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iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3, Which One Is Better?

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is on the market for a while now, while Apple’s iPhone 5 is available for purchase for about a week. Even though the Apple smartphone is still a young product lots of enthusiasts got their hands on the device and some publications even gave it the tear apart treatment.

But why are some guys feel the need to see what’s inside Apple’s products? First, because they know what they are doing and secondly, and most important, is because the Cupertino-based manufacturer always “forgets” to mention the frequency of its processors and the amount of RAM installed on its devices. Apple uses phrases like “twice faster than A5,” which sometimes can be misleading for the customers, pushing them into thinking that the iPhone 5 might actually have a quad-core processor. The result? Great sales for Apple.

But we are not here to talk about Apple’s tricky marketing approaches, but about the battle between two of the most popular smartphones of the moment. iPhone 5’s and Samsung Galaxy S3’s popularity is reflected in the sales figures, as well. Apple received over 5 million pre-orders in the first weekend after the launch, while the South Korea-based company announced that 20 million Samsung Galaxy S3 units were shipped in less than 100 days prior to the smartphone’s debut.

Dimensions

Let’s will start the iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 battle by having a look at the dimensions of the two smartphones. The iPhone 5 measures 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm and weighs in 112 grams, while Samsung Galaxy S3 has a weight of 133 grams and 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm dimensions. Even though the size is not relevant here, as the devices have different display sizes, the weight and the thickness tell us which of them is the winner. So Apple’s smartphone scores 1 point here.

Display

Since I’ve mentioned the display earlier, you should know that iPhone 5 comes with a 4-inch LED-backlit IPS TFT touch panel with a resolution of 640 x 1,136 pixels and protected by Gorilla Glass. On the other hand Samsung Galaxy S3 boasts a generous 4.8-inch touchscreen display with 720 x 1,280 pixels and Super AMOLED technology, protected against scratches by a layer of Gorilla Glass 2.

The iPhone 5’s 4-inch panel is better when it comes to handling the device with one hand while Samsung Galaxy S3’s huge display is great when it comes to web browsing, watching videos or gaming. So it’s a tie here.

We all hoped that iPhone 5 will sport an HD display, but Apple didn’t deliver. Galaxy S3 has one, thus our star goes to the South Korean flagship smartphone.

Connectivity

Apple iPhone 5 features 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot and the new Lightning connector that will require an adapter if you want to pair the smartphone with your old Apple accessories. The sad news is that price of adapters for the Lightning is somewhere around $30.

On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with all the connectivity options of the iPhone 5, except for the LTE support which, in The States is only available for the variants that come with a dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 chipset. But Samsung’s smartphone comes with WiFi Direct and DLNA, which teamed up with the NFC chip and the S Beam technology allows the users to share files OTA by simply touching their devices. Samsung also wins when it comes to the “one size fits all” microUSB cable. When in need you can borrow your friend’s cable no matter what smartphone he owns.

Summing up, the iPhone 5 has LTE capabilities, while only certain Galaxy S3 variants support this technology, so we can’t declare Apple’s smartphone the winner. The Android-powered smartphone wins precious points when it comes to functionality thanks to its universal microUSB port and NFC standards. +1 Samsung Galaxy S3.

Memory

Both devices come with 1 GB of RAM, both have 16/32/64 GB of internal storage, but the Samsung Galaxy S3 outmatches the iPhone 5 courtesy of its microSD card slot that supports up to 64 GB of extra storage for apps, music, videos, photos, or whatever crosses your mind. Point for GS3.

Camera

The camera specifications of iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 are pretty similar. The smartphones come with 8 megapixel sensors, with autofocus, LED flash, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization and full HD video recording. Galaxy S3 comes with smile detection, too, but it’s not enough to beat iPhone 5’s advanced BSI sensor. The real life tests have proved that the Apple smartphone takes better photos in low light conditions. The iOS-powered terminal scores a point here.

Processor

As I mentioned above, Apple haven’t announced the frequency, nor the architecture of the chipset installed on the iPhone 5. The tests have shown that it is based on two Apple-designed ARMv7 cores (somewhere in between A9 and A15) and that its frequency can raise to up to 1.3 GHz. The A6 chipset is completed by a triple-core PowerVR SGX 543MP3.

We know for sure that Samsung Galaxy S3 is underpinned by the mighty Exynos 4412 chipset with four Cortex A9 cores clocked at 1.4 GHz, while the graphic processing is managed by a quad-core Mali-400MP GPU.

We have a clear winner here. I know, the Apple fans will say that the iOS doesn’t require quad-core processing, but what about the 3D games and apps? The point goes to SGS3.

Battery

iPhone 5 comes with a Li-Ion 1,440 mAh battery that will reportedly keep it alive through up to 8 h 2G or 3G talk time, while Samsung Galaxy S3 sports a Li-Ion 2,100 mAh battery, capable of keeping it awake for up to 21 h 40 min of 2G talk time or for up to 11 h 40 min on 3G.

But things are a bit different in real life. The iPhone 5 users are reporting that their smartphones can stay up a whole day on a single charge. The same for my Galaxy S3 even though the battery is considerably larger. With the data connection always on, I just can’t make its battery last more than a day. So it’s a tie when it comes to iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 battery battle.

Operating System

It’s a tough job to compare two operating system without being biased. There will always be an iOS vs Android battle no matter what features Apple or Google introduce. It’s about tastes and what you expect from your smartphone. If you want freedom and a highly customizable UI you will definitely go for Android. If you want stability and better resource management, then the iOS is the platform you need.

iPhone 5 comes pre-loaded with the latest version of the operating system developed by Apple, iOS 6, while the Samsung Galaxy S3 owners will have to wait a bit more until Android 4.1 Jelly Bean becomes available for their devices, and I’m not talking about custom ROMs or leaked firmwares here.

Apple announced that iOS 6 has received Facebook integration, which is true, but on Android 4.0 ICS you will get integration with almost all the apps you install, from Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to Imgur, Picasa and Instagram.

On the other hand the Maps application in iOS 6 is a disappointment, while Samsung Galaxy S3’s TouchWiz comes with interesting features like Direct Call, Smart Alert, Palm swipe to capture, Tap to Top, or Pop-up-Play. Apple’s personal assistant, the famous Siri, is definitely better than GS3’s S Voice, but things will change with the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update that brings Google Now.

As I mentioned above, it’s hard to tell which operating system is better and not be biased about it, thus we’ll call it a tie.

Design

We have a winner by miles here. It’s the iPhone 5. Even though the new Apple terminal doesn’t bring any design innovations, it keeps the same classy design introduced by the iPhone 4. It’s easier to hold, slimmer, and has a shiny aluminium case. Even though the plastic used by Samsung for the Galaxy S3 looks a lot better than the one used for its predecessors, the quad-core terminal can’t cope with the elegance and the beauty of the Apple terminal. So this point goes straight to iPhone 5.

Conclusions

Summing up, the Android-powered high-end smartphone wins the iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 battle with 4 points, while the Apple smartphone only managed to gather 3 points. The Samsung flagship got precious points for its Display, Connectivity, Memory and Processor, while the iOS 6-powered terminal was better when it came to Dimensions, Camera and Design. The two powerful smartphones are equally matched when it comes to Battery life and Operating System.

Of course, my opinions could be different than yours, therefore I am inviting you to share yours in the comments section below.