Christine has bought herself a Samsung Galaxy S, which is one of the more popular Android-based phones. She had the option of the iPhone 4, but after discussing it together we decided the Galaxy would be better – mainly as it was significantly cheaper and we couldn’t quite justify the extra bells and whistles of the iPhone for the higher price.
So far, I’ve made several observations about the differences between the two:
Samsung Galaxy S
- It ships with more apps included, which on the one hand means it’s more useful out of the box but also potentially more confusing. And some of them you can’t get rid of.
- Hardware-wise it has an FM radio, SD card slot and removable battery, which the iPhone lacks, and it also takes regular-sized SIM cards.
- It’s also lighter than the iPhone 4 and uses a standard mini-USB connector rather than Apple’s proprietary iPod Dock connector.
- You don’t need to attach it to a computer to be able to use it (which is better if you don’t use Mac or Windows), but you do need a Google account, which Christine didn’t have (but you can create one when you set the phone up).
- Like all Android phones, you can install any app that’s digitally signed, not just those that Apple approves.
- While you need to use iTunes to manage some phone features, it does make browsing the App Store and re-ordering apps easier than using the device itself. That being said DoubleTwist is becoming a good equivalent app for Android phones.
- There are more accessories for the iPhone 4, especially covers.
- Some of the apps that I have on my iPhone don’t have Android equivalents. Skype, for example, appears to be only available on Verizon phones in the US. You’re also less likely to install trojan apps on your iPhone since Apple review them all before they appear on the app store.
- The camera on the iPhone 4 is better – it has a flash and takes better quality pictures, and supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) out of the box too.
- The screen resolution on the iPhone 4 is higher, but it’s hard to tell the difference – both phones have very, very nice screens in my opinion.
I have to say I was very impressed with the Galaxy, and it is significantly cheaper than the iPhone – some networks are offering it for free on contract whereas you can expect to pay at least something upfront for the iPhone. My advice would be to try both out before buying, and seeing which would suit you most.