iPhone 13 still loses to Android phones in several key areas

Tim cook

Apple / Screenshot by James Martin / CNET

Apple gave iPhone owners a lot to be excited about iPhone 13. Of your new cinematic video mode to its a higher battery time and additional storage space, iPhone 13 it is a welcome improvement over its predecessor. But there are still some useful features missing from Apple phones compared to Android competitors, such as Samsung Galaxy S21.

For example, many Android phones have a borderless display with a notchless design and an in-display fingerprint sensor. These features are also not new and have been available on some Android phones for years.

That said, the iPhone has come a long way in the last two years. Before iPhone 13 debuted, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 It gained capabilities that were previously only available on Android devices, such as 5G support, OLED screen technology on entry-level phones, and night mode for the camera.

Read CNET reviews of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro.


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Your phone preference will likely come down to whether you prefer iOS or Android, rather than specific features. Regardless, there are still a few ways I’d like the iPhone to catch up with Android.

A notchless design

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The OnePlus 9 has a notch-less bezel-less display.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

The notch on the iPhone 13 isn’t quite as wide as the iPhone 12’s, but it’s definitely present. Many Android device makers, on the other hand, have managed to design screens with camera cutouts that are barely visible, making the front of the phone feel more like a seamless sheet of glass.

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 smartphones, for example, have a small camera hole located near the top of the screen and have been implementing similar designs on their flagship devices since the Galaxy S10 launched in 2019. The same can be said of Google Pixel 5a and the OnePlus 9.

However, there may be a good reason why the notch on the iPhone is larger than the cutout on the Samsung phone and other Android devices. The iPhone notch includes more than just the selfie camera; It’s also where the sensors that power Apple’s Face ID facial recognition feature are located. In general, Face ID has been considered to be ahead of the competition and safer.

A screen that can show the time and calendar events even when idle

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If you’re willing to pay the price for battery life, Xiaomi has an always-on-screen feature available.

Sareena Dayaram / CNET

When your iPhone screen is off, your phone turns into a dormant black rectangle. But many modern Android phones can display information like the time and calendar events even when the screen is idle. Device makers including Samsung, Google, and Xiaomi have released phones with always-on displays.

This has been useful when I just want to quickly check the time or see my next meeting without being distracted by picking up the phone.

The ability to charge other devices when you are not near an outlet

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This feature allows you to charge your Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Watch with your Note 10.

Sarah Tew

Many people have a habit of charging their phones overnight. But if you own a smartwatch or wireless earbuds, chances are you’ve forgotten to plug them in at least once.

Android phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S21, Google’s Pixel 5, and older Galaxy phones like the S20 and S10 have a feature that can come in handy in situations like this. Samsung calls it Wireless Power Share and Google calls it Battery Share, but they essentially do the same thing. The back of these devices can serve as wireless charging pads for products that are compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard, found in most modern phones and accessories.

Apple did not mention this feature during the IPhone 13 launch event, so we can only assume that the latest smartphones from the company do not support it. But there have been some early indications that Apple is at least considering bringing such technology to the iPhone. In October 2020, FCC filings emerged suggesting that the iPhone 12 was capable of reverse wireless charging, probably to turn on your AirPods on the go.

An in-screen fingerprint sensor to unlock your phone

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Face ID works fine most of the time, but not while wearing a mask. If you own an iPhone without an Apple WatchYou probably miss the old days when you could just put your thumb on the home button to unlock your iPhone.

Sadly, that’s not going to change with the iPhone 13. Android phone makers like Samsung and OnePlus, on the other hand, are taking a different approach. Samsung has been incorporating fingerprint scanners into the screens of its Galaxy S phones since the Galaxy S10 released in 2019. You will also find a fingerprint reader built into the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro screens.

A charger that also works with Macs and non-Apple devices

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The iPhone 13 still uses a Lightning cable for charging.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use the same charger to power your iPhone and Mac? Do not flatter yourself.

The iPhone 13, like all iPhone models since the iPhone 5, includes Apple’s proprietary Lightning port for charging. You can also charge the iPhone 13 via Apple’s MagSafe charger or a standard Qi wireless charger, but if you want to plug it in, you’ll have to use Lightning.

It’s a shame there is does not support USB-C on iPhone, despite being the charging standard on the iPad Air, iPad Pro, Apple MacBook laptops and the new iPad Mini. Using one type of charger to power all of your devices is exactly the kind of simplicity I’d like to see from Apple.

USB-C is the established charging standard on Android devices, whether you buy a phone from Samsung, OnePlus, Google, or Motorola. It goes without saying that these included USB-C cables are far more ubiquitous and useful than the ones on the iPhone, as you can use them with other devices and accessories as well.

It’s unclear if we’ll ever see USB-C on the iPhone. Apple is said to be working on a portless iPhone and its MagSafe The charging system certainly seems like a step in that direction.


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