Choosing which smartphone to buy is a big decision. It’s not just about choosing the sleekest and shiniest looking gadget, it’s about picking out your perfect companion for up to two years.
If you love to game, you’ll want a smartphone that’s still going to be up the job by the time your contact runs out.
Here are a few pointers to bear in mind when you’re trying to decide which is the best operating system for you: Apple iOS or Android.
Which software wins?
Apple’s iOS is a little bit like a nice, crisp, plain white shirt, compared with Android’s jumbled up bag of fabrics. Allow us to explain…
iOS is super-secure, critically acclaimed and impossible to tamper with (unless the phone is jailbroken). Meanwhile, Android is the most highly customisable quality operating system on the market.
Based on the open source Linux dynasty, it allows users possibility to make their phones their own in a way which iOS simply does not, through tweaking all manner of settings and creating adding widgets to their home screens which offer potted versions of and portals to different apps.
For the gaming fan, this allows the freedom to build your access routes to gaming titles (and anything else you’d like to access) into your home screen.
iOS is stuffier but seamlessly designed nonetheless. Would you rather get that nice boutique shirt or make something magical out of that bag of off-cuts?
Which offers the best choice and in-game experience?
Apple’s app store for iOS boast 150,000 different gaming titles (way more than a lifetime of gaming), and Android offers a similar number.
Many of these games are part of big-name franchises such as Angry Birds, Star Wars and Grand Theft Auto.
And mobile gaming is a great way to revisit classic titles such as Pac-Man, Tetris and Space Invaders, both through ports of the original and a wealth of copy-cat/tribute versions.
But gaming isn’t just limited to app downloads, depending on the handset owners can also play a wide range of games in their web browser from online quizzes to casino gaming sites like http://www.gamingclub.co.uk.
Here Android users with handsets which still support Adobe’s Flash plug-in are likely to have the upper hand over users of Apple’s tightly controlled iPhone and iPad family.
But as more and sites move to HTML5, online games become increasingly accessible to both platforms.
Why hardware matters
If both platforms have a greater abundance of games than any one gamer could ever need, the real test of which of the two is best would be the in-game experience itself. Simple, right?
Well, unfortunately not because it all depends on the capabilities of the hardware you’re using and it’s here that you need to pick wisely when signing that contact.
Although there are cheap deals to be had on both Android and iOS handsets, these tend to be centred around the older, lower-specced handsets which are already showing their age.
Both screen, storage space and processor matter – Apple’s iPhone 4s ca be had on contract with no upfront fee and so initially may look attractive compared to the much more expensive iPhone 5c and 5s models.
But compared to its younger siblings, the 4s packs a smaller screen, slower processor, lower screen resolution and far more limited storage.
This means the device can store fewer apps and either won’t be able to play many of the newer, HD titles being released or will offer a far less enjoyable user experience.
The same is true of many of the free Android smartphones being offered on low monthly tariffs.
If you want to game on your handset, you’ll need to spend some money – don’t be fooled by bargains which end up restricting your choice or usage.