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Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5: S3 (Just) Wins

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The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been around since May, and has only recently met its biggest rival, the iPhone 5. Even though the iPhone 5 has just come out, there are countless comparisons and reviews, and even some tear downs.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5

Why the tear down, though? Well, these guys know what they’re doing, and because Apple always forgets to tell the public the clock speeds of its processors and the amount of RAM. The company is fond of phrases like “twice faster than the A5”, which can mislead customers into thinking the iPhone 5 is quad-core. Great sales figures, not great sales practice.

Anyway – onto the battle royal now. The popularity of the two phones is clear from sales. Apple got more than five million pre-orders in the first few days after launch, and Samsung announced that 20 million Samsung Galaxy S3 units were shipped in less than 100 days after launch.

Dimensions: The iPhone 5 is 123.8×58.6×7.6mm and weighs 112 g. The Samsung Galaxy S3 weighs 133g and is 136.6×70.6×8.6mm in size. The size doesn’t really matter here, as the two phones have different screen sizes. We’re looking at weight and thickness, so the iPhone 5 scores a point here.

Screen: The iPhone 5 has a 4” LED IPS TFT touchscreen with a 1,136x640p resolution. The phone is protected by Gorilla Glass. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has that 4.8”, 1,280x720p Super AMOLED screen, covered by Gorilla Glass 2.

The iPhone 5 smaller screen makes one-handed use easier, but the S3 is better for browsing and watching films. It’s a draw.

The iPhone 5 didn’t go HD, which was a letdown. GS3 did, though, so it gets a point here.

Connectivity: The iPhone 5 has 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802, Wi-Fi hotspot and the new Lightning dock that means you’ll need to spend $30 on a new adapter if you still want to use your old Apple accessories.

The Samsung Galaxy S3, meanwhile, has all the connectivity of the iPhone 5 apart from LTE worldwide. The S3 does come with Wi-Fi Direct and DNLA. When used with NFC and S Beam, this allows users to share files OTA by touching devices to each other. It also has a “one size fits all” microUSB cable. You can always borrow a mate’s cable whatever smartphone he or she has.

In summation, the iPhone 5 has LTE while only a few Samsung Galaxy S3 variants do, so the iPhone 5 wins here. The Samsung Galaxy S3 wins on functionality though, thanks to the microUSB port and NFC.

Memory: Both phones have 1GB of RAM, 16, 32 or 64GB of internal storage, but the S3 far outweighs the iPhone 5 with the microSD support for up to 64GB. A clear winner here. It is also important to note that the US S3 has 2GB RAM.

Camera: The phones are alike here. 8MP cameras with LED flash, autofocus, simultaneous HD video and still capture, touch focus, face detection, geo-tagging, full HD video and image stabilisation. The Samsung Galaxy S3 also has smile detection, but this doesn’t beat the iPhone 5 brilliant BSI sensor. User tests have shown that the iPhone 5 takes better pics in low light, so the iPhone has it here.

Processor: Apple hasn’t said what the architecture or the frequency of the chipset it. Tests reveal that it’s based around two Apple ARMv7 cores (so somewhere between A9 and A15). Its frequency can go up to 1.3GHz, and the A6 chipset is aided by a triple-core PowerVR SGX 543MP3.

We do know that the Samsung Galaxy S3 has that powerful Exynos 4412 chipset with four Cortex A9 cores at 1.4GHz. The graphics side of things is handles by a Mali-400MP GPU.

This means no contest. Of course Apple devotees will moan that iOS doesn’t need four cores, but when it comes to 3D games and apps, you turn to the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Battery: The iPhone 5 has a Li-Ion 1,440mAh battery that gives up to eight hours 3G talktime. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 2,100mAh battery that offers up to 11 hours and 40 minutes on 3G.

However, the word from the street is different. iPhone 5 users are saying that their phones can stay awake for an entire day on one charge. The Samsung Galaxy S3, with its larger battery, can only boast the same, so it’s a tie here.

Operating System: It’s hard to compare objectively. There’ll always be beef between iOS and Android because it comes down to personal taste and what you want from a smartphone. If you like to customise, go for Android, but if you want smoother workings and better resource management, then iOS is for you.
The iPhone 5 is pre-loaded with iOS 6, but Samsung Galaxy S3 owners are still waiting for a Jelly Bean update – I’m not referring to leaked firmwares or custom ROMs, either.

iOS 6 has Facebook integration, but with Android ICS you’ll get integration with pretty much every app that you install, including Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Imgur and Picasa.

The Maps app in iOS 6 has become a joke, whereas the Samsung Galaxy S3 TouchWiz has great features like Smart Alert, Palm Swipe, Direct Call and Pop-up-Play.  Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, is better than S-Voice, but when Jelly Bean brings Google Now, this could all change.

You really can’t choose fairly, so we’ll have to declare a draw.

Design: Of course the iPhone 5 wins here. There’s no great revamp, but we still have a class act. It’s slimmer, lighter and shiny. Even though Samsung used a slightly less cheap looking plastic than before for the Samsung Galaxy S3, it still can’t hold a candle to the iPhone 5. One point to Cupertino!

Conclusion: The Samsung Galaxy S3 got four points compared to the iPhone 5’s three. The S3 earned those points for display, processor, connectivity and memory, and the iPhone 5 got its from dimensions, camera and design. In battery life and OS the phones drew.

Dwayne is a jack of all trades. Not only is he an executive editor and collaborates on many stories here at Autoomobile, but he also does artwork and handles the running of the website on a daily basis. We’re not sure what we would do without Dwayne, especially on those days when we have a great scoop and our servers can’t handle the influx of traffic.