iPhone vs. Samsung

iPhone vs. Samsung

Read to find out if you should get a used Samsung or iPhone!

The Ultimate Cellular Saga

Coke vs Pepsi

Marvel vs DC

Left Twix vs Right Twix

It’s another one of those age-old arguments where both sides are prepared to fight to the death for their team.

It’s such a hot topic that Vogue even published an article about whether you should date someone with a different OS(!)

Today, I want to settle things once and for all. However, instead of comparing the latest models of Apple and Samsung phones (IMHO when it comes to the newest models the differences are incremental anyway), I’ve broken this article down into different areas. Depending on the type of user you are, you can decide what you really care about. 

Are you team iPhone or Samsung? Keep reading to find out...

Spoiler alert! Your bias towards one or the other will be largely based off personality and what kind of features you value most. So, there really is no right or wrong answer. Buy a cheap iPhone or cheap Samsung, both are honestly great choices!

Apple App Store vs. Google Play

Depending on whether you like to play games, use social media, or even edit photos, you might find that will dictate which phone you need.

Fortnite, HQ Trivia, Snapchat, and Super Mario Run were all released for iPhone before Android. If you don’t want to wait a few months to join in all the hype - you should maybe consider being an iPhone user.

If you love video games, consider getting a nice used video game console from Back Market! Xbox One? PS4? Which one will you choose?

On the other hand, if you’re a developer, you might find Google Play to be a better platform. Apple's App Store is (frustratingly at times) selective in the apps that are allowed to be available. For app developers, there is much less risk with Google Play that you’ll spend thousands and thousands of hours on app development just to have your app denied for inclusion.

Get a Used PS4 or Xbox One is you want to do some serious gaming!

Choice of Models

For better or worse, you’re split for choice if you are an Android supporter. There are just so many phones to choose from, whether you just look at Samsung or also include other brands like OnePlus, Google Pixel, and LG. 

Want a cheap Google Pixel? We got you covered.

Apple, on the other hand, will release 1-3 new phones every generation - usually a base model and then a Max and Pro variant. There isn’t the same (sometimes overwhelming) choice in front of you.

Apple doesn't give you many choices when it comes to affordable iPhones. They don't release many different models and there are very few changes year after year. But that's another great reason to get a used iPhone from a few years ago! Yay used iPhones!

If you like simplicity - Apple is for you.

Customization

If you want to customize your home screen, get a Samsung (or another Android). But if you're looking for something that comes with a set layout that you can't really change, iOS is for you. Samsung and Android is all about freedom when it comes to manipulating the software.

Android is all about freedom. Ahhh, just like Back Market. We have so many choices on our site (way more than the Apple Store) so you can find a refurbished deal that best fits whatever you're willing to spend.

That being said, this freedom also allows for other bloatware to be added to your Android phone by your carrier. Instead of just Apple Stocks and Apple Maps taking up space on your phone, you might see other apps preloaded from your phone network (and they can get annoying, trust me). If you purchase an iPhone then you will not see that coming out of the box.

Voice Assistant

While it seems like something taken straight from Star Trek, we’re now at a time where our smartphone’s voice assistant can send a text, set an alarm, and even figure out what song is playing on the radio.

Apple's Siri is good, don't get me wrong, but almost all tech reviewers unanimously agree that Google Assistant is way better. It's able to do more complex tasks and is better at actually understanding what you're saying. If you need a better voice assitant, get an Android.

P.S. Samsungs also come pre-installed with Bixby, their own voice assitant. But don't use it, it isn't as good as Google's. You can switch back to Google Assistant in the settings.

For a long time many Samsung phones had a special button for their Bixby voice assitant (which annoyed many people because they couldn't deactivate it), but newer Samsungs no longer have the annoying Bixby button!

You won't see a Bixby button on the refurbished Galaxy Note10 :)

Messaging/Video Calls

Apple has a messaging system that Andorid has been unable to rival. iMessaging is instant messaging made easy... if you have an iPhone. Without getting too in-depth, I'll just let you know that iMessaging is awesome because it lets you send messages and images seamlessly to any iPhone. With Android, Google is trying to push a new IM application called "Android Messages" after the failure of previous others, but it's still not mainstream.

Long story short, Apple does messaging a whole lot better than Samsung and the rest of the Android army, and that's not even putting FaceTime into the mix. For those who don't know, FaceTime is Apple's video chat application (similar to Skype) that also has no relevant Android rival. 

Except all hope is not lost for Samsung/Android folks. Why? Because there are many third party applications that enable Android users to enjoy instant messaging and video chatting. Instagram and WhatsApp, for example, are two applications available for both platforms that also have stellar IM and video chat capabilities. So you can enjoy IM and video chat on Android, you'll just have to use additional applications to get the job done. 

All iPhones, even older models, come equipped with iMessaging and FaceTime (except for maybe iPhones older than the iPhone 4, but chances are you're not trying to get one of those). So whether you have a used iPhone from 5 years ago or a new iPhone, you'll be able to connect with other iOS users just as easily.

Craving iMessage and FaceTime? Check these used iPhone deals!

Ecosystem

Perhaps the biggest argument to be an iPhone user is the "Apple Ecosystem." If you have an iPhone, then you can link it to your watch, or tablet, or laptop, or Apple TV.

Convenience is a powerful thing for users. You can start to write notes on the Pages application on your Mac, get pulled into a meeting and then refer to your work on your iPhone. If you receive a text while jogging and don’t want to break your stride, you can read it on your used Apple Watch. You can respond to iMessage and even receive calls on your MacBook. Once you enter the Apple Ecosytem, it’s hard to get out of it. 

Samsung does have a similar type of ecosystem with tablets, watches, and TVs, but it doesn’t have the same staying power or convenience.

Charging Cables

If you’re like me, then you dream of a world where everyone uses the same charger. Apple also seems to see things the same way, since the MacBooks from 2015 onwards all use a USB-C connector. Samsung phones switched to USB-C in Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 in 2016 and it is still going strong today. 

On the other hand, Apple iPhones still use the lightning connector making it annoying to carry around a different kind of charger. 

Apple have already started the change with their laptops so here’s to hoping for the change to happen in iPhone chargers soon, too!

Innovation

Perhaps it’s not fair that Apple gets all the credit for innovation in the smartphone world when there are a lot of features that appear on Samsung phones first.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Dust and water-resistant phones
  • Wireless/fast charging
  • Haptic feedback
  • Facial ID unlocking
  • Curved screens

Judging from recent years, Samsung tends to go straight ahead and release a new feature while Apple will stall.  

While the jury is still out on whether we need a foldable phone, I personally like that Samsung innovated and released one.

Looking for innovation? Then check out the hole-punch camera on this used Galaxy S10!

Price

Samsung (and other Android manufacturers) will give you better specs for your buck. Yes, both Apple and Samsung phones are usually very evenly matched when they are released, but you can almost always get a better deal on a Samsung. If you look at brands like OnePlus, you can get a phone that performs almost as well as an iPhone but for half the price, but let's not get into that argument right now.

The point is, Android phones are usually cheaper and drop in price faster, while iPhones are pricier and are better at holding their resale value.

Is This Everything?

Is this everything you need to know about the iPhone vs. Samsung battle? No. Not even close. We didn't even mention things like battery life and camera quality.

iPhones usually do a better job at their color science when it comes to photography/video (skin tones generally look better), and on average also get better battery life, but only by a hair (just in case you were wondering).

Point is, we just wanted to give you a few factors that would help you make a better choice just in case you were on the wall on which one you should buy. But remember, whichever one you end up getting, the differences between the two are minimal when it comes to which device is clearly "better." There is no better or worse here, the winner is the one that you find best fits your needs and likings.

The kind of guy that likes technology a little too much and can't stop talking about it. Good thing I work at Back Market :D

Andre, Content Manager