The Clash of the Titans! “Ongoing war between Apple, Microsoft and Google”

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Let me get one thing straight, I am a technology fan and keep myself up-to-date with the latest things happening in the gadget world. Few months back my interest was largely in the PCs but the smartphones were hard to ignore. I made an entry, at that time I only knew that Google and Apple are major players, Blackberry is also here and Microsoft keeps popping into existence every so often.

But soon, I got the picture, Google was god! Apple filled most of the rest, Microsoft barely alive and what is most shocking was that Blackberry was pretty much dead! I remembered the hype around their Z10, but it seemed that the god has vanquished most of its competitors. Apple and Microsoft were surviving because these companies had too much invested in this world to die out quickly.

Apple

I was at the point where I needed a smartphone for my daily use. I had followed Android for some time when it was announced. I used to talk about Android when no one knew what it meant! But seeing their astronomical sales figures I thought something isn’t right. So the quest began, I had to buy my first smartphone, I was not going to go for an OS not made for me, I certainly did not like the sound of iOS, although I was pretty excited when Android was born but when actually handling an android phone (from HTC) I rarely had a clue!!! Lastly, this Windows Phone had me thinking about a comparison, otherwise it was simply a win-win for Android from my side.

Android

I knew Windows Mobile was not very good OS, although I did like the i-mate but somehow, it was not something for mobiles, tablets maybe but certainly not mobiles. Then there was Windows Phone, which although Microsoft claimed was a fresh approach, I was still a bit wary of it because it was Windows. At this point I would like you to know that I had been testing the developer preview of Windows 8, most people around were not even aware of Windows 7 back then.

So here I am, I had tried iOS and Android, though I was like an Android fanboy but just once I got around iOS and I was in mixed mood. Then I heard about Windows Phone 7.5 but had never tried it since it was so small compared to Android. Then came a surprise one evening when I entered a shop and saw Lumia 610 for display. It made a positive impact on me, I was strangely attracted to the animation that brings the start screen when you hit the Windows button while inside an app. I made a mental note, and soon tried out the Lumia 800 in another place. It had me sold immediately!

MicroSoft

Back to the drawing board, I got busy online, learning about each ecosystem’s abilities and began comparing them for my usability. Flying across wars between Apple and Android fanboys, I would rarely find any Windows Phone user. So I made my own strategy to compare Google, Microsoft and Apple.

Remember, what I write below is what my perception of these things is. It is solely based upon personal experience and needs. Please do give your comments where you find necessary.

AppleMAcbook

A company famous for making computers, and starting the smartphone wars! Apple has one of the best devices money can buy, it all comes only to personal taste and of course your budget whether someone will buy an Apple product or not.

Apple Builds its own hardware and software.

Apple,Iphone,Mac

Googlegoogle

One of the most widely recognized names around the globe, Google’s Android has stormed the smartphone market. When budget is an issue, Android can make sure your phone does most of the stuff that is required, but make no mistake, flagship Android phones are also top sellers!Apple,MicroSoft,Google

Has its own software available for free to third party manufacturers but is also entering into the hardware.

MicrosoftMicroSoft

The silent killer company that has habit of thinking very long term plans, its products may not attract users at first but it survived the test of time more than once, something most of its competitors failed at. The company has so much experience that it is not that easy to put up a fight with this giant.

Basically a software giant, but also releases limited hardware.

MicroSoft

Apple

Microsoft

Google

Software

****

*****

***

Hardware

****

***

****

Software

Apple failed to get the final star because of the lag that users experience sometimes.

No arguing with Microsoft, their OS is always written perfectly, yes it does not have features, but that’s why other OS makers also release updates. It is not about usability, but about how well the program is written. Viruses? Well, do you think a wise hacker to target macs?

Google fails big time sadly, Android is so poorly written that even high-end smartphones tend to lag too much.

Hardware

Apple gets four because for the same amount of price their hardware is, I could get two others equally competitive!

Microsoft makes quality hardware (Surface) but too bad their arsenal is empty.

Google has released great hardware product that are carefully designed for the people’s daily use. But then, I think companies like HTC and Sony make them better. And it’s a shame really that Google’s own Android tends to lag on Google’s own hardware!

The TEST!

I sat down with my laptop and began jotting down notes about each mobile OS. Then made up a table with important stuff that should be on my smartphone. Furthermore, I marked some benchmarks with a star * which meant these are essentials. Then began an immense task of finding the specs of what could be my future smartphones. Once I got all the specs, I compared specs of each phone to the others and gave stars out of 2 for each. 2 for the best one, 1 for acceptable and 0 for poor solution to a problem.

I myself was pretty shocked when I compiled the results! Here…

Benchmark

iOS

(iPhone 5)

Android

(Samsung Galaxy S IV)

Windows Phone

(Lumia 1020)

Performance  *

OK *

Lag

Fast **

Display

Retina **

1080p **

HQ *

Touch

Multi touch *

Multi touch *

Super Sensitive **

Camera  *

8*

13 *

41 **

Cloud

5Gb and low file size upload limit

5Gb * with no upload file size limit

7Gb ** with medium upload file size limit

Office Suit  *

Subscription based

Subscription based

Free **

Basic specs

2/6

1/6

6/6

Overall

5/12

5/12

11/12

 

I was scratching my head when I formulated these results. Android had clearly shaken my trust in it. I figured out that it was a cool OS where you have plenty of things to waste your time around, but not much to offer a hand in your work. I may be wrong because there are apps on Android, but it seems better idea just to use the built in programs to do such things.

I thought iOS would score the best in basic specs, but um….. Windows beats them both by more than triple the usability and more than double the overall experience. Notice that I haven’t mentioned the status of apps, it is because as a new user to smartphones I will not be bothered by them much, and what could I possibly do with apps when the core requirements are lacking?????

I was seriously thinking about going Apple because of the Android’s lag, but after this test, Windows Phone had me sold!!! Another advantage that I soon realized was the integration of the ecosystem. I was already using Windows 8.1 on my laptop, and a Windows Phone would complete my experience.

iOS and Android are awesome operating systems, but where it comes to actually get some uses out of them, they fail in comparison to Windows in my own testing. It makes me wonder whether Windows Phone was made keeping especially such core experience in focus.

In the end I would like to add only this much, in the table, two stars represent desirable, one represents acceptable, and zero stars represents undesirable item. These markings represent what I believe a smartphone must have at its core, you may add your points to it to complete the picture and compare them to your liking, please do share your results :)

Abdullah Akbar

Abdullah Akbar Shafi is Currently Doing Software Engineering from CUST Islamabad And he writes On Gadgets and Technology As His interest...Follow Him On FaceBook
Posted in: Android, Apple, General

  • Keifwoki

    Finally an honest unbiased comparison! Thank you!! I wish other sites articles were more factual based like this one

    • Edward Haskett

      Not sure about that tbh, whilst everything he has mentioned here is true the 1020 is a reasonable amount more expensive than the other two phones, the 925 would have been a better comparison, this would have made the camera scores closer. Also the marks for cloud and office suite seemed to be there more to boost the windows score than anything else.

      I do like windows phone however ;)

      • Chris Bordeman

        Isn’t the 1020 also $199 on contract, like the others?

      • Gaz Matic

        Depends on where you live…
        not everybody lives in America so they don’t get subsidized phones
        we have to buy our devices unlocked and that is where the full retail price comes in
        iPhone is the most expensive by far…
        when you compare prices of the 32gb models the Lumia is actually cheaper than all of them

      • utg001

        Office is my need, you can omit it to gather data for your own need.

      • Keifwoki

        Price in this comparison I think is irrelevant, these are all the flagship devices. It also differs greatly from region to region so its hard to say one is more $ than the other… Also on the 925 camera quality point, I think it would have made scores closer but the 925 camera still shines above the others hence still gaining the most stars…

    • utg001

      thanks for your comment, how will you fill out the table? what more would you like to see?

      • Keifwoki

        Hmmm, just brainstorming here but you might be able to use a few of these?
        Ease of use… (compared by amount of clicks and swipes to accomplish the same task on each platform)?
        Wireless charging?
        NFC?
        Integration? (what apps/services come integrated into the OS)?
        Physical camera button?
        Sensors?
        Glance screen/double tap to wake features?
        Ecosystem (what other devices integrate with the handset)

  • Florin N

    I know, I am a WP fan but the reason is the same as yours.Touching the essentials of an OS is something that reviewers don’t do these days, and it’s a real shame.While trying hard to support a brand, many take on mostly useless features and praise them like a God.
    What you did here was a fair and square comparison, showing that in fact Microsoft knows what it’s doing and how to build great software without over-blown features that serve you 0.1% of the time.I always sustain my arguments using these reasons but hey, we live in a free world and not all of us are willing to listen.
    Great article, well built and a touch of truth that is very welcomed these days.Keep up the good work!

  • hasell

    yeah I’m windowsphone user and never get any lag in last 3 months. I installed many apps and still smooth!! Happy using windowsphone :)

  • Gaz Matic

    windows wins…. Integrated beats apps everytime
    apple started the whole app frenzy because their devices lacked so many things that Symbian had built in
    “don’t have a feature? There’s an app for that”
    apps become useless when the features are built in… Which is why I love WP… The features get built in right into the os and not propped up by apps

  • stephen01king

    How did Windows Phone’s display only got one star while the retina display got two?
    In terms of ppi, wp actually wins over the retina display. However, in terms of colour reproduction, the retina does lead, but the Nokia Lumia 1020 also have good colour reproduction if you were to use nokia’s integrated colour calibration app.

    • utg001

      like I said, I’m not that much a geek to know this, but thanks for the info. win- win for Windows

  • DK

    Indeed an honest review. I was a Blackberry user for years but the Lumia 800 blew me away. In October I’m going for the Lumia 1020. Quite a few people around me are slowly discovering Windows Phone.
    Keep up the good work!

  • Damon Parker

    The smart phone debate will ALWAYS come down to personal choice and personal opinion. Each OS having it’s own advantages and disadvantages over the other, no one single device is the ultimate best device. Rather it comes down to what the best device is for your personal use and lifestyle.

    All devices can roughly do the same exact things, some better than others.

    I personally have never liked the IOS platform, I don’t like the way it feels or works or the inability for customization. Though I admit I have had little experience with the new windows phones, but the interface does seem pretty streamlined, simple and straightforward, much like IOS.

    Point being, when choosing a phone, what works for one person might not work for the other. All the charts and facts mean nothing ultimately, being that it truly does come down to personal opinion and choice.

    • utg001

      well, I did mention that it is indeed best for me. I showed you what I want so that you may get help in deciding how to chose an OS. I respect your choice and I really do not understand why people keep asking others when they have to buy a phone for themselves.

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