Two stand-out smartphones at the moment are the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3. Which is the daddy and which should you buy?
Comparison: Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5
The iPhone 5 reviews have been good and bad – some say that Apple can’t innovate any more while others call it the best upgrade to date. The Samsung Galaxy S3 came out in the summer and has been universally loved – apart from that plastic finish. So how do they match up against each other?
Innovation: The iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter and smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S3. In tech, the lighter and thinner always wins, so it’s an Apple victory.
Display: The iPhone 5 screen is now 4”, rather than 3.5”. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a Super AMOLED screen that’s HD and 4.8”. Both phones have HD and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The Samsung Galaxy S3 wins this round, though, because it’s bigger.
Styling: no phone can beat the iPhone 5, and especially not the Samsung Galaxy S3. The S3’s cheap looks belie the serious hardware lurking under its plastic casing. The iPhone 5 with its sleek aluminum styling wins.
Battery life: The iPhone 5 promises around eight hours of talk, and 10 on Wi-Fi. The Samsung Galaxy S3 gives around this amount too, although it says it’ll last for around 15. You may well get 20 or so minutes more of web browsing from the iPhone 5, so it’s a draw right now.
Software: The iPhone 5 has iOS 6, with improved iCloud, Siri and App Store support. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is finally getting Jelly Bean, but has been languishing on ICS for ages. Operating system is a personal decision – you’ll have the instant puppy-friendliness of iOS 6 or the aloof complexity of Android that once mastered is more flexible than Apple’s. It’s a draw again.
Camera: Although the iPhone 5 camera has been improved since the 4S, you won’t really notice it. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has an 8MP camera as well, but the iPhone 5 BSI sensor wins it for Apple, as it performs so well in low light.
Chip: The iPhone 5 has a 1.2GHz dual-core A6 chip, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a quad-core 1.4GHz chip backed up by 1GB of RAM (2GB of RAM and a dual-core in the US). Benchmark tests showed that these phones are very close, with both phones winning an equal number of benchmark tests. It’s a draw once more.
Storage: You’ll get a range of sizes with both phones – 16, 32 and 64GB. However, with the Samsung Galaxy S3, you can add on another 64GB with an SD card. Samsung wins this round.
Connectivity: The Samsung Galaxy S3 can use a generic microUSB cable for charging, whereas the iPhone 5 needs its special Lightning connector. This connector does charge it very fast, but this doesn’t make up for the closed technology. The lack of MHL and NFC, and no wireless charging either, also means that the S3 is ahead of the iPhone 5.
Conclusion: These handsets are matched – winning three points each and drawing in four rounds. They are at once very different and very hard to tell apart. Operating system will be the deciding factor for many.