In the smartphone universe, everybody has an opinion on which is better, more practical or worth the money. But which of the top two selling phones, the iPhone 5S or the Samsung Galaxy S4, should you choose when given the option? Although the Galaxy S series may be outselling, there's been a big drop since the release of the new iPhones, the elite 5S and more affordable 5C. Like choosing between being blind or deaf, breasts or buns, there's rarely a clear answer. The most you can do is be educated and make the call yourself based on these factors (and my point system, for what it's worth):
Apple paved the way of convenience from the get-go with the iPhone, connecting everybody to everything seamlessly -- computers to iPhones, iPhones to TVs and TVs to our incredibly tight shorts. It's no secret that Apple made some unthinkable, futuristic things possible, but Android has taken Apple's inspiration and finally began catching up. Although Google's interests don't necessarily extend to every walk of life like Apple, they're coming around quickly in the mobile phone department.
A couple convenience advantages Apple has over Android is its loopholes, quick layout and lack of required third party applications. Facebook Audio and iMessage for iPhone-to-iPhone Wi-fi users makes the ability to get billed overage charges a tall order, as users can text without actually texting and talk without actually using minutes. In terms of quickness, the new iPhone offers every convenience at the swipe of a finger, different search options for every direction, and despite Android's multi-touch screen, Apple has conciseness behind their quick settings to give us exactly what we need instantly, not to mention a sweet Control Center.
Finally, Android requires several third party applications in order to perform simple tasks iPhone users take for granted, like having a simple group text. For shame, Google. Point - Apple.
As far as tech specs go, Apple has been known to have a fancy face, but both are similarly weightless and scratch resistant. As far as fitting comfortably into your pocket, that's another story for Android, as some barely fit into a boating dock. The Galaxy 4 sports a fully sized 5-inch, 1080p LCD display (5.87" altogether) while the iPhone 5S keeps a compact 4-inch display with 1080p resolution and a top-of-the-line A7 chip, twice as fast as its predecessor, the iPhone 5.
The battery life of the iPhone is about the best it's ever been, with 10 hours of talk time and up to 250 hours of standby, which some may say is arguable, but the Galaxy handles itself a bit better with an impressive 17-hour talk time, perhaps due to less activity going on. Most apps are iPhone-ready, while Android's seems like a cheap knock-off, meaning your iPhone probably gets a good workout compared to any Android, meaning less battery life, more distraction and less safe driving, too. And with iPhone on the 4G network now, people use them more than ever. This one's a push.
What gets the kids talking is always the camera, and although the two phones have a lot in common - including a low-resolution camera in the front and f2.2 aperture in the back - the difference in megapixels is worth a mention. The Galaxy 4 has a strong 13 MP camera, better than most non-DSLR cameras, compared to Apple's 8 MP. The Galaxy might have a slight advantage with its front camera resolution (2MP to Apple's 1.2 MP) and removable SD card, but the iPhone makes up for it with its unimagined features, including slow-motion video recording at 120 fps, a "burst mode" that captures 10 photos per second, auto image stabilizer, panorama and convenient new features like true tone flash, face detection and photo geo-tagging, all of which were never thinkable for a mobile phone five years ago. Half a point goes to Apple (I am just making this point system up as I go, FYI).
Probably one of the biggest advantages for Apple is iCloud, their ability to transcend constraints of space and time, helping people save as much as they want without the fear of losing their music, video and photo records to a broken or overloaded hard drive. Apple's iCloud is a backup storage that is synced and linked to every purchase and download and works instantly without any additional efforts. Although it's separate from the iPhone, it's a big option for storage and accessibility within the iPhone; something Android hasn't been able to compete with. For people who appreciate being able to take thousands of pictures of the sky and their feet and things that have no meaning whatsoever, Apple is rather godlike, making the iPhone their Messiah. Two points for Apple.
It's no secret that you get what you pay for, but Apple has never been afraid to bend people over a barrel if they're asking for the very best. However, Apple has noticed its uppity salesmanship has left a large gap between its typical and potential markets, hence the release of their colorfully plastic iPhone 5C, that phone that you see on every damn billboard and bus stop in town. With the reduced price point, Apple is opening its doors at an affordable starting price of $99 for a two-year deal. Samsung's Galaxy 4 stands at the same price as the iPhone 5S at $199 for 16-gigabyte, but some of the newer, fancier Androids – like the Nexus 5 – are rumored to start around $399. Now who's bending you over a barrel? Half point for Apple.
Since sharing is no chore for these phones, let's talk about something that is missing: competition for Siri. Although the Android may seem smart, Apple is miles ahead in the futuristic hands-free portion with its voice-activated search assistant, the multi-sexual voice that knows directions, game scores and how to send, share and text just about anything. And although she makes the occasional mispronunciation or fuck-up, like sending you to a scary neighborhood by mistake, Siri now has the intelligence to learn from her mistakes when you yell at her. Point - Apple.
Security has never been more paramount now that people not only give their left nut for these devices, but depend on them for constant information and direction. Further, the amount of personal, private information saved within are worth more than a first born and the sum of all the parking tickets they'll accrue in a lifetime. With Apple's new Fingerprint Access home button, iCloud passcodes and 'lost mode' within its Find My iPhone application, which can be accessed by any other mobile device, losing your iPhone to theft and having it wiped clean is harder to do than tying your shoelaces without any thumbs.
While Android searches for theft protection as simple to use and free of charge as Apple, the iPhone will likely remain strong as the toughest device to yoink. Apple scores another point.
When you get right down to it, most people, even some Android users, will admit Apple is the coolest. The company - formerly spearheaded by a Batman-esque Steve Jobs who would appear on stage and unveil new gadgets like something out of a James Bond film - has always brought excitement to the tech and media industry. With new customizable colored phones, an untouchable music setup and a new free radio service – iTunes Radio - to outdo Pandora, Apple marks more than just great products; it's a brand trend that says, "If you're not with Apple, you suck and don't even try parking your Android in my driveway." It is still highly subjective to say which is cooler, though, so point goes to me.
Our verdict isn't the all-knowing end-all to life's tech questions, and even though we're clearly qualified to say one or the other, we can't tell you which is better because each person's needs vary in terms of what they need to consume most (countless selfies or reliably streaming mobile porn?).
For most people, the answer is immediately obvious; either you choose Apple for its trendy, ground-breaking beauty filled with user friendliness or you go practical and safe from too much overwhelming innovation with Android. There isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer, but in the exciting off-chance you waiver in hesitancy with both, determine whether these are worth the money and jumping of hoops, or if you are just a simple Joe who misses the pre-texting era of an otherwise simpler time.