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Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5: Why Comparisons Just Fail

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The Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 are engaged in an amazing battle which has consumers both thrilled and confused as to which phone to buy.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 has had some dodgy reviews, with some people wondering if Apple’s long run of innovation has ground to a halt. The Samsung Galaxy S3 launched in May to worldwide acclaim, with the only criticism being aimed at its cheap plastic exterior. So, which phone is the real winner?

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has six colours to choose from, but it’s chunkier and clunkier than the iPhone 5, at 133g to 112g. The iPhone 5 wins here, because in the tech world, slight means might.

Apple has upped the iPhone 5 screen from 3.5” to 4”, and it’s got a resolution of 1,136x640p. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a massive 4.8” screen – Super AMOLED. These screens are both HD and have a 16:9 ratio, so it’s down to size here, with the S3 a clear winner.

Apple promises eight hours of talk and 10 hours of Wi-Fi from the iPhone 5 battery. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is supposed to give twice that, but in real life it only gives around the same as the iPhone 5. A looped video test saw both phones pack in at around 7.5 hours, and the iPhone 5 actually lasted for 17 minutes more than the S3 in web browsing. This makes for a draw.

The iPhone 5 8MP camera is the same as the 4S, but it performs better in low light, and the front one can take 720p films. The Samsung Galaxy S3 8MP camera has a burst mode, blink and smile detection, as well as contrast and blurring options. These great features still don’t beat the BSI sensor on the iPhone 5, though, as it’s brilliant in low light. The iPhone 5 wins.

The A6 chip in the iPhone 5 is a big improvement on the 4S’ A5. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 1.4GHz Exynos quad-core chip with 1GB of RAM. Geekbench scores show that these phones are level pegging, and both work pretty smoothly. Despite the difference in cores, RAM and clockspeeds, it’s a draw.

The iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 have 16, 32 and 64GB versions, but the S3 can take another 64GB with SD support, giving it a win.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is lucky in that it can accept a generic microUSB cable for charging. The iPhone 5 has that Lightning connector that does charge it really fast, but can’t be used with anything else but the iPad Mini or the iPad 4. The iPhone 5 hasn’t got MHL, wireless charging or NFC like the S3 does either, so the Samsung Galaxy S3 wins when it comes to connectivity.

The iPhone 5 has iOS 6 with an improved App Store, improved iCloud support and a better Siri. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is still on ICS but is getting Jelly Bean now. The OS choice is a tough one, so if you want a streamlined OS that’s ready to go as soon as you open the box, then go for iOS 6. If you like to customize a lot, then you’ll need the Samsung Galaxy S3. It’s another draw.

In looks, the iPhone 5 just wins. It’s all glass and aluminium, with clean lines and that ergonomic, industrial look we all love. The Samsung Galaxy S3 just can’t hold a candle up to it. The iPhone 5 wins.

Conclusion: The fact that the phones draw in four categories means that we’re dealing with top-of-the-range gadgets here. Both phones won three rounds apiece, too, making this comparison feel more like a similarism. If you’re stuck, you may have to use the OS as a toss-up to make your choice as it will come down to your personal preference only when deciding between the Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5.

Cecelia has the patience of a praying mantis. She spends the day sifting through press releases from all the major brand’s PR reps. From the most ridiculous announcements to those you really want to know more about, Cecelia makes it a point to skim through as many daily as possible so you won’t have to.