When it comes to comparing iPhones and Samsung phones, most people already have their favorite set in stone. On one hand, you’ve got your iPhone fans who have been loyal Apple users for years. On the other, you have Samsung fans who just can’t get enough of the tech giants’ bleeding-edge innovations.
But for an average buyer, deciding which phone is better—iPhone or Samsung—shouldn’t be just a matter of personal whim. Instead, both alternatives must be compared head-to-head to make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll be doing just that. Let’s dig in.
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Price and Value for Money
Perhaps the easiest difference to detect between iPhones and Samsung’s flagships is the price. While Apple fans may disagree, you may believe at first glance that iPhones are overpriced—especially if you’re not acquainted with the Apple ecosystem already.
Samsung’s flagships, although still far from being cheap, are more likely to give you a better bang for your buck. And since Samsung has such a wide selection of smartphone series, you can expect to find a good deal no matter your budget.
In contrast, most of what makes iPhones worth it is their seamless iOS software experience and their tight integration with other Apple products like AirPods or the Apple Watch. Once you buy an iPhone, you’ll likely find yourself wanting to buy other Apple products as well to get the most out of your device.
iPhones are also more expensive to repair than Samsung phones, and that’s bad news if you’re clumsy or are planning to keep your phone for a long time. That said, Samsung phones lose their value quickly whereas iPhones retain it for far longer, so you can easily sell or trade in your iPhone later when it’s time to upgrade.
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iPhones have usually enjoyed more praise than their Samsung counterparts in terms of sheer photo quality, image consistency, and video quality. But with its S23 series, and more specifically the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung upped its game quite significantly.
Although consistency is still Apple’s strong suit, the camera experience as a whole feels a lot more refined, fun, and versatile in Samsung smartphones. For the people who like to play around with their cameras and experiment with new camera features, Samsung phones are the ones to go for.
But if you prefer a more neutral image and video profile, and don’t want aggressive image processing algorithms to auto-edit them for you, iPhones get the job done quite well. This makes them ideal for professionals who edit their own photos and videos and prioritize natural colors and a more reliable camera experience.
Photos from Samsung look more colorful and shareable, but can also seem over-processed sometimes. In other words, the camera differences between iPhones and Samsung phones are more about personal preference than objective markers for image quality.
Comparing iOS and Android used to be pretty easy with the cliché claiming iOS to be simpler and Android to be more customizable. That used to be the end of the story. But as is the nature of competition, both operating systems have evolved over the years—although those old claims remain fairly prominent to this day.
If you remember TouchWiz, Samsung’s older UI, you know how horrible Samsung’s software game used to be—which isn’t surprising since Samsung is mostly a hardware company. But Samsung’s current One UI skin built on top of Android gives easily one of the cleanest software experiences out there.
On the flip side, iOS is proprietary software. This gives Apple more control over the end-user experience which allows for better RAM management, software seamlessness, user security, and reliability. Additionally, given the smaller number of iOS devices, apps like Instagram or PUBG are often better optimized for the iOS experience.
Another major advantage that iPhones have over Samsung phones is the longevity of the devices. Although Samsung now offers four years of major Android updates for its flagships and mid-range phones, iPhones can easily last for five to six years.
However, there’s one important caveat to this. Smartphone batteries are made of lithium-ion which means they inevitably degrade over time. If you’re planning to buy an iPhone just because of the longer OS support, keep in mind that the battery will take a hit, and you might have to upgrade to a new phone in three years anyway (or at least get the battery replaced).
Both phones also have quirky features that make them stand out. For instance, the new Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro can display glanceable info and ongoing background activities. And Samsung’s Galaxy Ultra phones come with a built-in S Pen that is great for note-taking, sketching, signing documents, and more.
Voice assistants and AI are an increasingly important part of the iPhone vs. Samsung debate.
The iPhone’s Siri has been the default voice assistant for the device since the release of the iPhone 4S back in 2011. Samsung introduced its native voice assistant Bixby in 2017 as an alternative to the already useful Google Assistant running on Android phones.
While the attempt was commendable, Bixby wasn’t, and in a lot of ways still isn’t, a match for Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant, although it does take the lead in some specific cases.
But as far as sheer intuitiveness goes, Google Assistant is still the best voice assistant to use regardless of whether you use an iPhone or a Samsung phone, or any other.
Apple has rarely ever fought the smartphone battle with big claims about its battery. In comparison, Samsung seems to advertise its massive battery life and impressive fast charging speeds quite aggressively.
However, although the iPhone doesn’t have a massive battery, its proprietary software iOS is efficient enough that it ensures minimal battery usage resulting in amazing battery life, especially in bigger iPhones such as the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Plus.
As far as the charging speed is concerned, iPhones still have a long way to go. Apple’s MagSafe charger can take almost three hours to fully charge the iPhone 14 Pro Max; but if you use an unofficial 30W charger, you can fill it in roughly two hours.
In contrast, you can fill up the Galaxy S23 Ultra in nearly an hour using the 45W Samsung adapter—making it more appropriate for power users or gamers.
Sadly, both companies have stopped providing chargers for their flagships inside the box.
Apple vs. Samsung: Which Is Right for You?
Nine out of ten times, a buying decision between two great smartphone alternatives boils down to this: personal preference. And so is the case here.
Most people who buy iPhones do so because of the well-integrated Apple ecosystem and the seamless user experience. iPhones handle core functionalities like calling, video recording, system navigation, and web browsing more reliably.
In contrast, if you are a little more adventurous and want a template on top of which you can personalize and customize your device, Samsung phones are the way to go. With arguably better design, a more fun camera experience, more features, and the One UI skin, Samsung flagships do not fail to impress.