iPhone 4S vs. Android Phones: What's Better for You?

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You know your smartphone is doing well when 4 million people buy it in the first weekend and it temporarily sells out on all three of your carrier partners. (You can order one now from AT&T and Verizon, but Sprint is still catching up.) The overwhelming demand for the iPhone 4S is understandable, given the much-talked-about Siri voice-controlled assistant, as well as the device's faster dual-core processor and fantastic 8-megapixel camera. But today's top Android phones—such as the Samsung Galaxy S II—offer plenty of features you won't find on Apple's blockbuster sequel. How do you know which side to choose? Here's my breakdown.


I would never call the row-of-icons interface on the iPhone 4S fresh, but its ease of use means a lot, especially to first-time smartphone owners. I can't tell you how many times I've shown Android phones to people only for them to ask how to get to the apps. At the same time, iOS 5 catches up to Android with its Notifications area, which is cleanly designed and dynamic (thanks to the addition of weather and stock info).


However, some Android phones let you do more from the notification area. On the Samsung Galaxy S II, for example, you can toggle the wireless radios on and off. And on HTC Sense phones, you can switch between apps from this menu as well as tweak several settings.

The other edge Android has in the interface department is widgets, which allow you to access all sorts of info at a glance. Provided you put in a little effort, Android is more customizable. The problem with Google's OS is that it's so customizable for phone makers that the user experience can vary drastically from one phone to the next.

Winner: iPhone 4S. While Android is more flexible, it can also be more confusing. Simplicity wins this round.


Just as with the iPhone 4, it's easy to switch between apps on the iPhone 4S. You just double-press the home button and swipe to either side. To shut down apps, you press and hold the screen and then tap the X next to an app's icon. Because most apps are suspended when they're not open, you don't really need to worry about them zapping battery life.

iOS Multitasking

Today on Android, you must long-press the home button, but you might only see a subset of all of your running apps—and you can't close programs from this view. Android Ice Cream Sandwich will offer a better user experience, with a Recent Apps button that displays live thumbnails of your running apps. And you'll be able to dismiss apps with a swipe.

Android Multitasking

Winner: iPhone 4S (for now). But it looks like Android 4.0 will put Google's phones ahead.

Screen Size and Quality

One of the chief complaints people have about the iPhone 4S' screen is that it's the same size of the original iPhone's: 3.5 inches. But what many don't realize is that this LCD's resolution is higher than the vast majority of Android phones. The display is not only crisper but brighter than most of the Android competition.

iPhone 4S vs Android Display

On the other hand, bigger screens are just easier on the eyes, and they don't force you to zoom in as much to read text. And although they're not as bright, the Super AMOLED displays on phones such as the Galaxy S II and the Droid RAZR offer better contrast and more vibrant colors, making them great for watching movies. The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Nexus will up the ante on with the first HD display (1280 x 720 pixels).

Winner: Draw. The iPhone 4S has the superior display right now in terms of detail and brightness, but some shoppers just prefer a larger screen.


Having tested dozens of smartphones since the iPhone and Android came on the scene, I've been able to draw some conclusions about the typing experience. Amazingly, Apple's multitouch keyboard remains second to none, despite the fact that in most cases you're typing on a smaller display. Both in portrait mode and landscape mode, I can type quickly and accurately. I'll certainly make more errors than when using a physical keyboard, but overall the iPhone 4S keyboard just works.


With Android phones, keyboards vary quite a bit from one phone maker to the next, with HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung all putting their own spin on the layout. Generally speaking, I've found HTC's keyboards to be the best, with Android's stock keyboard on the Samsung Galaxy S 4G being a close second. What I like about the Android keyboard is that you can usually access special characters (such as numbers) by long-pressing on a letter.

HTC Amaze Keyboard

Android has a few more advantages. One is that you can download third-party keyboards, such as Swype, from the Android Market. Second—and this is really important—only Android phones come with physical keyboards, though they seem to be a dying breed.

Winner: Draw. The iPhone 4S keyboard is great for its size, but some prefer a bigger screen and more customization options.

Web and Data Speeds

The iPhone 4S may have a fancy new dual-antenna system and the ability to reach 14.4 Mbps (theoretically) on AT&T, but it gets blown away by 4G Android phones. For example, the AT&T iPhone 4S delivered speeds as high as 5.3 Mbps but averaged 2.2 Mbps. Both the T-Mobile Galaxy SII (12.6 Mbps) and the Motorola Droid Bionic (11.6 Mbps) are faster.

In terms of loading web pages, we’ve seen a huge real-world difference as well. The iPhone 4S takes about 10 seconds to load many mobile sites (regardless of the network) versus about half that for true 4G phones. Everything on an iPhone 4S that involves data will require more patience than on an 4G Android phone, whether it’s streaming YouTube videos or updating your Facebook news feed. The only caveat is that 4G radios (especially LTE) can drain your battery in a hurry.

Winner: Android. 4G speeds make a big difference in everyday use.

Social Networking

Apple is making a big deal about Twitter integration with iOS 5, and it’s certainly welcome. You can share photos, websites, and more with just a couple of taps. However, Android goes deeper by including Facebook, as well as pretty much any other service that uses Android’s APIs.

For example, you don’t have to use Twitter on Android; you can use Tweetdeck instead. Android also works with Evernote, Flickr, GroupMe, LinkedIn—you name it. We just wish the Sharing option wasn’t two clicks away from the browser page.

Android vs. iOS Sharing

Winner: Android. The iPhone 4S makes it easy to share stuff on Twitter, but you need to use dedicated apps for everything else.


Apple has raised the bar for photo quality—both in terms of speed and low-light performance—with the iPhone 4S, thanks to new optics and an improved backside illuminated sensor. It also captures sharp and smooth 1080p video. Android phones such as the Galaxy S II, though, are only a step behind in terms of speed, and they take equally good photos outdoors. Indoors, the iPhone 4S reigns supreme without a flash. However, the S II produced better images with the flash on and better video when there was lots of motion.

iOS Camera App

While the iPhone 4S has an HDR feature, there’s not much else you can do when taking photos. An advanced Android phone such as the Amaze 4G has a panorama mode, HDR, burst shot mode, and more. And although the iPhone 4S has some editing features, the best Android phones go further, letting you add all sorts of effects without using a separate app.

Android Camera

Winner: Draw. The iPhone 4S has the best camera we’ve used yet, but Android phones give you more control of your images—before and after the shot.


After trailing iOS for years, Android is finally catching up to Apple in terms of the sheer number of apps available in their respective stores. Apple has about 360,000 iPhone apps, compared to approximately 320,000 for Android (according to research firm Research2Guidance). You’ll also find that both app stores stock a lot of the same stuff, from Angry Birds and Words with Friends to Kindle and Pandora.

iOS v. Android App Stores

But if you dig deeper, you’ll find that the iPhone 4S has a better selection of high-quality games with more impessive graphics, such as Infinity Blade and Shadowgun. You’ll also find that apps either come to the iPhone first (such as Netflix) or exclusively (such as Instagram) and just look more polished (Facebook).

Infinity Blade

Winner: iPhone 4S. The iPhone has always been known for its apps, and at least for now it still has a quality and slight quantity edge.

Secret Weapons

Only the iPhone 4S has Siri, a fantastic voice-controlled assistant that can help you with everything from scheduling appointments to sending messages. It can also show you the best restaurants nearby and answer all sorts of questions (thanks to Wolfram Alpha). The best part about Siri is that she understands context, so it’s almost like you’re having a conversation. Even if you’ve never used voice recognition before, you will with the iPhone 4S.


Other advantages unique to the iPhone 4S include iTunes, which allows you to use a single account to download music, movies, TV shows, books, magazines, and apps. Google only offers a subset of that content. And then there’s iCloud, which ironically does a better job than Google (which is synonymous with the cloud) of keeping all of your content in sync across multiple devices.

While Google has a FaceTime alternative in Google Talk, we’ve found the iPhone’s FaceTime to work better. Last but not least is the iPhone’s vast number of available accessories. Having a single standard connector makes things a lot easier on makers of add-ons.

Android has plenty of unique strengths as well. In addition to offering 4G speeds, only Android has free GPS navigation built in. And only Android phones support NFC, which enables mobile payments and will gain even more power with Ice Cream Sandwich. With the beam feature you’ll be able to share all sorts of info with a tap.

Unfortunately, on Android not everyone gets the latest software at the same time. In fact, it can sometimes take several months, though Google is working on shortening the timetable.

Winner: iPhone 4S. Siri + more content + more accessories give Apple the win in this round.

Bottom Line

If you look at our scorecard, it looks like this head to head was a decisive victory for the iPhone 4S. But it really comes down to what you value most in a smartphone. If it’s ease of use and better apps you’re after—as well as smooth performance and a great camera—the iPhone 4S can’t be beat. Siri takes smartphones to the next level by serving your needs with real intelligence. As long as you can live with 3G speeds, you can’t go wrong with the iPhone 4S.

On the other hand, the fact that Android phones offer 4G should not be overlooked. It speeds up practically everything you do. Android also integrates with multiple social networks—instead of just Twitter—and you have a wider range of design choices. If you like the idea of customizing your interface to your heart’s content and want the option of a bigger screen, Android is the way to go.

iPhone 4S vs Android: Scorecard


iPhone 4S

iPhone 4S

Android Phones

Android Phones







Screen Size and Quality






Web and Data Speeds



Social Networking









Secret Weapons






Author Bio
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief on
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  • Gabriel Ignacio Says:

    This blog seemed to be equally comparing both OS's to their competitor, until you start to notice how it tends to dictate that iOS is the clear winner. Even other articles I've read pertaining to these two seem to be biased to Google's flagship OS as well.

    Personally, I've owned devices from both mobile OS's and some others and it all comes down to this: IT'S YOUR PREFERRED CHOICE. If you're completely loyal to Apple and prefer form over function, then go with the iPhone. If you're the kind of person who likes to tinker with things, Android may be for you.

    Apple's iPhone uses the same design for each generation(with a few cosmetic changes as well). This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but using a generic appearance year-after-year eventually turns out to be bland. Android, on the other hand, is used by multiple OEM's (Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG, etc.) and has about hundreds of different styles and hardware specs to satisfy basically any kind of user, from those new to the smartphone scene, to the seasoned Android developer who has faced many cases of bricked phones over the years.

    Both OS's devices have the one issue of being locked down(especially iOS), but both can be unlocked Jailbroken/rooted). However, even with a jailbroken iPhone, there are some features you STILL cannot access. For Android, once a device has been rooted, you gain the ability to customize your phone to its full potential, from flashing custom roms (CyanogenMod, MIUI, etc.) to porting the OS to another unsupported device. You even attain acces to overclock/underclock your device, either to increase overall performance or to save battery life.

    Most of you iOS and Android users look down upon those in possession of devices running WP7 or Blackberry OS, but even these have their advantages. Blackberry, at the time, was meant for the productive user, one who spends most of his/her time working to advance their's and their company's progress in society. Windows Phone 7 is what you can call a "mixed bag". You have the Metro UI which mimics iOS's form, and then you have the somewhat satisfactory customization which copies Android's functionality. I currently own a Nokia Lumia 710 (RainbowMod v1.x) and I find it a bit better than the others, despite it being a closed source OS.

    Anyway, I'm getting a bit off topic. It doesn't matter how many Apple or Android fanboys hype over the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy Note 2 (both are upcoming devices), it's your opinion that matters. If you're still the person using a feature phone and you LOVE that phone, it's better off keeping that phone and waiting for a new one to spark your attention that getting the HTC One X and hating it for not understanding how the device or android in particular works.

  • Kmam Says:

    Also forgot to say, I also have an iPad and MacBook Air that all are synced up with the phone

  • Kmam Says:

    Finally virgin mobile has the iPhone! No conract. I was waiting for o long and bought the 4s no contract phone and now have VM service 300 min, unlimited text and web for $30.00 per month. Cannot beat that. Had the VM android smartphone. Though I miss swipe, I love the 4s. So much better. The resolution of the screen is so much better.

  • Jack Says:

    It really does not make nay difference because as soon as US Cellular brings out the iphone, I will get it. It needs to sync into my MACS seamlessly. Mac users will buy iphones regardless of tests resuts.

  • Northern Paladin Says:

    I don't see how iPhone can win the display competition: they only have 1 to choose from at any given time, short of going to an older model. Android has dozens to choose from. Maybe that's a "win" from the perspective of "I like one-size-fits-all over custom fit for the same price" but with Android you can probably find whatever look and feel you prefer in a display. Smaller? Bigger? Cheaper? Fancier? Android brings selection.

    I also agree with others that widgets means Android takes the cake in interface. I have weather, a stock ticker and a widget showing my monthly data usage all on the front screen. No need to open any apps -- widgets just display information instead of icons. I can't do this on the iPhone, since the home screen only supports icons.

    Also, Android secret weapon: SD cards. You have 16 GB and realize you need more? No problem. A 32 GB SD card is only $18 right now on Amazon. If you had an iPhone, you'd have to get a new phone and the 32 GB version still costs $100 more than the 16 GB version. Why it costs $100 for an additional 16 GB is a mystery considering how cheap SD cards are.

  • Michael Says:

    You should definitely take another look at this not that JellyBean is out. Even compare the 4S to Ice Cream Sandwich. ICS devices blow Gingerbread devices out of the water. Throw JellyBean on top and you're there's nothing left to compare to it. It's simply astounding. Devices without JB, compare the 4S to the HTC One X or SGSIII. Haha, funny nothing to compare. They both dominate the 4S.

  • Phillip Says:

    Yet another biased comparison. For the iPhone, the only advantages are its big selection of apps (which is quickly beijg caught up by Google), Siri and interface. The rest should be either be Android's, particularly multitasking, photo editing and social networking, or a draw. As for secret weapons, yes Siri is very innovative, but connectivity has been totally left out. The iPhone has no HDMI, restricted bluetooth, and fair too say no connectivity at all. Android would also dominate in durability with the Gorilla Glass being widely used. Its almost lile Apple has engineered the iPhone to be of bad quality so the consumers have to buy new ones everytime they drop their phones. All in all, the iPhone is crap, this blog is crap. Get real.

  • ED Says:

    Android phones are good.. lots of apps...but the iPhone has better screen and camera... got to have one of each..

  • Hector Says:

    Well everything that iPhone has to brag about has been on my phone that ive had for about a year now(t mobile g2x) other than siri(we have Google search for that)and my processor performance screen resolution, size and battery life are still better. My phone is also slimmer too. I don't know why being easier to use is a issue if you don't know how to use a android get a cheap-o $20 phone. Its a smartphone for petes sake, its meant to be technical and customizable.

  • Tom Says:

    Time out, we are talking about PORTABLE devices, correct? Like a device that doesn't need to be plugged in to the wall for you to use it? How do you ignore battery life then? That omission automatically makes this article poorly thought out IMO.

    I literally tried EVERYTHING (admittedly besides rooting it) for the HTC Incredible I just had and the battery life was simply unacceptable. I have had the iPhone 4S for a couple of weeks now and it is night and day despite the issues that have been reported. Plus, I don't have to worry about turning on and off my GPS, or auto-refresh, or WiFi, or use any task killers (that don't work). Not to mention playing a game on Android which was simply not an option.

    I do miss the overall flexibility of Android especially in terms of social networking where the Facebook sync would match your friend's name to the name in your contact list while on iPhone, Facebook matches the phone numbers (and possibly e-mails?) which most people keep private so you'd have to do it manually and I'm super popular and don't have time for that ;). I've also experienced a problem where despite having a number stored in my phone with a contact, I will receive messages with no name attached on iPhone.

    Overall, I felt like there was always a way to make Android do what I wanted more so than with iPhone which I liked. However, iPhone's shortcomings are miniscule to me in comparison to the fact that I don't have to temper my usage in fear of my battery dying.

  • Eric Says:

    Just plain preference. Depends on what you want. If you want to pick up something and go, get an iPhone. If you want to tinker, have full customization, a wide variety of phones to choose from and don't care about trying to fit in and impressing people go Android.

    Everyone can go on and on about which is best or what not, but who is this person to say what is good for you? Most carriers offer a 30 day return policy or what not, best bet if your new to smart phones, try one out for a week if it doesn't float your boat try the other one out and go from there.

    At the end of the day who cares which is better or worse, to each their own. Some like apples while others like oranges. If we all had Android/iOS phones it be a boring world. Just be happy there is competition, it makes the developers work harder to make bigger and better products that we can all spend our hard earned money on.

  • Phil A. Says:

    I don't mind Android geeks calling the rest of us who use IPhone "dumb". It's true, IOS has a much easier interface than the android OS. But that's exactly the point. We the "dumb" people do not have the time looking for how to access this and that on our phones. We just want to cut to the chase. Nothing of the customizable fancy interface for me Thank you very much. What's the use if I have a hard time finding the right app on my smartphone to access when I need it now? Call us dummies. I remember its the same old argument between Windows and Linux. And till now, Windows wins out. We are just being practical here. Oh did I forget to tell you that I am also with the IT Department? I guess Steve Jobs learned his lesson well here.

  • Tino Says:

    Good comparisons , to the people who apparently own google stock as the only reason to get this worked up over a phone. Using comparisons for actually RELEASED phones people not upcoming phones that aren't on a carrier yet. Also flash debate is dead.html 5 is here flash and all it's baggage is over.

  • Trish S Says:

    Android users aren't sensitive about the iPhone...we're just tired of having the virtues of iPhone shoved down our throats at every turn and review. We KNOW our Androids HANDS-DOWN beat the iPhone experience. That's why we continue to own them service contract after service contract!! The iPhone only competes with itself with every upgrade; where the android continues to improve in leaps and bounds each time there is a new release.

    Blah, Blah, Blah about the stolen OS from Apple....You can make that statement about EVERY automobile, TV, microwave, computer, etc. ever invented. You're all just P.O'd cuz Android has taken the OS made it so much better, and keeps updating and improving it!! The only new improvements on the 4s (didn't get to 5 like they said they would) is SIRI and an 8M camera?? Really???... and it beat Android on every point in this article. I think when someone is writing an article such as this their 1st sentence should read "I personally own an iPhone, love it, and I am now going to compare and contrast the Android and iPhone."

  • Jim Beavers Says:

    I love the way iPhone users like to brag about the short comings of their device. Truly Hilarius.

  • icedogg Says:

    there are some idiots commenting here, there have been multiple comparisons of the super amoled to retina and all come out with iphone winner, pixel density in general is better, brighter compared to nearly all, and amoled makes whites bluish. obvious winner. if ya wanna go bs the other way, it is obvious the 4s has a better camera!!! no comparison, just that there are more options for androids. how many times do people use those options honestly? and if you want options get the 99cent app for it! no contest better quality pictures and video. also the touch screen for typing was better, the analysis says so, but android is slightly bigger generally and with options. again just because there are more of them it is a tie? no it is obvious that the better touchscreen of the iphone makes it a winner in this case!! plus the iphone is genuinely prettier design. just a beautiful design although it is the same old thing! who needs anything but just the home button! on the screen it just looks prettier! FACT!!

  • kittyD Says:

    Well, I would like the iPhone 4S. The iOS 5's new feature iCloud and iMessenge really attracted me.
    And I have already got Enolsoft video converter and many other apps for it.

  • veggiedude Says:

    My wife's family have had 5 Android phones (from 5 different makers) and each of them have looked at my iPhone 4S and have told me they plan to make iPhone their next phone.

  • You told me so.com Says:

    Windows Xp for life!!!! Forget Mango! We need to Microsuck to port XP over to mobile!!!!
    Long live the 90's!!!!!

  • i told u so.com Says:

    Android is a stolen OS, just like Steve Jobs stated. It is look at SBP Shell by Windows mobile 6, its an exact copy, and that was way before the Iphone, and any android device was even thought of. Android is not based fully on the Linux Kernel therefore its potential is flawed. I am a engineer, and have been workin on OS's for years, with all the major companys including Android. Bottom line is, Windows phone 7 will pass android in the volume game, just do to a better platform, and soon all the OEM's will want to avoid lawsuits from Microsoft dealing with Google. As you see the numbers Q3 is the first time Androids share dipped, and it will continue to do so, well before Nokia launches its first Windows Phone this fall. Sorry people just because Android was in your face all the time, before the Comp was able to launch a new device, dosent make it superior. Every feature it has, was stolen the reason why they keep getting sued. Google will cease to exist by 2014 period. For the record IOS is the better platform, as is Windows Phone 7, even in its early stage with mango. As well as Webos, if HP or whatever company decides to really put some steam behind it. Webos is IOS and Windows only competiton.

  • Randy Says:

    The screen shots for the speed test shows the IPhone on 3g and the Android phone is in airplane mode on Wi-Fi. So I would hope the Android phone would be faster.

  • Bill Says:

    Great review. Boy, didn't realize how sensitive the Android folks are, I guess that's why they can't take any criticism and jump to remark this is a "crap review".

  • Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief Says:

    Some good points here. While I like Swype, the keyboard on the iPhone 4S is better overall. And I don't agree with you on the display. They're both really good on the S II and iPhone 4S, but the latter is considerably brighter and has a higher resolution while the Samsung is bigger and has better contrast for viewing content.

  • Robin Lim Says:

    Okay, in my earlier comment I mentioned the iPhone 4S should have been credited ofr longer battery life. I read a comparison at the TheInquirer.net and it appears the Samsung Galaxy S II now has longer battery life. I do not know how they did their comparison though.

  • dexter Says:

    crap review

  • jo me Says:

    I have a Samsung Galaxy SII. I have had it for several months now. I personally will never own another iphone now. This phone is awesome, and the only two things I wish I had one this phone is better battery life and the sevice integration of Siri. Other than that this android is better than any iphone. But here is the underlying point I am making. this is my opinion. Others will never own an android.

  • Robin Lim Says:

    Sorry, if you okay this post, please post this one instead:

    “Great point on Android interface. I really like that you can find contacts by just typing letters on keypad. Feature most people don’t know about–and should use.”

    Well actually, the problem with any comparison is that not all Androids are the same, and I do not know if every single Droid has this feature. My HTC and my wife Samsung do.

    If you wanted to see a great camera on a Android, I would look at the Sony Experia Arc. I think Sony built the camera for the iPhone 4S too. Hardware wise, it is the same thing. Android hardware gives you a choice of prioritizing what you want, in the hardware. If you want I can email really great shots using a not so great camera on an HTC phone. If you know how to manage ISO settings, manual mode can give you incredible results. But, photography is a hobby for me. I can imagine many users do not use manual settings. Many do not even use them in DLSR's.

    Android’s advantages on the interface are pretty useless for someone who does not need these features. I really think Android caters more to “power users”. If you are not the type to dig into its features, than it really is no better than the iOS interface. If it comes to multi-tasking, you look it at more like a PC user switching between apps, rather than a Android user who uses widgets to multi-task without passively. Adding notifications to iOS5 was a big thing if you ask me. I would have been happier if Apple allowed me to select what widgets I wanted and where I wanted to place them.

    If you ask me, Windows Phone 7 strikes a good balance between the two.

  • Robin Lim Says:

    "Great point on Android interface. I really like that you can find contacts by just typing letters on keypad. Feature most people don’t know about–and should use."

    Well actually, the problem with any comparison is that not all Android are the same. If you wanted to see a great camera on a Android, I would look at the Sony Experia Arc. I think Sony built the camera for the iPhone 4S too.

    If it comes to multi-tasking, you look it at more like a PC user switching between apps, rather than a Android user who uses widgets to multi-task without passively.

    Android's advantages on the interface are pretty useless for someone who does not need these features. I really think Android caters more to "power users". If you are not the type to dig into its features, than it really is no better than the iOS interface. Adding notifications to iOS5 was a big thing if you ask me. I would have been happier if Apple allowed me to select what widgets I wanted and where I wanted to place them.

    If you ask me, Windows Phone 7 strikes a good balance between the two.

  • zhenka Says:

    This is such a crap review, what did you get out of publishing an unfair review? Did they bribe you with a free phone, or does your editor own Apple stocks? This is so biased it's unbelievable how anyone can think it's fair. I had both an iPhone 4 and now currently have samsung galaxy s2 and I can say that the galaxy beats it in every way possible except for in the apps department. It has a better keyboard (swype), better screen (both bigger and super amoled plus), flash and fast browsing, widgets for the interface plus the ability to customize and change anything, plus easily replaceable battery. The galaxy s2 is a superphone, the only two things that an iphone is better in is the apps department, and the integration of their services. So if you are perfectly happy using the iphone the way apple wants you to, it's a great phone. As soon as you want to change something or use different features that are not available then android is really your only choice. The new faster android phones are now lag free and a joy to use.

  • Jdub Says:

    Boy these Android fanboys go nuts when anyone dares to prefer iOS over Android. I've had a jailbroken iPhone for quite some time. I've had the ability to add widgets, customs themes, tweaks and all....have not added a single one. Not everyone is a tinkerer/mad scientist. Some people simply prefer the elegance and ease of use of the iPhone to Android....get over it

  • Springer Says:

    ios 5.0 is a better platform than android by far - The iPhone does offer true multi-tasking - I can download a song from iTunes while texting and listening to Sirius radio or pandora -

    Siri is incredible - I asked it to find me a veggie burger and it located a dozen restaurants nearby that offer a veggie burger on their menu in seconds.

    Android phones are mostly glitchy. The motorola screen is ugly and when you scroll on a website with words, the letters trail and it's not easy on he eyes.

    Samsung phones are mostly bad and have multiple issues. The Verizon fascinate is not a good phone at all and it's good that it's disco'd

    HTC makes the best of the droids but even those are a pale comparison to an iPhone IMO.

  • Marak Says:

    wow… such a crap comparison…

  • dan Says:

    I have the Samsung Galaxy sII its great, but confusing too. its large for a phone and the battery life sucks. My BB would go for days after using it heavy. Thought the samsung is great I'm not sure about Android. I taking it back and getting the Iphone. I tried it an prefer it.

  • DMan38 Says:

    I thought the article was thought out and really tried to take into consideration all the plus and minuses from both operating systems.

    Don't let these douchbag fanboys, who pretty much have nothing else better to say then "iOS SUCKS AND YOU DO TO!!!" keep you from laying out a sensible comparison between the two operating systems.

    cheers, DB

    P.S. Btw, these commenters saying you should put in the Galazy Nexus in your review is RETARDED. Its a phone that ISN'T EVEN AVAILABLE and won't be available for another month and a half!!! Not to mention that when you did compare the two operating systems you did mention the new Android 4.0 operating system, even though in my view it shouldn't of been mentioned anyways because the whole point of this article is to talk about the CURRENT state of smartphones and the OSs. It's amazing what fanboys will complain about in a overall insightful piece.

  • Kwm Says:

    I laughed when he gave Iphone the win in terms of multitasking... really. Android was built from the beginning to multitask, you can switch between any apps you've been using (they don't get closed), you can download anything and start doing something else while it downloads. Iphone has limited multitasking at best.

  • Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief Says:

    Would want to hear why you think multitasking is better. I believe apps like Taskkiller exist for a reason. It's easy to jump between apps in Android but they seem to suck more system resources. Looks like Ice Cream Sandwich will improve things. Looking forward to that.

  • Victor Says:

    Having owned two iphones and two andriod based phones, latest being my HTC deird HD, I personally prefer android over apple. I will not buy another iphone again, especially with the vast offering from many android vendors which keep getting better and better.

  • Justin Scott Says:

    Well, Mark I applaud your lack of arrogance in this comparison. Many people are unwilling to concede any ground after they make these comparisons. That being said, there are a million comparisons of Android to iOS. I think the reason these are done over and over again, is we want to feel comfortable in our purchase decisions.

    The mobile market changes at the drop of a dime and these comparisons no longer hold true in a month from now. I think this is the biggest factor when you look at iOS vs Android. If you don't like an Android phone, wait a month. In the case of the Droid Razr, wait 30 minutes....LOL.

    Its all about choice, from my perspective Android gives you plethora of choice vs the few models of iOS based devices you get. I heard a statement made by a new iPhone user yesterday that described their decision. They said "It is just easier to use". Then I saw them fumble with their iPhone for the next 3 hours trying to figure out how to use it. We spend our time comparing specs but honestly I compare it to the horse and the pony. You can have the biggest fastest horse with perfect teeth, your daughter is always going to want the pony though, no matter how you try to show her the value of Hidalgo. It is what it is.

  • Joel Says:

    WP7 running on Nokia hardware.

  • Edmond Says:

    Another biased article/comparison from laptop mag. I can't disagree with you more on interface (iphone is super boring) and multitasking (android has much better multitasking).

  • Martin Turner Says:

    Meh. We've been running some shoot outs between the Samsung Galaxy S II and the iPhone 4S over the last few days.

    Interface: this is definitely a question of "what do you want". Most people who actively choose Android (ie, high end Android users, rather than those who went Android because of the free phone) swear by their Android interface.

    Camera: absolutely no comparison. The white balance and the colour control on the Samsung just don't work very well. There's no benefit in having loads of settings if you can't get a decent picture with any of them.

    Web and data speeds: here in the UK, the iPhone is a lot quicker. In large parts of the world there is simply no 4G, and no guarantee that what is coming will be compatible with any particular phone.

    Of course, the real feature which makes the comparison seem unfair is Siri. Try as we might, we can't get a reliable voice-activated anything from the Samsung in our office. This is partly its poorer 3G connection, and partly the fact that Android voice activation just doesn't seem to work very well.

  • Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief Says:

    Great point on Android interface. I really like that you can find contacts by just typing letters on keypad. Feature most people don't know about--and should use.

  • Robin Lim Says:

    Almost forgot.

    Secret weapons. Android supports flash in the web browser.

  • Robin Lim Says:

    I am not sure how well though out the comparison is:

    For Android:

    On interface, if you just want a wall of icons, than you can just pin the icons to the home screens on Android just like they are in iOS.

    Androids dialer also make it easy to find contacts. Just press the letters of the person you want to call via the keypad, and the contacts list will filter as you type.

    The keyboard. iOS predictive texting is no where near the best Android keyboard like Swiftkey, which pretty much corrects any typing errors you can make.

    Secret weapons. HDMI out, expandable memory, file transfer via bluetooth, 3D video capture and 3D displays.

    As for durability, the Apple iPhone 4/4S drop test show that it does not use Gorilla Glass and will shatter on pretty much any fall on a hard surface.

    For Apple:

    What happened to battery life? This is one of its best features.

    Size. Most compact dual core phone.

  • art Says:

    wow... such a crap comparison... if you are going to take iPh4s for comparison with android you should take galaxy nexus too...

    interface goes to iPh? widgets alone grant heavy win for android...
    multitasking goes to iPh? there is no real multitasking with iPhone! and android does all the ram management so you are not required to close apps...
    screen is draw? ok iPhone screen is nice, but no one in good health would choose it if they compare it with super amoled plus which gives much more natural colors and blacks...
    keyboard? android stock keyboard is just as good as iPhone keyboard... and how this is a draw when there are android phones with physical keyboards is beyond my understanding
    apps... I don't think you can give advantage to anyone when both OSes have every app you could ever want...

    conclusion... you made very nice point... iPhone wins because its more dumbphone like than android phones... it's like saying chicken is better than beef because it's more like fish than beef... and as it goes for siri... people talking to siri on the street will look more retarded than people talking on Bluetooth headsets...

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