Apple's latest iPhones continue to push the boundaries of performance, features, and design just as the original iPhone did back in 2007.

However, unlike the original iPhone, today's releases are no longer the only smartphone option on the market. 

If you're looking for all of the style, performance, and dependability of an iPhone without the Apple brand, consider this list of options we feel are awesome alternatives to the popular iPhone models available today.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for 2020


Our Picks

1. Best iPhone 12 Pro Alternative: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G


Pros: Stunning AMOLED display, plenty of power, all-day battery, premium design, great camera, the latest version of Android, 5G support
Cons: Cost

If you're looking for the best of Android and a spacious yet stunning display, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is the obvious choice.

Featuring a build quality that rivals Apple's iPhone series with the latest tech and specs and a display that rivals the best of Apple, it's as close as Android gets to the Apple experience.

Of course, it's also priced closer to the Apple experience as well. So if you're looking to switch for savings, this probably isn't the right pick.

It's also not the best option if you're looking for a phone that can last for days on a charge. But then neither are Apple's phones.

Bottom line...
If you're looking for the absolute best specs in an ultra-polished design with tons of accessories and first-class support, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is the phone most likely to give you the Apple experience on the Android market.

Get It From: Best BuySamsung
Learn More: Full Review


2. Best iPhone 12 Pro Max Alternative: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G


Pros: Spacious display, S-pen support, a capable camera, stereo speakers, all-day battery, top-tier specs, 5G support, the latest version of Android
Cons: Price

Featuring one of the largest screens available on Android and the premium design for which Samsung has built their smartphone empire, the Note20 Ultra 5G is as close as you can get to the iPhone 12 Pro Max on the Android Market.

However, it also brings one unique feature to the table even the iPhone 12 Pro Max can't touch -- the S-Pen. This active Bluetooth stylus allows you to take notes, draw, and perform other tasks with a level of precision fingers or traditional capacitive styluses can't provide.

This makes it equally suited for work, play, or creative endeavours -- an often touted benefit of Apple's Pro Max phones as well.

Combine this with industry-leading specs, a great camera, and all-day battery life and you have an excellent option for those looking for a large Android phone with a bit of the Apple experience.


Bottom line...
Loved for its handy S-Pen, the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is the best large-format Android phone available. From the screen and software to the design, it's a great alternative to Apple's larger iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Get It From: Amazon, Best BuySamsung
Learn More: Full Review


3. Best iPhone 12 Alternative: Galaxy S20 5G


Pros: Top-tier performance, stunning AMOLED display, fast-charging, premium design, excellent cameras, all-day battery life, 5G support, the latest version of Android
Cons: None

Like the iPhone 12, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is the middle-of-the-road experience in their top-end lineup.

You'll get a screen that's not the largest but not the smallest on offer, great performance, plenty of storage, and the premium design for which Samsung is known.

Cameras are great (and near the top of mobile photography rankings) but not the absolute best Samsung has to offer. 

Overall, the phone goes toe-to-toe with Apple's baseline iPhone offering for 2020 in everything but performance. There's simply no Android phones that can keep up with Apple's Bionic processors. Still, the S20 5G is no slouch and will game, stream video, and pop between apps with no issues.

It's also a solid phone despite its budget price. The glass-and-metal design feels upscale and the display is more than detailed enough for watching movies, reading emails, or scrolling through social media.

The phone might not be the most powerful Android phone of 2020, but it's more than enough for daily use and will even play games without too much struggle -- just don't expect to use the highest settings.


Bottom line...
If you're looking for most of the power and features of the Note20 or S20 Ultra but at a more affordable price point, the S20 5G is a great pick. Even though it makes some compromises, it's still likely more phone than the average person needs and it certainly carries a more attractive price tag.

Get It From: Amazon, Best Buy, Samsung
Learn More: Full Review


4. Best iPhone 12 mini Alternative: Pixel 5


Pros: Smaller design, OLED display, fast-charging, rapid updates, great camera, minimal software bloat, plenty of performance, good battery life, excellent low-light photography, 5G support
Cons: No 3.5mm headphone jack

Phones seem to keep getting bigger and bigger. If you're looking for top-tier performance in a pocket-friendly format, Google's Pixel 5 is one of the smaller high-end Android phones released in 2020.

While the OLED display won't quite keep up with Samsung's AMOLED offerings, it receives high marks and is plenty detailed and colourful if you plan on playing games or watching movies.

The camera also keeps up with Apple's offerings with excellent point-and-shoot performance in a variety of settings. It's one of the best Android phones available for low-light and night time photography as well.

The iPhone 12 mini will outperform the Pixel 5 in raw power. However, for daily tasks -- such as checking email, flipping through social media, or playing the occasional game, the Pixel 5 has zero issues. It's more than enough for most people.

The Pixel 5 also offers one of the most Apple-like software experiences. You'll receive updates as soon as they're out -- instead of on a substantial delay like many third-party Android phones -- and the Android experience isn't altered in any way. 

Bottom line...
Offering rapid updates, a pure Android experience, and respectable hardware in a smaller format, Pixel 5 is an excellent alternative to Apple's iPhone 12 mini.

Get It From: Amazon, Best Buy, Google
Learn More: Full Review


5. Best iPhone SE (2020) Alternative: Google Pixel 4a


Pros: Smaller design, OLED display, fast-charging, rapid updates, solid camera, minimal software bloat, stutter-free performance, good battery life, 3.5mm headphone jack
Cons: No 5G

The iPhone SE (2020) is considered the perfect iPhone (if not the perfect smartphone in general) by many reviewers. It's compact size, affordable price, solid -- if not chart-topping -- performance, and solid design make it just enough phone for just about anyone while remaining budget-friendly to boot.

Google's Pixel 4a offers a very similar experience on the Android side of the fence. It's smaller (by 2020 standards), can handle most things you throw at it with ease (as long as you don't plan on using the highest settings or multitasking endlessly), takes great pictures, offers fast updates and a clean software experience.

The only thing it's flat-out missing compared to many of 2020's most popular new releases is 5G support -- which the iPhone SE (2020) doesn't have either.

It even includes a headphone jack -- a feature that's getting harder and harder to find these days.


Bottom line...

If you're looking for compact and affordable -- and don't mind missing out on 5G support or need the absolute best performance or camera -- the Pixel 4a is an excellent alternative to Apple's iPhone SE (2020).

Get It From: Amazon, Best Buy, Google
Learn More: Full Review

NOTE: If you have a little extra room in your budget, you can opt for the Pixel 4a 5G instead. It will provide slightly more future-proofing. However, since the iPhone SE (2020) doesn't include 5G support either, the baseline Pixel 4a felt like a more accurate alternative to recommend.


Common Questions

1. Which is Better: iPhone or Android?

There isn't a straightforward answer here. It's mostly up to what you prefer.

Android offers more customization options and has a much wider range of devices from which to choose. But with that comes some downsides -- mainly that software customizations aren't always a good thing and software updates tend to roll in much slower for Android phones than iPhones.

On the other side, iPhones offer a consistent experience across phone models, rapid software updates, and excellent integration with other Apple products. But on the price front, Android phones are available for much lower prices than iPhones. You also cannot customize the software or interface much.

In general, we'd recommend iPhones for those looking for an easy-to-use device with exceptional quality while Android suits power users and the budget-minded better.


2. Are Android Phones as Secure as iPhones?

In general, both iPhones and Android phones offer excellent security -- including full phone encryption and multiple ways to unlock your phone.

However, while some Android models offer facial recognition, none have the level of security you'll find in FaceID. 

In terms of apps, Apple's store is more strict about screening apps before they are available to download.

However, if you're only looking for commonly used apps -- such as social media, photo editing, email, or media streaming -- there is little to worry about on either store. 

3. Which Phones Have Better Cameras?

In the early days of smartphones, Apple was the undisputed king of camera quality.

These days, it's a bit more complicated...

At the upper end of Android's lineup, cameras can meet and even sometimes exceed the quality of Apple's best. Both the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Google Pixel series are excellent Android camera phone options.

However, Android phones in the mid-tier prices and below likely won't keep up with Apple's image capturing prowess.

4. Who Has Better Apps: iPhone or Android?

In terms of popular apps -- such as social media and streaming media apps --, both will suit your needs with no problem. Virtually every major brand or platform out there with an app has a version for both stores.

However, if you're looking for premium apps -- be it for work or play -- Apple currently rules here with some nice exclusives. 

It's important to consider if you have other devices as well though. If you already have an Android tablet or iPad, matching your phone's operating system to your tablet means you won't have to repurchase apps from another store to enjoy them on both devices.

5. Who Has Better Support?

This will depend somewhat on the brand of phone you buy and where you buy it. 

At the top end of the price range, you'll likely find phone, chat, and email support to be comparable.

However, as you start looking at budget Android phones or lesser-known brands, support is less reliable -- if available at all.

Apple also has the benefit of the Apple Store. So if you'd prefer to have a retail location you can visit when you need help or have a question, Apple likely wins hands-down.

With many Android phones, the closest support option you'll find is your carrier store. But since they don't make the phone or its software, the level of expertise available there is likely lower than you'd find at an Apple store with an iPhone.

6. Which Phones Hold Their Value Better?

If you upgrade your phone often, trading in or selling your used phone is a simple way to help reduce the costs of upgrading. 

In most cases, iPhones hold their value better -- both for trade-ins or selling it yourself. This is especially true for older models. Most Android phones see a sharp decline in price after the next generation releases.

Furthermore, some budget-focused Android phones simply don't resell well at all.

Apple is the clear winner in this category.

7. Do Android Phones Have Features Like iMessage or Facetime?

Yes and no.

Google's Messages app now allows you to use it from your web browser. So you can access your SMS and MMS messages from just about anywhere. However, unlike iMessage, they're not encrypted. So if you're worried about privacy, you'll need to find a third-party app like Telegram or Signal.

On the video call front, there are plenty of options. Google has multiple official options from which to choose. Currently, the two biggest are Google Hangouts and Google Duo. Both offer high-quality video calls between multiple people using Wi-Fi or mobile data.


Recap


Still Not Sure?

Whether you already own an iPhone and you're looking to make the switch to Android or you're shopping for your first smartphone, these picks make excellent alternatives to popular iPhone models.

But with the vast range of Android phones available on the market, there's a good chance you could find similar results with other models. Our roundup of the best budget Android phones offers a range of alternatives for older iPhone models.

You can also use our phone comparison tool to easily compare any Android phone to the iPhone model of your choosing.

If you're still not sure if Android is a good fit for your needs on the software and features levels, our Android phone vs iPhone comparison guide covers common considerations and offers an extensive list of pros and cons to provide more information and help you make the best decision for your budget and preferences.

Disclosure: You should know that in some cases, we may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to you) for products purchased through the links on our site. These links help support our work but they do not influence our content. Our editorial recommendations are always genuine and we try to feature only the best products and services. Why trust us?

 
REFERENCES:
[1] Esquire UK: The Best iPhone Alternatives of 2019
[2] Expert Reviews: iPhone Alternatives: The Android Phones You Should Consider Instead of the iPhone
[3] Finder Australia: Best iPhone alternatives for 2019
[4] iKream: 5 Best iPhone XS Alternative in 2019
[5] Product Hunt: Alternative Products to iPhone XS
[6] Digital Trends: The Best Smartphones for 2019
[7] USA Today: Upgrading but Don’t Want to Spring for an iPhone? You Have Plenty of Great Android Options
[8] IDG Connect: iPhone XR vs Android’s Best: A Razor-Thin Margin of Victory

For Fun


Top Ten iPhone Killers: Circa 2006

After the original iPhone came out, we published a list of the Top 10 "iPhone Killers". Our picks from that time are below.


Before we begin, we must always remember what it felt like when real pics of the iPhone begun spreading around the Web.

It was more beautiful than we had ever imagined and at that time we were pretty convinced that the iPhone is as revolutionary as revolutionary devices go.

There's been a lot of back-tracking since then.

Is this just the unbearable waiting talking or is there cause for doubting the iPhone's success?

Following are devices that may mean iPhone's failure in order of their likelihood of stealing iPhone's thunder.

1. Nokia N95 
The N95, the most powerful handset yet to be released, is equipped with a full-load of pretty nasty features like its fully-integrated GPS, 5 MP camera, HSDPA connection speed, including all the multimedia entertainment support today's mobile crowd will likely need. Even without iPhone's multi-touch technology, the N95 has a user interface that is too hot to ignore right now with iPhone still months away. With Nokia's market leadership in place to help sell this juicy handset, the N95 is iPhone's biggest threat. Recently Nokia announced an agreement with YouTube that will definitely make the yummy N95 that much easier to swallow.

n95 yahoo

2. Samsung F700
Slim, touch-screen and HSDPA capable. The only weakness of this device is the Flash user interface. But this Samsung could easily turn around once they show us how the touch-screen actually works, if it does work like we imagine a Flash UI could work.

3. Sony Ericsson SO903iTV Bravia Phone 
Soon to be released in Japan. Ask the Japanese how good this TV phone is then tell them how the iPhone compares to it and you will see a smile so smug you won't need him to put it in words. This new Bravia Phone is not number one for only one reason: the Japanese doesn't think releasing it to the U.S. is worth their while. But who knows.

bravia phone, new

4. Meizu M8 
Meizu who? You might laugh at this Chinese manufacturer but they have produced the closest iPhone lookalike, and it's smaller.

5. LG Prada Phone 
The most hyped iPhone rival, it boasts inferior touch-screen controls and UI compared to the iPhone, but not too inferior to make it a non-threat. Released months earlier than iPhone, it costs 200 dollars more, which goes against the LG Prada in a major way. Other specs of the LG Prada are no iPhone beater either.

LGPRADA10

6. Sony Ericsson W880 Walkman Phone
The yet to be released slim phone is hard to resist. SE's Walkman Phones are the iPod's biggest threat. The slim W880 comes with a 1GB Memory Stick Micro which is the current hippest way to extend your phone's memory. The iPhone, famously, doesn't have memory extension. All music and videos will have to be saved in its non-disposable mini hard disk.

7. Nokia E90 Communicator 
Two fabulous screens including a 800 x 352 pixel screen inside, a QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi and 3.2 MP camera will make it very difficult for consumers to resist spending their iPhone savings before June. It's also the most good-looking Communicator ever built by Nokia and the terrific external display helps.

E90 Open

8. Nokia N99 
This future addition to the Nseries is a fully loaded with 16GB of Flash memory with additional 4GB via miniSD. WiFi, GPS, 8MP camera and a 3.2 screen with 16:9 aspect ratio.

9. Neonode N2 
Obsessed with touch screen, why not try a device smaller than the iPhone. It uses Windows CE, which will probably be a more stable OS than say Windows Mobile or OS X.

10. Xun Chi 138 
Yes, the Chinese are coming. The Xun Chi is the smallest touch screen phone in the world and it reads recognizes handwritten Chinese characters. and it's cheap you can buy Xun Chis in bulk.