iPhone or Android: Making the Best Choice – Part One
It’s the debate that only gets more intense as smartphone ownership nears 50 percent of the American populace — which phone is right for me? Android or iPhone?
Choosing the right device can be a tough decision. After all, given a two-year commitment requirement with a mobile provider, the device you choose can be with you for quite a while unless you want to pay a hefty early termination fee.
If you’re on the fence as you consider buying an iPhone or an Android device, think about each of these factors to help hone in on the perfect smartphone for you:
1. Show Me the Money
- Cost varies depending on phone, but typically costs less than iOS phones
- Most are $199 or less with a two-year plan, but $99 and free phones are widely available as well, although these tend to have the older versions of Android. Newer versions of Android are much easier to use and provide increased functionality. We would avoid any Android Smartphone uses less than Android 4.
- For the similarly priced iPhone, Android devices typically have larger screens, faster processors and higher megapixel cameras. Google makes their money from ads within the Android operating system, rather than collecting heavy profits from the purchase of the phone or selling the operating system to vendors, so the costs don’t come immediately out of your pocket.
- The latest model (currently the iPhone 5) is $199 with a two-year plan, while the 4S is $99 and the iPhone 4 is free.
- You will rarely find discounts on Apple products, apart from refurbished items.
- Voice and data plans for Android and iPhone users typically cost the same.
- Prepaid Android phones have sold for as little as $50.
Over the 2 year lifetime of a typical service contract, users pay an average of $1,700 to the carrier. The $200 cost of a phone is just 12 percent of that total cost, and a difference of $100 for the newest model is 6 percent of what you’ll pay over two years. Compromising over $100 or $200 is just not wise.
Expert Tip: Don’t become fixated on the initial cost of your phone. If you can afford it, get the one you will be happy with for at least two years.
Time to switch. Verizon Wireless has Switch to Verizon -Samsung S8, iPhone 8 Buy 1 Get 1 Free when you sign up for an Unlimited plan and activate a new line.
- Buy 1 Get 1 Free iPhone 8
- Add iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus with monthly device payments to your cart.
- Add a second iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus of equal or lesser value to your cart.
- Select a Verizon Unlimited plan if you don't already have one.
- You'll see the up to $699.99 discount applied to your bill over 24 months
- Add a Galaxy S8, S8+ or Note8 with monthly device payments to your cart.
- Add a second Galaxy of equal or lesser value to your cart.
- 1 Line $75 for Unlimited Talk, Text, Web, DVD Quality Streaming, Unlimited Hotspot (600kbps)
- 4 lines for $160
Get the Apple Watch and Verizon will waive the activation fee & 3 months of line access fees. Must have iPhone 6 or newer.
Device payment purchase on Verizon unlimited required. Less up to $300 trade-in credit applied over 24 months; credit starts w/in 1-2 cycles & ends when balance is paid or line terminated/transferred or changed to an ineligible plan; 0% APR. Eligible trade-in must be in good working & cosmetic condition.
Posted: December 15, 2017 1:40 PM PST
Over 4300 bought. eBay (BuySPRY, 19,000 feedback) has the very popular Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Unlocked No Contract Smartphone Sale Priced in Black, Silver or Gold only for $274.99 + Free Shipping. Tax only in MD. Save up to $350 off a carrier store when you factor in tax. $596 at amazon.
- This is good for AT&T, T-Mobile and other No contract smartphone plans
This S7 Edge is probably one of the best Android Smartphone out last year, with a dual edge 5.5" screen. This has more storage, 32GB than past phones. Up to 21 hours of talk time. Fast 8-core processor and large 5.1in screen. No removable battery or memory card.
In the article, iPhone vs. Android: Making the best Choice, we compare the differences between the iPhone and Android phones.
S7 Edge Review:
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge includes a new stylish look with better feel. New and improved 12Mpixel camera with auto HDR, 4K Ultra HD video recording. New Waterproof protection, Ultra Power Saving Mode. Cnet Review
Consider purchasing an unlocked cell phone if you are on AT&T or T-Mobile and want a new Smartphone without a contract. Unlocked Smartphones allow you to subscribe to low cost carriers mentioned below and function internationally, so you can use the same phone abroad.
Learn: No-Contract Plans, Unlocked Smartphones
Choosing the right plan for you is time consuming and can also be a hassle. We've done the research and you may save over $1,000 each year! Be sure to check out our no-contract Smartphone plan article: How to Find the Best No Contract Smartphone Plans where we compare all of the major network carriers. Check out our How to Buy an Unlocked Smartphones article to learn what it means to have an "Unlocked" Smartphone.
Low Cost Service Plan with Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data
T-Mobile offers a web exclusive pre-paid plan great for unlocked phones:
- $30/mo for Unlimited Web & Text with 100 Minutes Talk
Straight Talk, a prepaid carrier that is owned by Tracfone and Wal-mart, sells micro SIM cards for the that cost $14.99 + Free Shipping. You can pop these into any AT&T-compatible, T-Mobile-compatible, or unlocked GSM phone.
- $45 a month buys you unlimited talk, text and data with no contract or credit check.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge SM-G935F Specifications
- 5.5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED touchscreen display (2560 x 1440 pixels)
- Fingerprint sensor, Samsung Pay and Corning Gorilla Glass 4
- 8 Cores: Quad-core 2.6 GHz Mongoose + quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53
- 4 GB RAM
- 32GB built in storage
- 12MPixel camera w/ 4K video capture - 5Mpixel rear camera
- Bluetooth 4.0
- MicroSD Card Slot for upto 200GB more storage
- Android 6 Marshmallow
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot (Depends on carrier support)
- Near Field Communication (NFC) for transactions, data exchanges and other short-range wireless interaction.
- Built in IR Blaster
- 5.36 ounces
- Supported Frequencies
2G : 850/900/1800/1900
3G : 850/900/1900/2100
4G : LTE: B1(2100), B2(1900), B3(1800), B4(AWS), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B12(700), B17(700), B18(800), B19(800), B20(800), B26(800)
Posted: December 15, 2017 1:00 PM PST
Price drop. Best Buy has a Huawei Honor 6x Unlocked 5.5in 32GB Sale - $50 in Cricket or Simple Mobile Credit, $149.99 Free Shipping. Expires Soon - Highly Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars. In Gray, Silver, Gold.
Save $50 When You Buy a Select Unlocked Phone, Cricket SIM Kit, and Refill Card with this phone.
Save $50 When You Buy a Select Unlocked Phone, Simple Mobile SIM Kit, and Refill Card with this phone.
A new low cost smartphone with a large HD 1080p screen. Works with AT&T and T-Mobile.
- Powered by Android 7 Nougat
- 32GB Internal memory
- 4 GB RAM
- Qualcomm 64-bit 2.1Ghz Octa-Core Processor
- 5.5-Inch, 1080P full HD display
- Innovative bionic 12MP Dual lenses allow you to capture crisper, more detailed photos
- Unlocked Dual SIM or SIM + SD Card
- LTE smartphone with three card slots.
- microSD card up to 128GB.
- Fingerprint reader
Posted: December 14, 2017 9:50 AM PST
Lowest price ever. Freedom Pop 100% Free Mobile Phone Service with 3-in-1 SIM Kit, $0.01, Free Shipping. 100% FREE Talk, Text, Data/month with the 3-in-1 4G LTE SIM Kit plus 1GB Bonus Data and 1-Month Unlimited Talk, Text, 2GB Data Trial Premium Service Trial for the first month for only $0.99 with Free Shipping.
No annual contract. Just plug into your unlocked GSM smartphone. A great deal for those with lesser use requirements or when travelling Internationally.
- 3-In-1 Domestic 4G LTE SIM Kit
- FreedomPop Premium Plus Trial - Free 2GB
Their Premium service plan is Free first month, $27.99/month thereafter if you do not call to cancel or downgrade. Unlimited talk, text, 1GB 4G LTE High speed data on Sprint's network.
- Cancel the BEFORE the Premium trial is over to avoid charges
We suggest you downgrade from Premium to FreedomPop's 100% Free Plan with:
- 200 Voice Minutes
- 500 Texts
- 200MB free per month
Learn: No-Contract Plans
Choosing the right plan for you is time consuming and can also be a hassle. We've done the research and you may save over $1,000 each year! Be sure to check out our no-contract Smartphone plan article: How to Find the Best No Contract Smartphone Plans where we compare all of the major network carriers.
Posted: December 13, 2017 6:00 AM PST
2. Be Comfortable in Your Ecosystem
It makes sense to stick with what you know, and what will be most compatible with your computer and other devices. If you own an iPad or a MacBook Pro, for example, syncing your contacts, calendars and emails with an iPhone will be easier and more natural.
When choosing between Android and iPhone, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I already know how to use this device?
- Have I purchased apps, movies or music that are specific to this platform? (They typically cannot be transferred).
- Are my music files and other data in a format specific to iTunes or Google Play?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions , it may be smart to stick with the platform you’re comfortable with and integrated into.
Expert Tip: Consider this equation before switching between platforms:
Total cost already paid for apps
PLUS the value of your to learn a new operating system
PLUS the cost of the device
MINUS your eventual savings in time and money from making a switch =
The total cost of switching
3. Hardware is Your Foundation
Although software operating systems (reviewed in part 2 of this post) steer the ship, it’s the hardware that keeps you afloat.
- Tons of options are on the market, with new models released constantly from different suppliers like Samsung, Motorola and HTC.
- The ‘latest and greatest’ from any maker likely uses the best CPU (central processing unit) available at the time, making most new high-end Android devices comparable to each other. They often boast better specs than the iPhone (the Samsung Galaxy S 4 features a 1.9 GHz Quad Core processor to the iPhone 5’s 1Ghz Dual Core, and 2GB of RAM to the iPhone 5’s 1GB). This translates into higher performance.
- Screens are generally larger than the iPhone 5’s 4” screen.
- Support for the latest technology such as Near Field Communication (NFC) to securely send data, and cable free charging are provided.
- Cameras typically have higher resolution than the iPhone.
- Many models have expandable storage capacity with a microSD card.
- Apple has released one ‘state of the art’ iPhone a year, so your option for the best available is limited to the newest phone.
- The iPhone’s industrial design is strong, sturdy and sleek. In an informal test between the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III, the iPhone fared far better and remained functional when dropped on the ground or into a swimming pool.
Expert Tip: Although Apple makes more durable products, but don’t push your luck. It’s a good idea to protect any smartphone with a protective case.
The iPhone is not without its drawbacks and they keep some users loyal to Android:
- Because iPhone releases new models infrequently, the newest Android phones often provide better hardware.
- Expandable storage is not available on the iPhone.
- Accessories and chargers for Apple products are proprietary and can be costly.
Despite specs that out compete Apple on paper, the iPhone still leads competitors like the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III in some computing tests. (LINK: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/iphone-5-benchmark-lightning,3312-3.html) Likewise, because battery life depends on usage style (GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth usage), it’s difficult to compare battery life,, but most user reviews find that the leading Android devices and iPhone 5 are near equals.
A final factor regarding hardware is anticipating when the next version of the device you covet will be released. If you know you want an iPhone and rumors circulating forecast that the latest model will be released soon (the latest reports predict the release of the iPhone 5S in July), you may want to hold out for what you really want. But if you can’t wait and you’re impartial toward both Android or iPhone, choosing a newly released Galaxy or Motorola Droid may be your best investment.
Expert Tip: There is no magic wand to pinpoint the ‘perfect’ smartphone hardware, but choosing the latest model of any phone will ensure speedy processing, longer device life, and is worth the extra upfront cost.
Stay tuned later this week when we dig in deeper to the software differences between iPhone or Android that dictate your user experience.