iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Specs, software, cameras, price and more compared

iPhone-5-vs-galaxy-s3.jpgreview-line.JPG
If the iPhone 5 has one true Android-based competitor, it’s Samsung’s Galaxy S3. Already selling like hot-cakes, Samsung’s latest smartphone carries on in the proud tradition of their Galaxy S series, offering a customisable, powerful handset with more features than you could shake a well-sized stick at. But Apple’s iPhone 5 has plenty of its own tricks up its sleeve, from new iOS 6 features to a significantly changed design.

Both the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 have a lot going for them, each with unique bonuses and drawbacks. We compare the key features and specs of both to help you decide which you should be splashing the cash on.

review-line.JPGDesign and Build Quality

iPhone 5
The iPhone 5 brings with it a considerable re-design for the iPhone line. Measuring 7.6mm thick and weighing 112 grams, it’s 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S. Available in two colours, either black or white, the rear panels are different on each. The white version has a raw aluminium back plate, while the black version has an anodised black finish on its rear. The biggest change comes with screen size. 4-inches diagonally, it now sits in a taller, widescreen ratio. It’ll still fit comfortable in one hand, but will also be better for viewing films on than previous models. Made entirely from aluminium and glass, it has a real premium feel to it, though we’re not personally sold on the whole two-tone look. 4G download speeds also hit the iPhone for the first time.

Galaxy S3
Thin at just 8.6mm and light at 133g, the Galaxy S3 feels great in the hand, and slips almost invisibly into a pocket. Available in Pebble Blue and Marble White, as well as other exclusive shades depending on your carrier, its curved edges are meant to conjure memories of nature. However, its plasticy “Hyperglaze” finish lacks that premium feel, and some may decide the Galaxy S3 is a little flimsy, albeit unfairly. The Samsung Galaxy S3 also has NFC features, whereas the iPhone 5 does not, as well as including 4G connectivity.

Winner – iPhone 5

Screen

iPhone 5
A Retina display with 326ppi again features with the iPhone 5, in a 4-inch screen of the usual width, but taller than previous iPhones. The resolution of the display sits at 1136 x 640. Closer to a 16:9 ratio than before, the iPhone 5 is now better for viewing films on, with 44% better colour saturation, and with touch integrated into the display to reduce glare in sunlight. It may be the biggest iPhone screen to date, but it’s still considerably smaller than that of the Galaxy S3.

Galaxy S3
A 4.8 inch Super AMOLED HD display sits on the front of the Galaxy S3 and it’s gorgeous. Though its extra size and resolution mean it “only” hits a 309ppi pixel density, to the naked eye that won’t make a difference. Vibrant and colourful, it dwarfs the iPhone 5 screen, despite it being the biggest iPhone screen to date. For some, bigger, in this case at least, will prove better.

Winner – Tie (iPhone 5 has the pixel density, Galaxy S3 the bigger size)

Processor

iPhone 5
A new iPhone, a new processor. The iPhone 5 comes equipped with an A6 processor, which is said to be 2x as fast with both CPU and GPU processing as the already-speedy dual-core A5 chip found in the iPhone 4S. Shrinking down the transistor size, it’s smaller and more energy efficient too. Apps will load as much as 2x faster using the new chipset. It’s not yet clear how many cores the A6 chip uses, nor who makes it. There’s a strong chance it’s Samsung built, despite the ongoing legal battles.

Galaxy S3
Samsung have popped a quad-core 1.4Ghz Exynos processor in the Galaxy S3. And despite running off the sometimes temperamental Android OS there isn’t a stutter or hang to be seen. This is one powerful phone, best presented by the Pop Up Play feature that offers true picture-in-picture multitasking, offering windowed HD video playback. Impressive is an understatement.

Winner – Galaxy S3, though this could change as Apple reveal more on the new A6 processor

Storage

iPhone 5

Though Apple’s iPhone 5 doesn’t offer expandable storage, they at least offer three different configurations when it comes to size. 16GB, 32GB and 64GB iPhone 5 models are all available, with pricing rising appropriately. It’s a crafty tactic though, as those opting for more storage space have to pop money directly into Apple’s coffers, rather than picking up cheaper expandable storage elsewhere. With the iCloud back-up feature you’ve got a little leeway with which to store files remotely too, though extensive cloud storage through Apple doesn’t come cheaply.

Galaxy S3
Samsung’s generous storage options make Apple look very cheap here. For starters, you’ve got the same 16GB, 32GB and 64GB handset options. Add on to that the option of popping in as much as an extra 64GB from a microSD card. Then pile on top the 50GB of FREE Dropbox cloud storage that comes as standard with every Galaxy S3 purchase. There’s no competition here.

Winner – Galaxy S3

Battery

iPhone 5

225 hours of battery life on standby are quoted for the iPhone 5, with 8 hours 3G or LTE talk time, and 10 hours Wi-Fi usage. In reality however, you’re going to be juggling through all these tasks (plus video or audio playback) throughout a day, meaning that you’re going to need to recharge that battery long before the day is done.

Galaxy S3
Samsung have popped in a whopping 2100mAh battery in the Galaxy S3. It sounds awesome, but remember there’s a massive screen to power, as well as a quad-core processor draining juice all the time. Touches like the Smart Stay tech should keep battery usage as low as possible, but not by much. This is still a “charge-a-day” handset.

Winner – Tie
iPhone-5-vs-galaxy-s3-camera.jpg
Software and Apps

iPhone 5

Apple say there’s an app for everything, and with the iOS App Store, that’s pretty much true. With well over 700,000 different apps available in Apple’s store, there’s pretty much an app to cater for every potential need. From fitness to finance, arts to archaeology, you name it, there’s a shed load of apps for every possible niche. Gaming in particular is well served on the iPhone, with it more than a match for handhelds like the Nintendo 3DS or PS Vita these days. Just check out Infinity Blade 2 if you need convincing.

The iPhone 5 also again features the much-publicised Siri voice control app. With it, you can search the web, set calendar reminders, dictate emails and much more with just your voice alone. In the US it’s a fully-featured service that has a giant database of details on local businesses and events. In the UK, it’s far less comprehensive in terms of what it can do, making it a bit of a novelty for the time being.

As for the design of the iOS operating system itself, it’s incredibly easy to use and looks beautiful. It pretty much invented the grid-based app layout that everything from the Xbox 360 to Roku entertainment players have ripped off since.

It is also however incredibly limited in terms of customisation, and if you’re a tinkerer who likes to get under the hood of his device and tweak every property and potential UI layout, it’s not a patch on Android. The latest version of iOS, iOS 6 (which the iPhone 5 ships with) also drops the superb Google Maps app in favour of Apple’s own Maps application. Apple’s take on cartography is pretty, but nowhere near as extensive as Google’s and lacking useful features such as Street View.

Galaxy S3
The Galaxy S3 runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich, with a 4.1 Jelly Bean update due to land next month. When it comes to apps, Android just can’t compete with iOS. For starters there are fewer apps available, and they tend to be uniformly less visually appealing than similar ones available on the Apple App Store. It does however use Google’s Maps app, which we’ve already stated is the superior mapping option.

Likewise, Android is a far less user-friendly OS, but what it lacks in dummy-proofing, it excels with customisation options. You can make your Android look and act pretty much however you want it to, freely adding widgets and personal touches throughout the device.

Samsung have also gone a long way to stamping their own touches into the software of the phone too. As well as the aforementioned Pop Up Play feature, there’s superfast data sharing over NFC with S Beam, intelligent facial recognition and photo tagging capabilities, eye-tracking screen dimming tech called Smart Stay and their own Siri rival called S Voice.

Winner – iPhone 5

Camera and Video Recording

iPhone 5

Though its megapixel count of 8 isn’t any higher than the majority of top-tier smartphones the iPhone 5 sees Apple’s imaging systems again improved. A dynamic low-light mode for better night time shooting is added to the 5-element lens and f/2.4 aperture. There’s also a panorama shooting mode natively built into the camera app for the first time, with a 360-degree shot resulting in a giant 28 megapixel image. The A6 chip allows for faster photo capture too, as well as a smart filter for better colour matching and reduced noise. Share Photo Streams allow you to share photos with pals, and receive messages on your snaps too.

Combine all that with clever HDR and Macro software, and you’ll get excellent still image results almost every time. A super-fast shutter speed that lets you snap multiple images directly after each other sweetens the deal, as do the many superb photography apps on the App Store.

1080p video recording with anti-shake functionality and facial recognition tech will likely impress too, with the iMovie app letting you make a few simple edits on the go.

Galaxy S3
Samsung’s top-tier smartphone camera seems every bit as good as the iPhone’s. It’s an 8MP offering, with impressive start up speeds of 990ms, and the ability to fire off 3.3 photos a second. A 20 in a row, six photos per second burst mode also features, alongside Best Shot, which takes 8 pictures and picks out the best based on framing, lighting and blur, as well as elements such as open or closed eyes on the subject.

Then there are the facial recognition features. Snap a friend, tag them in one photo, and every subsequent picture you take of them in the future should automatically be tagged accurately by the handset. Groups of people appearing in the same shots can also have group tags associated with them, making organising large photo libraries incredibly easy. Images can quickly be shared via email or social networks using this feature too.

Elsewhere, more standard features like High Dynamic Range (HDR), panorama, Smile Shot and Beauty Modes are onboard too, as well as plenty of manual settings for things like exposure values.

1080p video recording is also onboard. Just like the S2 before it, the results from our tests look a real treat, with video stabilisation options working superbly. Up front, a 1.9MP camera for video calling and shooting 720p video is also available.

Winner – Tie

Price

iPhone 5

So far, only the entry level 16GB iPhone 5 price has been revealed. Unlocked, it’ll cost £529. That’s expensive, but network contract subsidies will see that initial outlay drop significantly.

Galaxy S3
Unlocked, the 16GB Samsung Galaxy S3 now sits at around £425, 32GB at £470. The 64GB option is set to launch in early October, at an as-yet-unspecified price.

Winner – Galaxy S3

review-line.JPGVerdict:

There’s not much in it, and the Apple faithful will likely see nothing that will make them change their ways, but our first impressions of the iPhone 5 suggest that Apple really have a fight on their hands this time around. A great camera, superb screen and innovative software features prove Samsung really pushed the boat out with the Galaxy S3. iOS remains the superior operating system, but aside from 4G connectivity, it’s seemingly a smaller, incremental update for the iPhone this time around. As a fashion statement, the iPhone 5 still looks the business, but it is pricey and offers scant few features over its now cheaper Samsung rival.

review-line.JPG

For more iPhone 5 launch news, click here

Everything we know so far about the iPhone 6

About the Author

Gerald Lynch





Gerald LynchiPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Specs, software, cameras, price and more compared
  • RJD

    Tie on battery?! Think you need to go specsavers . Face it. The iphone isn't even a match for a phone that's already been out 5 months :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.knutson.921 Ken Knutson

    fuck apple

  • anonymous

    Let me get this straight, Screen : 4″ 1136×640 vs 4.8″ 1280×720 Tie? How?Battery: 8hs claimed from apple vs 12hs claimed from samsungTie? How?Software and apps gets down to a matter of opinion really, impossible to give a clear win like said in this article.

    • adam

      also note that the samsung you can have a second or third battery that you can easity swap out for extended battery life. the iphone your stuck with charging the one inside the iphone.

  • Curious

    I wonder how many bloggers Samsung employed to bash Apple today?

    • Anonymous

      They just do that on their own. I am amused at the irony of the situation, though, since the anti-Apple folks are more prevalent, aggressive and knee-jerk reactionary than the iSheep they're trying to bash. They may be more zealous than the zealots they're targeting, but, being zealots, they're blind to that fact.

      Disclosure: I'm an Apple customer and I've already put my money down for the iPhone 5 – I'm just not dumb enough to declare a phone “crap” or “best thing since sliced bread” based solely on the brand name. Flame away, zealots.

  • jeebee

    Time to short Apple shares.

  • anonymous

    Yeah, it isn't a tie on battery. Sorry.. I believe the author of the article just didn't have the right info at the time.. please correct. (see below)

    iPhone -vs- Galaxy S3 Battery

    225 hours standby, 8 hours talk time790 hours standby, 11:40 hours talk time

  • Malik

    Both phones are good for their lovers.there is nothing innovative in iphone 5 but the screen size and thats good for iphone lovers not for samsung/android lovers.i think s3 is a better gadget for phone players. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/devin.johnson.5220 Devin Johnson

    Only the PRC (People's Republic of China) pay netizens to swing public opinions. You don't know? Apple is pro Communist-China. You didn't think they were creating jobs here did you? Just look up the 五毛党 (China's 50 cent party). Just look at the China love at the bottom of their page here: http://www.apple.com/ios/whats… Every iPhone bought is a tortured soul sold in China. Foxconn anyone?”Curious•2 hours ago−+Flag as inappropriateI wonder how many bloggers Samsung employed to bash Apple today?”

  • Alexander Martinez

    In so sick of the media repeating the same old BS. I dropped my 4s about 6 months ago and broke it. I had no handset insurance and had to buy a used Samsung Galaxy S2. At first I was nervous because I read a lot of these types of Apple bias articles. I read how hard it is to use android, screen not as good as retina, plastic case, etc. But the truth is the S2 turned out to be far superior to the iphone 4s in every way. The screen was way bigger and colors looked better in my opinion even though resolution looked less. Android was very easy to learn and to me does way more. The battery lasts all day. I dropped multiple time and did not break or even scratch screen.

    Well last week I got the new Galaxy S3 but only after comparing with Apples soon to be Iphone 5. I did my own research. This writer is not being fair. The design and build quality- S3 has some kind of gorilla glass that resists breaking and scratching, plus it looks nice and fresh, and is tuff. Also the removable battery and internal SD slot are part of the design, are they not. That's the true measure of design and build quality. Plus the iphone looks old and dated because it is an old design. Just be fair and say it.

    The Screen- Pixels bla, bla. Put them next to each other and the S3 screen is way nicer than the Retina, plus it is LED, LCD technology is also dated. The size is where the competition ends. I like the large screen and it feels good in the pocket even though has large screen. S3 lasts all day, even longer than the S2 did and way longer that my old 4S did. I read that the new iphone battery is just 10-20mAh larger than before. I cant see it lasting longer than the S3.

    I just wish these article were true and fair so the consumer has a real choice and is not turned off to other choices by unfair comparisons. Do your own research and make your own choice.

  • RJD

    Tie on battery?! Think you need to go specsavers . Face it. The iphone isn’t even a match for a phone that’s already been out 5 months :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.knutson.921 Ken Knutson

    fuck apple

  • anonymous

    Let me get this straight,
    Screen : 4″ 1136×640 vs 4.8″ 1280×720
    Tie? How?
    Battery: 8hs claimed from apple vs 12hs claimed from samsung
    Tie? How?
    Software and apps gets down to a matter of opinion really, impossible to give a clear win like said in this article.

    • adam

      also note that the samsung you can have a second or third battery that you can easity swap out for extended battery life. the iphone your stuck with charging the one inside the iphone.

    • Juan Francisco González

      and there goes an apple hater.

  • Curious

    I wonder how many bloggers Samsung employed to bash Apple today?

    • Anonymous

      They just do that on their own. I am amused at the irony of the situation, though, since the anti-Apple folks are more prevalent, aggressive and knee-jerk reactionary than the iSheep they’re trying to bash. They may be more zealous than the zealots they’re targeting, but, being zealots, they’re blind to that fact.

      Disclosure: I’m an Apple customer and I’ve already put my money down for the iPhone 5 – I’m just not dumb enough to declare a phone “crap” or “best thing since sliced bread” based solely on the brand name. Flame away, zealots.

  • jeebee

    Time to short Apple shares.

  • anonymous

    Yeah, it isn’t a tie on battery. Sorry.. I believe the author of the article just didn’t have the right info at the time.. please correct. (see below)

    iPhone -vs- Galaxy S3 Battery

    225 hours standby, 8 hours talk time790 hours standby, 11:40 hours talk time

  • Malik

    Both phones are good for their lovers.
    there is nothing innovative in iphone 5 but the screen size and thats good for iphone lovers not for samsung/android lovers.
    i think s3 is a better gadget for phone players. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/devin.johnson.5220 Devin Johnson

    Only the PRC (People’s Republic of China) pay netizens to swing public opinions. You don’t know? Apple is pro Communist-China. You didn’t think they were creating jobs here did you? Just look up the 五毛党 (China’s 50 cent party). Just look at the China love at the bottom of their page here: http://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new/
    Every iPhone bought is a tortured soul sold in China. Foxconn anyone?
    “Curious•2 hours ago
    −+Flag as inappropriate
    I wonder how many bloggers Samsung employed to bash Apple today?”

  • Alexander Martinez

    In so sick of the media repeating the same old BS. I dropped my 4s about 6 months ago and broke it. I had no handset insurance and had to buy a used Samsung Galaxy S2. At first I was nervous because I read a lot of these types of Apple bias articles. I read how hard it is to use android, screen not as good as retina, plastic case, etc. But the truth is the S2 turned out to be far superior to the iphone 4s in every way. The screen was way bigger and colors looked better in my opinion even though resolution looked less. Android was very easy to learn and to me does way more. The battery lasts all day. I dropped multiple time and did not break or even scratch screen.

    Well last week I got the new Galaxy S3 but only after comparing with Apples soon to be Iphone 5. I did my own research. This writer is not being fair. The design and build quality- S3 has some kind of gorilla glass that resists breaking and scratching, plus it looks nice and fresh, and is tuff. Also the removable battery and internal SD slot are part of the design, are they not. That’s the true measure of design and build quality. Plus the iphone looks old and dated because it is an old design. Just be fair and say it.

    The Screen- Pixels bla, bla. Put them next to each other and the S3 screen is way nicer than the Retina, plus it is LED, LCD technology is also dated. The size is where the competition ends. I like the large screen and it feels good in the pocket even though has large screen. S3 lasts all day, even longer than the S2 did and way longer that my old 4S did. I read that the new iphone battery is just 10-20mAh larger than before. I cant see it lasting longer than the S3.

    I just wish these article were true and fair so the consumer has a real choice and is not turned off to other choices by unfair comparisons. Do your own research and make your own choice.

  • StockStalker1

    US version of the S3 has a dual core. Kinda shows the author is an idiot.

    “When it comes to apps, Android just can't compete with iOS.”

    Lol. See ^^ the author really is an idiot.

    • http://twitter.com/geegeemidnight Gerald Lynch

      Note this is a UK publication

  • StockStalker1

    US version of the S3 has a dual core. Kinda shows the author is an idiot.

    “When it comes to apps, Android just can’t compete with iOS.”

    Lol. See ^^ the author really is an idiot.

    • Gerald Lynch

      Note this is a UK publication

  • sara

    wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!amazin i mean its awsum ifone5 vs sam galxy s3

  • kanza

    wonderfull i mean wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!amazin its awsum ifone5 vs sam galxy s3….both r my favrte i'm lovin it

  • kanza

    wonderfull i mean wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!amazin its awsum ifone5 vs sam galxy s3….both r my favrte i'm lovin it & i hav both 1 ma sis n 1 mine…………………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!………:D

  • sara

    wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!amazin i mean its awsum ifone5 vs sam galxy s3

  • kanza

    wonderfull i mean wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!amazin its awsum ifone5 vs sam galxy s3….both r my favrte i’m lovin it

  • kanza

    wonderfull i mean wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!amazin its awsum ifone5 vs sam galxy s3….both r my favrte i’m lovin it & i hav both 1 ma sis n 1 mine…………………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!………:D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Annu-Verma/100004322709242 Annu Verma

    Samsung Galaxy S3 is a Good Option..But beware Samsung Galaxy S3 users,As there can be major attack by Hackers.Check out Major Vulnerably on Samsung Galaxy S3-A line of Code may Wipe out all of Your Data———————Malicious code can remotely wipe out data in Samsung Galaxy S III (Major Security Vulnerability resolved by Samsung)

  • http://www.etechplanet.com/ annu

    Samsung Galaxy S3 is a Good Option..But beware Samsung Galaxy S3 users,As there can be major attack by Hackers.
    Check out Major Vulnerably on Samsung Galaxy S3-A line of Code may Wipe out all of Your Data———————
    Malicious code can remotely wipe out data in Samsung Galaxy S III (Major Security Vulnerability resolved by Samsung)

  • http://www.facebook.com/louise.sugden Louise Sugden

    I've been told my many people that my camera on my S3 is better than the iPhone camera so there is no way that should be a tie!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/louise.sugden Louise Sugden

    I’ve been told my many people that my camera on my S3 is better than the iPhone camera so there is no way that should be a tie!!!

  • http://twitter.com/ClipclockHub Clipclock

    Great post…. ClipClock is a great video app for iphone….. find it here at the app store!Check it out: http://www.clipclock.com/download/429...

  • http://twitter.com/ClipclockHub Clipclock

    Great post…. ClipClock is a great video app for iphone….. find it here at the app store!Check it out: http://www.clipclock.com/download/4294

  • Ibrahim Sulayman

    You see apple fans sit there enjoying there iPhones but Samsung fans bored out of thre brains just keep on writing negative comments about apple. By the way I'm not against Samsung iv got a Samsung phone a cheep one, I'm thinking if I should by a Samsung galexy s3 or a iPhone 5. Iv got an ipad so I now how iPhone work because they both have morless the same features and half the comments against apple are false.

  • Ibrahim Sulayman

    You see apple fans sit there enjoying there iPhones but Samsung fans bored out of thre brains just keep on writing negative comments about apple. By the way I’m not against Samsung iv got a Samsung phone a cheep one, I’m thinking if I should by a Samsung galexy s3 or a iPhone 5. Iv got an ipad so I now how iPhone work because they both have morless the same features and half the comments against apple are false.