Time to upgrade: iPhone 5s or Android?

Time to upgrade: iPhone 5s or Android?

Summary: The lure of a new phone has me thinking about upgrading the iPhone 4s. What I can't decide is if I want the new iPhone 5s or another Android phone.

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iPhone 5s
(Image: Apple)

I have two smartphones, an iPhone 4s with Verizon and a Galaxy Note 2 on Sprint. The Note 2 has a way to go before qualifying for an upgrade but the iPhone 4s can be upgraded now. I'm having a hard time deciding what to trade for on Verizon.

The reason I keep two phones is to keep familiar with the two major platforms for my work. That's expensive but for the longest time I kept four phones on the four major carriers in the US for the same reason. A couple of years ago I decided I was no longer willing to pay the equivalent of a small mortgage payment monthly so I dropped two of the carriers.

The Galaxy Note 2 is the phone I use daily and I like it a lot, although the sensitive buttons on the sides have been irking me lately. It is getting a bit long in the tooth as I've dropped it a few times. Nothing's broken, but the plastic back is getting hard to attach securely so a new phone is a good idea.

I'm tempted to trade the iPhone 4s for the iPhone 5s so I can keep up to date with iOS. I've always liked the iPhone and I'm pretty sure I'd like the 5s.

Galaxy Note 3
(Image: Samsung)

As logical as it seems to do the iPhone for iPhone swap, I admit the Galaxy Note 3 is tempting me. I've really liked the Note 2 and expect I would be happy with the Note 3.

The problem is if I get a Note 3 then I'll have two Android phones, and a Note 2 and 3 at that. That limits keeping up with both iOS and Android, the whole point of having two phones and carriers. Decisions, decisions.

At least I'm not in a hurry to decide as both my current phones work just fine. It's more like that upgrade is burning a hole in my pocket.

Any suggestions on a good phone to get will be appreciated so please leave them in the comments below. I'm willing to consider getting a Windows Phone, but past usage is holding me back. While I've gotten used to the live tile interface on my Windows 8 tablet, I never did on Windows Phones. The UI never grew on me but I'm giving it some thought.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, iPhone, Smartphones, Windows Phone

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95 comments
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  • Upgrade dilemma

    Could you swap sims between the two and use your upgrade to get the Note 3? It's a HUGE improvement over the Note 2. I switched from the iPhone 4S and am glad I did.
    Stanley Kramer
    • Nope

      Both carriers are CDMA so no SIM card for voice calls. There's a SIM for LTE but I don't think the carriers allow switching them.
      JamesKendrick
      • I have a note 2 also

        But Im keeping around as my 2nd phone now as I just got the 5s space gray. I recently got the lumia 928 and thats a cool phone so i have the best of three os's right now, with blackberry as my never going back left out option.
        ITGuy000
        • note 2 is great, but the reasons are obvious for Android

          iPhone has:
          1) no free copy file
          2) no default app selection, no multi-user API
          3) just 20 years old icon concept, no moving objects on a desktop
          4) no universal micro USB cable, no touchless, no nfc, no IR remote, no micro SD
          5) no voice recognition in many languages
          6) Apple censors your personal emails!!!! - “Apple censoring iCloud emails and attachments”
          7) "Apple played 'central role' in ebook price-fixing conspiracy"
          8) "Phones most vulnerable among smartphones"
          9) "Apple iOS Apps Leak More Personal Info Than Android" = security amateurs
          10) "Quarter of iPhones have a broken screen, poll says."
          11) "40% of iOS popular apps invade your privacy without any permission."
          12) "FBI files: STEVE JOBS was a lying, power hungry, mad man."
          13) "Steve Jobs: "We are shameless about stealing great ideas."
          14) "Italy fines Apple 1.2 million over AppleCare practices."
          15) "Belgian consumer group files complaint against Apple over AppleCare warranty practices."

          we have all these without lags (SGS4 GE)

          bit (dot) ly/17CPlOn

          just facts, not any opinion
          anywherehome
          • Sad

            You have an interesting definition for the word "fact" since almost none of what you post into EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE that mentions iPhones is actually true. Get a life, mate.
            elcasey80
          • don't lie

            you just lie, you can not connect iPhone to any PC and immediately copy files, widgets, cannot change default browser

            don't lie and deal with the fact iPhone is 20 years in past
            anywherehome
          • Well that convinces me....

            Well that convinces me... You "can not connect iPhone to any PC and immediately copy files, widgets, cannot change default browser"... And immediately plugging your iPhone in and copying songs and movies and apps via iTunes doesn't count you lying doodie heads.

            Get a ROID phone James... Just like all Roids and Roid fan bois, they are a pain in the rear and you deserve a phone that is a pain in the rear.

            Come on... You know you want a phone that you are forced to babysit.

            Forget user experience, its overrated anyway… Who cares if you will enjoy an iPhone more??? What you want are pure hollow stats and a big fat cheap phone to look awkward with. After using it for a while, you might be able to walk into any coffee shop, see everyone enjoying their iPhones, and feel your sphincter tighten down and put you into such a butt-hurt rage that you will not need that double espresso and can get by with a 50 cent McDonalds coffee from down the block... That’s right, you go girl, throw your hair in the air and turn in a huff and go down the block and get that Micky-Ds Hoe-Joe. Think of all the money you will save by embracing the full on "Roid butt-hurt" experience. You know you want to do it... All the cool kids aren't doing it... Don't you want to be mistaken for a sphincter clenching out of touch dork??? Get a Roid James...
            i8thecat4
          • Android v. iPhone

            And, an Android can be mounted!
            Otis Clatch
      • you can switch phones with 4g

        i have swapped sim cards often between 2 verizon phones. works perfectly. except one used a micro sim, the other a normal sim. i just made an adapter out of the normal sim card. in any case, with verizon, feel free to switch between phones
        dhc@...
    • yes

      Yes
      marzball
    • Windows 8 phone

      Give the Windows 8 phone a try. I actually like the tiles on my Windows Phone better than on my notebook and desktop. Liking Windows 8.1 better than 8.0, but the phone is fantastic.
      rollguy
      • Another Windows Phone 8 Fan

        Got to agree. My Nokia 920 is a fantastic phone. Should definitely consider giving Windows Phone 8 a try.

        BTW: the Nokia 520 is only $99 WITHOUT A PLAN! Kind of a no-brainer for those unfortunate iPhone users who broke their phone before the contract expired.
        ron.simmons@...
    • Unfortunately,

      Two of the biggest carriers here in the States are not GSM, so Sim-swapping isn't really an option. AT&T and T-Mobile are somewhat easier, but these carriers pretty much lock down their phones to their network anyway, and compatible bands with the other carrier are often limited to 2G/EDGE
      TheMimic12
  • I am confused, but not as much as you are...

    "The reason I keep two phones is to keep familiar with the two major platforms for my work."
    Unless you now work for Samsung, or no longer want to keep up with Apple tech...
    I have an iPhone 5 so I won't be upgrading, but if I had a 4s there would be no doubt.
    TinCan2012
    • the 5s offers only minimal functionality over 4s

      The 5s has a Fingerprint reader and currently some mostly esoteric M7 coprocessor functions. Keeping up with platform pretty much covered already with the 4s.
      greywolf7
      • You actually believe there are just minimal or slight incremental advances

        an iPhone 5s has over an iPhone 4s, greywolf7? Interesting.
        kenosha77a
        • In real world usage I believe greywolf7 is right on the mark.

          I have an iPhone 4S and I don't see the iPhone 5S making a single bit of difference in what I do compared to my existing phone. Yes it's faster. Yes it's 64-bit. But in my real world usage none of that would change what I do. The last time I felt I needed more speed was with my 3G.

          This response is not limited to the iPhone either. I keep hearing about 4G LTE but I was not lacking for speed with my 3G+ HSPA (or plain 3G for that matter). Thus 4G LTE is not a reason for me to replace my iPhone 4S.
          ye
          • 4s to 5s

            There is a LOT to like between the 4S and 5S. One thing is to eliminate that fragile back glass. Another is the 4 times speed increase. Then there is the motion chip, and the 64 bit processor, which will begin to be more valuable in the next few months. The screen is also larger (everyone seems to forget that). I don't see much use for the touch ID at this point, but expect it to become more useful in the near future. 4G LTE value really depends on the area you are in, and how much you access the internet. I didn't think it would do me much good, but around my area, And even on vacation in Louisiana, it is very much of use. Everything just happens much faster. If time isn't important to you, then the 4S would work fine for you.
            rphunter42
          • Faster than what?

            The 4s has a very respectible chip, regardless of how fast the 5s chip may be. If the 4s is doing everything greywolf needs at fast speeds, then what does the 5s offer in terms of an increase?

            For example, angry birds isn't going to play faster on a 5s than it does on a 4s. The a7 chip is factors faster than the a5 chip, but what apps actually take advantage of that to make the faster cpu worth spending another $600 on a phone?
            Emacho
          • talk about something real like

            talk about something real like
            1) IR blaster
            2) miracast (wireless screen sharing on any tv)
            3] multi-user environment

            with SGS4

            dont talk about obvious things every 100$ Android phone has....
            anywherehome