More and more people are moving towards a one-device-life, with smartphones taking center stage. If you’ve considered such a move yourself, you should look hard at an Android phone. Here’s why.
Can You Really Survive with Just a Phone?
Before the inevitable “there’s no way I could do that” comments, let’s make one thing clear: this type of lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Not even close. In fact, there’s no possible way I could even do this.
But for anyone who doesn’t work from a computer, it’s really not a bad way to go. Phones are more powerful than ever and cover more ground than many people even need on the day-to-day.
Case in point: my wife.
She doesn’t need a computer (she has one, but doesn’t use it often), and does nearly everything from her phone. That is, by far, her main “computer.” In fact, I’m constantly impressed with the number of things and amount of research she can do from her phone.
But that’s exactly what got me thinking about this topic in the first place, because I bet there are a lot of people like that, and that number is growing daily. It’s actually pretty cool to see how things have evolved and changed in such a short period of time.
If you’re one of the people who can live this life, here’s why we think Android is best the OS for you.
Why Android is Better as Your Only Device
First off, this isn’t an Android versus iOS debate. They’re both good operating systems, but I think Android edges out iOS when it comes to doing more and doing it quickly.
When it comes to multitasking, you could quickly switch back and forth between a couple of apps—or you could just have them both onscreen at the same time.
While some Android devices—like Samsung Galaxy phones—have been able to run a pair of apps on the screen simultaneously for a few years now, Android got native support for multi-window with Nougat (7.x). This is good, because it means that more apps than ever work in a multi-window environment.
Sometimes a touchscreen just isn’t enough, and if you need to pen a longer email or vent on Facebook (no judgement—it happens), an external keyboard is a great tool to have. Now, I know that iOS also supports keyboards, so this isn’t unique to Android.
But you know what is unique to Android? Mouse support. If you really want to replicate a PC-like experience, there’s no better way to do it than with a keyboard and mouse.
Of course, it almost seems silly to grab your keyboard and mouse just to hunch over a relatively tiny screen. Good thing Android also supports external monitors! In fact, you can pick up a compatible docking station, and then connect a keyboard, monitor, and mouse with one cable. Legit, son.
Alternatively, you could also cast your device’s screen to a Chromecast-connected TV for a wireless experience. There’s a little bit of latency using this method, but it would work in a pinch.
If you dig the full keyboard, mouse, and monitor setup, Samsung takes thing one step further with its DeX docking station This essentially turns your phone into a full-fledged PC. It’s not just mirroring your device’s screen, forcing you to use Android on a big screen, it actually uses a totally different interface that feels more like a traditional PC. And it charges your phone.
Apps and More
If there’s something you typically use a computer for—maybe Microsoft Office, for example—the odds are you can find a viable replacement on Android. In fact, I use several Android apps on my Chromebook in place of apps that I’d normally use on my PC.
That’s not to say Android has a better selection of apps over the competition, because in some cases that’s just not true. But, when combined with the other things on this list, the full picture is starting to become clear: you have multi-window support for two apps one the screen at the same time, accessory support for an external keyboard/mouse/monitor, and a comparable—if not better—app selection.
The Best Android Devices for Your Main Computer
If your interest is piqued at the thought of transitioning to one device for all your computer use, you’re probably curious which Android phones you should consider. Good news: I have a list for you.
Google Pixel 2 XL
If you’re looking for one device to rule them all, a bigger phone is going to be a better choice, and the Pixel 2 XL is a great phone that’s also big. Not to be confused with a “great big phone,” which means something else entirely.
And since it’s a stock device that’s maintained by Google, it gets updates quickly and regularly. The Pixel is always going to be the most up-to-date phone out (as long as it’s still being supported, of course).
Samsung Galaxy S9+
If the DeX station I mentioned earlier sounds like a winning solution to you, the Galaxy S9+ is another great choice. If you always plan on using it with DeX for “real work,” then you could also consider the S9. It’s slightly smaller, but still a good size for split-screen and whatnot.
Plus, the S9 and S9+ have the best-rated cameras on any smartphone now, which is always an advantage. It has little to do with our topic here, but still—a better camera is always, well, better.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
If you really want to get the most out of a one-device setup, it’s hard to ignore the Galaxy Note 8. At 6.3-inches, it’s the biggest phone on this list, which inherently makes it a good choice. But it also combines incredibly useful tools like the S-Pen, allowing you to do even more from your phone.
Like the S9, the Note 8 also natively supports multi-window as a core part of the OS, supports Samsung DeX for a true PC-like setup with your phone, and has a great camera to boot. In my opinion, it’s the most powerful option if you want one device that does everything. The versatility of the S-Pen, large screen size, and DeX compatibility make this an exceptional phone if you’re only going to have one device.