I decided to enter this new year in style and that included getting a new phone. I’m a huge fan of quality and for phones, Apple products suit that description, so my first choice was to visit one of their stores. I came across their latest release at the time, iPhone pro max 11. Unfortunately, it had the exact design as my current iPhone X, although it was a bit larger, having a slightly better camera and with some internal components a bit more enhanced. Whilst I can’t ignore the fact that there was an overall improvement compared to mine, there wasn’t anything I’d say was remarkable enough to compel me to spend fourteen hundred dollars ($1400) on the new release.
I began to research brands that could fit into the specs I sought for and found out there were a lot of Android phones that met all requirements, had good reviews and were a lot cheaper than the iPhone I also considered at first.
After weighing all options, I eventually settled for the extremely well-rated Huawei P30 Pro and after a few weeks of use, I couldn’t agree more with the great reviews it received. Some of the specs include;
Android Phones have many cool features
· Fast charging (35% to 80% in just 25 minutes!) This spec is so great because there’ll be little or no need to carry power banks around.
· Great camera with 5x digital zoom feature. In these times, we could all agree that a great camera is one thing to look out for when getting a phone.
· Firm USB-C port. The Apple lightning connector never worked for me, the connection is loose and more than often, you’ll be unpleasantly surprised that your phone hasn’t been charged due to the looseness of the port.
· Sensitive screen / very responsive.
· Thin (moderate thickness)
It also had some impressive original features I wasn’t aware of, including;
· One-Handed mode: The display is shrunk to facilitate accessing the screen with one finger.
· Fingerprint scanner: It can be unlocked using a fingerprint reader (in addition to the facial recognition) which is quite practical in dark environments or when wearing masks or sunglasses
· Duo mode that allows having two instances of the same app. So, you can have 2 Facebook accounts or 2 WhatsApp on the same phone
· Knuckle double-tap to take a screenshot. This is very handy for the people who take a lot of screenshots, and I am one of them.
The list goes on, however, it isn’t a flawless device and some of its imperfections are quite a bother. Some of which I’ll be sharing below.
On Android, some key apps still need some improvements to become as good as their iOS counterparts.
To begin with, some key apps had poor user experience compared to that of IOS devices i.e. email, dialling and messaging apps. With the major concern being the poor aesthetics and user experience, compared to IOS
Now, on Android devices, it’s possible to replace these pre-installed Apps by ones that were created by third-party developers. For example, I eventually used Microsoft Outlook for email and TrueCaller for calls and messages. Although I was a bit satisfied, the experience still didn’t match what I’ll get from the IOS apps.
Another bummer was that you could not scroll between apps by swiping your fingers at the bottom of the screen. This feature was available on the latest Android and IOS versions but it took Huawei some time (five to six months) to release the update that allowed the feature. This is a general downside to using Android devices. Google releases an update but it takes phones powered by Android longer before the updates are made available.
One more frustrating problem experienced was the difficulty when using AirPods. The sound quality was poor, compared to AirPods with Apple products. Bluetooth connectivity was the main problem. It was slow, had less range coverage and every few weeks, you’ll be required to pair the AirPods again as it won’t be recognized by the Android phone.
I finally decided that all my worries would go away if I just got the iPhone I initially wanted to purchase and so I did. It’s been three months since the purchase and I am having no regrets or issues so I guess the better decision was made at last.
Some of the improvements that I would love to see in IOS soon
Although I concluded that my IOS device was more stable than the Android, it still isn’t a flawless device and some of its imperfections bothered me as well, to mention a few;
The fact that iOS displays all installed apps on the home screen is quite a bother as this allows for a crowded home screen which is pleasant to behold. What I prefer is to have only the most frequently used apps on the home screen and for the rest, you search for them when needed. There is a workaround to this limitation which consists of putting the rarely used apps in folders.
· The IOS lays off the apps from the top left to the bottom right with no empty squares. This means that you can’t force some apps to be at the bottom of the screen, just above the dock. Not a great decision since the rows above the docks are easier to access especially when holding the phone in one hand.
· I am not a great fan of the tiny loose silent mode switch. In the recent iOS versions, the silent mode is only a swipe and a tap away so I do not understand why Apple wants to keep the tiny physical switch that is hard to reach especially when using a cover, and more often than none, it accidentally switches to silent mode because of its looseness.
Android phones can become even more competitive if some small problems of the platform are addressed promptly
Now, you probably think that my point is that IOS is much better than Android and that Android has much more imperfections. On the contrary, my point is quite different. I am saddened that Google does not make this last sprint to close the gap with Apple and stop Apple from selling phones with insanely huge margins.
The mission is not as hard as one might think. What would it cost Google to make sure that the Email, Phone and Messages applications work perfectly as they do on iOS — This was my main complaint when I bought my first Android phone 10 years ago and things haven’t improved much ever since. Like I mentioned earlier, a big issue on Android is that updates take long before they are available for users which is quite frustrating and bothers a lot of its users. One solution would be to have several GUI behaviours that are available on Android and the users can pick the one that suits their working style. With this approach, the makers won’t have their versions; the best thing that they can have is to have some apps for their users. This approach has clear benefits for the users, and it would eventually lead to more competition between the two big rivals which means better products at better prices for the end customers.