The iPhone 5 made its debut earlier this week, possibly signalling the end of the Samsung Galaxy S3 reign as the best selling smartphone at the moment. While it may be too early to tell how well the iPhone 5 will sell given that no one has gotten one in their hands, the specs are official and we can compare them against the Samsung Galaxy S3 to see where they stand.
iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3
Screen: The iPhone traditionally has a 3.5” screen, but the iPhone 5 boasts a 4” widescreen display, changing its ratio to 16:9 rather than 3:2. This means a larger screen without widening the phone. Apple loves ergonomics, and will still be showing this. The only problem is upscaling apps, but unoptimised apps can get round this by showing two black bars at the display ends. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is unashamedly massive – too big for some. The 4.8” screen has the same pixel density as the iPhone 5, but watching films on it is a joy.
The phones have different screen tech; the iPhone 5 will keeps its IPS Retina display and the Samsung Galaxy S3 a Super AMOLED offering. Super AMOLED makes vivid colors and deep blacks, but IPS looks more natural in my opinion. We compared the HTC One X IPS screen to the Samsung Galaxy S3 recently where you could see what we mean,, although obviously you might think different. Apple’s PR mill will, of course, claim that you can actually see the future in the new iPhone 5 screen, however to be honest it doesn’t quite match up to the display of the Nokia Lumia 920.
Design: Dubbed the world’s thinnest smartphone, the iPhone 5 is not only smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S3 but also lighter and thinner. This also suggests that utilitarian is still in at Cupertino as it retains the styling of the 4S/4.
We still have glass sandwiching aluminum but the shiny trim is now tinted around the edges which gives it a more sleek look. Tthe iPhone 5 looks and feel much more premium than the Samsung Galaxy S3 with its infamous shiny plastic. Flagship devices shouldn’t look like they came out of a cracker.
Power: Processor-wise the Samsung Galaxy S3 should hold sway over the iPhone 5, with its quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos 4412 chip challenging the dual-core iPhone 5 with its 1GB RAM. Apple has always skimped on processors, giving its gadgets just enough oomph to run iOS glitch-free. The iPhone 4S’ processor clocks at a mere 800MHz, and there’s a bijou 512MB of storage so technically this is a big upgrade. Given that the OS plays a big part, the iPhone 5 may perform as well as the S3 despite the lesser cores.
Cameras: Much has been said about the iPhone 5 camera – a lot of it silly. I mean iSight? It’s still just your average iPhone 8-megapixel shooter. We’ll suspend judgement on the iPhone 5 camera just yet as the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a great camera to.
Connectivity: There’s a new doc connector on the iPhone 5 which will warrant you having to buy a $30 adapter should you wish to use your old iPhone accessories with it. That aside, it does allow for a muhc more slimmer iPhone. There is no expandable memory or NFC unlike the Samsung Galaxy S3.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has microSD support and MHL compliance, allowing users to output HD video and surround sound through HDMI. Users can also drag and drop content files rather than fiddling with syncing software. Both have support for 4G LTE.
Verdict: The iPhone 5 looks and feel more high-end than the Samsung Galaxy S3 but the lack of memory card and a new connector is going to put some people off. To add to the dilemma, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is cheaper, available for around $99 on contract versus the $199 for a 16GB iPhone 5. That being said both seem to match each other in terms of specs and it will likely come down to OS again – do you prefer iOS or Android. Thankfully, both parties will be making a wise choice.