Android OEMs are many, and it’s easy to find an Android phone that users will love. The Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 Plus, and the Huawei P20 Pro are smartphones that it’s hard not to love. The iPhone X has features that Apple has brought over from Android, but it holds its own against them. Perhaps “surpass” is a better word in the minds of long-time iPhone users.
There are five reasons why the iPhone X is still better than the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Huawei P20 Pro. What are they? Keep reading to find out.
Animoji and Memoji vs. 3D AR Emoji (iPhone X vs. Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 Plus)
Okay. I have to get this one out of the way. The animoji of the iPhone X surpass the 3D AR emoji of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. They just look better. The 3D reproduction of animals looks normal while the 3D AR emoji don’t look “3D” enough. Samsung’s emoji are plenty and customizable, but they don’t go far enough to render the appearances of people. What about the user that has some defining feature such as freckles? Does the Galaxy S9 AR Emoji capabilities capture the user’s freckles? Apple’s Memojis do the job better, again, another testimony to the iPhone X’s 3D camera capabilities.
There’s a reason behind the superior quality of animoji and memoji to 3D AR emoji: Samsung’s 3D emoji are really 2D-rendered emoji. Samsung doesn’t have a 3D camera on the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9 Plus, which means that the “3D” rendering is something done in software with no hardware integration. Software rendering without the necessary hardware is a shortcut that doesn’t get Samsung to the top. And a number of Galaxy S9 users have said that Samsung’s 3D AR emoji don’t even reflect their real-time facial features. Many don’t even recognize the 3D AR emoji staring back at them on-screen.
This comes down to 3D camera capabilities, truthfully. Apple’s animoji and memoji are not big in quantity, but their quality on the iPhone X is more refined. It goes back to the same argument many have made time and time again about quantity versus quality. Now you know why Samsung wants to bring a 3D camera to the next Galaxy.
Unity vs. Fragmentation (iPhone X versus Galaxy S9, Huawei P20 Pro)
The unity of Apple and iOS and the fragmentation of Android is yet another classic argument that wins many over to iOS on the iPhone X. Apple controls both the software (iOS) and hardware (iPhone) of its users. Apple even designs its own processors, cameras, and the iPhone X’s wireless charging.
With Android, OEMs make hardware while Google makes the Android software. Huawei makes the hardware of the Huawei P20, and Huawei even makes the “Android skin” called Emotion UI, but Android is still underneath it all. Samsung may have refined its UI and rebranded it “Samsung Experience,” but Android still belongs to Google. If something goes wrong within Android, Google has to fix it, else the OEMs are out of luck.
This is what is always meant by Android fragmentation: one company works on hardware, a different company on software. The iPhone X, in contrast, is made by Apple from hardware to software. Apple can do something about the problems without interference from another company. Android OEMs will forever be behind in this area, as long as they continue to use Android.
The Battle of the Cameras: how many are enough?
There was a time when smartphones had a front-facing camera (which some now call “selfie” cameras) and a single rear camera. Today, dual cameras are all the rage. However, some Android OEMs are starting to multiply front and rear cameras. Huawei is one of those, and its P20 Pro has four cameras (three rear, one front).
How many cameras are enough? I can see the rationale behind dual rear cameras, but do we really need four cameras on a smartphone for a professional photography experience? Smartphones are gaining ground in professional photography these days; smartphones can now rival DSLR cameras in photo capture. But adding a third rear camera to smartphones doesn’t exactly accomplish anything. And, to make matters worse, Huawei hasn’t sold consumers on what four cameras accomplish that two or three cannot. Will the Huawei P20 Pro win any photography contests against the iPhone X? Probably not.
Huawei isn’t alone. Samsung is considering triple rear cameras for the Galaxy S10 in 2019, a sign that Android OEMs have run out of ways to sell smartphones. They’re simply multiplying smartphone parts and components in order to sell phones. Are dual rear cameras (which just became a new trend within the last year or two) that inadequate that another rear camera is necessary? Some Android OEMs are creating a dual front-facing camera experience as well. What is the benefit of dual selfie cameras? I think we’re consumed with ourselves enough already.
The iPhone X notch: the origin of influence and imitation
Some say that Essential, the company behind the Essential Phone, came up with the notch that is present on the iPhone X, but the point is irrelevant. It is a fact that Apple is a mover and shaker in this business and that their “trend-starters” take off and influence the smartphone industry. Until Apple’s notch in the iPhone X, few cared about Essential’s doing. It is the iPhone X notch that has started all the “notched” displays from Android OEMs, including Huawei with the P20 Pro.
Others consist of the Redmi 6 Pro, Lenovo Z5, Vivo Y83, OnePlus 6, Vivo X21, Xiaomi Mi 8, Huawei Honor 10, Nokia X6, Vivo V9, and OPPO F7. Even Google is considering the notch for its upcoming Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones later this year. The Android P Developer Preview is an obvious giveaway. Samsung has not given in to the notch design yet but did imitate Apple’s animoji/memoji with 3D AR emoji.
Why the notch of the iPhone X is so popular
What’s in a notch? Not much. The notch is nothing more than a practical design for sensors, cameras, and speakers. Yet, it has become a trend now to refer to “notched displays” when speaking of Android smartphones that imitate Apple’s notch. I don’t view “the notch” as innovation at all, but I find it disheartening that Android, with all of its OEMs and potential, imitates the iPhone X notch (and the iPhone X animoji and Memoji, Samsung) and thinks that a notch and 3D emoji are what pass for innovation nowadays.
Android OEMs who copy the notch and animoji/memoji in the future (Samsung won’t be the only one to do a “me too” with 3D emoji) are sending a terrible message that consumers are listening to: that is, “our phones are not good enough unless we imitate Apple.” The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are terrific phones and would have been fine without 3D AR emoji. Every Android smartphone would be better off without the notch. The reason why 3D emojis and “the notch” are present on Android smartphones has little to do with what consumers want and more to do with Android’s OEM “servants” who “kiss the ring” of King Apple whenever they unveil a smartphone. Such an inferiority complex doesn’t look good on innovative companies.
Times have changed
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, innovation has outpaced Apple within the last five years.
It’s a new day in tech. We’re not in the early days of the iPhone where there were few to no direct rivals that provided an appealing smartphone to buyers. Today, Android smartphones come with an array of features that some iPhone users are dying to have. Why can’t OEMs run with Android’s success instead of seeking the approval of iPhone users each time an Android smartphone is unveiled? The more they seek to be like Apple, the more Apple continues to overpower them in global sales. When your imitation strategy doesn’t help you succeed, it’s time to abandon it for something original. It’s time for Android OEMs to take Apple’s “Be Different” slogan and use it against the fruit company. In a positive way.
iPhone X keeps Apple users in its “walled garden” and away from Android
The iPhone X celebrates the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, but it also serves as a formidable strike from Apple. Its AMOLED display, wider screen, and wireless charging are all strategic from the fruit company to keep its users from wandering off into the “Galaxy.” While Samsung has “paid homage” to Apple over the years, Apple has also given its indirect nods to Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Until Samsung started adding water and dust resistance to its smartphone lineup, Apple refused to do so — even though Sony popularized the feature.
The iPhone X may have these imitative features from other smartphones, but it wins out against them because it’s the only option iPhone users have who don’t want to leave iOS in the wind. For those heavily invested in the platform, they can have phones that are similar to other brands and still keep all the things that make their smartphones unique (Apple hardware and software integration, iOS, 3D facial recognition, etc.). For iPhone fans, even the “me too” nature of the iPhone X is another factor in its favor.
The above discussions are all controversial I’m sure, but what’s your take on the iPhone X? Think the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9 Plus or Huawei P20 Pro is better than the iPhone X?