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 fan boys 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
Let’s start with the chassis because, let’s face it, that’s the only distinct visible change to differentiate it from its two previous family members. Grasp the frame in your hand and the first thing you’ll notice is the weight; it’s the lightest iPhone ever.
By a long way. At 112g, it’s 20% daintier than the iPhone 4S, 16% less butch than the Samsung Galaxy S3 and 14% lighter than the HTC One X. Reducing the SIM to weency, or ‘nano’, size has helped, minutely, as has making the shell out of anodised aluminium.
The brace of glass strips adorning the top and bottom of the rear give both the black/slate and white/silver models a premium feel but are actually employed to allow an uninterrupted phone signal. No-one wants another antennagate.
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
The four-inch screen, which we’ll come onto in detail shortly, is Apple’s belated nod to the industry trend for bigger displays, and means the iPhone 5 now stands a proud 123.8mm tall – width remains the same at 58.6mm. The extra screen real-estate is welcome, though smaller-handed iPhone users might struggle to reach the standby button with a forefinger while holding it in a natural position. They might even have to stretch for the extra top row of apps. Just hold it a different way, perhaps.
It’s still a lovely and Retina; it now boasts 326ppi and a resolution of 1136×640; it’s equally as bright and slightly richer in colour. There’s space for a whole extra row of apps – woop! – and tasks can still be performed with one hand. The main benefit is that you can just see more. Web pages are longer, movies are wider, though many we found from iTunes and YouTube still have to be stretched or cropped to fill the screen, the photo viewing area is bigger (just) and Apple’s own, optimised apps make good use of the extra space.
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.