When it comes to phones, there are many brands for you to choose from. It's easy to feel confused when trying to pick one. It's incredibly challenging choosing between an Android, iOS, and Windows device. Many factors go into determining which mobile OS would suit you best. However, there is a clear winner in aspects like security, customizability, and product choices.
Windows is arguably a powerhouse; unfortunately, the operating system isn't used widely in handsets anymore. They haven't been produced in some time, but you can still snag the older ones.
Should you, though?
The phones' battle is primarily between iPhones and Androids, with Windows being relegated to the sidelines. Microsoft even famously stopped supporting Windows 10.
Our review will look at how the three brands measure up in several categories, assisting you to decide which is most worth your time.
If you want to flex, an iPhone would be the best choice. They are usually very expensive and aren't only made with quality parts, but a good chunk of their price is due to the brand name.
Windows phones won't turn heads the same way. They are seen as failures and aren't even being produced any longer. Those available on the market are older models that you will have to pick up.
Countless manufacturers produce Android phones. Therefore, the phone's quality will depend entirely on the model and brand you purchased from. You will be able to flex with the Samsung Galaxy S20 or OnePlus 8 Pro – not so much with one of Nokia's mid-rangers.
When purchasing a phone, appearance is a significant factor to consider. The Lumia collection is the best thing that happened to Windows phones. They come in eye-catching colors, were block-like and stylish. Just take a look at the Lumia 950 XL.
As you know, there aren't any new models coming out. This is unfortunate, as Apple and Android handsets have been evolving. If you compare the iPhone 11 to the 6S, you will know what we are talking about.
iPhones are built to feel and look classy. They have high-quality aluminum on their bodies. The devices are also super thin and large. Overall, they boast a stylish appearance that their counterparts don't offer.
Android phones can look very expensive as well. They come in different shapes and sizes, so your handset's appearance would depend on how much you are willing to spend.
If you are looking for a handset to download different apps, an Android would be best. The Google Play Store is home to the largest selection of apps. iOS has a good choice too. But as mentioned, several different manufacturers produce Android handsets. You have probably heard of Huawei and are aware of the U.S ban on it. This is why newer Huawei phones won't be getting Android support, so you won't be able to use the Google Play Store.
The Microsoft App Store isn't as extensive as its counterparts. What's more, certain apps won't receive updates either. Microsoft stated that their phones lost support (no new updates) since December last year. Office integration to the devices is superb, though. You will easily be able to get your work done with them.
These three mobile operating systems work differently, so you have to decide which suits you best. Windows is pretty straightforward. There is no skin over its OS so that you can get right to the point. There are also beautiful tiles that keep you on top of everything that's going on. You can customize them, which makes your handset even more comfortable to navigate.
Speaking of skins, this is something you have to consider before picking up Android devices. There are differences between them, depending on the manufacturers. That's the reason why the user interface (UI) on several of them look so different. You could snag a great one, like OxygenOS or One UI. They are good-looking, customizable, and easy to use.
On the flip side, you may grab one that isn't up to par. Huawei's EMUI is known to be pretty heavy. Some of their EMUI versions also don't come with app drawers, which turns away customers.
Some brands don't offer skins. These are what you probably should work with. Although Nokia used to produce Windows phones, they turned their back on the OS. Their Android units now run a stock version of Android. This is true for any Pixel you pick up too.
Why are they the best?
Because the handsets won't come with any bloatware, which are duplicate apps placed by the manufacturers and are alternatives to apps like Gmail, Google Chrome, and other Google services, unfortunately, you can't delete them. The lack of skin also makes them easier to use. After all, there are no heavy themes. They get updates faster as phone companies don't have to adjust UIs in-line with newer Android versions.
What about Apple iOS?
They are a breeze to use; however, they weren't customizable until recently. Since Apple releases iOS 14, users can use app libraries, watch videos with other apps open, and customize their home page entirely. Not all apps have integrated into this yet, and it might take a while.
When it comes to the newest version of iOS, there are many new features. We mentioned its App Library above. This is where you take homepages full of applications and insert them into a hidden drawer. The iPhones and iPads that come with the new operating system also allow you to have the best video calls. Your eyes would be focused directly at the camera, even if you are not.
Speaking of Android, it depends entirely on the company you are working with. It's pretty tricky to answer who does it the best. Converged Devices has created a list for you – they have talked about everything you can do with a specific manufacturer's system. With this in mind, we think Samsung takes the cake. They let you change your power button's functionality, and this isn't something you often see. You can make it launch Bixby or even your camera. This feature is useful for anyone with dexterity issues, which is available on One UI 2.0.
We also love the fact that Samsung lets you receive LED notifications, even if you don't have a light indicator sensor. Your screen would turn colors.
Speaking of Android features, we have to talk about some of the things Xiaomi lets you do. You can adjust the apps you want your status bar to display. This feature is seen in the Redmi Note 7 Pro and makes using the device even more straightforward. Similar to what the Converged Devices article mentioned about Samsung, you can adjust the fingerprint sensor on your handset to take pictures.
When comparing the three, we have to talk about updates. One of the best things about iPhones is that iOS updates are supported for a long time. Apple's phones are costly, after all. The iOS 14 was released this fall, and it might surprise an Android fanboy to learn that even the iPhone 6S, released in 2015, received this update. The updates for generations is one of the biggest perks of owning the devices.
Talking about Windows, the phones not only received regular updates but were supported for generations. Unfortunately, as the manufacture of the devices ceased, everything changed. This means that Windows 10 wouldn't get any fixes to security patches or optimizations to its system.
As mentioned, stock Android exists. It's the best type of Android you could pick up and receives updates fast. OnePlus uses OxygenOS, which is very much like stock Android. That's why they were able to issue the Android 10 Beta the day it was announced. Nokia uses the stock version too, and their handsets received Android 10 almost immediately.
The thicker the skin, the longer it would take for companies to issue upgrades. Not only is this an inconvenience, but it concerns too. The phones have become more secure once the security patches were fixed.
Unfortunately, Android units are not the most secure. They are open-source, so there's more room for hackers to infiltrate. They tend to be the most popular devices and are targeted the most. What's more, if you download an application that is not from the Play Store, your handset could get infected. Google doesn't always run thorough checks on the developers they work with, so certain apps could harm you as well.
As you know, some models don't regularly get updates. If you are dealing with a security patch and download a risky application, you are in trouble.
Even if the company you are buying from updates their devices often, they may not do so for older devices.
iOS is highly secure, and iPhones are known to be impregnable. Apple is very thorough with the developers they work with. You can't download apps that aren't from their app store, either. The fact that they regularly update keeps them in check too.
Windows is similar to their Apple counterparts. They don't just let any developer place apps on their app store. But since Microsoft stopped updating units running Windows 10, you are in a tight spot.
Selection of Choices
What kind of phone are you looking for?
Whatever it is, you will be able to pick up an Android without any issue. They are the most expected handsets around. Since different manufacturers produce them, some tend to get very creative. Just take a look at the gaming phones on the market – the Asus ROG II would especially catch your attention.
Apple changes up their designs, but this is gradual. Since Windows phones aren't being produced anymore, there aren't many options. The brands you can purchase from are not the largest either. These are mainly Nokia Lumia and HTC.
All three phone brands come with pros and cons. However, Windows is the least reliable. The fact that Microsoft has stopped updating the devices has sealed their fate – you won't be getting an optimized or safe user experience. New Windows devices are not being manufactured either, so you don't have a wide pool of choices to purchase from.
It's a close battle between iOS and Android. We think Android phones are superior, as you can pick them up quickly. As they are built by several different manufacturers, you won't have to spend a lot on a device either. The phones also come with the most extensive app store – so you will never get bored.
However, Apple updates their devices for a longer time. This advantage keeps them secure and makes them great investments as you will be able to use your phone for years to come. Unfortunately, iPhones tend to be the most expensive of the bunch.