The Samsung Galaxy S3 ousted the iPhone 4S from the year’s best-seller spot, and the iPhone 5 is rapidly running out of time to beat the S3 and its 30 million-plus sales figures to wrest the title back for Cupertino before the year is up. So what does each phone have on its side?
iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3
The iPhone 5 is the world’s thinnest smartphone – it’s thinner and lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S3, and sports the high-end industrial look we’ve come to love. It is just way cooler than the S3 at first glance.
The iPhone 5 has a 4” screen, with a 16:9 aspect ratio, so it’s longer but still the same width. This new aspect ratio may well cause a problem for unoptimised apps, which will have to display black bars at the ends of the screen until the developers sort it out. The Samsung Galaxy S3 screen is bigger, so handles films and games much better, even though its size does make it a bit harder to handle. The screens are also different in tech, with the iPhone 5 having an IPS Retina display and the Samsung Galaxy S3 having Super AMOLED, which gives deep blacks and vibrant colours. IPS is more naturalistic and brighter, so it does better in direct sunlight.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a quad-core Exynos chip that on paper beats the iPhone 5 & its dual-core A6 offering. Apple usually gives its chips just enough welly to run iOS well, and as the OS is a huge part of a phone’s life, this means that the iPhone 5 performs just as well as the S3. The US version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a dual-core processor with 2GB of RAM, and this is thought to run better than the international quad-core S3. These phones are equal for now, until Jelly Bean is universal among S3s.
The cameras draw in theory, as they both have 8MP, but the iPhone 5 BSI sensor gives amazing low-light photos, so it nudges ahead.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has an SD card, MHL and NFC. MHL means that users drag and drop content files without the use of third party syncing software. They can also play HD vids through an HDMI lead. These phones both have 4G LTE, but the Samsung Galaxy S3 wins as it has NFC, a removable battery and wireless charging.
Another draw for the Samsung Galaxy S3 is its falling price. It starts at $99 on Wirefly and Amazon. The iPhone 5 costs from twice this, and the S3 is aging gracefully which makes it cheaper than the iPhone 5 contract free as well ($530 versus $649).
The iPhone 5 Lightning connector is a bit of a pain, as it’s made a lot of older Apple accessories redundant unless you buy an adapter for $30. A lot of Apple fans would have liked a bigger body, more battery, NFC and the old style connector in my opinion. However Apple chose to go thinner and lighter, though, which means that changes and sacrifices had to be made.
iOS 6 is streamlined and easier to catch onto than Android. Android lets the user customise all the way, though. Both OSs are great so it is a matter of personal preference.
The iPhone 5 sales have been dogged by supply problems recently, but the most recent supply checks suggest that they’ve been resolved. This means that Apple might catch up yet and wreak a humiliating revenge on Samsung. Analysts reckon that the iPhone 5 will have shifted 26 million units by Christmas – were they being conservative?
Apple would gleefully outsell the Samsung Galaxy S3 at the death and knock it off its perch, but those international sales will have to gear up quicker if Apple wants its iPhone 5 to accomplish this feat within the month.