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Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3

The Apple iPhone 5 takes on the Samsung Galaxy S3, but who comes out on top in this epic clash of the titans? We square up the specs to find out

Whether you love the sound of the new iPhone 5, or massively underwhelmed by the latest Apple smartphone instalment, it’s probably going to sell in its millions and have fanboys queuing outside Apple Stores across the world.

Fear not Android lovers, for the Samsung Galaxy S3 is an Android smartphone goliath that should prove worthy competition for the iPhone 5. The question is, does the S3 actually boast better features than the latest Apple blower? It’s time for a smartphone spec showdown…


Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Build

Apple iPhone 5

Calling it the most beautiful product the company has ever made is some bold statement. So what makes it so stunning? The iPhone 5 is made from glass and aluminium and will be the thinnest Apple smartphone at just 7.6mm thick, but doesn’t quite beat the Huawei Ascend P1 or ZTE Athena which still remain the slimmest smartphones around. In the measurements department the iPhone 5 weighs in at 112g which is significantly lighter than the 4S (140g).

Samsung Galaxy S3

Available in ‘Marble White’ and ‘Pebble Blue’ (pebble… blue?!) and now titanium grey, the Galaxy S3 is sporting a curvier look than the iPhone 5 . It actually looks far less like it’s older brother, and actually more resembles of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, both in size and contours, although the plastic finish on the back feels more premium than its predecessor. Measuring 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm, the S3 is slightly longer, wider and fatter than the S2 (125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49mm), which may prove to bit a little on the large side for some although the extra thickness may actually make the S3 slightly easier to hold and less likely to slip from your hand, particularly when taking a photo. At 133g, the S3 is very slightly heavier than the S2, although only by 3 grams, so it’s barely noticeable.

Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Screen

Apple iPhone 5

So we’ve got our bigger screen and at 4-inches as had been long rumoured, it’s a drastic jump from the iPhone 4S which now means you can have five rows of apps on the homescreen. The Retina display promises the same 326ppi as the 4S with a screen resolution jump to 1136 x 640, but essentially you can expect in terms of look and feel it will be the same width but a bit taller.

Samsung Galaxy S3

The S3 one-ups the iPhone 4S and HTC One X on screen size, with an enormous 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen, which displays at a maximum resolution of 720 x 1280. At 306 pixels per inch, the screen is slightly below the quality of the HTC One X and the iPhone 4S but frankly, 306ppi is still eye-searing stuff. Everything that we said about the HTC looking great because of it’s size is even more true of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Once again the screen uses Super AMOLED technology, to keep the viewing angle as wide as possible.

Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Camera

Apple iPhone 5

Already a pretty capable of taking great snaps, the same 8-Megapixel camera sensor and f/2.4 aperture is included in the iPhone 5, with the addition of a dynamic low light mode to benefit night-time snapping with a new more durable sapphire crystal lens. Additionally, a new image processor includes a smart filter and should reduce noise in images. In terms of new camera modes, you can now take panoramic photos and with the Share Photo Streams feature share pictures with friends and families where they can comment on your pictorial efforts. It’s good news for regular FaceTimers as the front-facing camera is now capable of 720p video

Samsung Galaxy S3

The rumoured 12MP camera sadly does not make an appearance. Instead the Galaxy S3 arrives with a perfectly reasonable 8MP/1080p camera, exactly the same as that on the HTC One X. In burst mode, the camera takes continuous shots at a rate of 6fps, then picks the best shot based on smile detection, blink detection, contrast and blurring. According to Samsung, the camera also has zero shutter lag along with an improved shot-to-shot time. You’ll be able to set up rules for photos to be automatically placed in groups based on faces, contacts or location. There’s also Face Zoom which means that you can tap on a face when lining up a crowd shot and the camera will zoom in automatically. The lack of optical zoom means that this is going to be fairly limited, but we look forward to trying it out in the wild.

It also has a 1.9MP camera on the front, which suffices for profile pictures, video calls and the like. Curiously, that’s actually smaller than the Galaxy S2′s 2MP front camera sensor, but still a major improvement on the 4S’ 0.3MP front-facing camera.


Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Power

Apple iPhone 5

Moving from the A5 processor found in the 4S and the iPad 2, to a new A6 chip, Apple claims it will deliver a CPU two times faster than the A5 and up to times better graphics. So, expect apps to launch quicker, browsing to speedier and overall performance to step up significantly from the 4S.

Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung has put their own quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor into the Galaxy S3, and bolstered it with 1GB RAM. The quad-core processor certainly seemed to do the trick in the limited time that we had with the phone. There was barely any lag when switching between home screens and firing up apps. Flash memory is available in 16, 32 and 64 GB versions, improving on the S2′s 16GB offering, while there’s also a micro SD card slot should you wish to expand the memory. There’s also 50GB of free storage for your content on Dropbox for the next years, which is double what HTC is offering on its HTC One X.

Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Operating System

Apple iPhone 5

New phone, new operating system. iOS 6 promises a slightly tweaked user interface with a new look App Store with iCloud support, a smarter Siri that will launch apps, FaceTime over 3G and plenty more. It’s still one of the best mobile operating systems and the new features have certainly enhanced its capabilities.


Samsung Galaxy S3

The Galaxy S3 comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as standard. Like HTC, Samsung has taken Android 4.0 and overlayed their Touch Wiz UI – an interface that we already loved from it’s Galaxy S2 days. It’s been streamlined a little -  the wealth of features remains, but things feel a little less cluttered.S Voice is essentially voice-activated control that will give you direct access to functions such as the camera, calls, text, the alarms, weather, calendar and music and it’ll even work when music is playing. What it won’t do is answer you back with pithy retorts, like Apple’s Siri. An Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update is expected to be available from October but it will be interesting to see how it compares to the version we have seen so far on the Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.


Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Battery

Apple iPhone 5

While the iPhone 4 made a big jump from the previous iPhone 3G and 3GS, The iPhone 5 battery is generally the same as the 4S so it should see you through 8 hours talk time on 3G or LTE, and 10 hours of Wi-Fi which an extra hour more than the 4S.


Samsung Galaxy S3

The Galaxy S3′s 2100mah battery is a big improvement on that of the S2, and ought to be hefty enough to handle all the tech that has been packed into the S3. A bigger battery doesn’t mean longer battery life, but we’ll give the S3 the benefit of the doubt for the moment.

The battery in the Galaxy S2 was pretty good, and the extra power in the Galaxy S3 probably cancels out the bigger battery. The S2 outperformed the iPhone 4S in this category, so we’d expect the S3 to do the same.

Already and Apple fan with an iPhone 4S and looking for a change take a look at our iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S video below to see the old vs the new.

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