The iOS vs Android argument has raged ever since Android stamped itself as a worthy competitor to the smartphone giant that is Apple, and shows little sign of abating. About a month ago, a test conducted by Agawi found some results that looked like it would give some fuel to the iOS camp. A Touchmarks test was performed which was designed to test the latency of smartphone touchscreens, that is: which smartphone’s screen is the most responsive. In that test, the iPhone 5, and even the aging iPhone 4, came out on top of the best Android performer, the Samsung Galaxy S4. But is that the end of the story?
Finnish tech company, OptoFidelity, opted to conduct some of their own testing with the new iPhone 5S and 5C vs the Samsung Galaxy S3. Replicating Agawi’s testing, they found a similar result, that the iPhone far outperformed the Galaxy S3 in screen responsiveness. However, OptoFidelity sought to do further testing and performed a touch accuracy test on the phones, and the results were very interesting. Shown graphically in the photo at the top of this article, where green is high accuracy and red is lower accuracy, the iPhones were found to have very poor accuracy near the edges of the screen and had different accuracies when comparing the top of the screen to the bottom of the screen. Comparatively, the Galaxy S3 had uniform touch accuracy all over the screen, as evidenced by the predominant green section. When considered in the scenario of typing, the Galaxy S3 would then be far more accurate to type with compared to both the iPhone 5S and 5C.
I hope you weren’t trying to type “Q” or “P”…
It’s not all black and white though: while these results do show that the ability of the iPhone being able to type the letters “Q” and “P” is significantly hampered, it is also known that iOS is designed to compensate for viewing angles which is arguably better for operation in non-static positions. Intended design aside though, it’s small wonder that the iPhone is constantly scorned for autocorrect fails when its screen accuracy can vary so much. What would be an interesting addition to these tests would be to see touch accuracy during gaming to see if iOS is able to dynamically change its touch accuracy in landscape mode because these results suggest that the Galaxy S3, and in turn the Galaxy S4, would be far superior as gaming devices.
As always with these tests, this is mostly just an indicator of objectively measured metrics; the iOS vs Android war doesn’t exist for nothing as either side would gladly argue their case to the grave for issues of this nature, but nevertheless it’s interesting to see how the phones performed in both these tests. For more detailed information about the tests featured in this article, check out the original Agawi test here, and the OptoFidelity follow up tests here.
What do you think about all this scientific mumbo-jumbo? Let us know what you think in the comments.