iPhone 7, Google Pixel, and Samsung Galaxy S8 are the three most popular phones—and are all fighting for your attention. But because they’re all great (and so similar), you may be on the fence about which is best for you. Each company claims their specs and features are best. But in reality, they’re very similar. Instead, it’s more common things that you may not realize that could help you get off that fence and decide.
So here are five common things that can have the biggest effect on your experience with your phone… and which one of these devices do it best.
If you take lots of pictures or videos
You should get:
iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy S8, and Google Pixel all have fantastic cameras. Taking videos of your sleeping pet (come on, you know you do it) or pictures of desserts are going to look great regardless of which phone you use. So why am I suggesting Google Pixel over the other two? Two words: Google Photos!
While Google Photos is available on both iPhone and Galaxy devices, Pixel owners have a massive advantage. Why? They can back up an unlimited amount of photos at full-resolution for FREE. This also includes unlimited 1080p HD videos. And you can access them from any phone, tablet, or computer. Photos and videos are the things that take up the majority of the storage space on your phone. So the fact you can save it all in the cloud (again, for FREE) saves you money. That’s because you don’t need to spend as much on a larger capacity phone or unnecessarily pay for cloud storage. And who doesn’t like to save money?
If you like a BIG screen (but you have small hands)
You should get:
Arguing display specs doesn’t do the screen on the Samsung Galaxy S8 justice. Out of the box, the screen already looks better than all other phones on the market… and it’s not even at its max resolution. But it’s not just how the display looks, the design makes a BIG difference, too.
The smaller Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch display. That’s larger than both iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL. But the key here is that it doesn’t feel bigger. That’s because the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a screen that’s not only taller and narrower than other devices, but it wraps around the curved edge of the phone. So it’s a nearly bezel-less display. So you get more screen real-estate on a smaller device. And the curved edges and narrower width of the phone make it more comfortable to hold in one hand than either iPhone 7 or Google Pixel models.
If you’re accident prone or have lots of questions
You should get:
Apple is still king when it comes to Support.
Google made a big step towards helping customers with built-in support for Google Pixel devices. Owners can call or chat with Google support for free as often as they want. But those support agents will be the first to tell you that they don’t own or use the Pixel. And if you buy the phone from anyone other than Google and need a replacement, you’ll need to send your phone back to them before you get a new one sent to you.
Samsung customer service isn’t much better. And after the whole Note7 blow-up (*ba-dum-tshh*), Samsung introduced a new service called Samsung Premium Care. Galaxy users can get in-person support when they want it set up for the first time. And they can get their device fixed or replaced if they have an accident. But that in-home service costs $12 a month, with a $99 fee for each repair or replacement (up to three per 12-month period). And third-party companies—not Samsung—carry out the service. While it sounds better than what Galaxy users have had access to in the past, it’s still too early to tell how good it is.
But Apple has AppleCare+ and Apple Retail stores. Unlike the other options, when you get help with your iPhone—whether it’s over the phone, chat, or in an Apple Retail store—you’re dealing with an Apple employee, not a third-party company. Or if you’d prefer, you can get a device sent to your doorstep before sending your device to them. And AppleCare+ is $99 for two years of coverage. That works out to around $4 a month—with service fees of $99 or less per incident. Plus, AppleCare has a proven track record of support—so there’s greater peace of mind.
If you want a great assistant
You should get:
Apple’s short film, “Rock x Siri – Dominate the Day” was both awesome and funny. But it was an expensive ad that reminds people that Siri can do basic things like see your calendar, check the weather, and make a list. When you try asking Siri to do something a bit deeper—like calling customer service for a specific company or playing a particular video on YouTube or Netflix—it usually fails. And while Samsung set the expectation of Bixby being the next evolution in voice assistants, it’s still very much a work in progress.
Google Assistant is still the best mobile assistant available. And Google Pixel is the only device with it built-in. While Google Assistant is available as an app on iPhone, Apple limits what it can do and how it works. So you can’t press the Home button on iPhone to bring it up, or say “OK Google” to trigger it as you could with Siri. And Samsung doesn’t allow the Bixby button on Galaxy S8 devices to work with Google Assistant, either. Google Assistant also integrates into other Google services, like their messaging app, Allo. So whether you use voice or type, you can have a great assistant experience across your entire phone. And if you invest in Google’s ecosystem of products—like Google Home or Chromecast—you can continue that experience in your home, too.
If you keep in touch with people
You should get:
Each phone has several apps you can use to talk, video, or chat with people. Not to mention the fact you could just call them (if you’re into that). But iPhone has two advantages that help make it better than a Samsung Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel.
The first is Apple’s communication apps: iMessage and FaceTime. iMessage is the best messaging app on any device. That’s because it can not only send text (SMS) messages, but send text, picture, or video iMessages to anyone in the world that has an iOS or Mac device, for free. People love iMessage so much, that it’s considered to be one of the primary reasons they don’t switch to Android devices. And FaceTime is also great for making video or audio calls to anyone on an iOS or Mac device for free, too. And of course, both are only available on Apple devices.
For most people, that’s reason enough to use an iPhone. But the second reason is the most important: the App Store. The iOS App Store is the still the best marketplace for apps. So developers are more inclined to make their best apps available for iPhone. So while Android has great communication apps, like Allo (or whatever new ones they always seem to announce), Duo, WhatsApp, and FB Messenger—what they don’t have is iMessage and FaceTime. But all those apps that exist on Android, also exist on iPhone. So with iPhone, you get all the best ways of staying in touch with people, without compromises.
Whether it’s iPhone 7, Google Pixel, or Samsung Galaxy S8, chances are you’re going to like your phone. But thinking about these kinds of things before plunking down hundreds of dollars can help ensure you get the device that’ll work best for you.
For more tips on buying the right devices for you, check out other posts on our blog, like the “iPad or Laptop?” article. And your Enjoy Expert can also help make you aware of lots of other options with your tech you never knew existed.