Browse around the interwebs for iPhone 5 news and inevitably you will run into comments by Android and Windows fans dissing the new phone for being too meh! Is there any merit to these claims? We pit the all new iPhone5 against the very successful Galaxy S3.
iPhone5: 4.87 x 2.31 x 0.31 inches
Galaxy S3: 5.37 x 2.77 x 0.33 inches
Apple announced that the iPhone 5 was the thinnest phone ever. While not strictly true, at 7.6mm thickness it is certainly one of the thinnest around especially for a phone this packed with tech. At 8.6mm the Galaxy S3 is a millimeter thicker.
Galaxy S3 is quite obviously the bigger phone by far, both in size and weight and which one you like comes down to personal preference of how much phone you like to hold.
iPhone 5: 4″ screen, 1146 x 640, 326 pixels per inch
Galaxy S3: 4.8″ screen, 1280 x 720, 306 pixels per inch
The S3 has a much bigger screen, but iPhone 5 Retina display is higher resolution. In reality both phone displays are pretty amazing as the human eye cannot differentiate pixels after 300 ppi, so the difference in pixel density is academic.
Storage and memory:
iPhone 5: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. 1 GB RAM
Galaxy S3: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. 2 GB RAM
iPhone 5 comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions, same as the Galaxy S3. But Galaxy S3 offers the option to adding an SD card for expansion and portability. Apple iPhones have never had the option for expanded memory and that is why most apps ported from iOS to Android do not offer the option to be moved to memory card which can be rather annoying.
Why do you need that much storage? 1 min of video with the 1080p HD camera can take up about 200 MB of space, and movies, games and music chew through storage pretty quick. Also it is a lot cheaper to add more storage when you run short rather than upgrading the phone.
The iPhone 5 has 1 GB RAM (made by Samsung!) – exactly half of S3′s 2 GB. Apple claim that the iOS6 doesn’t need that much RAM to run. But thanks to all that memory, the S3 can do cool multi tasking tricks like playing full HD video while also browsing the web or making phone calls. Will the difference in RAM translate into a difference in performance? We’ll know only when the live benchmark tests come out.
iPhone 5: Dual core A6 CPU
Galaxy S3: 1.5 GHz Quad core Exynos CPU
Apple claim the new processor is twice as fast as the iPhone 4S. In Australia the Galaxy S3 non-LTE version has a quad core processor while the LTE version is dual core due to technical limitations. When we pit the two 4G LTE models against each other on CPU, both are about equal in power and speed. Of course Apple are known to squeeze every bit of speed out of their hardware and the iPhone 5 may yet surprise in real life tests.
iPhone 5: 8 hours talk, 8 hours browsing, 10 hours video playback
Galaxy S3: 8 hours talk, 2100mAh battery
Android phones will usually do better on talk time compared to screen time as the large screens need a lot of juice to keep fully lit. Interestingly Windows phones are better at display power management as they have predominantly white text on black backgrounds that consume less power. It will be interesting to see how the iPhone 5 battery stacks up in real life. LTE is a big power hog and battery life will fluctuate wildly depending on whether LTE is on or off.
iPhone 5: Glass and aluminium
Galaxy S3: Polycarbonate plastic
The new iPhone does away with the glass backplate of iPhone 4S, replacing it with two tone aluminium. This makes the phone less prone to breakage and also lighter in weight compared to its predecessor.
The Galaxy S3 is heavier even though it is made of lighter polycarbonate plastic, main reason being the massive 2100 mAh battery. The plastic body feels flimsy but is actually quite durable and scratch resistant.
iPhone 5 – Rear: 8MP, LED flash, 1080p HD video.
Samsung Galaxy S3 – Rear: 8MP, LED flash, 1080p HD video.
Both cameras are similar on paper with 8 MP resolution and LED flash, and 1080p video. Both phones also have front cameras with 720p video. The iPhone 5 camera software has been updated for faster photos, image stabilization, face recognition and panorama photos.
Galaxy S3 camera is one of its biggest strengths with a suite of features including face recognition, burst mode, panorama mode, best click and more. Pictures from the S3 camera are stunning, as are the promotional iPhone 5 shots.
iPhone 5: Smaller data connector called lightning
Samsung Galaxy S3: Standard micro USB 2.0 port
Apple have introduced yet another non-standard connector called Lightning which in reality is just the usual USB 2.0 port configured in a way to make them more money. The new port will not work with any of the existing Apple accessories and will need a $35.00 adaptor to work with older docks.
Galaxy S3 port is exactly the same as the iPhone 5 but in the globally accepted standard micro USB configuration.
iPhone 5: iOS 6
Galaxy S3: Android ICS with TouchWiz, upgrading soon to Jellybean
This here is the main point of difference between the two phones. The iOS 6 comes with new features like Apple 3D Maps, turn-by-turn navigation, a new Facebook app built from ground up, improved Siri voice recognition, iCloud storage, updates to the camera software, all new Passbook app and another 650,000 apps in the Appstore. iOS6 integrates seamlessly into the Apple/Mac environment.
Galaxy S3 runs on Android Icecream Sandwich operating system customised with Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay. Samsung have added a heap of features on top of the Google OS – improved voice recognition (S Voice), improved NFC based file transfer (S Beam), face recognition tools, new camera features, and unique almost novelty additions like smart stay, smart alerts and direct call. The S3 is set to receive a Jelly Bean upgrade soon and we hope Samsung will TouchWiz it with a lighter hand.
iPhone 5 16GB – Outright: $799
Galaxy S3 16 GB – Outright: $549
iPhone 5 16GB – 2 year contract: $18/month on Virgin Big Plan 29
Galaxy S3 16 GB – 2 year contract: $20/month on Virgin Big Plan 29
Both iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 are excellent phones with comparable hardware specifications. Anyone would be very happy with either phone depending on what operating system they preferred. But we expected more than ‘comparable’ from the much awaited iPhone 5 – we expected a smartphone that blew minds with its awesomeness! And that this new iPhone does not do.