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iPhone vs. Android: A 13-Year-Old Compares Platforms



When I bought an iPhone 4S I gave my Samsung Infuse 4G to my 13-year-old son because his old feature phone was on its last legs. He flipped out and bragged about how much better Android was than iPhone for the first few weeks. At 13 he’s already invested in the iPhone vs. Android debate.

When the excitement wore off I began to hear more and more complaints about Android in general and the Samsung Infuse 4G in particular. Today I decided to ask him which one he likes better. He had some interesting comparisons of Android and iPhone, which you can read below.

Whether you’re a parent researching which phone your teenager would like, a 13-year-old whose parents agreed to buy you a new phone or a teenager who is about to get her first phone; hopefully my son’s opinions can help you decide which platform is best for a teenager.

Looking for a tablet, check out a similar comparison of tablets – iPad vs. Android Tablets a Kid’s Perspective.

Android v. iPhone

Android Troubles

Daniel hates the performance and speed of his Android phone. Realize that he’s using a pretty old phone, by Android standards. Faster more powerful Android phones hit the market since the Samsung Infuse 4G. I’ve heard this complaint about Android and experienced it myself when using even some of the faster Android phones out there. The OS stutters more and the apps often take a second to respond. He also experiences more freezes with his Android phone than he did with an iPhone 3GS or an older generation iPod Touch.

Modern Combat 3

Performance isn’t the only drawback. He uses a phone to play games first, and communicate or surf the web second. Most games come out on the iPhone or iPod Touch faster than they do on Android, according to Daniel. I asked him for specifics and he told me that Modern Combat 3 took longer to come out on Android than iPhone.

Android Awesomeness

Lest you think he’s just the son of an Apple fanboy, something I’ve been called before, he actually has a longer list of things he likes about using Android. Again, remember he’s never used one of the really fast new Android devices, which would likely solve many of the troubles listed above and he still found a lot to like with Android.

Daniel likes using his music files as ringtones natively on the Android device. You can’t do that natively on an iPhone without jail breaking or without creating the ringtone file off-phone. It does take a little effort on Android – moving the file to the ringtones folder and then select it in Settings. On iPhone you can’t do it at all.

LIke Dad, my son loves the big screen of his Infuse 4G. That’s the biggest thing I miss using an iPhone. He said, “I love the large screen. In fact its kind of hard for me to use my iPod Touch now. It’s kind of hard for me to type.” We both drool every time we see the Samsung Galaxy Note and its five-inch screen.

Daniel has more fun with the camera app on Android. There are plenty of filter apps on both Android and iPhone, but he likes to add them from within the app and then post them on various services. Photo Stream helps on iPhone, but you have more options for cloud backup on an Android phone. If you install DropBox, SugarSync or one of the many cloud backup service apps, you can upload from within the camera app on Android. iPhone has fewer options.

Finally, Daniel complained about the poor battery life of the iPhone. He plays games all the time so he drains his battery faster than most people. On most Android phones you can take the old battery and put in another battery or a longer lasting battery. I bought a high-capacity battery for the Infuse 4G when I had it and he uses both batteries.

With an iPhone you can add a battery case, but that adds bulk and usually costs more than an extra battery for most Android phones.

Which One is Better?

Wanting to pin him down and I asked him, “If I offered to buy you the best iPhone 4S with the most storage or the fastest and most powerful Android phone available, which one would you pick?”

He said, “Ooh. that’s a tough one. I guess I’d go for the iPhone because games mean a lot to me.” He paused and thought. “It’s difficult!”

After some more thought he said, “I’d say, ‘Surprise me.'”

I think that tells the story about the Android versus iPhone debate. They’re both great platforms and you can get an awesome phone either way you go.

Droid RAZR MAXX Display

I suggested that my 13-year-old might feel differently if he really did have the latest greatest Android phone like a the Droid RAZR MAXX, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or even the Galaxy Note. He agreed but was quick to also say that if the iPhone had a user replaceable battery and  a bigger screen he’d likely pick an iPhone over the latest greatest Android.

Perhaps he’ll be begging me for the iPhone 5, which is rumored to have a bigger screen.

Like many well-informed consumers, my son would like to have a mashup of both phone platforms. I agree.



  1. WhySoSerious?

    02/01/2012 at 9:30 am

    This sums up my experience as well. Android is just to slow and buggy. In 2015 with the right hardware it could be heads and shoulders better, but I need a phone that works in 2012. 
    Email, Calendar, Contacts and super responsive and quick. That isn’t an Android today and I tried and really wanted to work but it doesn’t work for me. I actually went back to Blackberry an anxiously awaiting the details on the iPhone5. Maybe I’ll give Android another try in a couple years. 

  2. Kevinfrausto

    02/01/2012 at 10:08 am

    Damn your kid is spoiled lol jk I think mine is since he already has the Droid razr Max with its powerful 3300 mah battety

    • Kevin Purcell

      02/01/2012 at 10:59 am

      Indeed he is spoiled, but if it wasn’t for having a dad who keeps updating his phone, he’d be using a $10 feature phone.

  3. Btc5472

    02/01/2012 at 1:29 pm

    Android will always have a bit of lag. That is the way android is. Its not noticeable lag unless someone shows it to u. I own the galaxy nexus which of course has some going between homescreens or scrolling. But itested my nexus against the iphone 4s and my phone surprisingly took better pictures indoors. I didnt go out side. My phone was faster when loading webpages. But webpages with allot of flash content take.longer than the iphone because flasj is very intense. Id rather have flashplayer than 3 seconds of extra speen on some websites. Both phone were on the same.wifi network. The iphone also has maybe an 1/8 of a second edge on opening apps too. The iphone has a better gpu then the nexus. So id expect a difference. But we both played nova amd angry birds flawlessly. My phone found gps about 30 or 45 seconds faster than the iphone. Both screen looked equally as sharp, except my phone looked better when playing movies because of the enormous super amoled screen. My phone occasionally turns off but google told me that 4.0.2 is not a finished version of android. 4.0.3 will fix all of my problems. I have only 2 problems. I like having wifi direct and NFC. I use google wallet. I installed it on my verizon nexus. VERY EASY TO DO. I have 2 batteries and a buttonless screen. My phone looks sexyer in my opinion. I like my notification system better and my virual keyboard. Android has more features. More people might pick iphone but when u compare them. Android wins in features. And id say they are the same in speed. Iphone has some speed advantages, but then so does the nexus.

    • Nikhil

      02/08/2012 at 10:36 am

      look at a youtube comparision on speed. android is faster on all counts

  4. Jj

    02/01/2012 at 1:55 pm

    Ok, I’m 13 and have compaired iOS, android, WebOS, Symbian, Windows Phone Mobile, and others but still this is not news to me.

  5. Ivan

    02/03/2012 at 9:11 pm

    I never used iPhone, but I think it’s little bit overrated. 

  6. DomoVersion

    02/10/2012 at 10:40 pm

    Mmm I’m only (14) Soon to be (15)

    *~”Android Phones Seem to be more Complex, and More Tweak-able
    Androids are for People who prefer a Variety of Models, Although Tons of Updates which can be a Drag to most Users.”

    *~”iPhone Phones Seem to be Simple, Slick,Music/Game Based
    Less Models, Less Updates, Progressing Updates”
    (Apple Started a Small Scam from Past Models of the iPhone although it is Undefined as of right now.)

    I experienced both Android and iPhone, (HTC Evo, iPhone 4)
    *~”Although MANY Differences to these but it makes each unique.
    Android and iPhone’s War Conflict are based on Opinion”

    To my personal Opinion:
    *~”iPhone is best for Everyday Use in Apps.”

    *~”Android is best for a Variety of things Depending on the Model, which gives a Chance to find a Phone that may Fit to your Life Expectancy.”

  7. Hot Android Phones

    04/01/2012 at 12:40 pm

    I’m 19 myself and I think very similar to your 13 year old son when it comes to this whole android vs iphone debate. I myself have never used an iphone before because I’m an android fanboy (to be more specific a samsung fanboy), but my dad has the 4s and we constantly have debates as to whos phone is better.

  8. GTA fan

    12/01/2013 at 8:53 pm

    HA HA HA

  9. GTA fan

    12/01/2013 at 8:56 pm

    I am 13 and my perants want me to get android but i want and iphone 6 ( It has a built in hollowgram!) which should i pick?

  10. GTA fan

    12/01/2013 at 8:58 pm

    I need help!!! and fast. December 5th is when I’m getting plz tell me witch is better!!!

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