setting that leaves your device running a bit slower or even a bit faster.  One can setup the homescreen in any manner that they like in addition to even creating custom gestures and assigning actions.
If you like to take the simple approach to a smartphone, you really don’t care about customizations other than a case and just want your device to work day in and day out — the choice is clear, go with an iOS device.  The way that iOS and Android are built are fundamentally different and that is key here because apps only interact with so many layers of the operating system, which makes some apps somewhat limited; yet, this focuses in on providing a clean, consistent and sometimes less cumbersome experience.
Conclusion:  The choice is yours!  Do you have an unlimited bank account, do you like to trick out your homescreens or would you rather be consistent and reliable.
Two great ways to reach the same destination, just choose your ride!