iPhone 7 vs. Android: Which is for You?

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on December 15, 2016, Buying Guides

When it comes to buying a new mobile, you’ve got three basic choices. You can go iPhone, Android or Windows. Windows phones are for a relatively niche market, so for the most part, people are choosing between iOS and Android. Now, we’re not going to tell you that one of these is better than the other, because in all honesty, we can’t. Both iOS and Android have their pros and cons, and which one you go for is really a matter of what you’re looking for. But we can give you a little advice, depending on where your priorities lie. So if you’re stuck choosing between the new iPhone 7 and a new Android, here are the essential concerns…

  1. Money

Okay, we’re going to start out with the very basic question of money. If you’re looking into buying a new iPhone you’re going to be paying somewhere between £599 and £919. Obviously, that’s a fair chunk of change. And whilst there are some Android hand sets that reach that lower price, there are only a couple of special models that get anywhere close to that upper limit. Android prices vary from budget hand sets for less than £100, to top of the line devices that will cost you around £650 or so. This means that if money is an issue, then an Android is probably going to be your best bet.

  1. Longevity

Having said that, you get what you pay for. Investing a larger amount initially could mean that you get a longer lasting phone. It used to be that for longevity we’d recommend an Android (because most Androids came with removable batteries, and since this is the element that most often needs replacing, Androids could survive longer with a few new components). However, since removable batteries are becoming rarer, at this point we’ve got to recommend iPhones if you’re looking for something long lasting.

Partly this is because build quality is excellent, and iPhones tend to be very robust. But also because Apple tend to support older devices for longer than Android does. New versions of iOS software are released even for older models (many older Androids don’t support new software versions, but the new iOS 10 version will be supported as far back as the iPhone 5). Plus, an iOS update is the same for any iPhone, unlike with Android where an update may be tinkered with by the manufacturer (say, Samsung) before being released to your phone, meaning a long wait. Want a phone that’s going to last a while? Then go iPhone.

  1. Screens…

You might think that screen resolution is a bit techie to be of concern to the normal punter, but in many cases that’s simply not true. Like watching high quality video on your phone? Take a bunch of pictures that you’d like to actually look at? Want to browse the web in high definition for a smoother, better look? Then screen resolution should interest you. And for that matter, so should screen size.

And whilst iPhone screens are getting better, they still don’t quite come up to scratch in either of these respects. Only the iPhone 7 Plus gets full HD resolution (the regular iPhone 7 comes in below full HD), and while the 7 Plus gets a 5.5 inch display, the regular 7 gets just 4.7 inches. Compare that to Androids, where 5 inch displays are really the standard (even on budget models), and 4K displays are already being released (the Sony Z5 Premium), and 2K is pretty standard on the top end (Moto Z, Galaxy S7, HTC10), and clearly iPhones don’t measure up. If viewing pleasure is a priority, you’ve got to go Android…

  1. Storage…

Storage is a tricky issue, but an important one. As you download files and apps, store emails and pictures, put music onto your device, etc. you’re using up internal memory space. The fuller that memory gets, the slower your phone runs, until you run out of space altogether and have to delete stuff (or risk not being able to take pictures or update your email inbox). Generally, more storage is better, since it will end up with you getting better performance.

Now we come to the tricky part. SD card slots (which allow you to add extra memory) have been pretty standard on Android up until recently, but we are starting to see those disappear. The presence of an SD card slot used to be a big reason to buy Android over iPhone (iOS devices have never allowed the addition of extra memory), but without that slot, then the question becomes cost. So, you’re looking for plenty of storage, what do you choose? If possible, grab an Android with an SD card slot. If that’s not possible, you’ll have to weigh up the price of storage on both devices. In general, the large 256 GB iPhone is going to be a good big storage bet, since few Androids offer this much internal memory.

  1. Connections…

Finally, there are a couple of issues that also need consideration. One of these is wireless charging. Wireless charging is pretty much what it sounds like, it allows you to charge your phone by placing it on a charging mat, rather than having to plug it in. This is fairly convenient, but not an option with iPhones. Only Androids thus far support wireless charging.

Secondly, there’s the question of headphones. Apple have done away with the regular headphone jack on the iPhone 7 models, which means you’ll need an adaptor if you want to use your normal headphones. Alternatively, you can fork out for some new wireless headphones. On the other hand, if you choose Android, you’ll be fine. This lack of headphone jack may just end up adding to the cost of an iPhone if you’re someone who often wears cans when using your mobile, since you’ll be buying adaptors or new headphones.

Both Android and iOS phones can be great buys, depending on what you’re actually looking for. Both have their fans, and both can be disappointments. You’ll need to weight up your priorities before deciding which is right for you. But with a little careful thought, you’re sure to get an awesome new mobile.