Apple iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S3 – Review

by Jerry D on December 24, 2012

Imagine an Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 battle? Which phone would win? We could give one a basket of rotten fruit, the other a basket of stale mini-muffins, sit back, and let them throw them at each other until one draws first blood. Or we could let the specs decide over 10 tech rounds? Yes. That seems far more sensible.

XXXX versus graphic Apple iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S3   Review XXXX

Round #1 – Connectivity

Bang! Our two fighters trade their first punches in the connectivity round. The wireless talents of the upgraded iPhone 5 include 3G/HSDPA/CDMA2000 1xEV-DO, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi And Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP. It also includes 4G connectivity where available. Samsung, meanwhile, has packed the Galaxy S3 with an array of terrific tech that includes NFC, 3G/HSDPA, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and EDR. You also get 4G as standard.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (0-1)

Round #2 – Size & Weight

This round is all about being thin… The iPhone 5 is the thinner of the two, measuring a svelte 7.6mm to the Galaxy S3′s skinny 8.6mm. Weigh the two phones and the iPhone 5 weighs 112g, while the Samsung Galaxy S3 is 133g.

Score: +1 to iPhone 5 (1-1)


Round #3 – Cameras

The iPhone 5′s built-in camera has a resolution of 8.0 MP, plus features that include: autofocus, LED flash, touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection, panorama, HDR and 1080p video recording. It also features a second, front-facing camera with a resolution of 1.2 Megapixels.

The Galaxy S3 also sports a 8.0 Megapixel camera (with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, image stabilization and 1080p video recording), so there’s no real difference in camera quality. Another 1.9 Megapixel camera located on the front is ideal for video calls.

Score: +1 to both phones (2-2)

Round #4 – Screen/keyboard

As for screen size, the Apple iPhone 5 features a 4.0-inch (640 x 1136) touch-sensitive Retina display. There are 727040 pixels overall, which translates to a cracking 326.0 pixels per inch.

In contrast, the 4.8-inch touch-sensitive Super AMOLED display on Samsung’s phone is bigger, measuring 4.8 inches. It boasts a higher resolution too, a full HD 720 by 1280 pixels. Do the math again and the pixels per inch (PPI) rating of this screen is a good, but not iPhone 5-beating 306.042.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (2-3)

Round #5 – Processor

So how fast do these phones go? Under its beautifully designed hood the iPhone 5 boasts a 1.2GHz dual core Apple A6 processor. The Galaxy S3, meanwhile, uses Samsung’s own quad core Exynos 4412 chip, rated at 1.4GHz. On paper, at least, the Galaxy S3 takes this round.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (2-4)

Round #6 – Software

iOS 6 is brains behind the iPhone 5 and, while it’s the best version of the OS yet (apart from Apple’s Maps), it’s starting to feel old and a little jaded. The Galaxy S3 launched with Android 4.0.4 installed, enhanced with Samsung’s Touchwiz UI. It’s difficult to separate the software in this round. Both phones land good punches.

Score: +1 to both phones (3-5)

Round #7 – Applications

So which OS has the biggest number of apps? Looking at the stats, the iPhone 5 leads the way with 700000 apps on Apple’s App Store. It beats the Galaxy S3 and Google Play, which boasts 675000 apps. Although this advantage is not going to last for long…

Score: +1 to iPhone 5 (4-5)

Round #8 – Storage

This next round is just as important. With the Apple iPhone 5, you can choose between 16, 32 or 64GB storage options. The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with the same three configurations. Of course, there’s no expansion slot on the iPhone 5, so whatever storage option you go for, it can’t be extended. Whereas the 64GB storage capacity on Samsung’s phone can be expanded to a whopping 128GB via the built-in microSD slot.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (4-6)

Round #9 – Battery life

As for staying power… Apple claims a decent 8.0 hours of talktime for the iPhone 5, compared to a meatier 12.0 hours for the Galaxy S3. Standby times are 225 hours and 790 hours respectively. So the points go to the Galaxy S3 this time and, if you’ve been keeping an eye on the scores, this opens up an unassailable lead.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (4-7)


Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.

Round #10 – Extras

It’s the final round. The iPhone 5 also includes GPS/A-GPS, accelerator, a digital compass, Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, gyroscope and the Siri digital voice assistant. In comparison, the Galaxy S3 features GPS/A-GPS, NFC, an accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, barometer, stereo FM radio with RDS, S-Voice, TV-out and Smart Stay eye-tracking. It’s a specification that finally knocks the iPhone 5 down to the canvas.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (4-8)

BPF Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S3 wins!

In this battle of the super-phones, the Samsung Galaxy S3 shows its true class and just how much better it is than Apple’s 4.0-inch iPhone. Of course, any buying decision will ultimately come down to whether you prefer the world of iOS 6 or Android. At least you can play Angry Birds: Star Wars on both of them.

See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…

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