The iPhone 5 is a fab piece of tech – it’s faster, thinner and lighter than its predecessors, and it’s proving to be immensely popular. Its greatest rival is the Samsung Galaxy S3 and they’re doing serious battle now.
iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3
The Samsung Galaxy S3 was announced in May, and is expecting to have sold 30 million units by the year’s end. When the iPhone 5 was announced on Sept 12, it took more than 2 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours, and its first weekend out saw more than 5 million sales. The device is expected to sell around 26 million by 2013.
The iPhone 5 has a 4” Retina screen with a 1,136x640p resolution; the Samsung Galaxy S3 display is 4.8”, Super AMOLED and has a resolution of 1,280x720p. The iPhone’s screen has grown from 3.5”, and some reckon that the S3 screen is too big for a phone. Tests have also shown that the Retina display is better in bright sunlight than Super AMOLED. It is also more realistic but it loses out on vibrancy and deeper blacks.
The iPhone 5 has a non-removable battery and is just 7.3mm thick. The Samsung Galaxy S3 does have a removable battery and is 1mm thicker. The iPhone 5 has a classy metal casing compared to the S3 and its cheap-looking plastic.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is bigger (71mm wide) than the iPhone 5 (58mm), but this is mainly because it has that massive screen. So it’s a trade-off really.
The iPhone 5 dual-core 1.2GHz A6 chip which is supposed to be twice as fast as the A5 in the 4S. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has the quad-core Exynos 1.4GHz Cortex A9 chip, which is also very fast. The US version has a dual-core chip, although it has 2GB of RAM – twice that of the international version. In Geekbench benchmarks they both coming in pretty close to each other with the S3 ahead on Jelly Bean but drops below the iPhone 5 when running ICS.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 runs Android, which gives users way more flexibility than iOS 6. If you like customizing your phone, then it’s Android for you. The S3 also has Google Maps – unlike the iPhone 5. It has Apple Maps. We will say no more.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has SD support, and is much easier to transfer photos, music and videos on – you just drag and drop via the USB cable. Apple has changed its age-old connector to the “Lightning” port and has no SD card support plus relies on iTunes for syncing.
Both cameras have 8MP and LED flash. The iPhone 5 camera has been improved and can take stills and HD video at the same time. It also has touch focus, face detection, geo-tagging, panorama and video stabilisation.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 camera has a huge range of features, like image stabilisation and simultaneous HD video and stills capture too.
The iPhone 5 has a 1,440mAh battery which will give around eight hours of talktime. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 2,100mAh battery which beats most rivals by 20%.
Both are top end smartphones when it comes to specs so it is the little things that will in the end decide which you should get. For most, it will probably come down to which OS you prefer. Do you like the seamless operation of iOS, or the flexibility of Android? On the hardware front, the Samsung Galaxy S3 can take on extra memory whereas the iPhone 5 can’t. The iPhone 5 looks more luxurious compared to the Samsung Galaxy S3. If you really need a big screen, opt for the S3. If size doesn’t matter to you, the iPhone 5 is an option too.