The iPhone 5 is almost upon us, and although the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been trouncing the iPhone 4S in the US, its reign over Apple may soon be at an end. Let’s have a quick look at how the Samsung Galaxy S3, the top Android smartphone at the moment, compares to its true rival the iPhone 5. Now keep in mind that the specs of the iPhone 5 are still unconfirmed so this isn’t an official comparison.
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5: Can Apple defeat S3 & as such strike back at Android?
The iPhone 5 launch is next week, then it should be just a fortnight before handsets are actually in hands. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been on sale for a few months now and passed the 10 million mark in July, becoming Samsung’s fastest seller as well as the best selling Android phone to date, making it the poster child for Android.
Screen: Every iPhone ever has had a 3.5” screen, but the iPhone 5 should come with a 4” widescreen display that’ll mean a 16:9 resolution rather than the traditional 3:2 ratio. So, a larger screen without making the phone wider. As we know, Apple’s ergonomics are amazing, and this change won’t affect this. Upscaling apps might be a problem, but unoptimised apps may have to settle for having two black bars at the ends of the display. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is massive and knows it – the 4.8”screen is a bit too big for some hearts, hands and pockets, and it has the same pixel density as the iPhone. But for media consumption, it is spectacular.
The screen tech in both phones are different – with the iPhone 5 probably retaining its IPS display and the Samsung Galaxy S3 having a Super AMOLED panel. Super AMOLED makes for vivid colors and intense blacks, but IPS is more realistic. After comparing the IPS screen on the HTC One X to the S3 screen, we found the IPS better. But this of course a matter of personal preference. Apple’s PR machine will no doubt proclaim the iPhone 5 screen as life-changing, though.
Design: Recent leaks of iPhone 5 case components suggest that the body will be 1mm thinner than the Samsung Galaxy S3 and its 8.6mm body. While this sounds good, the iPhone 5 will maintain the utilitarian image of the 4S.
We’re expecting a metal body to replace the Gorilla Glass we’ve grown to love (or hate). The iPhone 5 will seem way more high end than the cheapo plastic that’s proved to be a serious downside for the Samsung Galaxy S3 when you consider that it is a flagship device.
Power: The Samsung Galaxy S3 will probably beat the iPhone 5 on processors. It uses the quad-core, 1.4GHz Exynos 4412 chip. Apple has always been known to equip the iPhone 5 with just enough power needed to run the iOS platform smoothly, and nothing more. For instance, the iPhone 4S packs just 512MB RAM and a dual-core processor clocked at just 800MHz.
Connectivity: We all expect a new 9-pin connector for the iPhone 5. This will be of a similar size to the microUSB. This new pin might be niftier, but it’ll also spell doom for the older Apple accessories unless there’s a dock converter to follow. Again, no expandable memory – use the cloud instead.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is just the opposite. It has microSD support and is MHL compliant so users can output HD video and surround sound through HDMI. You can also drag and drop content rather than using syncing software to transfer files.
Battery: There have been iPhone 5 battery rumors for a year or more, so don’t take them seriously. The battery will probably be 1,430mAh though, which is just two thirds the size of the one in the Samsung Galaxy S3. Samsung went all out with the 2,100mAh battery, as it’s around 20% bigger than its closest rivals’ offerings.
Cameras: There’s been a lot said about the iPhone 5 camera, some of it just silly, with claims verging on the “it’ll make you look like Brad Pitt” level. Some people are saying it’ll feature a 3D camera and a multi-focus sensor. This sensor will let you select various areas of the photo that’ll be sharper. The 3D camera is a bit more fanciful, but we’ll see. The MP count will probably stall at 8MP, which allies it to the Samsung Galaxy S3.
As well as 8MP, the Samsung Galaxy S3 camera has touch focus, LED flash, image stabilisation and 1080p video. The image quality is on a par with the iPhone 4S, and the iPhone 5 is probably going to exceed this (if that is even possible).
Verdict: It’s impossible to say until we see the iPhone 5 which is better but there are many things you can count on. The iPhone 5 will feel more high-end, but won’t have a memory card, and that new socket will fox many users. The Samsung Galaxy S3 will also be selling for a bit less by October, adding to the confusion for many purchasers as it has as much to offer for a lower price tag (it already is $139 on contract over at Amazon Wireless). And let’s not also forget that Apple fans will naturally go for the iPhone 5 and Android for their current king the Samsung Galaxy S3. The bottom line is you can’t go wrong with either.