Best or some of the best Android smartphone ?

Domingo

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As far as I'm concerned the only good phones on the market are Pixels and iPhones. Everything else has a bunch of dumb caveats, usually involving Samsung's janky baked-in apps.
 

GotNoRice

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As far as I'm concerned the only good phones on the market are Pixels and iPhones. Everything else has a bunch of dumb caveats, usually involving Samsung's janky baked-in apps.

TBH I trust Samsung more than Google at this point. Everyone I know who has ever got a Pixel phone has had issues with it after only a couple of years. They might be great on the software side of things, especially getting first dibs on new Android builds, but their hardware sucks. Meanwhile I know several people who are still using the same Samsung phone after 5-8+ years. Samsung puts some truly great engineering into their phones, especially the high-end models.

Yeah it's slightly annoying to have some pre-installed Samsung apps that you can't fully remove, but it's not as if they are forced on you. Delete the icons, forget those apps even exist, move on with life.
 

kirbyrj

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As far as I'm concerned the only good phones on the market are Pixels and iPhones. Everything else has a bunch of dumb caveats, usually involving Samsung's janky baked-in apps.

The last time I used a Samsung phone, it wasn't too hard to download the Google apps instead of the Samsung ones and then use a launcher program to make it look like a Pixel (maybe S8?)

I've had all kinds of issues with Google hardware also (I have a P6A and my wife is on a P6 right now, so I keep coming back despite the issues). Everything from a dead mic on the OG P1 to a camera that stopped working on a P3, to a motherboard that died on a P5A that Google never fixed correctly under warranty because their replacement motherboards are Google Fi only and won't activate on Verizon.

That being said, the best phones I've used recently were the P3A, P4A, and P5. The P6A is not as nice as the P5, but the voice to text is mysteriously far superior which makes up for the deficiencies elsewhere.

Right now, Samsung has a better upgrade policy than Google on some phones, so it's definitely worth looking at them if you don't mind Samsung phones. I bought an A53 for my parents last year. While it isn't the best mid range phone, it gets updates for 4 years, so I don't have to upgrade them again for a while.
 

Domingo

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While you can download Google's own apps to live beside Samsung's, you're still stuck with their house apps forever. They take up roughly 10GB, too. You can hide them and pretend they don't exist, but they love to pop up in random places since the system recognizes them as the "real" calendar/phone/contacts/etc. apps. Ditto with after monthly updates that make tweaks to them. In the case of some of those apps, you can't use the Google versions, like the camera + phone. Even if you use modded versions, they're buggy and missing features.

Personally, I refuse to deal with it. I've been relatively happy with Google hardware and after multiple top of the line Samsung phones (+1 more my wife owned), I refuse to ever buy another one. Each time I've told myself "don't buy another Samsung, you're going to regret it" and I've bought into the hype and specs and had nothing but problems. I also spent roughly 40% more than if I'd just bought a Pixel or the previous year's iPhone. Samsung hardware is top notch, but I don't feel like constantly having to battle with it and make tweaks to it to make it work like how I want. In some cases (like my S21's camera), it was never worth a damn. I'm going Pixel or iPhone from this point forward. Samsung will assuredly have something that'll look sexy and have world-beating specs again, but it'll still be yet another Samsung device I'm stuck fighting with for the duration.
 

UnknownSouljer

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TBH I trust Samsung more than Google at this point. Everyone I know who has ever got a Pixel phone has had issues with it after only a couple of years. They might be great on the software side of things, especially getting first dibs on new Android builds, but their hardware sucks. Meanwhile I know several people who are still using the same Samsung phone after 5-8+ years. Samsung puts some truly great engineering into their phones, especially the high-end models.

Yeah it's slightly annoying to have some pre-installed Samsung apps that you can't fully remove, but it's not as if they are forced on you. Delete the icons, forget those apps even exist, move on with life.
You're bringing up the issue of support. But I'd tell you that Samsung is far far worse on this front. I've had multiple people I know directly move away from Samsung when they would not take care of or fix problems on new phones.
 

GotNoRice

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You're bringing up the issue of support. But I'd tell you that Samsung is far far worse on this front. I've had multiple people I know directly move away from Samsung when they would not take care of or fix problems on new phones.

I wasn't really talking about support, I was talking about reliability. None of the Samsung phones I've worked with needed any "support" because they all lasted 5+ years with no issues. Phones like the Pixel series... yeah, you better have good support, because you will need it.
 

UnknownSouljer

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I wasn't really talking about support. None of the Samsung phones I've worked with needed any "support" because they all lasted 5+ years with no issues. Phones like the Pixel series... yeah, you better have good support, because you will need it.
I literally just gave examples of my closest friend whom had issues. But okay. I hope you never have to deal with Samsung support. They have a long a terrible track record.
 

kydsid

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I was an avid pixel fan. Though my last was a 3XL. Great phone that still going, though now having GPS issues and why I now have a S22ultra. Hardware is great. Face ID is second only to iPhone (have a 12 for work). Fingerprint is great. I like having both.

Actually prefer the Samsung camera app to Google myself. Everything else is back to android stock. Don't use Samsung apps otherwise.

As for support, meh , even getting Apple support can be hard and they have stores everywhere, almost. If support was an issue I'd have an iPhone none else.
 

Domingo

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I guess I don't keep my phones long enough (usually 3 years) because I've never needed support for any of 'em. iPhone, Galaxy, Pixel, Moto, LG, etc.
 

Ripskin

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I would say everyone has crap support. I have not needed to use Samsungs support for a device problem but their billing (paying for devices and shipping what I paid for) is a bit of a headache. Google doesnt want to be bothered and their hardware can be hit or miss though good software typically. OnePlus used to be reasonable but still not great.
 

UnknownSouljer

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I guess I don't keep my phones long enough (usually 3 years) because I've never needed support for any of 'em. iPhone, Galaxy, Pixel, Moto, LG, etc.
It's not about length of time. It usually has to do with dealing with manufacturer defect. There is always process variation and tolerances. If you're one of the unluckly .01% then you'll either have to do a return or deal with support.
To spin it another way, there are similar issues with ASUS. If you get a mobo working properly then ASUS is for the most part fantastic. But heaven help you if you get a board that requires an RMA and is outside of the return window. Samsung is similar in that regard. Samsung arguably has the best hardware on the Android side, no question. But their technical support sucks. That same friend I'm mentioning moved from the S22 Ultra to whatever the current big Pixel device is specifically because of this. It took him something like a month doing constant harassment for them to escalate his claim to finally get Samsung to take fault and issue a refund. A process that should've taken 48 hours tops.

To be counter to others, I've had no real issues with Apple support. Over 14 years I've dealt with them at least 6 times. More now because I help my parents and some people in my church if they have hardware issues. Usually it's for things like battery replacement after 2+ years and not a major hardware fault. On phones, I haven't met anyone that has had a major hardware fault with an iPhone when new, though just like I mentioned above with process variation and tolerances I'm 100% sure they exist. I would be willing to gurantee though that in that situation you'd likely get an exchange within a matter of minutes to an hour (mostly because wait times are long and they'd probably want their tech to inspect the device) if you were able to demonstrate issues at an Apple Store.
 

kirbyrj

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I would say everyone has crap support. I have not needed to use Samsungs support for a device problem but their billing (paying for devices and shipping what I paid for) is a bit of a headache. Google doesnt want to be bothered and their hardware can be hit or miss though good software typically. OnePlus used to be reasonable but still not great.

I've used Samsung and Google's RMA services in the past year for phones. Samsung was hands down better in every regard. Samsung took the phone, documented the diagnosis and repairs done and actually fixed the issue. Google just sent the phone back to me and said it was fine after I wrote a whole e-mail detailing exactly what the issue was. Then I sent it out again and they replaced the motherboard with another one that didn't activate on Verizon (PSA: GoogleFi phones/replacement motherboards aren't necessarily whitelisted for Verizon network and Google only replaces motherboards with GoogleFi variants).
 

nightfly

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As for support, meh , even getting Apple support can be hard and they have stores everywhere, almost. If support was an issue I'd have an iPhone none else.
Oh, Apple support is great! Their response when things stopped working? 'Just buy a new phone, we have a nice $800 one right here!'
Planned obsolescence on a 3 year old device that cost a bundle. I'll never buy another Apple product.
 

Gomar

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Pocket Mode is the only app or feature I hate on Android phones.
 

cjcox

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I own the Samsung A71 5G (T-Mobile). It's like a Samsung flagship phone, but costs half as much and has twice the features and excellent battery life. Just saying.
 

XoR_

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LG V30
Still plenty fast for everything one can possibly want to do on a phone. High resolution OLED display.
Amazing DAC with MQA support.
Still fit in the pocket.
 

cjcox

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LG V30
Still plenty fast for everything one can possibly want to do on a phone. High resolution OLED display.
Amazing DAC with MQA support.
Still fit in the pocket.
I do miss my LG V40 DAC. World belongs to the mundane, Samsung and Apple. Delivering less and less with every flagship phone while charging you more (sigh). Nvidia needs to get into the phone business (actually, you could argue there's "value" there, just overpriced).
 

Mchart

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Oh, Apple support is great! Their response when things stopped working? 'Just buy a new phone, we have a nice $800 one right here!'
Planned obsolescence on a 3 year old device that cost a bundle. I'll never buy another Apple product.
It was a 3 year old device. Any manufacturer would tell you the same thing as no one is offering a 3 year warranty. Although Apple at the very least offer repair options for phones that are quite old. It just may not be cost effective.
 

Aurelius

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I do miss my LG V40 DAC. World belongs to the mundane, Samsung and Apple. Delivering less and less with every flagship phone while charging you more (sigh). Nvidia needs to get into the phone business (actually, you could argue there's "value" there, just overpriced).
Given how NVIDIA prices GPUs, I'm not sure we'd want it to make a phone. It'd ask $1,600 for a phone that might be the fastest ever, but needs an 8,000mAh battery to last the day and a 45W charger just to top up!

I miss LG to an extent, but it did itself in by leaning too hard on features that were either niche or unlikely to be appreciated by most people, and that included the high-end DACs. You needed a good set of earbuds/headphones to notice the difference, and only so many people even cared.

I don't fault Apple, Samsung and others too much for struggling to deliver. They're chasing after that last little extra performance that separates a flagship from a 'mere' high-end phone, and that's what tends to cost the most. The fastest CPU, the cutting-edge display, the top-tier camera system. And like it or not, cameras and displays tend to matter more than audio to many people.
 

cjcox

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I don't fault Apple, Samsung and others too much for struggling to deliver. They're chasing after that last little extra performance that separates a flagship from a 'mere' high-end phone, and that's what tends to cost the most. The fastest CPU, the cutting-edge display, the top-tier camera system. And like it or not, cameras and displays tend to matter more than audio to many people.
Flagcrap: Our phone is the fastest!

Me: My phone is plenty fast enough.

Flagcrap: But our is 2% faster and now each photo takes up 10x the storage space!

Me: My photos are so high resolution now that I don't really care. Why would I care? I guess at least I have expandable storage.

Flagcrap: Expandable storage is bad. You must store your 32G pictures on our soldered in non-expandable memory!! This is why we up'd our standard to 255G... huge!!!

Me: You guys really, really, really don't get it.

Flagcrap: Sure we do, we removed the headphone jack, like everyone told us to.

Me: Apple is NOT everyone. So, how good is your sound?

Flagcrap: Who cares. It's a phone, why would anyone be interested in sound?

Me: You guys really, really, really, really don't get it.

Flagcrap: Sure we do, we got rid of that worthless IR blaster. I mean, what? People like a myriad of remotes, they just do.

Me: You guys really, really, really, really, really don't get it.

Flagcrap: Our phones make phone calls, text messages and take pictures.

Me: You mean like a Nokia phone from the 2G era? Sweet.
 

Aurelius

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Flagcrap: Our phone is the fastest!

Me: My phone is plenty fast enough.

Flagcrap: But our is 2% faster and now each photo takes up 10x the storage space!

Me: My photos are so high resolution now that I don't really care. Why would I care? I guess at least I have expandable storage.

Flagcrap: Expandable storage is bad. You must store your 32G pictures on our soldered in non-expandable memory!! This is why we up'd our standard to 255G... huge!!!

Me: You guys really, really, really don't get it.

Flagcrap: Sure we do, we removed the headphone jack, like everyone told us to.

Me: Apple is NOT everyone. So, how good is your sound?

Flagcrap: Who cares. It's a phone, why would anyone be interested in sound?

Me: You guys really, really, really, really don't get it.

Flagcrap: Sure we do, we got rid of that worthless IR blaster. I mean, what? People like a myriad of remotes, they just do.

Me: You guys really, really, really, really, really don't get it.

Flagcrap: Our phones make phone calls, text messages and take pictures.

Me: You mean like a Nokia phone from the 2G era? Sweet.
You joke, but there are sometimes good reasons to chase after better cameras (and ironically, Apple led the charge toward more efficient photo sizes, not larger).

I'm a new parent. My phone is usually going to be the only camera I have handy. The photos I take are likely to be the ones we hang on the wall or show years from now; I'd like to have the best photos I can get. That and it's already been useful for concerts and vacations where I either couldn't bring my mirrorless camera or just didn't want to go through the hassle of getting it ready.
 

Mchart

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You joke, but there are sometimes good reasons to chase after better cameras (and ironically, Apple led the charge toward more efficient photo sizes, not larger).

I'm a new parent. My phone is usually going to be the only camera I have handy. The photos I take are likely to be the ones we hang on the wall or show years from now; I'd like to have the best photos I can get. That and it's already been useful for concerts and vacations where I either couldn't bring my mirrorless camera or just didn't want to go through the hassle of getting it ready.
Vast majority of people don’t even have the talent to make use of a real camera anyways. They might pretend they do, but they really don’t - even more so when you have a split second to catch things happening in real life.
 

cjcox

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Vast majority of people don’t even have the talent to make use of a real camera anyways. They might pretend they do, but they really don’t - even more so when you have a split second to catch things happening in real life.
Makes absolutely zero sense to have 20MP+ cameras for 99.9999% of people. In fact, anything beyond 6MP is absolutely ridiculous.

But aren't we all trying to film major motion pictures for Disney using our phones? ....uh, no...
 

Aurelius

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Makes absolutely zero sense to have 20MP+ cameras for 99.9999% of people. In fact, anything beyond 6MP is absolutely ridiculous.

But aren't we all trying to film major motion pictures for Disney using our phones? ....uh, no...
That's just not true. Cropping and underlying detail benefit from higher-res sensors. There are diminishing returns, to be sure, but 6MP just won't cut it if you want something you can frame, and 12MP still has noticeable limits.

Besides, it's not just about resolution. Higher-end phone cameras tend to have wider apertures (i.e. better low light performance, shallower depth of field), telephoto lenses, macro modes... it's about the kind of shots you can take, not just how sharp they are.
 

cjcox

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That's just not true. Cropping and underlying detail benefit from higher-res sensors. There are diminishing returns, to be sure, but 6MP just won't cut it if you want something you can frame, and 12MP still has noticeable limits.

Besides, it's not just about resolution. Higher-end phone cameras tend to have wider apertures (i.e. better low light performance, shallower depth of field), telephoto lenses, macro modes... it's about the kind of shots you can take, not just how sharp they are.
You can have your opinion of course. But remember, professional photographers were using 6MP cameras. And they didn't suck at it. And I don't think of the words "professional photographer" and "phone camera" together.
 

Aurelius

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You can have your opinion of course. But remember, professional photographers were using 6MP cameras. And they didn't suck at it. And I don't think of the words "professional photographer" and "phone camera" together.
They were, but they also leapt on higher resolutions as soon as humanly possible. And higher resolutions enabled more kinds of pro photographers to go digital. A photojournalist can get by with 6MP photos; you won't get very far with that pixel count if you're a fashion photographer shooting magazine covers and building-sized ads.

As it is, you don't have to be a pro photographer to appreciate a good camera system; that wasn't who I was talking about. I was referring to everyday users and enthusiasts who just want to be sure they have quality cams that provide a good array of photographic options. I like that I can zoom in to take a well-framed portrait of my child, or go right up close for a macro photo of a flower. I'm not the next Ansel Adams, but I still know enough about composition and lighting to care about what my phone can do.
 

cjcox

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They were, but they also leapt on higher resolutions as soon as humanly possible. And higher resolutions enabled more kinds of pro photographers to go digital. A photojournalist can get by with 6MP photos; you won't get very far with that pixel count if you're a fashion photographer shooting magazine covers and building-sized ads.

Wrong. Just so wrong. I mean, really really really really wrong. Where on earth did you come up with that?

The reason we move forward is because I needed something "new", and that's what is/was out there. Period. I'm sorry, but this is nonsense. Utter nonsense. Please provide proof.

As it is, you don't have to be a pro photographer to appreciate a good camera system; that wasn't who I was talking about. I was referring to everyday users and enthusiasts who just want to be sure they have quality cams that provide a good array of photographic options. I like that I can zoom in to take a well-framed portrait of my child, or go right up close for a macro photo of a flower. I'm not the next Ansel Adams, but I still know enough about composition and lighting to care about what my phone can do.

Again, 99.999% of phone users could care less. They upgraded because they had to, and they got stuck with the new phone camera and the mass removal of features. At the end of the day, they got the shaft while paying more.
 

Aurelius

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Wrong. Just so wrong. I mean, really really really really wrong. Where on earth did you come up with that?

The reason we move forward is because I needed something "new", and that's what is/was out there. Period. I'm sorry, but this is nonsense. Utter nonsense. Please provide proof.
I know many pro and enthusiast photographers who've upgraded cameras to get resolution hikes. Both local (like wedding photographers) and better-known pros like Chase Jarvis or Trey Ratcliff. Now, many photogs do hold on to cameras for several years (especially if they're worried they may have to change lens systems), but those early DSLRs really had their limits. And like I said, for certain pros those low resolutions weren't even an option. Hasselblad isn't making 200MP medium format cams just for kicks.

I'm not saying that pros are constantly hunting for higher resolutions. I'm just saying that they had good reasons to move on from those early sensors, as 12MP and above provides much more flexibility.

Again, 99.999% of phone users could care less. They upgraded because they had to, and they got stuck with the new phone camera and the mass removal of features. At the end of the day, they got the shaft while paying more.
I disagree with that "99.999%" figure, but I'll agree that most people don't care (you mean they couldn't care less). That's why phones like the regular iPhone 14 and Pixel 7 exist. They cover the clear majority of people's needs without commanding a premium for features many don't use. I just don't think we should knock people who buy flagships knowing what they're getting.
 

cjcox

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I disagree with that "99.999%" figure, but I'll agree that most people don't care (you mean they couldn't care less). That's why phones like the regular iPhone 14 and Pixel 7 exist. They cover the clear majority of people's needs without commanding a premium for features many don't use. I just don't think we should knock people who buy flagships knowing what they're getting.
Avoiding total belligerence here, let's see if there's at least "some" common ground. Do you think that more people are wanting the higher res camera or wanting a headphone jack and/or expandable storage?
 

Aurelius

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Avoiding total belligerence here, let's see if there's at least "some" common ground. Do you think that more people are wanting the higher res camera or wanting a headphone jack and/or expandable storage?
I'd say more people would want a higher-res camera than a headphone jack or removable storage. Not that many people are photographic experts, but the camera is often a major reason for a phone upgrade, and even the most casual user tends to crop or zoom photos and hope that they'll still remain sharp.

Some people certainly care about a headphone jack and removable storage, and some of those who buy phones without either are doing so in spite of those features missing. But the dirty secret is that many if not most people don't actually care enough about those features for them to be deciding factors. Headphone jack? They just use the pack-in earbuds (if included) or decide they'd like some wireless buds after all. Expandable storage? They're probably buying a phone that has at least 128GB built-in, and photos tend to represent the bulk of the content on people's phones. After that it tends to be locally-stored music (say, a saved Apple Music or Spotify playlist) or the handful of apps and games they use. As enthusiasts we like to pretend that many people have gigantic app libraries and carefully curated 200GB media collections, but the ugly truth is that few people use their phones so aggressively that they couldn't live without a microSD card (and refuse to pay extra for a higher-capacity phone).
 

nightfly

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It was a 3 year old device. Any manufacturer would tell you the same thing as no one is offering a 3 year warranty. Although Apple at the very least offer repair options for phones that are quite old. It just may not be cost effective.
It's not that it was broken, or malfunctioning. It's that the apps had auto updated, but those apps wouldn't work with the outdated iOS, and they take the older app versions off of the itunes store, so that left me with a phone and fewer and fewer apps that would work on it. Enforced obsolescence to push people to buy new phones. I currently just use it as an ipod now, since it can no longer do anything else other than make phone calls. I kept it in good shape, though, so it still looks brand new. I will NEVER buy another apple product.
 

Mchart

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It's not that it was broken, or malfunctioning. It's that the apps had auto updated, but those apps wouldn't work with the outdated iOS, and they take the older app versions off of the itunes store, so that left me with a phone and fewer and fewer apps that would work on it. Enforced obsolescence to push people to buy new phones. I currently just use it as an ipod now, since it can no longer do anything else other than make phone calls. I kept it in good shape, though, so it still looks brand new. I will NEVER buy another apple product.
Unless you’re talking pre-iPhone 4, the scenario you’re talking about is embellished. Even going all the way back to iPhone 4, iPhones have had at least 3+ years of active updates. Any device post 4s has had 5+ years of active updates/support. That is way longer than any equivalent android device from that time period. Yes, android lets you install whatever you want, but no android device stays relevant with the Google App Store forever either.
 

vortexware

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My Samsung Galaxy S4 lasted me from 2013 all the way to 2019 and the only reason i went to an S9 is because it had cloud storage and backup, the S4 still works fine today, amazing phone

Android over Apple.....ANYDAY
 

Aurelius

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My Samsung Galaxy S4 lasted me from 2013 all the way to 2019 and the only reason i went to an S9 is because it had cloud storage and backup, the S4 still works fine today, amazing phone

Android over Apple.....ANYDAY
That's good to hear, but my parents upgraded from the iPhone 6 to the 11 (back in 2019) only because they wanted to stay current with major OS releases; their outgoing phones still worked well. Your choice of platform doesn't automatically dictate longevity (maybe you didn't mean to imply this, but that's what came across).

Besides, this is a "best Android smartphone" thread. We can talk about how much we like a Galaxy or Pixel without resorting to simplistic platform wars.
 
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