1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

Opinions - iPhone vs Samsung and HTC phones

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by JetBlack7, May 7, 2013.

  1. JetBlack7, May 7, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2013

    macrumors 68000


    Hi people. First off I'll say it so we are all clear: no fanboyism please.

    Ok onward. I have been thinking real hard about this and I simply don't know what to do, I own an iPhone 5 and have been looking and already messed with the Galaxy S4 and waiting for the HTC One to mess with it too. I am a bit tired of the same OS but funny enough not the phone. I have been thinking about trying the Samsung or even the HTC but am afraid of switching and ending with with something I hate, buyer's remorse. I don't want to end up buying one of them, end up not liking it and hating to have spent money on something I don't like.

    So, with this I would like everyone who tried out or has one of these other smartphones to tell me how are the phones working out, are they good? Do they have problems? Please tell me what you know from experience :)

    PS: Once again, only people with experience about this issue please, no fanboys or sarcastic remarks.
  2. macrumors 68000


    Before I left AT&T in 2010, I'd had the iPhones 1-4 and loved them all; never even considered getting an Android. Then I had a big blowup with AT&T regarding service where I lived and canceled my contract with them in anger and found myself in need of a new carrier. At the time the iPhone was still an AT&T exclusive so now I had no choice; I had to consider either Android or BlackBerry if I wanted similar features, so I went with Sprint and got the EVO 4G. During the time I was away from AT&T and then for the few months after I came back, I went through that EVO, an EVO Shift, a Nexus S, a Skyrocket, and the Nexus 4.

    I absolutely could not stand the OEM skins that they would slap on over Android so I always ended up flashing an AOSP-based ROM (like CyanogenMod); you lose some of the gimmicky features, but they're usually stupid anyway IMO. Anyway, after all those phones I ended up selling my Nexus 4 on Craigslist and going back to an old iPhone 4 I had, which I am still using today.


    Android is great for tinkering and stuff, but when it comes to polish and that "I just want it to work well today" feeling, iOS and the iPhone are better than Android in my experience. For example, my Nexus 4 had terrible volume issues when using it with the AUX port in my car. I couldn't hear my podcasts at all when I was driving it was so low. So I had to spend a couple of hours looking for an audio tweak that would boost the volume. I did end up finding something, but it took a lot of playing around with it to make it work right because it wasn't designed for Jelly Bean, as almost everyone was still on Ice Cream Sandwich. We're talking about the flagship Android phone here; I get that it's a reference phone for developers, but you would think that the "Google" phone would at least be able to produce decent sound through an AUX port.

    It was little stuff like this all the time that got exhausting to deal with; little issues that with time and effort you could probably find ways to fix, but you start to just feel like you shouldn't be having to fix it in the first place, you know? Custom ROMs can fix a lot of issues, but you'll find they often have their own set of bugs and broken features that are constantly being worked on as well.

    Other little things, like the apps not being as nice and polished (and they're not, despite the fact that they are getting better) and not having a good distinction between tablet and phone apps to being so integrated into Google for every little thing got old to me. I finally went back to iOS, migrated my services from Google to iCloud, and haven't looked back.

    YMMV, of course; I can't speak for anyone but myself but Android just ultimately didn't do it for me. Android does have a lot of new and interesting features a lot of the time, but with the exception of some true innovations like Google Now you probably won't use them that much, and then you might start to think back to your iPhone and how smooth and polished it was. That's what happened to me.

    Oh, one other thing. I absolutely could not and cannot stand this drive to turn phones into mini-tablets. The Nexus 4 was the biggest phone I'd ever owned and I hated how large it was. Using it one-handed was uncomfortable to me a lot of the time, and for that reason alone I was ready to ditch it. It looks cool, I guess, but functionally I don't like the trend at all.

    Sorry for the length; I guess I got carried away. :cool:
  3. macrumors 601

    So IOS7 is just around the corner.

    Anywhoo all the Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices posts are HERE.
  4. macrumors 68000


    I haven't extensively tried either Android device, but before you give up on iOS, and since you already have an iPhone 5, I suggest you try jailbreaking it. Its free, and its reversible. You can change the UI with tweaks like Dreamboard (try Endroid for an Android-like look with working widgets, or Strife for a Windows-like look) or theme with Winterboard or ColorKeyboard, and you can add tons of "missing" features with tweaks like Springtomize, Auxo, iFile, etc. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

    Just my 2 cents.
  5. macrumors 68000


    The thing is I don't like jailbreaking, never appealed to me.

    I am holding on to that, hope its any good.

    Thank you for sharing :) I guess most people that tried Android went back to the iPhone due to its polished OS. Android looks cool for tinkering as you said, but if its not "working well", no dice.
  6. macrumors 68000


    That's cool. Even though the benefits are plenty, there are risks as well, and it's not for everyone. Best of luck.
  7. macrumors regular

    I had to switch carriers and went from the iPhone to the HTC Sensation, and spent a good deal of time playing with a GS4 the other day. Like ZombiePete said, it was the little things that bothered me about mine. Like lag -- the Sensation had a pretty hefty processor (it was HTC's flagship not that long ago, after all) but there was a definite lag when browsing the web (tried many different browsers, and there was always lag). Or scrolling pretty much anywhere. The GS4, when on "busier" websites, lagged when I was playing with it too. You wouldn't think it would bother you, but after months of using it, it drove me nuts and I missed the buttery smoothness of the iPhone. Plus, while my 4.3" Sensation was pretty much the perfect size, the GS4 was just too big, and I could see myself annoyed at its two-handed requirement. And the keyboard situation -- never could find one that worked as well as the iPhone's does. SwiftKey was the closest and not terrible compared to the stock HTC one, but it still gave me some pretty weird predictions. My favorite was when I would type "asdf" as a placeholder for subjects of emails I'd send to myself (things to print later, reminders, etc.), it'd replace it with "Saddam" almost every time :confused: Lots of other miscorrections too. And when HTC finally got around to updating my phone from Gingerbread to ICS (a year after it came out), it messed it up completely and I spent hours getting the thing to work right again.

    When my new carrier (T-Mo) announced the iPhone, I jumped at the chance to go back to it. Overall, the day-to-day experience for the things I do most (browse the web, type emails and texts, use some apps that are more polished on iOS than Android) is just so much more pleasant. Plus, hopefully we get a nice update to the (definitely dated) OS next month too!
  8. macrumors regular

    I get tired of the iphone too. seems like every few months i want to try a new android device. I've tried about 2 dozen android phones (guesstimate) I do admit the OS is much better since ICS, but iOS, as stale and boring as it is, just flat out works. There's a lot of playing around to do with android, but when you just need it to do something it's not reliable.

    Last android phone was the HTC One. Awesome phone. Only reasons I couldn't keep it were the keyboard (ALL android keyboards suck in different ways, swiftkey is the least suckiest tho) and the big one, car compatibility.

    Bluetooth on every android phone is inconsistent. never had an android that connected via bt every time i got in the car, and stayed connected for the duration of my trip. Inversely, never had an iPhone that didn't do just that. doesn't play anything via usb thanks to losing the "mount as disk drive" function way back when, and connecting via the headphone jack sucks because you still have to talk thru the mic on the phone, and use the phone to change what you're listening to.

    Another thing about androids, they suck down batteries like nobody's business. the htc one would die in 6-8 hours, and that was with 2 different phones.

    I did have a Razr I (GSM version of verizon's razr M) and that was cool. battery lasted as long as the iphone, if not longer. thinking back, I shoulda kept that one.

    But blinkfeed is awesome, the htc one is awesome too. other than the battery.
  9. macrumors 68000


    True. I am waiting for IOS 7 to see what's new.

    Exactly, that is why I do not want to risk my device by jailbreaking.

    Android looks good to customize and play around, but to actually work...sounds like another story.
  10. macrumors 68000


    I had an iPhone 5 at the same time as I had a S3, so I compared them like for like, I preferred the S3 so sold the iPhone 5. I then moved on to a Nexus 4 and loved that. I now have an S4, I would not swap it for any of my preceding phones. The iPhone 5 would come in at 4th, it is still a superb phone, just that I prefer the others more. :)
  11. MRU


    We have a massive HTC One & Samsung GS4 thread.

    Do we really need to have multiple threads that are basically the same thing. Those of us who have both devices and the iPhone have already posted lots of in depth hands on and comparisons.

    Every time a new thread opens up it is a big sigh because your asking folks to post same things over and over again.

    Please see the HTC One (M7) thread and the S4 (thread) or the S4 or HTC One thread, or at least emalgamate all these individual threads into one cluster because its making the forum 'hard work'.....

    I don't mean to sound like Ebinezzor Scrooge, but yeah asking folks to re-iterate things they have said multiple times in other threads is a little exasperating.
  12. mattopotamus, May 8, 2013
    Last edited: May 8, 2013

    macrumors G3


    Buy them and keep them for the full 14 days before you make your decision. If after two weeks you still like the phone, I doubt you will have buyers remorse :)

    Back to the personal experience. I like android better for a phone, and this is coming from someone who has owned every generation of iphone since 2007. Personally, I have a lot of apple products in my house and as long as I keep an ipad those do not lose any function. Since about mid 2012, I have used almost all new android phones...s3, note 2, s4, HTC One, Nexus/Nexus 4. The note 2 may be the overall best phone of the bunch. It really did change the way I used a smart phone. Updates are really important to me though so I ended up keeping the nexus 4. The One was the best non-nexus phone in terms of feel and I like sense better than touchwiz. If you can stomach the size of the note 2, I would suggest that. I never once picked up my tablet why I owned it.

    If the update issue could be resolved I would buy a note 3. I know I don't keep phones more than 6-8 months, but for some reason I have convinced myself the phone will be out dated the second a software update hits.
  13. macrumors G3

    That's interesting, as I've noticed many Android users posting in this subforum comment that Android keyboards, and in particular Swiftkey, are superior to iOS. What about the Android keyboards sucks for you? And does iOS keyboard give you any problems?
  14. macrumors 68010

    I thought the jailbreak is now a one time affair thanks to new APticket process?

    My 6.0 and 6.1 blobs are no longer accessible through cydia.

    That is a big turn off. If jailbreaking becomes as hard as this, might as well consider using an alternative IF you cannot live without it.

    If the jailbreak is just a bonus on top, well then it is not a big deal for the user.
  15. macrumors G3


    I think android keyboards offer a lot more function, but I have always liked the IOS keyboard better. I do have small hands, so that doesn't sway my decision. I just feel like I am way more accurate with the IOS keyboard and like the spacing between characters better. Even though android keyboards (swiftkey specifically) have better auto-correct I still like IOS :)
  16. macrumors member

    Personally I've had extensive experience with iPhone 5, as well as many android devices in the last year, including Droid Razr, Galaxy S2, Note, HTC One X (current), Note 2, and Galaxy S3. I've also owned an iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S.

    I can tell you right off the bat, that as much as people rave about the "customizability" of android (in terms of flashing roms, and tweaks and what not).... You'll probably hate it. Jailbreaking can be a little difficult, but relative to the knowledge and time required to root and tweak an android, it's a breeze. So just my warning to you, if you're not into jailbreaking, just know that if you were to try Android you would probably end up only using stock software, which of course is perfectly fine.

    Also, in my experience, using stock firmware does help with a lot the issues people complain about w/ android (stability, mainly). I've only had major issues with bugs and things not working when I rooted and flashed a custom rom. So, if you're willing to stick with whatever it is that Samsung or HTC gives you out of the box, I wouldn't worry too much about things not working.

    Finally, one more thing I would like to add is that I have experienced the pain of not knowing when an update is going to come to your phone, and even if you don't think you care that much, you probably do. I'm certainly not someone who has to have the latest features the day they come out or anything, but with Apple it's nice to know that on a specific date, you can go to iTunes and get the latest iOS. With a couple of my android phones I spent literally months reading about the latest news regarding when they would finally get ICS, and it's frustrating just having no idea. Ultimately, it wasn't a huge turn off for me, but at the same time, you just feel like apple is treating you nicer than google is (even though it's the carriers that are mostly responsible for delays).

    I hope something in here may be useful to you. I think this little piece may make it sound like I prefer the iPhone, but I am actually currently using android and have an S4 on the way. I have gone back to iPhone on 3 separate occasions in the last year, but ultimately it's the live widgets for date, weather, sports, stocks, news, etc... that keep me coming back to android as well as bigger screens and faster processors (even though I know they don't necessarily lead to better performance lol)
  17. jrswizzle, May 8, 2013
    Last edited: May 8, 2013

    macrumors 603


    I have 3 phones - the Nexus 4, iPhone 5 and HTC One. Each has its pros and cons. I like each for different reasons. I don't like Samsung for a myriad of reasons I won't get into here because I don't want to start some flame war. Suffice it to say, their phones don't meet my preferences and needs.

    That being said, I'm an iOS guy. That is my preferred mobile OS and I've had every iPhone since the 3G and every iPad. However, I truly do feel like the HTC One is the first Android phone, that if told I had to only keep ONE of my phones, I would choose over my iPhone 5.

    Here's why:

    -The HTC One meets (and even exceeds) the iPhone 5 in design and build IMO. They are the two most beautiful smartphones out there, but I think HTC knocked it out of the park Steroid Barry Bonds style with the One's fit and finish.

    -The HTC One's display is absolutely phenomenal. I'm partial to IPS LCDs because I like the color accuracy and brightness. The One's display is a bit sharper than the iP5's due to the higher PPI, though it really isn't terribly noticeable and I wouldn't be able to tell if I wasn't staring at them side-by-side.

    I go back and forth about the larger display. It's really nice, but there's something about the iPhone 5 form factor (display size) that feels more comfortable. To me, its a wash as there are some days I love looking at the big display on the One, and others where I just prefer my iP5.

    -Sense 5 is elegant and minimalist. It doesn't get in the way and the software features it adds to Android are very useful IMO. Blinkfeed is wonderful, Zoe is neat and I love the weather widget. Sure its a bit more "locked down" - especially being on 4.1.2 (no lockscreen widgets without an app), but I find it to be the most similar in terms of design language and overall utility to iOS that you'll find in an Android. My Nexus is great, but there's just too much tinkering to do on vanilla Android to make it not feel "empty" or unfinished. I never get that feeling with my One.

    -Those Boomsound speakers are incredible. I'm currently in the process of refurbishing my old iPod classic and don't quite have the money to buy the SSD I want to put in it. As such, I don't really have any "boombox" that I can listen music to in my man cave (yes, I have an amazing wife). The One's speakers are THAT good, that I really don't mind listening to music over the speakers of my phone. Would I prefer the classic plugged into my old dock stereo? Ya, but I was blown away by how good those speakers are.

    -No hitches or "lag" on the One. I don't mean long periods of inactivity or anything. I experienced the relatively consistent hiccup here and there on my N4 and I've heard similar things about he GS4. I expect ZERO stuttering in a device with such a powerful processor - especially since I don't have any of that on my iP5 for various reasons (I know all about how Apple attains this level of fluidity). The One is the smoothest Android I've used - mainly due to the stripping down of Sense. I like the whole "add a few useful features and then get out of the way" approach HTC takes with Sense. (I also get to utilize more of the internal memory that way too without having the skin take up too much).

    All-in-all, it would be a tough decision for me. I'm so used to the iP5 and iOS, things are second nature. I'm still relatively new to Android (the N4 was my first Android phone and I got it in February - had an N7 that I got last August, but sold it shortly thereafter). It think if I were FORCED to choose my ranking would go like this:

    HTC One > iPhone 5 > Nexus 4 > Whatever Samsung puts out.

    Now that's last year's iPhone and last year's iOS. Given the rumors about iOS 7 and an update to an iPhone 5S and that ranking could change given the top two are SO close.

    But I can tell you this - to reiterate, I'm an iOS/Apple stalwart - if there's an Android phone that can dethrone the iPhone 5 in my eyes, its worth checking out IMO.

    (to be honest, you'll find most Apple users/"fanboys" would pick HTC as their Android given HTC's willingness to play ball with Apple and the shared design mindsets - both similar in what they try to do, albeit with different base platforms).

    *NOTE: This is all MY opinion and in no way reflects what I feel someone else SHOULD do or how someone else SHOULD think. Just my two cents :)
  18. macrumors 68020


    So I have owned every iPhone redesign since the iphone 3g. I loved my 3g a lot because well it was the best smartphone at the time. I then upgraded to the iphone 4 and liked it, but after having it for about 8 months I just got tired of iOS. To me (and this is just me) nothing had changed. IOS looked just like it did before just maybe a bit sharper because the 4 has the retina display. I decided to try Android and went with an HTC phone. At that point there was no looking back. I really did love android. After about a year I got tired of the skinned android experience, and tried the nexus s. Just an ok phone hardware wise, but software could not love it more. I have owned every nexus device since then, and got the iphone 5. I am a Google guy for what that is worth.

    The iphone is a great phone. It does everything anyone needs each day. It looks good and feels solid. I don't like the rectangular shape that Apple has now because I don't think it fits that well in hand. Iphones are always fast and reliable. I never had any problems with my iphone 5 for the 5 months i had it. If you can handle ios just being what it is when you open the box. Then the iphone is the way to go.

    Now I like android because it gives me the choice of how I want my phone to look. Again I think skinned versions of Android take away from android, but I have not used the HTC One yet. You can buy some really cheap android phones that are crap, and you can also get really nice android phones that are amazing. I always buy the top of the line of any phone I get. I am just more comfortable with android. If I get tired of my setup I can just switch it. If you get bored with things really fast I would say try Android.

    I think both ios and android have a ton to offer. Android just has too much variety in quality, so it brings the OS as a whole down. If you do choose android just remember skinned phones will slow down android just a bit. Unlike the iphone that just runs stock iOS. Android with a skin on it has to run android plus added stuff. It is kind of like jailbreaking and iphone. Sure it still runs, and for the most part it runs well, but there are those little things that can make it lag. I know people are raving over the HTC One. Again I have no experience with it, but every skinned android phone I have had has just a touch of lag. It is hard not to when you are running android and a custom skin over it. If you like iOS and think you can wait until ios 7 comes then do that, but if you are looking for something new right now try the HTC One. Go into with an open mind, and don't give up on it. It will take some time to get use to it, but once you are it really is a great OS.
  19. macrumors G3

    Thanks, that's a good perspective to hear.

    Talking about keyboards, how is Android with multi-lingual input? I use Japanese a lot, and iOS's Japanese input system is quite good. It's something I should remember to check out if I ever seriously consider switching away from iOS to another system.
  20. macrumors 68000


    Thank you both! I have decided to wait for IOS 7 to see if they change it or leave it like it is. After that, I'll think about it again.

    Thank you again very much :)
  21. macrumors 603


    I think that's wise :D

    By the time iOS 7 is announced, we should hopefully be seeing at least 4.2 on the One (unless the rumors are true and they decide to go straight to 4.3).

    More information to base your decision on is a good thing. You haven't seen all that 2013 has to offer yet - with arguably the largest player (if you're in the US) yet to release their flagship.

    There are quite a few great options out there though. Need all the information you can get just to make a decision at all! (at least that's how I felt - which is why I sometimes get bashed here for having emotional/subjective feelings towards Samsung. The phones are getting to a point where I have to go down on my list of criteria to see which company I *feel* better about!).

    Good time in the mobile tech world.
  22. macrumors 68020


    Sure thing. I think that might be the best choice for you. You do not want to get an android phone just to realize you wish you had waited to see what Apple had to offer. I looking forward to see what ios 7 brings. Still have my iphone 5, so if it blows android out of the water then I can go try it out. I don't think it will be that much different, but who knows.
  23. macrumors G3


    I have never personally used one, but the options are there. It is very similar to IOS where you can select multiple languages.
  24. macrumors 68020


    Same here although when I had the iPhone and S3 I decided to sell the S3. At the end of the day they are all very good phones and its down to personal choice. I'm a bit in the minority around here when I say I don't really want a phone I have to do a lot to in order to get it to perform and look how I want. I like with iOS that it does pretty much the basics without much fuss. I'm not interested in jailbreaking or rooting phones and deleting bloatware etc, I just want to to work smoothly with very little effort from myself. I got that with the iPhone. My best friend bought the S4 the day before yesterday and is very happy with it. I'd have a play and its very much like my S3 in essence which means I wouldn't swap due to my previous reasons. I'm looking forward to see what iOS 7 brings. I'm perfectly happy with iOS 6 so my expectations are not too high for the next update. I'm sure it will be a winner in any case.

    I couldn't advise anybody who asked what was the best operating system, because my choice may not suit them. People have to try things out and decide for themselves. :)
  25. macrumors 68000


    I used iPhones exclusively from 2008 until a month ago, when I got a Note 2. I've never been this happy with a phone, ever.

    For me it comes down to sacrificing a bit of coherence and reliability for a UI that you can streamline to your personal taste, and quite superior functionality (for the things I want to do with my phone, at least). Sometimes Android does annoy me, for instance it happens that some widgets I install start to contradict the system settings here and there, and sometimes I miss a more coherent design. But these are minor grievances for what I get instead.

    My Note 2 is the first phone I've been able to use to write, format and send professional Word documents (using OfficeSuite Pro) without finalizing them on a computer first. Typing is warp speed fast with any of the swiping-style keyboards (I use the stock Samsung one), I can almost reach full physical computer keyboard speeds and I am not exagerrating.

    Gaming is actually...real gaming on this thing. The iPhone is just too small. I bought quite a lot of games for my iPhones over the years but often grew tired of them fast because they felt so limited. Now I'm playing games all the time, and enjoying the hell out of it.

    But my fave thing is my own personal UI. I can have my notes (Google Keep) immediately accessible next to an overview of my calendar on one homescreen, just a slick open surface with wallpaper + clock/date + swipe-able dock for 15 most used apps + a set of small, unobtrusive and good looking widgets for tilt lock, mute sound, flashlight, wifi hotspot and airplane mode on the middle homescreen, and a direct access music widget on my right homescreen.

    I also use gestures for screen off, notification menu down without reaching for the top, double tap for app drawer (which can be awesomely organized with categories), two fingers swipe up for S Note, etc. And each app icon on the dock has a secondary function if you swipe up from it, like going directly to my GF in the address book if I swipe up from the phone icon. (All this thanks to Nova Launcher Prime).

    All in all this makes for an utterly slick interface and I generally feel like my interaction with the UI is literally twice as fast and intuitive as it was on iOS. It's fun to use this thing. And then there's of course the back button - which feels like a total revolution when you're coming from iOS. I love it to death. Same with the ever-present settings menu button which works the same in most apps.

    So yeah...I can wholeheartedly recommend giving Android a shot. The thing is that you can't get any real impression of how it works until you actually get your own Android phone and start setting it up like you want it to be. I fondled the Note 2 for months in the store and just wouldn't dare make the leap (I'm not made of money :p) but after a day of owning it my picture changed completely.

Share This Page