Smartphone Wars: Is Samsung or Apple Best For You?

Smartphone wars; Samsung vs Apple, which is better? There is a constant debate around which smartphone manufacturer makes the best devices for their users. The biggest names are always Samsung and Apple hence we wanted to settle the pros and cons of using these brands.

An even extended form of this debate is usually a comparison between android and iOS. This is because Samsung is the biggest within the android world. This makes the debate an essentially android vs iOS debate. 

Before we dive into the reasons why each may be good and bad at the same time, we would take a detour into the rise of the smartphone and how much it has impacted modern society.

The Rise of Smartphones: How a Single Device Changed the World


The smartphone was popularised when the first iPhone was launched in 2007 by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. This was not the first smartphone and certainly wasn’t the last. But it was the beginning of a new crop of mobile phones called the smartphone or smart phone. The iPhone 1 was the first smartphone that attracted the mass market. 

According to Britannica, the first smartphone was made by IBM as early as 1993. The device was sold by another company called BellSouth. It was called the Simon Personal Communicator. The Simon Personal Communicator served as a Personal Digital Assistant among other things such as for making calls, sending and receiving emails, and sending faxes. 

Down the road, decades later, the smartphone is something about 80% of people say they cannot leave home without according to The 2012 Our Mobile Planet: United States survey done by Google. 

Smartphones have since the first smartphone and the iconic iPhone 1 seen massive improvements coupled with the lowering of prices. Thanks to Moore’s law, the technology can be improved every 2 years at half the initial cost. Hence the creation of a mass-market for devices that no one thought they needed but now “cannot live without”.

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The introduction of os apps was a major reason why smartphones had a very strong appeal. People could all of a sudden do a lot of things without so much hassle. Everyone had to have one.

Today, the internet and the smartphone are changing the way everything is done and a very fast rate. 

Ghana alone has 15.1 Million smartphone users (As of Q3 of 2019) and  16.7 Million unique mobile subscribers.

The penetration of smartphones isn’t just about the number of users but the activities involved. Thanks to apps, people can safely bank, buy, find information, and do many things. 

To understand the choices we are actually making when we purchase a smartphone from Samsung or Apple, let us take a look at what they value most. Their philosophies are a huge part of their style and how they make things. Let’s take a dive. 

Apple as a Company: Philosophy 

Apple has got a mission and philosophy which drives the way they operate, what they do, and how they do it. All the features, design, style, and other aspects of their devices are based on the deep-rooted culture. According to their mission statement, 

Apple Inc. Mission Statement

“We believe that we’re on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We’re constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple, not the complex. We believe we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can focus on the few that are meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination in order to innovate in a way others cannot. We don’t settle for anything other than excellence in any group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.”

Apple currently doesn’t have an official mission statement. This statement is one Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, made when he was named acting CEO when Steve Jobs went on sick leave. 

Apple believes in diversity, thinking differently and innovating, and subtly in perfection. They can sacrifice a lot for becoming the best at one single thing. This is part of the reason why Apple will not announce and distribute any product which is an experiment or incomplete. 

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This philosophy is seen in their marketing where they always say “Think Different”. They also pose as a rebel for current and an advocate for better and innovative products. Their iconic “Here’s to the crazy ones” Superbowl ad gave it much prominence and appeal to consumers. 

Samsung as a Company: Philosophy

Samsung on the other hand has a philosophy on their website which states “Samsung follows a simple business philosophy: to devote its talent and technology to creating superior products and services that contribute to a better global society. To achieve this, Samsung sets a high value on its people and technologies. ”

This philosophy runs across all that Samsung does from phones to TVs, to fridges, etc. 

Samsung has been using the “Do what you can’t” slogan for a while now. Samsung by this slogan seeks to empower the world to do things that they think they cant. This means a lot when it comes to their devices and smartphones. you get the picture. 

Smartphones: Is Samsung or Apple Best For You?  

From both philosophies you can see that the two companies are different making comparisons quite different. 

Away from the abstract philosophies, we can look at the products of their philosophies. We cannot compare every Samsung phone with every Apple iPhone either. We will take the latest products from each manufacturer and do a comparison to see which one stacks up better. 

The latest flagship devices from each company are the S20 Ultra from Samsung and the iPhone 12 Pro Max from Apple.

Both devices are great devices. To start with. They will serve the average user well. Let’s see what makes each device thick.  

iPhone 12 Pro Max Vs Samsung S20 Ultra; Specifications

iPhone 12 Pro MaxSamsung S20 Ultra
CameraSelfie: 12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm (wide), 1/3.6″SL 3D, (depth/biometrics sensor)
Rear: 12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide), 1.7µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift stabilization (IBIS)
Selfie: 40 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 0.7µm, PDAF
Rear: 108 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
BatteryLi-Ion 3687 mAh, non-removable (14.13 Wh) Fast charging 20W, 50% in 30 min (advertised)USB Power Delivery 2.0Qi magnetic fast wireless charging 15WEndurance rating 95hLi-Po 5000 mAh, non-removable Fast charging 45WUSB Power Delivery 3.0Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15WReverse wireless charging 4.5W Endurance rating 87h
FeaturesFace ID, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer Siri natural language commands and dictationFingerprint (under display, ultrasonic), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, Samsung DeX, Samsung Wireless DeX (desktop experience support), Bixby natural language commands and dictation
Memory128GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 6GB RAM, 512GB 6GB RAMNo microSD Support (No expandable storage)128GB 12GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 16GB RAM microSDXC (Expandable Storage available)
OSiOS 14.1, upgradable to iOS 14.2Android 10, upgradable to Android 11, One UI 3.0
DisplaySuper Retina XDR OLED, HDR10, 800 nits (typ), 1200 nits (peak)Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1400 nits (peak)
ChipsetApple A14 Bionic (5 nm) Hexa-core (2×3.1 GHz Firestorm + 4×1.8 GHz Icestorm) Apple GPU (4-core graphics)Android 10, upgradable to Android 11, One UI 3.0 Exynos 990 (7 nm+) – Global. Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+) – USAOcta-coreMali / Adreno

These specifications are the best of technology offerings from both companies. The truth about specifications is that they look good on paper until the real usage data comes in. In terms of usage, most users report good experience and results. The experience is based on the software and the results from the specifications. 

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Choose what fits you. 

Smartphones more than most devices are extremely personal stuff. Most people consider their devices an extension of themselves. Hence, this makes them personal and very important. Like all other personal things, we all won’t want the same type. Just like favorite foods and drinks, everyone has something they like. It fits them and they will hardly ever choose another except occasionally. Some could be said of smartphones. People tend to be loyal to brands that they like too. This makes it even more difficult. Truth is, both companies make really great phones regardless of specifications and all. 

How then do you choose what fits you?

  1. Budget
  2. Personality
  3. Features and Functionalities. 

The iPhone has an appeal to certain people while Samsung phones also have an appeal to certain kinds of people. Choosing one doesn’t mean you are in the right or wrong team. It means you have chosen what fits you. 

Another factor is to consider the budget you have. Others have the capacity to afford whatever they want while others will have to carefully consider their decision. In terms of budget, Samsung has a wider range of smartphones that most people will be able to get a device per their budget. 

The third factor to look at is, which of them meets my needs? If you like the headphone jack, you may stick with Samsung. If not, Apple may be your choice. These little things are based on individual preferences and no one can say you have made the wrong choice. On a daily basis, what matters most to you with respect to phone usage?


Smartphones are extremely complex and they serve us in different ways, mostly based on what we do and our individual preferences. Smartphones “Make the World go round”. Conclusively, you need to choose what fits you based on your preferences, usage, and budget. 

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