Last month saw the advent of the iPhone 5 and the possible dethroning of the GS3. As we have some real specs and hands-on reviews, we can get comparing.
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5
Screen: The iPhone 5 has a 4” widescreen – and a 16:9 ratio rather than 3:2. This means a taller screen but not a wider phone. Apple still loves ergonomics, but upscaling apps might present a problem. Unoptimised apps may have to show two black bars at the screen ends.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a massive screen, and the same ppi (almost) as the iPhone 5. This makes watching films and gaming an absolute joy.
Both phones have different screen tech – the iPhone 5 with IPS Retina display and the Samsung Galaxy S3 with Super AMOLED. Super AMOLED gives vivid colours and deep blacks, but IPS is more real and naturalistic. Both screens are great, but neither is going to stand up to the Nokia Lumia 920 when it gets here. Ouch.
Screen Verdict: DRAW
Camera: Overlooking the part where Tim Cook claimed that the iPhone 5 camera would make children look happier, the new camera is more than respectable, and at 8MP is the same as the Samsung Galaxy S3. While tests showed both were capable 8MP shooters, the iPhone 5 performed better in low light conditions.
Camera Verdict: iPhone 5 better in low-light conditions
Design: The iPhone 5 is the thinnest smartphone in the world, and of course is smaller, thinner and lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S3.
There’s still the glass and aluminum pairing for the iPhone 5, and the shiny trim is now tinted. It’s just more quality than the S3 to the eyes. The scion of any tech giant shouldn’t look like it came from a dime store.
Design Verdict: iPhone 5 has the look
Power: Theoretically the Samsung Galaxy S31.4GHz Exynos chip should trounce the A6 processor in the iPhone 5. It seems after some benchmark tests, though, that the dual-core A6 chip is faster compared to S3 on ICS, and slightly behind against S3 on Jelly Bean. We need a few more results before confirming this, but the pair are the fastest smartphones out there right now.
Power Verdict: Draw
Connectivity: The new dock on the iPhone 5 means that to keep all your old Apple accessories with you you’ll need to buy that $30 adapter. However, you have a slimmer phone now. There’s still no NFC, removable battery or expandable memory though.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has microSD support and HML compliance, so users can play HD video and surround sound through an HDMI cable. Users can also drag and drop content rather than using syncing software. The S3 also boasts WiFi direct, wireless charging and NFC. Both phones have 4G LTE.
Connectivity Verdict: Samsung Galaxy S3 has more to offer
Bottom line: The iPhone 5 looks and seems more high-end than the Samsung Galaxy S3 and has an excellent camera, but the new dock, lack of memory card and small screen is winding people up no end. The S3 is also becoming cheaper now, starting at $99 on contract in many places, whereas the iPhone 5 starts at $199 and the unlocked price proves to be an even bigger gap between both devices. The phones are level pegging in every other respect, and so OS preference will make many people’s minds up. Thankfully, you can’t go wrong either way.