The reviews are unanimous: Samsung’s new Galaxy S7 is an amazing phone.
In my own review, I had nothing but nice things to say about the S7. It looks great. It’s waterproof. It has the best camera ever put in a smartphone. It makes the incredible world of VR accessible to more people than any other gadget.
But as much as I loved the Galaxy S7, there’s still one thing that keeps me from recommending it over the iPhone.
iOS is Apple’s greatest weapon against the competition, and it’s the main reason why the iPhone continues to be such a massive success even though anyone can make a smartphone that’s just as good hardware-wise.
iOS has the best apps, the most consistent updates over the lifespan of your device, and the most dedicated army of developers dreaming up new ways to unlock the potential of your iPhone.
You can’t say that about any Android phone. And you definitely can’t say about Samsung phones, which have a terrible track record with timely software updates and come bloated with unnecessary software from the carrier and Samsung itself. In fact, newer Samsung phones only just started getting the latest version of Android this month, even though Google released it last fall.
That never happens with iOS. Apple does an excellent job at keeping its devices up to date with the latest software and features. In fact, the iPad 2, which is about five years old now, is compatible with iOS 9, the current version of iOS. You won’t find a single Samsung device that old that’s still supported by the company’s software. (Yes, older devices tend to slow down over time, no matter who makes them, but the fact remains that Apple continues to add new features and improve older iOS devices over time.)
As for apps, developers still tend to make the best new apps and significant updates to iOS before Android. It’s not uncommon for Android users to have to wait months for something iPhone users have always enjoyed. Plus, Android versions of popular apps never to seem to have the same clean design and as their iOS counterparts.
This might sound like I’m nitpicking to a lot of you, but I disagree. I love having access to the best of the best apps and services, and the only way to guarantee that is to stick with iOS.
And even more important than that: security. Android owners learned a hard lesson last summer when the “Stagefright” bug affected nearly every Android phone on the planet. Whereas Apple can patch a bug with a single software update to all its devices, the fragmented Android ecosystem can take months to fix a major issue.
The Galaxy S7 is a great phone. It’s damn near close to perfection. But until Samsung can build an ecosystem on par with iOS, the iPhone will always win.
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