iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3: And The Winner Is… Samsung (Review)

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The Samsung Galaxy S3 is one of the most popular of handsets and has been since July when it was launched. Now it is face to face with one of its biggest rivals, the iPhone 5, which has just been released by Apple. So how do the two handsets compare to each other?

iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: which is better?

It is a bit hard to compare the two devices when Apple fails to give out information regarding the processor speed of the handset along with the amount of RAM that the new iPhone has. All they tend to say is that the device is twice as fast as the A5 processor, which may lead some to believe that the iPhone 5 has a quad core processor, when it does not.

Popularity of the iPhone 5 is clear from the sales since launch, as with the Samsung Galaxy S3. More than 5 million people pre-ordered the iPhone 5 as soon as it became available. Samsung on the other hand sold over 20 million Galaxy S3 units in the first 100 days of its launch.

Form factor: The Samsung Galaxy S3 is 133g and comes in at 136.6×70.6×8.6mm, while the iPhone 5 is 112g and measures 123.8×58.6×7.6mm. When it comes down to thinness and weight the the iPhone 5 wins. And this is the best way to subjectively compare handheld electronics.

Screen: The iPhone 5 has a display of 4 inches and is LED IPS TFT and has a resolution of 1136 x 640 and the display is covered with Gorilla Glass. The screen of the Samsung Galaxy S3 also has Gorilla Glass 2 and is 4.8 inches at 1280 x 720 resolution. The display of the S3 is larger and recent tests by DisplayMate prove that is also has better screen technology than the Retina iPhone 5. So the S3 wins here.

Connectivity: Both handsets have connectivity to LTE, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, while the Samsung Galaxy S3 also supports NFC. The S3 can be charged with any microUSB cable, while Apple has changed their connector and now users cannot use older accessories unless they pay for an adapter. Thanks to the fact that the S3 has NFC and S Beam for sharing photos and files and it has the universal port, it is the winner on the connectivity front.

Storage: Both of the handsets are available in 16GB, 32GB and 64 GB versions and have 1GB of RAM (international S3 model). However the Samsung Galaxy S3 supports SD card up to 64GB, which puts it ahead of the iPhone 5.

Camera: The handsets have 8 megapixel cameras on the back with autofocus and LED flash and they can take HD video and have video and image stabilisation. The Samsung Galaxy S3 supports smile detection, but it doesn’t beat the BSI sensor of the iPhone 5. In low light the iPhone 5 does take better photos, so it has to be the winner.

Power: The processor of the iPhone 5 is the Apple A6 chip which is based on two Apple ARMv7 cores of up to 1.3Ghz, and is helped by a triple core PowerVR SGX 543MP3. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has the Exynos 4412 chipset and four Cortex A9 cores at 1.4GHz with Mali 400MP GPU. If you want to play 3D games then it has to be the S3. Even the US version with is dual-core Snapdragon has a solid 2GB RAM to back it.

Battery: The battery on the iPhone 5 is 1440mAh, which should offer up to eight hours of talk time and the Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a battery of 2100mAh which gives 11 hours and 40 minutes of talk time, both on the 3G network. However in real world tests we found that the Samsung Galaxy S3 didn’t live up to its 11 hours 40 minutes promise and came in around the same as the iPhone 5. This category is therefore a tie.

OS: The two handsets have different operating systems. Apple of course has their iOS 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 runs on Android 4.0 ICS, with the Jelly Bean update coming soon. Which is the best is a matter of preference. If you want customisation then it has to be Android, however iOS is said to be the easier of the two to use.

Design: When it comes down to design the iPhone 5 is on top as the Samsung Galaxy S3 does look a little on the plastic side that isn’t fitting for a premium device.

In conclusion the Samsung Galaxy S3 took more points than the iPhone 5 (4 points versus 3). It beat the iPhone 5 when it came to the processor, display, connectivity and memory. However the iPhone 5 won over for its dimensions, the design and the camera. It was a draw when it came to battery life and the operating system on the handsets.

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.