Home Android Choosing a Smartphone can be Challenging

Choosing a Smartphone can be Challenging

by Kerry Dawson

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Colors 091019 1

Smartphones have come a long way since their inception by Blackberry and probably Palm. In the 2000’s Blackberry was riding high. it basically had the corporate world’s mindspace. However, they were caught off guard by Apple and all is history.

The iPhone Launch changed it All

With the launch of the iPhone and its imminent success, the world was suddenly aware of a new way to interact with their phones. Little did anyone know there was about to be a monumental, historical shift in our interaction with our mobile devices.

Google was quick to adjust to this. They rapidly shifted gears from what they were doing and introduced Android a touch based device much like the iPhone. What was distinctly different in the two approaches was Android became fully a open systems environment and any vendor was allowed to adjust the system to meet it’s needs. IOS started out with a design philosophy of ease of access and use. Android on the other hand was meant to be not only an to be an easy to use system but a customizable one. Customizability was it’s prime approach.

Complexity in Choice is there at Start

Thus far, in the beginning there were four significant platforms to choose from. This was actually simpler than what we have today. Much has written about this but Blackberry died an early death as the new design form took off. However, soon to follow after Blackberry’s death was that of the Windows platform. Microsoft gave it a good shot but it wasn’t enough. Apple and Android have won the day.

Android’s Open System

Samsung s10

Putting to the side IOS for the moment, the Android environment became very complex. Many vendors signed up for Android and they were each able to coat it with their own skin making what should have been similar between platforms unique.

Android started out roughly and garnered a poor reputation for many things including performance, complexity, and reliability. Today however, Android has matured into a full blown, solid competitor to that of IOS. IOS quickly became associated with the opposite of Android and was seen with the more affluent while Android was less expensive.

The Android market has also had a shaking out in which there remain only a few that are considered as good as or better than IOS.

The following Android phones are the ones that have high profile:

Samsung
Google Pixel
LG
Motorola
One Plus 7
HTC (used to be but is questionable now)

This diagram tends to outline those with a prominent presence.

IOS is no Longer making the choice Simple

Looking at IOS and Android today and trying to choose your phone is not a simple endeavour. Even in the Apple IOS line there are a number of models with various configurations which adds to the complexity. Finally, IOS phones from Apple range in price dramatically from the very expensive to the reasonable models. How do you choose a phone you’ll be happy with.

Your Compute Environment may answer that to a Degree but . . .

At one time the answer to at least a platform was simple. If you operated in an Apple environment solely the choice was obviously an Apple Smartphone. This is no longer the case fully though it does hold water to degree. A lot of software is becoming cross platform. Most of the new software solutions runs on Mac and Android and sync and are referred to as cross platform solutions. You are no longer locked into the Apple ecosystem.

This is good for the consumer as if they like an iPhone with a certain configuration but find it is too expensive, you now have competitive choice. As an example, if you need your phone to have three cameras of varying focal lengths you can buy the iPhone Pro line and they will deliver but these phones are very expensive. You might decide that a Samsung s10 + will more than meet the need for lesser price.

In fact, the Android might meet the base need plus some Further, when it comes to these other players like Samsung they have reputation to hold up and you will get a high quality product which is well backed for less money.

Software is the Key Generally

The answer to the problem of which phone to get often though resides at the software level. Not all software is cross platform. As an example, if you absolutely require Omnifocus or DEVONthink to get your job done, then you need only start at the Apple iPhone. If this is the case, a lot of complexity has just been removed but not totally as the different iPhones have different levels of functionality. This also is true of your Android phone.

Just to throw one last wrench into the cog, if all your software is cross platform it means your Android will reside in the Apple environment soundly. The choice of phone then must be determined by other factors.

In many people’s cases the answer is not difficult. If everything you currently use is Apple then it would be an iPhone from which you choose. If you’re operating system agnostic and your device can operate with the software you need to use, then this will tell you whether you can play the entire field which adds complexity but also a number of options.

Narrowing it Down

Let’s assume you operate in the Apple environment solely and are happy with iPhones then you’ll want an iPhone. Since there is a range to choose from let your budget do the walking. If you want to save money buy the iPhone 11 if you need the two cameras or if you don’t need two cameras buy the iPhone XR in which you are compromising little.

Finally, if you hardware agnostic let the above be your guide. Here you will have much more to choose from as you will be able to look at different vendor’s phones. If your budget is tight but you want a flagship you’re better off choosing either an iPhone or Samsung do to their focus on Smartphones.

If budget is not a problem then it is probably wise to go with the safest choice and that would be one on the iPhone Pro’s. That said your iPhone is going to be the safest choice whether it is a less expensive phone or the pricy phone for more than one reason but it will hold its value longer than your Android.

IOS is known to be well integrated into the Mac environment and is easier to use. Android is actually as easy to use as IOS though perception sees it more as a techies tool. That being said, there are some fine if not great Android phones. They tend to be priced less than the iPhone but they don’t hold their value as well and are not as user friendly nor integrated to a Mac environment as the iPhone.

These days it has become challenging to choose a Smartphone. With a little needs assessment including what is the budget it is more than possible to find a great Smartphone for you. Just be careful that you get one in which the cameras work well for you (cameras have become a major item on a smartphone), you have a good processor and it has plenty of memory. The one thing about Android’s is they tend to support SD cards reducing the problem of choosing the right memory. With an iPhone what you choose is what you get. There is no upgrading memory so you have to get it right between what you’re likely to use over the course of the device’s life and what you will actually need. An SD card can just be swapped out mitigating the need to be so precise. Plus, as an example, the Samsung comes with twice the internal memory for a total of 128 gbs.

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