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iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: It’s Payback Time!

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The iPhone 5 is doing valiant battle against the Samsung Galaxy S3, and just in case you missed all of last month’s hype, we’ll have a quick run-down of the specs to see if we can predict the winner before the year is up.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5: will iPhone 4S’ lost throne be regained before the year’s up?

The iPhone 5 is the world’s thinnest smartphone. It is very much smaller and thinner than the Samsung Galaxy S3, and is typically angular, in the same vein as the iPhone 4 and 4S.

It’s still made of glass and aluminium, but the metallic edges have been tinted to look even sleeker and the rear is now full aluminum instead of glass. The iPhone 5 is way more high-end looking than the Samsung Galaxy S3, as a flagship phone from a tech giant should look the part.

We finally have a bigger iPhone 5 screen – 4” from 3.5”. This means a widescreen display with a 16:9 ratio. It’s bigger but no wider, as Apple is still big on ergonomics. This new size might fox apps for a while, as they may have to display black bars at the ends of the screen until they’re optimised. The S3 screen is just huge, but this means some will find it just too big. However, watching films and playing games no it is ace.

Both phones have different screen tech, the iPhone 5 still has IPS retina and the Samsung Galaxy S3 has Super AMOLED with the deep blacks and the bouncing colour vibrancy. Lots of people prefer the more natural look that IPS gives. We did a review recently that showed many people found the HTC One X (IPS too) easier on the eyes than the AMOLED S3. Apple waxed lyrical about the bigger screen, but it’s not that much different from the 4S, so it’s a draw.

It’s a draw on cameras as well, with both phones having pretty good 8MP snappers.

On paper, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Exynos, quad-core 1.4GHz 4412 chip is better than the iPhone 5 dual-core A6. Historically, Apple has given their chips enough power to run iOS smoothly. Because the OS is a big part of a phone’s operations, a seamless OS might mean that the smaller chip performs just as well as the Exynos. You might want to remember too that the US dual-core S3 and its 2GB of RAM coupled to a dual-core processor ran better than the quad-core international version. It seems from real-life tests that the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 are just as powerful. GeekBench tests with a Jelly Bean powered S3 showed that it ran better than the iPhone 5, but only just. On ICS the S3 lagged behind the iPhone 5, again just slighty. We have to declare a draw.

OK, so your new iPhone 5 is slim, but that slimness has just cost you an extra $30, because it’s only possible due to the downsized dock connector. If you want to use your old Apple accessories you’ll need that adapter. How many of you would have preferred a thicker body, the same dock and maybe even NFC?

The Samsung Galaxy S3, as pretty much everyone knows, has microSD support. It’s also MHL-compliant, letting users play HD videos and surround sound through HDMI. Users can also drag and drop content instead of fiddling with syncing software ala iTunes. The phones both have 4G LTE, but the S3 also has a removable battery, expandable storage and NFC. It also has a bigger battery, so it wins quite a few points here.

The iPhone 5 might look and feel classier than the Samsung Galaxy S3, but there’s no add-on storage or removable battery. Plus, the S3 is growing cheaper by the week – it’s starting at $99 on contract at many places like Amazon and Wirefly, whereas the iPhone 5 is twice that. So the Samsung Galaxy S3 is boasting more bells & whistles, although lots of people will base their choice on the OS at the end of the day. In this respect iOS is more polished, streamlined and feels smoother than Ice Cream Sandwich. However with ICS on the S3, you get a ton of customization other than just ringtones and wallpaper like the iPhone 5. Still, with these phones, you can’t go wrong whichever you choose.

The iPhone 5 may just take the title of “Best Selling Phone of 2012” from the Samsung Galaxy S3 based on its current sales progress, making it only a few months after the S3 snatched the title from the iPhone 4S. Will it ever end?

Mike is the man who reviews gadgets that aren’t mainstream or products that can’t exactly be classified as consumer electronics e.g. portable talking toilets. It’s always interesting to read about the crazy products we have here in Asia that just don’t get as much publicity as they warrant.