The following in-depth comparison was submitted by Good and EVO reader Ernesto Cedeno. If you’d like to submit a guest post of your own, please get in touch!
My first Android was the HTC Hero, followed by the original HTC EVO 4G (fantastic at the time), and then the iPhone 4S. That was my first iPhone, and the two things that initially won me over were the camera and its international radios – Sprint, obviously, does not have many international phones. But then, earlier this year, I went back to Android with the release of the HTC EVO 4G LTE. And now, my company got me the iPhone 5 for work.
So I currently use both phones, and while a side-by-side specs comparison has already been done, I’d rather like to talk about functionality of both devices, including effectiveness in my use of both. Of course, this is just my own biased opinion – but let’s get started.
Look and feel
The iPhone 5 has a sophisticated uniform look on all sides. The phone is beautiful to look at, for the most part, and the beveled edges around the phone are a nice touch. But since the EVO 4G LTE did this before, the iPhone can’t get points. Something about the bottom of the iPhone lacks life; it looks much smaller and thinner than the EVO.
However, the EVO lacks that uniformity, and suffers especially in the back. But on the other hand, the brushed aluminum on the sides gives it a fantastic edge. The front also lacks some uniformity, but the massiveness of the screen, the clean metal look around it, and the bevel edges give it a more solid look than the iPhone. While it is thinner than the iPhone 4S, it just looks massively bigger and thicker next to the iPhone 5.
The iPhone 5 wins.
The iPhone 5 is slim, and therefore very manageable in one hand. But that is good and bad – Apple touts the fact that you can still write with one hand, but I argue the letters on the keyboard are still too small to make for decent typing. Also, while it is easier to manage and grip the phone, the phone’s hard edges makes it more apparent in pant pockets, even though it is thinner than the EVO 4G LTE (a guy problem).
The EVO is slightly more difficult to handle single-handed, but as I am used to it, I see no issue with it. I even rode a roller coaster while filming on the EVO, so I can’t say the screen is unmanageable. The EVO also has a kickstand, so I can read my news while eating. The phone’s soft back edges also make it more comfortable to keep in pant pockets, and also less noticeable.
The EVO 4G LTE wins.
The iPhone 5 has a Retina display. The color tones are sharp, and photos and videos look clear. However, the aspect ratio is weird, and the display in many apps and photos looks out of place.
The resolution of the EVO 4G LTE is comparable to the Retina display, even though they don’t brand it like that. The screen is also huge – perfect for reading, watching movies, and playing games.
Tie – I love the quality on the iPhone 5, but the EVO 4G LTE has more usability.
The iPhone has pretty much remained the same since its initial release in 2007. The folders are a nice addition, plus notifications (Android had that first). Stocks and weather on the notification bar are a nice touch, but the biggest issue here is that most apps I use are still not optimized for the new screen size.
The EVO 4G LTE – or Android in general – just destroys in this category, from the customization of the home screen, to the addition of widgets; from quick access to any app directly from the lock screen, to a well developed notification bar. I could go on and on…
The EVO 4G LTE wins.
iOS 6 vs Android: iOS wins in quantity, but comparing the apps that both devices share, Android tends to win for customization and individuality of each app. When you look at different iOS apps, you will notice they blend in a lot in format, and only a few have unique elements in the interface. In Android, those same apps can be completely different with more available options.
That being said, iOS apps tend to have more stability, but they are not foolproof. I still get plenty of crashes on iOS. But still, iOS has some fantastic exclusive apps that just don’t exist on Android. But let’s compare apples to apples, and look at a few apps that exist across platforms.
The iOS stock browser is Safari. You can download others, but this is always the default. Of course, there is no Flash support. It handles mobile-formatted sites excellently, but it’s not so great with full-featured websites. It is also not the best for managing tabs, but it is better than the EVO’s stock browser.
The EVO 4G LTE stock browser, which is different from AOSP’s stock browser, handles Flash, but it’s not good at tab management. (Chrome for Android wins in this regard.) What I love about this browser is the handling of full featured websites, which I have not seen even on other Android devices. For example, it automatically reformats text as you zoom in to make it really easy to read. I know that many people think the screen is large enough, but even with 20/20 vision, I still prefer to have that option, especially if I am reading something in a hurry.
In iOS, this app handles the basic options, plays music, and looks at profiles. Vkontakt for Android actually allows you to cache the music, and the the interface is completely optimized for Android.
In iOS, Endomondo is the same as Vkontakte, and is not formatted for iPhone 5 screen. Endomondo Android – you know, let me just show you what I mean here:
The EVO 4G LTE wins.
The iPhone 5 has an excellent quality camera. On the iPhone 4S, I took unrivaled pictures in Italy, and from what little I’ve seen on the 5, the quality is at least the same. It captures more lighting in dark areas, and therefore takes better pictures in social settings. It is also a great camera to capture at a macro level. The panorama feature works fine, but this is nothing new. The camera also responds quickly.
The EVO 4G LTE has an excellent camera app, as well, giving you the option to take pictures while filming, or instantly take up to 20 pictures in burst mode to always just capture the best moment. The range of options given are amazing. The camera itself is also fine, but it falls behind the iPhone 5 in overall quality, especially when competing in dark areas or macro settings. Outdoors, though, I have trouble finding much difference.
In regards to the outside photos, I will let you decide.
EVO 4G LTE:
The EVO 4G LTE wins in software; the iPhone 5 wins in hardware.
The iPhone 5 has Siri, which admittedly is gimmicky, but I find it useful in setting up reminders and appointments. As such, it’s become essential to me.
The EVO 4G LTE just has standard voice search right now, which has been prevalent on Android for the past couple of years. It works fine, but I am upset that Google Now is not available on it yet, which seems like a much better digital assistant than anything available from Apple or other third party developers. This will all change once the EVO is updated to Jelly Bean, but for now:
The iPhone 5 wins.
I like both devices. Software-wise, in my opinion, Android is a better system – it is just more developed, has more options, and allows for more freedom for your device. However, Apple is better at hardware – especially the overall look and the camera quality. While the specs on the iPhone 5 are actually less than the EVO, I could tell that the iPhone had a slight advantage in opening apps. The marriage of hardware and software that Apple brings is unparalleled.
I will note that I ran both phones side by side to test the battery, and both performed about the same. The EVO has a larger battery, but the larger screen also consumes more power than the iPhone’s screen, thus giving them comparable battery life. I also have Sprint on the EVO and Verizon on the iPhone – I prefer the Sprint pricing plan (a complete package for unlimited everything), but I have to admit that the quality and coverage of Verizon is much better. Both are devices have 4G LTE connectivity, and I have had mixed results testing the speed on both. Usually, though, Verizon does have a better network.
The iPhone 5 will have more accessories, since it’s an iPhone, and I have my eye on a waterproof case, just like I had for my iPhone 4S.
So what if I had to choose? I would keep the EVO 4G LTE, but I have to admit that both are amazing phones.
This in-depth comparison was submitted by Good and EVO reader Ernesto Cedeno. If you’d like to submit a guest post of your own, please get in touch!