iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Who’s Boss?

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The fight between the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 shows us all just how far technology has advanced in recent years. It has also left a lot of consumers wondering which device to go for.

iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: gridlocked

The iPhone 5 has had mixed reviews – some great, some bemoaning the lack of innovation. The Samsung Galaxy S3 came out in the summer and has been well-received all over the world; its only downfall has been the cheap nasty plastic backing. So, who IS the daddy?

The iPhone 5 is an amazing piece of work – thin, glass and metal – with a back that is split into three columns, giving it an intricate and delicate look. It’s lighter than the 4S, at just 112g.

There are six colour variants of the Samsung Galaxy S3, and it’s a nice chunky and curvy shape compared to the iPhone 5, weighing 133g. So, design-wise the iPhone 5 takes the cake here.

Apple has redesigned the iPhone 5 screen – it’s 4” with 1 1,136x640p resolution. The Samsung Galaxy S3 also has a massive 4.8” Super AMOLED display. Both screens are HD and have aspect ratios of 16:9. With this considered, size is the deciding factor, so the S3 wins here.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has an 8MP camera that also has a burst mode, smile and blink detection, and blurring or contrast options. This is all great, but doesn’t outweigh the iPhone 5 BSI sensor that means brilliant low light photos. The iPhone 5 takes the medal here as it excels in different lighting environments better.

The iPhone 5 has iOS 6, an updated App Store, improved iCloud support and a revamped Siri. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is on ICS but is getting Jelly Bean slowly but surely. The OS decision is a toughie – if you want something that “just works” as soon as you power up for the first time, then opt for iOS 6. If you like to fiddle until your phone really is yours, then you’ll need Android. The winner is up to you.

The iPhone 5 dual-core A6 chip means faster processing. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos chip and 1GB of RAM. However, these phones are level-pegging if you look at the Geekbench test scores. There’s precious little difference in operation, either, since both platforms work very smoothly indeed. You can do heavy multitasking and watch HD films on both without any real stutters. It’s a draw.

Both the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 come in 16, 32 and 64GB versions, but as the S3 can be expanded by another 64GB, it’s clearly the winner here.

The iPhone 5 battery is 1,440mAh, giving eight hours talk or 10 hours on Wi-Fi. The Samsung Galaxy S3 battery is bigger, and promises twice the usage, but doesn’t deliver this in the real world. Our tests with looped video and also Wi-Fi browing saw both phones die out at around 7.5 hours, so it’s another draw.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 benefits from a generic microUSB cable that you can use anywhere. The iPhone 5 has a proprietary connector that works with the iPhone 5 alone (but soon the iPad Mini & iPad 4). The iPhone 5 also lacks wireless charging, NFC and MHL, so the S3 wins here.

Both of these phones are world-beaters, drawing in four categories and scoring three points each. These are evenly-matched phones, so it’s going to come down to platform preference for many buyers – iOS 6 or Android Ice Cream Sandwich / Jelly Bean?

Mike is the man who reviews gadgets that aren’t mainstream or products that can’t exactly be classified as consumer electronics e.g. portable talking toilets. It’s always interesting to read about the crazy products we have here in Asia that just don’t get as much publicity as they warrant.