The pros and cons of: Getting an iPhone or Android-based smartphone this holiday season

Samsung's new Galaxy S4 is seen during its unveiling in this March 14, 2013 file photo at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

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Our recent piece on tablets had a lot of readers asking about what smart phone they should buy as presents this holiday season. This is why, after  last week’s discussion about connected watches, we’ve decided to revisit ye ol’ battle of the operating system and help you, our loyal reader, narrow down which is most worthy of your time.

After speaking with several authorized phone dealers around the city, I discovered that the unanimous decision from the consumer perspective this holiday season is between Apple’s iPhone 5s and Samsung’s Galaxy S4. So, for this week’s pros and cons, let’s look at both devices and help you figure out which is best suited to your needs.

Apple’s iPhone 5s

Not only was the late great Steve Jobs a visionary, but he also single-handedly changed the way we look at our smartphones with the introduction of the iPhone. Now on their seventh iteration iPhone, the 5s, Apple shows that despite nay-sayers, they still have what it takes to not only move product, but also own almost every mobile tech segment. Being said, it can’t be all peaches and cream owning an iPhone, can it? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of joining the iClan:


  • The most popular mobile camera on the market and for good reason
  • Works seamlessly with all of your Apple products
  • There is quite literally an app for everything
  • New A7 chip means zero lag multi-tasking between apps
  • Convenient new finger print censor allows for easy ownership access and purchasing of apps


  • Battery life has only been marginally improved, iPhone to iPhone
  • Still one of the highest price points for a phone off contract
  • Must upgrade device for more memory (pictures, video, music)

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 

A company once known for its cameras, TVs, and other home appliances, is now more commonly known for its Android-powered devices. In fact, the Android platform dominates the Canadian market and Samsung is almost synonymously used as a term for comparing iOS and Android (think about the question “should I get an iPhone or Samsung”). Once a year, akin to Apple, Samsung releases a new flagship phone bearing the “Galaxy S” name. So why all the popularity? Does the phone produce gold for its owner? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of owning the Samsung Galaxy S4:


  • Powered by Samsung’s version of Android entitled “TouchWiz”, considered a fan favourite for its forward-thinking features
  • Removable battery
  • Multi-window: my favourite feature of TouchWiz allows the user to view two apps at once
  • Capability for wireless charging (with applicable battery cover)
  • Expandable memory up to 64 GB


  • Carries the highest price tag of any Android device, which is off-putting considering the plastic-y build and feel
  • Not the most aesthetically pleasing Android device on the market

Overall, the answer is a lot simpler than one would think, so you can look at it like this: if you’re someone who doesn’t care about customization, wants a device that will work seamlessly with little learning curve and is ready to go out of box, go iOS with the iPhone. However, if you’re someone who likes to make a device their own and doesn’t mind getting a bit dirty with the freedom of customization and “openness” (can change everything about the look and feel of the device), go Android.

Are you an Android or iPhone user? Sound off below letting me know what the catalyst was in making your decision!

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