Apple’s iPhone 5 is slugging it out with the Samsung Galaxy S3, and the battle is hotting up as the end of the year approaches. The Samsung Galaxy S3 took the iPhone 4S’ place as 2012’s best-seller earlier this year, and Apple wants it back. There’s 9 weeks to go, so can the iPhone 5 beat the projected S3 sales of 30 million by then? Let’s look at the specs to see how these phones rate against each other to see if Apple’s got a shot.
iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3
The iPhone 5 is the world’s thinnest smartphone – it’s much slimmer and smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S3. It’s still made from glass and aluminium, with the newly-tinted metal edges looking a lot sleeker and the phone’s back is made from aluminium rather than glass. This is a first-class design….unlike the plastic fantastic Samsung Galaxy S3.
The iPhone 5 screen has been changed to 4” from 3.5”, and now has an aspect ratio of 16:9 rather than 3:2. It’s longer but has the same width. This new aspect ratio might cause a problem for apps until developers optimise them for these new dimensions. Until then, there may have to be black bars at the top and the bottom of the screen. The Samsung Galaxy S3 screen is 4.8” and is fab for watching films or playing games.
Both phones have different screen tech – the iPhone 5 has the naturalistic IPS display and the Samsung Galaxy S3 has that hyper-real Super AMOLED display. Many people prefer the IPS on the iPhone, because it’s brighter, yet easier on the eyes.
Even though Apple has upped the size of the screen, it can’t compete with the Samsung Galaxy S3 here, so, all things considered, we’ll have to declare a draw.
It’s also a draw when it comes to cameras, as both phones have more-than-decent 8MP rear snappers.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a quad-core Exynos chip that in theory should trounce the A6 dual-core chip in the iPhone 5. Apple is well-known for giving its chips just enough power to run iOS without hitches. Now, if you consider that the OS is a big part of the running of any phone, and that iOS is a nifty operator, this smaller chip may run just as well as the bigger one in the real world. The US version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a dual-core chip and 2GB of RAM, and this combo is fater than the quad-core 1GB of RAM version. So, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 might be equals here again. On Geekbench tests, the Jelly Bean-powered S3 was better than the iPhone 5, but when on ICS, the S3 scored less – but only just. We can’t fault either one of these devices again.
The iPhone 5 is so slim because Apple has reduced the size of the connector – meaning that to use older accessories you’ll have to drop $30 on an adapter. We reckon a lot of Apple fans would rather have a thicker phone, the old connector and maybe even a bit of NFC and a larger battery! But nevertheless Apple has dictated that the trend is for thinner devices at this time.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has SD card support as well as MHL, which means you can play HD videos and surround sound on your TV just by using an HDMI cable. You can also drag and drop content files without having to use syncing software like iTunes. Both phones have 4G LTE, but the Samsung Galaxy S3 bigger (and removable) battery means all these whistles and bells will keep going for longer, so the S3 wins here in terms of battery life and more connectivity options.
So, the iPhone 5 looks classier, but it hasn’t got NFC, SD support, MHL or a removable battery. Also, the price of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is dropping – it starts at just $99 on Amazon and Wirefly if you opt for a contract. The iPhone 5 costs twice this at the moment, so the S3 will look like a very attractive option to many given the almost identical hardware otherwise.
A massive consideration is operating system. iOS 6 is more “finished” and streamlined, with many thinking it’s smoother than Android. Android, however, lets you customize to your heart’s content making the S3 truly yours and with this means a great deal of flexibility unlike the iPhone 5. Whichever you choose, you won’t regret it, though.
Looking at current iPhone 5 sales, if Apple can sort out supply issues, it may beat Samsung’s 30 million target. At the last check, analysts were predicting 26 million iPhone 5 sales by the holiday season (doesn’t take current supply constraints into consideration).