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iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: S3 Still King

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Since its release in July, the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been a best-seller. The advent of its rival, the iPhone 5, could change all this, though. So how do these phones compare?

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5: which is better?

Apple is always hush about what’s under the hood, so it’s hard to do real hardware comparisons. The company says that the iPhone 5 is twice as fast as the 4S, thanks to the A6 chip, but the iPhone 5 is NOT quad-core.

The iPhone 5 has been popular since launch, taking 5 million pre-orders in its first weekend. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is on target for 30 million sales before the year’s out, though.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is 133g and 136.6×70.6×8.6mm in size. The iPhone 5 is a dinky 112g and 123.8×58.6×7.6mm. In the tech world, small and light wins the day, so the iPhone 5 is a clear winner.

Both phones have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LTE support, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 also has DNLA, wireless charging and NFC. The S3 can also charge with a standard microUSB cable, whereas Apple has changed its proprietary connector which means people will have to pay $30 for a new adapter to use their old Apple accessories. More connections and charging options wins this category for the S3 given its flexibility.

The iPhone 5 has a 4” retina display with a resolution of 1,126x640p resolution and Gorilla Glass casing. The Samsung Galaxy S3 4.8” screen also has Gorilla Glass and a resolution of 1,280x720p. DisplayMate’s recent test showed that the S3 display showed the full gamut of NTSC whereas the iPhone 5 only showed 72%. The better screen tech and bigger size wins it for the S3 in the screen category.

Both phones have 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options, and (if the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the international version) both have 1GB of RAM. The US version has 2GB. The SD support gives the S3 up to an additional 64GB, so there’s no contest here when it comes to storage.

The iPhone 5 has the Apple A6 chip with two ARMv7 cores clocked at 1.3GHz, as well as triple core PowerVR SGX 543MP3. The S3 has its Exynos chip and four 1.4GHz Cortex A9 chips, as well as a Mali 400 GPU. For 3D games the Samsung Galaxy S3 carries it away with those extra cores in theory. Even though the US S3 is dual core, the 2GB of RAM helps out a lot. The S3 wins again, on paper at least.

The iPhone 5 1,440mAh battery gives around eight hours of talking. The Samsung Galaxy S3 2,100mAh battery promises almost 12 hours on 3G, but it hasn’t delivered on this promise and in real life and is around the same as the iPhone 5 in our battery life test (both clock in at around the 8 hours mark). This means a draw.

Both cameras are 8MP, with autofocus, LED flash and HD video, as well as image stabilisation. The Samsung Galaxy S3 also has smile detection, but it just can’t beat the iPhone 5 BSI sensor that makes for great low light pics. Lots of tests in low light show that the iPhone 5 is superb – beaten only by the Nokia Lumia 920. The 5 has it!

The iPhone 5 runs on iOS 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 is on Android ICS with an imminent Jelly Bean update. It’s up to you when it comes to OS, but if you want a flexible one that you can customize to your heart’s content, then go for Android. If you just want something that works with the minimum of input from you, then you need iOS 6. It’s a draw.

In design, the iPhone 5 is light years ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S3. The S3 is cheap looking and the iPhone 5 looks the business. Apple wins here.

Conclusion: The Samsung Galaxy S3 gets four points for display, chip, connectivity and memory, and the iPhone 5 gets three because of its size, design and camera. On OS and battery life, the phones drew. The S3 is a bit ahead, but not much.

Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, PC, iPhone and Android games keep Berke busy at work all day. Honestly though we’re not sure why we’re paying him as it should be the other way around.