Ducking autocorrect comparison! Who does autocorrect best: iPhone vs Samsung Galaxy vs Google Pixel

Ducking autocorrect comparison! Who does autocorrect best: iPhone vs Samsung Galaxy vs Google Pixel
Touchscreens are awesome, but only when they work. Sometimes they don't, but we know you know that. You've surely used a touchscreen keyboard, right? Confusion, annoyance, and embarrassment are just some of the emotions accidental typos can lead to, which is why we have autocorrect to fix those. Yay?

Tech made to correct typing errors has been around since the 90's, in one form or another. It predates the Windows Start button, the first PlayStation, and the IBM Simon, which is regarded as the first smartphone ever. 30 years sure seems like plenty of time to get autocorrect working perfectly, but is that the case?

Time to find out with our autocorrect comparison! We sat down and came up with 40 sentences containing intentional errors of all sorts ("forty" is often misspelled as "fourty" so that's why we went with that number). Then we typed them into three popular phones – the iPhone 15, the Galaxy S23, and the Pixel 8

Testing and scoring

We've split this comparison into 4 rounds with 10 sentences per round. To make things more interesting, the focus of each round is slightly different:

  • Round 1 contains a variety of common typos and errors. 
  • Round 2 leans towards using slang and words that autocorrect might incorrectly replace. Think getting "He'll yell" instead of "Hell yeah".
  • Round 3 is the hardest, in our opinion. It contains typos that change the meaning of the word. As in wanting to type "dime" but typing "dome" instead.  
  • Round 4 checks how well autocorrect handles names, brands, and other words that are typically capitalized, as well as apostrophes. 

The sentences autocorrected by the three phones were scored on a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 given to a perfect or near-perfect sentence, while 1 is for sentences with too many or critical errors. A score of 2 gives us some wiggle room – it is for sentences that do have errors, but still get the message across. Words that are underlined but not corrected still count as an error; it's an autocorrect, not autounderline comparison after all. (And if you're not happy with our approach, feel free to conduct your own testing.) 

And now here are the results! 

Round 1: Correcting common errors and typos

This one's a warm-up. We'll start with a selection of sentences containing a variety of common, moderately challenging errors, most of which we expect to be handled well by all three phones. You'll find the "wrong" sentences below exactly as we typed them in, with capital letters and punctuation omitted on purpose (and trust us, typing with errors on purpose is more difficult than you think). 

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  1. my cousin fell of the baot and in to the river. so embarasing
  2. theres fourty pupies in my fromt yard - so cutr
  3. you should of gone to PhoneArena if youre looking fro a new phone
  4. the hptel said they cant acomodate us due to unforsewn circumstanses
  5. you must suvmit the from to the city hsll bfore the dedline
  6. its not conmon to fnd a blue mudhroom in the wlid
  7. the oisters snell fnuky so im not gonna aet tehm
  8. did you sew the football gaem on tv last nifht
  9. star wsrs is a facinating story but I like the boiks better
  10. if you waer a blue sgirt at an apple store, peole may thjnk youre a genius

Round 1 ends with the iPhone in the lead, and it's partially due to its ability to autocorrect not only the word you've currently entered, but also the one before it. It's as if the iPhone analyzes the context of the sentence to find the best fix – "fourty" was corrected to "forty" only after "puppies" was entered. On the other hand, the iPhone doesn't seem to be a fan of oysters, but then again, no other phone managed to catch that one. 

The other two phones do lag behind in the score. We're confused by the Pixel's inability to deal with clear errors like "fourty," "unforseen," and "facinating" – it did underline them, but again, we're testing autocorrection, not auto underlining. But hey, at least it put the right capital letters in PhoneArena, so that's nice.  

And since you made it this far in this comparison, here's a bunch of puppies as a reward!

Round 2: words you actually want to type

Language is a curious beast. Meanings change; new expressions emerge; others go out of fashion. That's why in 1963, "We'll have a gay old time!" was a perfectly fine-sounding sentence in The Flintstones, but go back in time and tell Einstein that his manometer is dope, and he'll struggle to understand you're complimenting his moustache. 

What I'm saying is that the way people communicate isn't always in line with the dictionaries and grammar books of the time. Because of this, autocorrect may sometimes replace words and expressions that you actually want to type and send – and the person on the other side would fully understand their meaning. Think slang words, abbreviations, technical terms, or the occasional f-bomb. These are the situations we want to test in the following round with these butchered sentences:

  1. no way in hell im getting on a rollercoaster again! i almost crapped my levis
  2. and then i was like ngl those pics are gonna go on my story
  3. you need an a/c with at least 12k btus to make it thru winter
  4. fyi, my package is coming tom morning
  5. did you know that Fucking was the name of a town in Austria? they renamed it to Fugging two yrs ago
  6. ikr? Mark and Linda's situationship is reminding me of Ross and Rachel. iykyk
  7. i saw ads for smth like a mask with led lights that makes you yonger. wtf?
  8. yessss, I cooked cordon bleu for entree and ppl loved it!
  9. did u know Jelly Bellys come in nasty flavors like booger, barf, and stinky socks?
  10. nvm lemme call you back when im home

It seems that naughty words are no longer an issue for the iPhone's autocorrect algorithms (as mature adults, we tested those extensively). It did, however, confuse BTUs for bits. The popular iykyk also threw the iPhone off, which knocked off a few points its final score.

The Galaxy S23 seems to have a less aggressive autocorrect algorithm, which played in its favor in this round. Still, confusing "hell" with "he'll" put Samsung's phone in second place and two points behind the Pixel 8. Google's latest and best phone did really well this round. It was conservative with its corrections, did not interfere with common abbreviations, and even got British Thermal Units (BTUs) right. 

For making it this far through the article, here's a photo of a sign that bore the aforementioned Austrian town's name until 2021. Tourists loved them!

Round 3: When the typo is a valid word

Here's one that happens to me a lot. Sometimes when I type, I hit the adjacent letter by accident, but the error produces a valid word. Think typing "boar" instead of "boat", "kit" instead of "lit", "sun" instead of "sum". This is the kind of typos autocorrect struggles with because the word itself isn't wrong, and its algorithms have a hard time detecting that the sentence doesn't make sense. And this is the kind of typos we're testing in this round with a round of cursed sentences:

  1. i bad to take my pup to the vet bc if swallowed an airpod
  2. i sailed on a daft for two ours until i got back to camp
  3. the gift I git fir grandmas bday costs more then my old car
  4. thee is a momster under ny bed and I cant skeep
  5. i cannot rust an ancient laptop to get me trugh collage
  6. im so tried of playing gold all weekend
  7. he fave me flowers than he asked me put on a date!
  8. how do i stop a phone scan bumber form falling me?
  9. my neigbors are cool btu there pet dig barks all the time
  10. the bus diver said were of our way hone now

Clearly, the third round was the most challenging so far for all three phones. The iPhone scored the most points – again with its ability to look at other words in the sentence to figure out what you're trying to say. For example, it changed "pet dig" to "pet dog" right after I typed in "barks". The iPhone's performance was far from spectacular in other sentences, but it did the best job overall. 

The S23, on the other hand, struggled badly, but at least we got a good laugh when it changed "airpod" to "airport". A subtle hint to fly with a pair of Galaxy Buds instead, perhaps? 

Round 4: Names, capitalization, apostrophes 

Capital letters? Apostrophes? Ain't nobody got time for that! Just let autocorrect fix those. But how well will it handle names? How accurate will it be with placing the right apostrophes? That's what we want to find out in the last round of our comparison with these sentences: 

  1. thoght id buy a camaro or a corvette for my 50th bday
  2. lets go on a road trip from Fenix to Albuqerke
  3. i think armold shwarzeneger was great in terminotor 2
  4. how do yall undo a deleted photo on iphone?
  5. guess whos going to cancun for spring break
  6. ill get my moms car and go work on my six pack
  7. id pay a hundred bucks to sail on the missisipi river for mardi gra
  8. uncle rico got a time machine from amazon but they didnt include the himalayan crystals
  9. call me old fashioned but i think shatner was the mvp in star trek
  10. ive got tickets for the weeknd. Hes performing on wednesday

Results are mixed at the end of round 4. It looks like the iPhone knows what Star Trek is, but hasn't heard of William Shatner, the actor who in the 60's played James Kirk, captain of the Enterprise; the Galaxy S23 capitalized Shatner's name correctly, but Cancun, Mexico threw it off; the Pixel 8 got the popular Mexican city right and capitalized both Camaro and Corvette correctly, but couldn't recognize the name Arnold. Still, the Pixel 8 wins this round with a solid lead ahead of its rivals. Now let's sum up the scores!

Conclusion and final score:

iPhone 15: 88 points
Galaxy S23: 78 points
Google Pixel 8: 88 points

It's a tie, folks! The iPhone 15 and the Pixel 8 share the first place in our autocorrect comparison with 88 points. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S23 trails 10 points behind – not bad, but room for improvement is clearly present. 

Although the iPhone 15 and the Pixel 8 got the same total score after four rounds of testing, their autocorrect algorithms appear to be very different, and while the iPhone excels in certain areas, the Pixel has the lead in others.

As we mentioned earlier, the iPhone stands out with its ability to correct typos by looking at other words in the sentence to figure out what you're trying to say. It also fixes words you've typed previously, not just the one you're currently typing. This is a gamechanger, and other companies should take notice. 

The Pixel 8, on the other hand, stood out with the way it dealt with names, tech terms and slang, all while being mostly reliable with common typos. We're not sure how it does this, but we won't be surprised if Google's keyboard is trained and kept up to date on trendy, current slang and colloquial expressions to make better predictions.   

The Galaxy S23, although powered by Grammarly, seems to be a bit less confident in its corrections. Instead of fixing clear errors, it merely underlines them more often than it should, and nobody has time to go back and fix their sentence manually. It's just not how autocorrect is expected to work. Still, the Galaxy S23's approach could be helpful in situations other than texting – when writing text for a more professional audience, perhaps. It's also nice to see punctuation suggestions on the S23, but again, that's not exactly top priority when texting. 

And even though all three autocorrect algorithms showed weaknesses in their approach, we're not too worried. They were genuinely useful more often than not, and with the increased use of AI and ML to improve their efficiency, we're confident autocorrect is only going to get better with time. 

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