The Samsung Galaxy S3 is the biggest hit of the year, but now it has to do battle against the iPhone 5. How do these giants measure up against each other?
iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: comparison review
It’s hard to fully compare the phones when Apple has been coy about the processor speed and the RAM. The company has said that the iPhone 5 is twice as fast as the iPhone 5, which had an A5 chip. This makes it sound as if it’s quad-core, but it’s not.
The popularity of the iPhone 5 is immediately apparent, as is that of the Samsung Galaxy S3. More than 5 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 were placed within 72 hours of its launch, and Samsung is expecting to shift more than 30 million S3s before the end of the year.
Form Factor: The Samsung Galaxy S3 is 133g and is 136.6×70.6×8.6mm. The iPhone 5 is 112g, and 123.8×58.6×7.6mm. The best way to compare handheld devices is on lightness and thinness, and so Apple has it here.
Screens: The iPhone 5 4” display is LED IPS TFT with a 1,136×640 resolution; it’s also covered by Gorilla Glass. The Samsung Galaxy S3 screen has Gorilla Glass 2 and is 4.8” with a 1,280×720 resolution. The S3 screen is larger and tests by DisplayMate have shown that it has better screen tech than the iPhone 5. So based on its size and display technology, the Samsung Galaxy S3 wins here.
Connectivity: Both phones have LTE, Wi-Fi andBluetooth, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 also has NFC, wireless charging and WiFi direct added on top. The S3 can also be charged with any old microUSB cable, but the iPhone 5 has that fancy new dock that needs a $30 connector. The fact that the S3 has NFC and S-Beam, as well as a universal port, it wins out here.
Storage: Both come in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. The Samsung Galaxy S3, however, can expand by another 64GB, making it top out at 128GB so it wins.
Camera: both phones have 8MP cameras with autofocus and LED flash; they can also both take HD video and stills at the same time. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has smile detection but this doesn’t outweigh the BSI sensor on the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 takes much better low-light pics, so it’s another win here.
Power: The iPhone 5 has an A6 chip based on two Apple ARMv7 cores, clocked up to 1.3GHz. It also has a triple core PowerVR SGX 543MP3. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has that Exynos 4412 chipset with four Cortex A9 cores, clocked at 1.4GHz. Graphics in the S3 are handled by a Mali 400GPU. If you’re after 3D games or any heavy multitasking, the extra cores are suppose to make a difference. The US version of the Samsung Galaxy S3, which is only dual-core, makes up for it with 2GB RAM. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S3
Battery: The iPhone 5 has a 1,440mAh battery, which should give eight hours of talk time. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 2,100mAh battery which should give 11 hours and 40 minutes. Real world tests have found that the S3 doesn’t live up to this promise and only delivered the same as the iPhone 5 unfortunately. So it is a draw here.
OS: Here’s the big difference. Apple has iOS 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 has Android ICS with Jelly Bean coming soon. It’s a matter of preference, really. iOS 6 is the easier of the two to pickup as it is more streamlined and straighforward. Android on the other hand also has an easy learning curve but thanks to the range of customisation, which is what makes Android great, you will find yourself tinkering more than just the ringtones and wallpaper. If you want to make the device your own and don’t mind spending time then Android is for you. For something that “just works” it is iOS.
Design: The iPhone 5 beats the Samsung Galaxy S3 here mainly because of the choice of materials. The iPhone 5 keeps true to the ergonomics and industrial design that made the previous iPhone so nice to looks at. The Samsung Galaxy S3 on the other is sticking with glossy plastic that just lacks this premium feeling. Winner: iPhone 5.
To sum up, the Samsung Galaxy S3 gets more points (four against three) than the iPhone 5. It beat the iPhone 5 on processor, connectivity, display and memory. The iPhone 5 took points for dimensions, design and camera. For battery and OS, it was a tie.