The battle between iOS and Android did not start well. In fact, Steve Jobs famously told his biographer Walter Isaacson: "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this." Even today, there are strong feelings about which mobile operating system is better.
In reality, the question of which is best largely comes down to personal preference, and how you feel about open versus closed systems. Of course, if you're looking for an Android device, there's no shortage of models to choose from. Here are the four best Android flagship smartphones, and how they compare to the iPhone 11 Pro.
iPhone 11 Pro: The Standard
It's not a secret that the iPhone 11 Pro is my device of choice. While the design isn't as impressive as other flagships, the A13 processor manages to pack more performance than many laptops. It also has a top-notch camera system with improved portrait and night modes. I've also never been a fan of the larger screen models, and the iPhone 11 Pro feels like the right balance of screen size and ease-of-use in my hand. Of course, I prefer iOS over Android, especially when it comes to things like messaging, AirDrop, and FaceID (which works better than any of the other biometric security tools I used on other devices).
Samsung Galaxy S10: Best Overall
Last month, I took the the S10 with me to CES, and was definitely impressed by its ability to keep up with my heavy demands. It's easily the most capable Android device, and includes impressive specs to back that up, like a gorgeous 6.1-inch AMOLED display (6.4-inch on the S10+), in-display fingerprint scanning, and wireless charging between devices. It comes in 128GB or 512GB storage sizes and an impressive array of rear and front-facing cameras, including telephoto, wide, and ultra-wide lenses on the back of the phone. It also has a solid battery that will last you pretty much all day, even with heavy use.
Google Pixel 4: Best for Photography
Google's own flagship device benefits from the purest version of Android 10, as well as the most frequent updates. That said, the real attraction here is the camera, which is superior to any other Android flagship, and is pretty tough competition for the iPhone 11 as well. It does lack the performance of other models on this list, and has less RAM and storage than the competition. Also, the battery life doesn't hold up as well under heavy use. Still, if you want great images in low-light, or high-contrast conditions, this is the best choice for you.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10: Best for Productivity
I'll admit, I'm not a stylus guy, which probably had something to do with the fact that I didn't love the Note 10 as much as I thought I would. That said, it's certainly a very capable smartphone, especially for those who depend on their device to help them stay organized and get work done.
The stylus did come in handy for making quick notes, and the navigational gestures are certainly interesting. Most of the other specs on this phone are pretty close to that of the S10, including the Snapdragon 855 processor that makes it capable of pretty much anything you might throw at it.
OnePlus 7T: Most Affordable
As far as flagships go, the OnePlus 7T is easily the most affordable and best value among the major players. OnePlus hasn't done us any favors in terms of making a decision, with a lineup that includes the OnePlus 7T, 7T Pro, and 7T Pro McLaren. There's also the 7, 7 Pro and 7 Pro 5G. If that's confusing, maybe this will help--the 7T is the best value overall, with the Snapdragon 855 processor, 128GB of storage, and a 6.55-inch display for $599.
The camera isn't as good as the Pixel 4, and the overall performance lags behind the Samsung models, but for the price, it's a worthwhile consideration. The 7T also features OxygenOS, which is a customized version of Android that includes easier-to-use settings, new navigation gestures, and enhanced privacy controls.