Android Phone Pro’s and Con’s
One of the most confusing decisions for most smartphone users is “Which is better Android or iPhone?”. This is a question that does not have a simple straightforward answer because just like cars, computers, and clothes there is no one that is inherently better than the others. Ultimately it is up to each user to determine what device best meets their needs. This article will go over the broad strokes of the pro’s and con’s of Android devices and the operating system as a whole.
Let’s start with the positive. Android phones have a lot of variety and no two devices are exactly the same. An Android user can get the latest greatest device with the best processor and clearest brightest screen, or they can get a very basic phone with minimal features. One thing that means is that prices can vary wildly from phone to phone with a basic prepaid smartphone being less than $100, to the higher end models approaching, or exceeding, $1500.
With Android, you can customize the device a great deal once you get it. A user can put all their apps on the home screen or none. Some devices even have easy modes for less familiar users built-in. Advanced users can do everything from changing the homepage wallpaper to “skinning” (applying a new theme to the icons and layout of menus) the phone for a completely different look. Apps have more access to the device and can take over for preinstalled apps if the user wants them too. Want to use Firefox as your default browser instead of Chrome? Android can do that.
Android users also get the option of many phone manufacturers. If you don’t like your LG Android phone, you can get a Samsung instead. If you want specific hardware like a headphone jack or an expandable storage slot, Android is your best friend. Many of the more basic phones have a slot and some of the high-end devices will allow up to a terabyte or more sized card for expansion!
Now that we’ve gone over the best of Android, what are the downsides? Well, Android phones have a lot of variety and no two devices are exactly the same. Wait, wasn’t that a positive! It is, however, there are downsides to it as well. It means that the manufacturers have a harder time getting software updates to the phones, with some exceptions. Many android phones only get OS updates once or twice in their 2 year lifetime. You often have to upgrade the phone in order to get the latest software features. Also, because each manufacturer can use their own icons and design, if you upgrade from one to another, say a Samsung to an LG, the icons, layout and pre-installed apps will almost certainly be new and unfamiliar. Certain phones are also going to have sparse options for cases and other accessories.
Another downside to Android is the Google Play Store, which is where apps and app updates are downloaded. The Play Store is not as active about filtering out apps that behave in ways we don’t want, for example, an app that works as a flashlight but also takes over the phone screen to show ads. This can be a huge issue for people who aren’t familiar with what to look for. It is also more difficult because a large number of good honest apps are free with ads on Android, furthering the possibility of confusion.
These aren’t the only positives or the only negatives about Android devices, but it is a great overview of the biggest things to consider when choosing what operating system you may want on your phone. Do keep in mind certain devices may be better or worse than others in these aspects so you will want to do further research on the device that interests you to make sure it meets your needs. As an example, Google releases its Pixel phones and they get monthly security updates and yearly OS upgrades for at least two years, but a $40 prepaid phone may never get a single update. Hopefully, this article has broadened your knowledge about Android devices and will make picking out your next phone easier.