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What’s the best mobile OS: iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8 or BlackBerry 10?

The main four smartphone operating systems compared

What's the best mobile OS: Verdict

Apple is still way ahead of the game for sheer app numbers, but the volume can be overwhelming at times. Even with its mostly-useful updates and tweaks, iOS is starting to look tired and Apple is widely expected to announce a big revamp for iOS 7 at the WWDC in June.

Android suffers from quality issues, especially where apps are concerned. Unlike Apple's tightly controlled world, Android devices have all sorts of screen sizes, resolutions and performance.

BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8 are playing catch-up with app functionality and integration (mainly with choice, it has to be said) but both have slick performance and the advantage of having been designed for dual-core handsets, so performance is universally good.

Microsoft would have you believe that Windows Phone 8 is the best choice if you already use a Windows PC, have an Xbox or even a Windows 8 tablet. However, although there are some benefits to a unified interface, there's nothing really compelling.

Android has support from top brands such as Sony and Samsung that also offer entertainment portals across consumer hardware, but is still fighting off some poor app quality issues. It's flexible, though, and there's a big choice of hardware no matter what your budget.

Vodafone loaned us a BlackBerry Z10 and HTX 8X for this article.

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