The iPhone 5 has a real struggle on its hands with the Samsung Galaxy S3, and the stakes are higher than ever since the S3 took away the iPhone 4S’ “best seller of 2012” title. So, Apple will need to redress this balance ASAP, and certainly before the year’s end. There’s two months to go – can the iPhone 5 beat Samsung’s 30 million+ sales by the holiday season and ultimately take revenge for the 4S? Let’s look at the specs to see how the phones do against each other.
iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Can Apple avenge the 4S
Design: The iPhone 5 is the world’s thinnest smartphone – it is a lot smaller and thinner than the Samsung Galaxy S3. It still has the glass and aluminium combination we all love, but now the metallic edges look even sleeker as they’ve been tinted. This is top notch design and the iPhone 5 looks way more high-end than the S3 ever did.
Display: The iPhone 5 screen has gone up from 3.5” to 4”, and it has a new 16:9 ratio. The phone is longer but has the same width. The new ratio might cause problems with unoptimsed apps, which might have to show black bars at the ends until they’re updated. The Samsung Galaxy S3 screen is 4.8” and is ideal for games and films.
The two screens have different tech – Apple has Retina and Samsung has Super AMOLED. The Samsung Galaxy S3 gives intense blacks and very vibrant colours, but the iPhone 5 display is more natural and also has higher brightness levels that are ideal for outdoor use.
It’s also a draw with the two 8MP cameras.
Processor: The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a quad-core Exynos chip that should trounce the A6 chip in the iPhone 5, on paper at least. However Apple always makes sure that its chips have just enough power to run iOS smoothly. The OS is a huge part of the phone’s working, and with this OS being very smooth, the smaller chip may well work just as well as the quad-core on the Android. The US version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a dual-core chip and 2GB of RAM, and this is believed to be faster than the quad-core international version due to newer architecture. This means that the iPhone 5 and the S3 might be level here. The Jelly Bean S3 ran faster than the iPhone 5 in Geekbench tests, but when on ICS it trailed (albeit by a small amount). This category is also a draw given that it is too close to call and both devices run different OS’.
Connectivity & battery life: As the iPhone 5 is so slim and has a new Lightning connector. If you still want to use older Apple accessories you’ll have to buy a $30 adapter. Many Apple fans probably wanted a slightly thicker phone with the old connector and maybe a bit of NFC action and bigger battery? Nevertheless Apple went down the slimming path to give you the thinnest smartphone in the world.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has MHL and SD support. With MHL you can play HD videos through an HDMI cable and you can also drag and drop content files without using syncing software (no iTunes neccessary). Both phones come with 4G LTE, but the S3 streaks ahead as its bigger – and removable – battery powers the device for longer. The S3 gets lots of points here.
The iPhone 5 looks amazing, but it doesn’t have NFC, SD storage or MHL – or a removable battery.
Price: To add to its woes, the price of its rival keeps dropping and it’s also available from loads of outlets like Wirefly and Amazon for as little as $99 on contract. The iPhone 5 costs twice that, so the S3 is very appealing indeed.
OS: You do need to consider that iOS 6 is very polished and streamlined, with many thinking it runs smoother than Android. Android does, however, let users customize as much as they want. Whichever device you go for, though, you’ll be making a great choice.
Looking at iPhone 5 sales so far, if Apple fixes its supply problems it might manage to catch up to S3 sales. Analysts are reckoning 26 million iPhone 5 sales over the holidays so here’s hoping they have underestimated the iPhone 5.