Does Android really offer "meaningful" choice ? (Updated)

Generally , people on tech forums say that Android is all about choice/open/freedom (synonyms related to that) etc.

A friend of mine wanted to buy a phone around 6 months back.He first wanted Android device because of obvious reasons (larger displays , more customization etc.).

He started searching and finally concluded with ? He bought an iPhone 5S and he's happy now.

Let me back up a little :

At first , he wanted to buy HTC One but he learnt that camera is horrible (nothing wrong with camera but quality control is very bad especially pink tint issue) and after-sales-service of HTC is questionable because lot of units coming with gaps out-of-the-box.

So he settled for a Galaxy S4 but he didn't like the design at all , he wanted premium feel like One or iPhone.

There's Xperia series which close the gap between galaxy and htc but there's a tiny problem , Display quality is not up to the mark considering flagship device and also its little bulky and thick.

Added to that , updates are delayed as well.

That leaves us with Nexus and Motorola phones.

Remove motorola phones because after-sales-service is not upto the mark compared to Apple and Samsung , Not to forget that Motorola didn't launch a single device here after maxx phone (gingerbread/ICS phone) and they recently launched Moto G (still no Moto X).

This leaves Nexus series which doesn't feel premium , bad camera and horrible design (compared to One and iPhone) and same story with after-sales-support.

What does that leave ? iPhone

Honestly , there is no single device which I could recommend on Android side.GPE's and Motorola phones etc. are mostly limited to 2-3 countries where retail chain is strong and service is strong.

In majority of the countries , Only Apple and Samsung can provide strong retail chain , shopping experience and after-sales-service in decent way but Samsung doesn't stand against Apple's line-up.

iPhone does have smaller display but that's pretty much only trade-off imo. Whole Android Vs iOS is another topic.(I prefer Android over iOS anyday which is irrelevant to this post)

Hardware and Software update cycle is strong for iPhone.

I can't name a single Android device which can smoothly handle apps and games as iPhone .He played a few games on Android devices but left unimpressed with the quality and polish/optimization (especially large games like asphalt) and scrolling is sluggish as well.

Its really sad that there is no best overall Android device which can compete against Apple eco-system , service , shopping experience in high-end market

(Don't get me started with camera topic , Only phones I could recall which have good build quality and camera quality are Lumia and iPhone where people are repulsive towards metro and go for iPhone)

Those who are saying Xperia Compact , I don't know what you are smoking but its not released everywhere but maybe few countries (I don't even know if it was launched already).Its also not as compact and premium feel as iPhone.


Let me sum up all aspects :


*After Sales Service

**Considering base model and storage remaining after OS/bloat

(Display means considering display quality only but not display size preference)

Y - Good

N - Bad

Y/N - Unpredictable

(I kept Y/N for Apple for Updates because they emit many features sometimes from updates , so its not complete update imho but API's are going to reach all devices , So its Y/N unpredictable)

(Nexus phones don't get updates at a time in all countries, sometimes they are delayed even upto 3-4 weeks , So its Y/N)