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Scott's Column
Apple vs. Android vs. Windows... Which Phone is Best

May 1, 2014
By Scott Lewis

I have danced the dance with both Andriod and iOS. With HTC and Apple. And came mighty close to dancing with Samsung. Which is better? We will see.

Why do you want to know?

More importantly, why do I need to know? Am I in the market for a new phone? Well... yes.. and no!!!

You see... I currently have an iPhone 5. If you think hard enough you already know exactly how old it is (I got it on the first day it was available in September 2012). Why is that significant. Well for a few reasons:

  1. It, and its contract, will be two years old this September, 2014.
  2. Since I bought this phone the cell carriers have started to embrace phones without a contracts.
  3. A new iPhone and various new top tier Android phones are due out in 2014.

We will take a quick look a the new phones, but first let's provide a tiny bit of background on why I picked the iPhone 5.

I was torn between the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3. The S3 was out and the iPhone 4S was the only thing to compare it to at the time I did my purchase. I enjoyed typing on the iPhone 4S better than the Galaxy S3. I also know that Apple usually does a better job of integrating the OS with the hardware, since it makes both, than the various Android phones.

Think about it... Android runs on a number of phones, but iOS has a very narrow focus of hardware to deal with. It is this that allows Apple to get better battery life by more tightly controlling battery sucking features such as WiFi, Bluetooth, LTE, GPS, etc. I used to have to turn those things off manually when I had an Android. But I never think about them much with my iPhone. I was disappointed that the iPhone 5 only went up to a 4 inch screen. I wanted much more. But I went with the elegance of the iPhone instead of the flashy Samsung screen.

In 2014 the three big phone makers all have new phones. HTC's One M8, Samsung's Galaxy S5, and Apple's iPhone 6.

The rumors are that the iPhone will finally get the screen size increase it should have gotten with the iPhone 5 two years ago. That will be significant for me (my eyes seem to be the oldest part of my body and I get closer and closer to needed reading glasses).

Of course, there is Windows. I do not keep up much with news on Windows Phones. And it is unlikely I will now. Unless Windows does something big in the next few months I won't even consider one. Even though my son wants want because the voice assist will use the voice of Cortana (From Halo).

The biggest thing is this... I am in an excellent position to push back. By that I mean I don't have to get a new phone. I actually find my iPhone 5 to work perfectly well. I don't have any issues with it (except a small screen). So I can put pressure on Sprint (my carrier) to lower my bill, since the phone is paid for. If they refuse... I can easily jump ship because of all the desirability (not need) for another phone. If Sprint does not want me to be a happy customer I can get a iPhone 6 with Verizon, or an Android from T-Mobile, or whatever.

I am planning to get a new phone plan this September regardless. I have been on the same plan with my ex-wife and my two sons. She pays the cell phone bill, while I pay the car insurance. When we first split that was in my favor. I would give her a few extra dollars a month in child support to cover that the cell phone bill was higher than car insurance. That flipped when my oldest son got his license. I am paying a fortune for car insurance. My X lets me cut back on child support since I am the one paying more for insurance than the cell phone bill (since our son is on all our cars).

Starting this fall we are going to be separating our lives even more. I am removing her from my medical insurance. I should save more than enough there to pay for my own cell phone. I will probably take my oldest son with me on my plan (since he is beyond child support age). I will let my wife take our youngest on her current plan (just with two less phones).

I just have to verify with my oldest son any plans he has for a phone in the near future to make sure we both can either bargain, or easily jump to another carrier.

Why would I want to leave Apple? Simply, I am not that loyal.

I think I have all of 3 paid for apps on my phone, maybe 2. I can't remember for sure. I only have two screens of apps on my phone. I don't need a lot. I will admit, I like that all my music is in iTunes, and that does do a good job of syncing with my iPhone.

I used to sync Podcasts to my iPhone from iTunes, but that lasted only for a few days when I hated the way they were displayed, marked as played, etc. I switched to Apples stand alone Podcast app, simply called Podcasts. I am sure there is a respectable podcast app for Android, as well as a decent app for syncing music.

Otherwise there is nothing compelling me to pick a side.

So... the big question is... which is best the best cell phone? . That's easy... the one I like the best at the time, with the carrier that will provide a bill I don't feel like I am being ripped off to have.

Conclusion

People put far too much emphasis on iOS vs. Android, Apple vs. Samsung, etc. It is not that important. All the top tier phones do a fantastic job of running apps, taking photos, playing music, GPS navigation, etc, etc, etc. Notice that did not mention making phone calls.

The best phone is the phone you like at the moment, and the carrier that will give you a nice plan at a fair price.

Don't be pressured into getting what you won't like.

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