Anyone using an Android phone as their main device?

I’m potentially looking at moving to android. Nothing nefarious just pragmatics. My children are now requiring phones for school and android is just cheaper. As we all want to be in the same eco systems (shared subscriptions), I’m wondering if anyone else is on android as a family that can share a little wisdom?

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Not as my main device but I have … dabbled! :face_with_hand_over_mouth:
Two Motorolas: G31 and G52. Intentionally low to mid-specced to see what was possible spending very little money.

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How did you find them?

I find myself being curious about a non-apple world.

I used android at work a while ago with a poor Sony phone and the experience was not great.



This isn’t meant to be inflammatory (which, when written, usually means something inflammatory is going to follow), nor is it meant to dissuade you from switching, but if privacy is of concern to you then you’re probably going to be giving some up by moving to Android. If it’s important to you then I suggest you look very hard at both ecosystems under that lens; if it’s not (especially) important then ignore this :slight_smile:


I looked at going Android many years ago. What I learned was to look at google or samsung phones for build quality and fewer issues. They can last as long as iphones. If I had kids looking at phones, I would want to lockdown the capability as much as possible. I know some parents who have given their kids apple watches as a way to communicate and also limit screen time.

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I looked pretty hard at switching earlier this year to a S23 Ultra and decided it was not worth upending my spouse’s life for my want of something new. If you are looking at switching, make a list of all the apps and services you and your partner share or use and figure out the best Android alternative. For example, we shared a grocery list in Reminders and would have had to find an alternative service. I also used an iCloud email address as a second email and I didn’t have a great plan for dealing with that. Youtube Premium for Families is a must-sub. No Youtube ads and you get the music service for free.

I would also recommend looking at switching carriers to Google Fi. They have good deals for Pixel and Samsung phones, and the service is pretty cheap. It’s common to get pretty aggressive discounting of the smart watches and earbuds when you buy. Even though I didn’t switch to Android, I ended up switching our iPhones over to Fi and have been very happy with it.

We went the other way from Android to iOS, primarily because of ‘find my’ - it works/worked? - so much better than the android implementation and the peace of mind it brought was worth the extra cost.
Maybe something to look into and ponder upon.

Yes, I’ve got an Android. Work provided phone and it’s a low spec Motorola and terrible. I also have a similar specced Galaxy A13, which run rings around it which is surprising. The A13 is usable - the G53 is something I avoid using if I can.

I’ve used the a couple of the Pixels but always come back to the iPhone, in part because all my family are on iOS. I keep getting the siren call to go to Android at times - iOS and Android aren’t hugely different anymore I think and a lot of the apps are both platforms. It’s the small niche apps that aren’t.

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Most of the people I deal with regularly use an iPhone, Windows, and Gmail. And I use iPhone, Mac, and Google Workspace so we have no problems sharing info, etc. I know all of the apps I depend on are available on Android so I’ve considered buying a Pixel as a backup for travel.

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I understand the issues of privacy but I’m also of the view (not fully researched) that we are all now “the product” so it’s less of an issue. That said, I found them useful. The G31 cost AUD197 so the intent was to see if I really needed a flagship. And I don’t. The camera is obviously rubbish but I am not a photographer and was hoping for suitable social media level shots. But you realise how slow the camera is to load and when the scene is one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” types, it fails, unfortunately. It also doesn’t have wireless charging and I have a Tesla so …

The G52 does have wirelss and a better camera. I think that is worth more effort to get a better experience, though again, the camera fails and at AUD500 (not a small amount this time) it is disappointing. I did all my reviews knowing this so I’m not unhappy, just hoped for better.

I think with Android midrangers, YMMV. I wouldn’t buy an Andorid flagship due to the cost and likelihood of switching back to Apple. I can afford to burn cash on lower priced items.

Also the family and friends are all using WhatsApp now so messaging etc is seamless.

Hope that helps.


I wonder if Android phones with their limited software support and slower processors are really that much cheaper in the long run than something like an iPhone SE. I switched to iOS a few years back because the SE is such a low cost of ownership device (I’ve had big OLED screens in the past and I’m not convinced they’re as useful as they seem at first, so the small size doesn’t bother me).


Thank you - that is a great answer

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I do :raised_hand:

I’ve often felt like an alien on Mac forums, but I’ve always used an Android as a main device. Actually bought an iPhone last year, just to experience what every enthusiast was telling me I was missing out to complement my Mac, but… I could never use it for a whole day, and it’s just sitting there right now.

What I’ve found to be the trickiest part is to have a “relatively working” equivalent of iOS apps that have a macOS counterpart (or the other way around). E.g., I am a heavy Devonthink user, but the mobile app is available only on iOS. My workaround is to set up something like Paperless-ngx on an VPS or a homelab. I don’t the same constraints as you (other family members as users) so YMMV.

Feel free to ask any other questions & good luck!


I think we might be surprised at exactly how much data Apple collects from its users. They may keep others out, but not themselves, so this is a moot point for me.

This is always a tough one. Balancing responsibility with restrictions. We use Nextdns on all our devices and it has proved good so far.

This is an issue for me. I’m over 50 with varifocals and having a large screen to increase font size is vital.

Thanks for sharing. I’ve used Android over the years and really liked the galaxy note. The pen was really good. I also prefer the android keyboard.

It seems that Android phones are a mixed bag. Which phones are at the level that the phone is good? Some of the cheaper ones get terrible reviews.

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This is an enormously important distinction. It’s not ideal that Apple collects some (much?) of what they collect, but it’s difficult to overstate how important it is that they don’t share it nearly as widely as “the other guys” if privacy is important to you.

I think that’s the big issue with Android - knowing what will be good and what isn’t, as there is such a big range.

That’s why I’ve tended to stick to the bigger names - I’ve a preference now for the Pixels, as it’s stock Android and almost everyone else puts their own spin on things. But even then, I download and use a new launcher as soon as I try one.

One of the perks not addressed so far is USB-C - almost all Android devices use USB-C now and as a MacBook and having an iPad Pro, it meant I only ever needed a single cable to do anything! Wasn’t the sole reason for purchasing but made life easier.


What shared subscriptions does your family use that you’re currently missing out on? Or, what do you subscribe to that they can’t use?

I am currently using a Pixel Fold as a second device. I have used the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 but could not get past not having iMessage since I chat from my Mac at work and keep my phone put away. I tried a Fold 4 again a few months ago and then traded it in on the Pixel Fold. Almost all of the apps are there. The hardware and stock Android experience is almost a mirror to iOS in many ways. Google has a fix for texting from your computer regardless of what platform you use. The Pixel Fold is just fun! The outer screen is adequate for most uses but when you open up to that inner screen the whole paradigm changes. My suggestion is that if you want to go Android, you get what you pay for when it comes to devices and their performance and user experience.


This was more to do with pragmatics. Having two eco systems means less cohesion. Having the whole family on one system avoids issues such as imessages.

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I was a full-time Android user from around 2014 until 2022 (been a Mac user since 2011). I switched to an iPhone last year mostly because everyone else in my family has an iPhone, and being a blue bubble and having FaceTime really has made communicating easier. I don’t regret the decision to switch to an iPhone.

That said, Android is awesome. I loved being able to customize everything. Things like putting app icons anywhere on the home screen or making the app icons whatever size I wanted. Having way more options as far as widgets and their size and locations. More control over what certain swipes, taps, or actions do. Lots of things like that. If you like things being exactly how you want them to be, Android is way better than iOS. I miss that.

Android phones are as good or bad as you want them to be. A $100 Android phone is as good (read: bad) as a $100 iPhone. An expensive Android phone is as good as an expensive iPhone.

If Android had Messages and FaceTime, I’d still be there.