Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 flagship smartphones, which are already available for pre-order, have plenty of impressive features and capabilities that Apple’s iPhone lack.
They support 5G connectivity, have an in-screen fingerprint sensor, higher-resolution cameras alongside an incredible 108-megapixel camera featured in the S20 Ultra.
But Apple’s iPhone 11 lineup, which include some models that are cheaper than Samsung’s S20’s, also feature some capabilities that aren’t found in the Galaxy S20 family.
These features include software-based capabilities and involve the iPhone’s camera, while others include the display on the smartphones. Certain qualities are centred on Apple’s iOS ecosystem and the advantages it leverages over Google’s Android system.
While Samsung’s advantages emphasise impressive hardware-oriented features, including camera sensors and biometric scanners – Apple’s assets are subtle and will be woven into the operating system.
Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy S20 range starts at $1,349, with the Galaxy S20 Plus starting at $1,499 and finally, the most premium model, the Galaxy S20 Ultra starts at $1,999. The iPhone 11, in comparison, starts at $1,199, with $1,749 for the iPhone 11 Pro and finally for $1,899 the iPhone 11 Pro Max is still $100 cheaper than its Samsung competitor.
But aside from prices, here’s a closer look at some of the features available on Apple’s iPhone 11 range that can’t be found on Samsung’s Galaxy S20 devices.
A colour-adjusting display to match the ambient light to its surroundings
Apple’s latest iPhones have a feature called True Tone, which automatically tailors the colour temperature of the device’s screen to match the lighting in the environment. In simple terms, it’s the feature that enables your iPhone’s display to look warmer and eliminate bluish tint found on the screens of many devices.
It’s not just featured in the iPhone 11 range – it’s also found in older iPhone models, including the iPhone 8 and later, iPad Pro and iPad Air.
Samsung does not offer this feature, but phones like the Galaxy S20 do feature a blue light filter. However, this feature does not take the lighting in the environment into account and gives the screen an orange-ish tinge.
Portrait Lighting effects for Portrait Mode Photos
Both Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy phones have each offered the ability to take change the effects of portrait shots for years.
But in 2017, Apple took it a step further and introduced Portrait Lighting, which enables users to add specific lighting effects to photos taken in Portrait Mode. These effects include natural light, contour light, black and white, studio light, to name a few.
Although the iPhone 8 Plus and later devices offer Portrait Lighting, the number of effects available to iPhone owners depends on the model. For example, the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X have five portrait lighting effects, while the iPhone XR has three and the iPhone XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max have six.
While Samsung’s Galaxy S20 does offer some effects for Live Focus, its alternative take on Apple’s Portrait Mode, it doesn’t have filters that enable lighting style to be tweaked.
A full-featured texting app with end-to-end encryption
After Google’s recent decision to bring Rich Communication Services technology (RCS) to its messaging app, Android devices like Samsung’s latest Galaxy phones are including features that Apple has offered its customers for years through iMessage. Such capabilities include messaging over Wi-Fi, delivery and read receipts, as well as the ability to name group threads.
While it’s a step in the right direction for Samsung, RCS doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption like Apple’s iMessage app does. The encryption service in iMessage enables messages indecipherable by anyone outside of the sender and recipient, making it a safe mode of communication for millions of iPhone owners.
End-to-end encryption also ensures that any data being sent through an app can’t be deciphered if intercepted, not even by the company operating the messaging platform – including Apple.
Silence unknown callers through voicemail
With Apple’s iOS 13 update that debuted last autumn, iPhone owners no longer have to deal with screening unwanted callers. Thanks to the ‘Silence Unknown Callers’ feature in the iPhone, users can turn it on and it will automatically send calls from unfamiliar phone numbers straight to their voicemails.
It means the device will only screen calls from numbers that aren’t found in apps like Contacts, Messages and Mail.
While Samsung’s phones are capable of detecting and flagging spam callers, they can’t yet send calls straight to your voicemail like the iPhone can.
The latest operating system updates immediately as they’re released
One great advantage that Apple’s iOS ecosystem has over Android is that the latest operating system version is pushed to all supported iPhones at the same time. Since Apple operates both the software and hardware, it has total control of when updates are deployed.
That’s not the case for Android. Since Google’s Android software operates on many devices made by different companies, there’s inconsistencies when it comes to launching the software update.
Google’s Pixel phones, for example, usually get the updates first. But for users who own smartphones from Samsung, LG or Motorola, the timing can vary.
And this is reflected in the numbers: Apple says 70 per cent of all iPhones use iOS 13, citing data from its App Store. Google’s Android developer dashboard doesn’t include Android 10, but does reveal that 10.4 per cent of devices were running the older Android 9 as of May 7 last year.
The pros and cons offered by both Apple and Samsung represent different approaches to smartphone strategies.
Apple doesn’t necessarily care about being first to release new technologies such as 5G or curved displays, but it does place most of its focus into software-oriented details.
While Samsung’s list of features not offered in Apple’s iPhone may be longer, it’s still vulnerable to issues that impact Android broadly, such as delayed software updates.