The Samsung Galaxy S3 and Apple’s iPhone 5 are still slugging out after several months, and many consumers are still torn between both these giants.
iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: the incomparables
The iPhone 5 did get some duff reviews, with many claiming Apple has lost its innovation mojo. The Galaxy S3, on the other hand, was released to great commotion and is still going great guns despite looking a bit cheap. Which is best, though?
Display: The iPhone 5’s screen is now 4”, up from 3.5”, and it has a 1136x640p resolution. Of course this is smaller than the Galaxy S3’s 4.8” Super AMOLED screen, but it’s got the same HD and 16:9 ratio as the S3. On balance, though, the size of the Galaxy S3’s screen wins out.
Design: The Galaxy S3 has six colour options, but it’s not as svelte as the iPhone 5, at 133g compared to 112g. The slimmer the better in the consumer tech world, so the iPhone 5 takes the medal.
Battery: the iPhone 5 gives eight hours of talk time (10 on Wi-Fi). The Samsung Galaxy S3 promises 15 hours, but in reality you’ll only get around the same as with the iPhone 5 Looped video tests show that both phones give up after around 7.5 hours, and the iPhone 5 lasted 17 minutes more in browsing, so it’s pretty much a draw.
Power: The A6 chip that the iPhone 5 has is a vast improvement on the A5 chip in the 4S. The Galaxy S3 has a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos chip with 1GB of RAM. Geekbench tests have declared these phones to be fairly level pegging despite what the specs say – the GS3 wins some tests and the iPhone 5 wins some others, so what can you say?
Camera: The iPhone 5’s camera is a big improvement on the 4S’, and even the front camera can take 720p videos. The S3’s rear camera has got blink and smile detection, contrast and blurring widgets and burst mode. This is all good, but not as good as the BSI sensor in the iPhone 5, so it’s Apple in first place.
Connectivity and storage: Both phones come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, but the Galaxy S3 can handle another 64GB on SD. It can also charge from any microUSB cable, which is better than the iPhone 5, which needs its very own super-special adapter. The iPhone 5 doesn’t have NFC or MHL, so the Galaxy S3 has a definite advantage.
OS: The iPhone 5 runs on iOS 6, with improved App Store, Siri and iCloud support. The Galaxy S3 is now on Jelly Bean, so it’s a tough choice. For out-of-the-box user-friendliness, you’ll need iOS 6. If you want to make your phone’s OS really yours, you’ll need Android, so there’s no winner either way.
Looks: The iPhone 5 wins here, obviously – it’s glass, class and aluminium, with the pared-down industrial look we all love. The poor old GS3 can’t compete.
To sum up: These phones draw in four categories, and win three each, so as they’re so different, this makes it even harder to make the choice. You’ll have to rely on OS to make your decision.