iPhone or Android? Why after two chances I'm going back to the iPhone.

I was a total iPhone loyalist since the days of the iPhone 3G in 2008. While the device always has had its minor issues as each generation was released one thing you could never argue is that the iPhone just flat out gets the job done. Ease of use and quality hardware matched with software that was built specifically for the device are the real benefits of choosing Apple when going back and forth between its competitors in Android and even Windows Phone.

This past year when my upgrade came to a head I decided to finally give Android a try after the current state of iOS at that time was stale as weeks old bread. So I took the bait and choose to take the Samsung Galaxy S4 for a spin. The first thing that really drew me to the phone was of course the massive and at times overly vibrant, 5" screen size. With a nearly edge to edge look to it there was a lot to love about the display regardless of what the task was. Obviously the screen isn't all that matters but that's the calling card of this and most of Samsung's devices. They use a lot of gimmicks and "Hey look at what I can do" tactics that really do a good job at grabbing your attention but keeping your attention and leaving you satisfied is the main issue at hand.

Literally as soon as i got the device in my hands to unlock the screen I got a slight twitch not only in my head but on the display as well. Nearly every time I would unlock the device there would be some sort of delay or twitch in the animation which coming from an iPhone is noticeable difference when you are used to buttery smooth transitions. I should have taken this seriously right away but I swallowed my pride and kept pushing forward wanting to give this flagship device a chance to shine.

So I began to put it through its daily paces, email, text messages, listening to music, taking and editing pictures and of course your various social media apps. Yes the GS4 can handle pretty much anything you throw at it, thanks to the spec heavy guts of the phone, but where you really are left feeling wanting more is when you actually use the phone every day for core applications that all need to work together as one unit and work quickly without a hiccup or stutter. That unfortunately was my biggest gripe with the phone. Pair that with the utterly embarrassing hardware that Samsung decided to go with on the GS4 and there isn't much left to keep you from swaying towards another flagship device which is exactly what I did.

A month later I went with the next logical option at the time which of course was the gorgeous HTC One. There are only a two hardware makers out there that can truly give Apple a run for their money and HTC is one of them with Nokia, now Windows Phone, being the other. An entire shell made of Aluminum is the first thing that catches your eye which looks like its cut from the same block of metal that Apple makes its MacBook Pro and Air from. With a slightly curved back it's hard to really say anything bad at all about the HTC One when it comes to aesthetics but there is one major annoyance with this phone and the materials they choose to use.

Yes the Aluminum body is jaw dropping beautiful to look at but when you really get to use the One even under just normal use you hand starts to increasingly get hotter and hotter. Of course you have to expect some sort of heat coming from a device especially under heavy use but when you are doing basic daily tasks for as little as 5 minutes and you are already greeted with a scolding hot metal slab in your hand you have a hard time coming back from that. Of all the Android devices I have had the chance to use the HTC One has one of the smoothest operating systems out there which is hard to accomplish on Android so no real issues when it comes to software.

While the GS4 I used before had a camera just about on par with the iPhone 5 the HTC One really leaves you wanting much more every situation. Yes you do get brighter photos when in low light when compared to the other two phones but a bight photo is automatically a good one. With the amount of software compression going on with each file they lack the detail and overall higher quality of the other two phones. When you start using the camera in better daylight you still fall flat with very blown out photos that are really hard to bring back to life even in the best editing Android app. Don't even get me started on the slow shutter with this camera either. Yes you can shoot in burst mode which does alleviate the problem some but it still sits as the third runner up in this race. The iPhone still remains the king especially when looking at the latest iPhone 5S camera which takes things to an even higher level that looks like it may be hard to beat for some time.

One thing I must bring up as an avid daily music listener is the way both platforms work when it comes to ease of use. The iPhone is locked into the iTunes atmosphere where you have to manually sync songs between your desktop and the phone to get your content to the device. You can also choose to use their iTunes Match service to upload your entire library to their cloud servers and listen to everything on the go pulling it down from their servers which still has its issues at times but does eventually get the job done. While some may say that iTunes is a complete headache for them I actually prefer it to any other music library service out there when used the right way and with an iOS device.

Both Android phones are primarily set up to sync flawlessly with a PC more than they are with a Mac. Yes you can still get the job done with various Android apps such as DoubleTwist, HTC Sync, and Samsung Kies but nothing ever really seems to work as quickly and easily as Apples alternative juggernaut that has been around since day one when it comes to digital media. Google also offers what I think is the best option for Android users out there in its Google Play Music service. You can upload your entire library of music, up to 20,000 songs, for free to their cloud service and wirelessly listen to everything on your device. The fact that this is completely free and actually works pretty well is a really nice feather in the cap for the people over at Google. This compared to Apple's iTunes Match services, which costs $24.99, is a much more affordable way of listening to music on your android device. If you're like me though you prefer most of your music on your device at all times without having to depend on a good signal and a cloud service. In this regard Apple and iTunes wins by a large margin once again just because everything works the way it should.

In comparison the latest iPhone 5S is a huge achievement for Apple at this point. No it doesn't have a magical new design on the outside, which everyone complains about every year when an S model comes out, but when a design is this well done sometimes you don't need to touch something that's already perfect. With a processor that is twice as fast, the new minimal iOS 7, 64 bit compatibility and a surprisingly much better camera no matter the lighting situation the competition all but needs to just bow down in comparison. A lot of what is really going to be the benefit to picking up the 5S will be that 64 bit integration which will take a little time but once developers get everything out to the public this phone is going to truly be another groundbreaking achievement for Apple.

So in the end I have learned my lesson at least for the time being or until the inner geek in me sees the next shiny new rectangle that is sure to ooo and awe every other tech nerd out there. But if you're anything like me make sure to remember to look at everything as a whole because that's where Apple truly shines not only in the iPhone but just about every product that comes out of Cupertino. Everything works at the highest level and works together. That's something that Android and the other competitors out there still need to master even if there market share is nipping at the heels of the Apple empire.

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