APPLE’S IPHONE 5 VS SAMSUNG GALAXY S3



First, let’s talk
about screen size. The
iPhone 5 has grown, it’s
up to 4 inches; the first
size upgrade since the
phone debuted. This means
a taller, larger screen that
iPhone fans have been
waiting for. This is better,
but not as much as I would
have wanted. Even at 4
inches, I find the keyboard
to be a bit small for typing.
If you want real size, the
GS3 has the numbers – 4.8
inches to be exact. This is
more real estate for your
viewing pleasure, though
some folks might not want a
phone that big. It’s up to
each person to decide how
big is too big, but I think
most people will be just fine
with a 4.8 inch screen,
which is a little more
manageable than the 5-inch
plus screen on phones like
the Galaxy Note and the LG
Intuition.
In terms of materials, the
iPhone wins this battle; it’s
more solid and less
plasticky, an Apple
hallmark. But don’t think the
GS3 is a slouch here. It will
withstand some drops too,
it’s just not quite as sturdy
as the iPhone. To be safe,
with either phone, get a
case.
Slimness is close, but
iPhone wins out by a hair …
0.30 inches for iPhone, 0.34
inches for GS3. The
difference is negligible, as
both are very slim and
light.
Full specs are as follows:
The iPhone comes in at
4.87 inches high, 2.31
inches wide, .3 inches thick
and a weight of 3.95
ounces. The GS3 is 5.38
inches high, 2.78 inches
wide, .34 inches thick, and
weighs 4.7 ounces.
SCREEN: In terms of what
you’ll see on screen, both
devices offer sharp visual
quality for viewing media
and photos and video.
With the iPhone 5, you get
their well-known Retina
display on the 4-inch
touchscreen.
There is a 1136×640
resolution, or 326 ppi
(pixels per inch). There is
a fingerprint-resistant
coating on the front, but it
didn’t really work in my
experience. I still found
myself wiping my
fingerprints off the phone
regularly.
In the GS3, you get a
slightly better resolution of
1280×720, but due to the
larger 4.8-inch size the ppi
is slightly less. The HD
Super AMOLED screen on
the GS3 is very bright and
attractive.
This is one area where I
would call it a push
between the two phones.
The numbers are slightly
different, but both look
amazing.
PROCESSOR: The iPhone
5, no exaggeration, is
lightning quick. Apple did a
bang-up job with its dual-
core Apple A6 processor,
and you won’t be waiting
long to do anything.
But hold on, because the
GS3 is definitely up to pace,
in fact it’s even faster. Its
1.5 GHz dual-core
Snapdragon processor is
nothing to sneeze at (the
European version is even
better with a quad-core
processor). Multitasking will
not slow it down in the
least, even if it involves
intensive apps such as
Pandora Radio or Netflix.
(Side note: One benefit of
Android over Apple’s
operating system is that
multitasking is much easier
to manage on the Android
OS than it is on an iPhone)
In the area of RAM, the
iPhone 5 features 1 GB, but
the GS3 features a
whopping 2GB of RAM. This
is going to become the new
standard for smartphones,
and the iPhone 5 will be
seen as behind in this
area, though Apple will
argue its operating system
requires less RAM to
operate than the Android
OS.
STORAGE: You can get
the iPhone with various
storage levels — 16, 32 or
64 GB; of course, that’s
what you get, no
upgradability in the
iPhones. The GS3 is
available in 16GB or 32 GB
options, plus it has a
microSD slot, which allows
for up to 64GB, so the
potential for more storage
space is there on the GS3.
Realistically, though, most
people don’t need to go
past 64 GB, or even that
high, especially with so
much data and music, etc.,
stored in the cloud these
days (For example, all your
music could be stored
online in iTunes or Google
Music, so it wouldn’t take
up space on your phone).
4G: The big news about
LOOKS:
the iPhone 5 is that it’s
(finally) capable of
accessing the 4G networks
of its carriers, another
example of Apple showing
up fashionably late to the
party. That is big news for
Apple fans, who now will
get faster downloads and
uploads as a result.
But as Apple’s competitors
are quick to point out,
that’s old news for Android
phone users. They’ve been
using the faster 4G LTE
networks for over a year
now, so in this area Apple
is just catching up to the
Android competition.
The iPhone is offered on
Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint,
who all have their own 4G
LTE networks. Verizon and
AT&T’s networks are the
most expansive right now,
and Sprint’s is newer so its
reach is limited.
The Galaxy S3 is available
on all four major wireless
networks – Verizon,
AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.
It’s basically the same
phone on all four networks,
other than some carrier-
specific software that’s
included on each version of
the phone, plus the fact
that it will access a
different 4G network,
depending which version
you buy. With these major reviews the choice is yoursa result,
there are high
expectations in this regard.
Good news: Both the iPhone
5 and the Galaxy S3 have
fantastic cameras, and
fantastic video quality too.
Both devices have an 8-
megapixel camera in the
rear, as well as crystal-
clear 1080p HD video that
looks amazing and life-like
on replay. They do well in
low light, for the most part,
compared to previous
versions of these phones.
In the area of front
camera, which is used
primarily for video chat,
the GS3 does a little better
with its 1.9-megapixel
camera. The iPhone 5 front
camera comes in at 1.2
megapixels. Both phones’
front camera feature 720p
HD video quality.
Both phones have a great
deal of editing/cropping/
sharing ability in regard to
photos, as was as various
modes such as burst mode
and panorama to choose
from. To be fair, the
Android phones have had
the panorama shot for a
while, and it’s now
becoming available to
iPhone users with the
latest update to Apple’s
operating system.
iPhone CONNECTOR
ISSUE: In addition to the
change in size, a major
update on the iPhone 5 is
the new size of the
charging connector – the
newly named Lightning
connector that is a lot
smaller than all previous
Apple chargers. A
connector is included with
your phone, but if you want
to connect your iPhone 5 to
your old iPhone
accessories, you’ll need a
new Lightning adaptor –
which, in true Apple
fashion, they’re willing to
sell you online for only $30
(yes, a bit ridiculous I
know).
Luckily for the Apple
faithful, knockoffs usually
come shortly after a new
overprice adaptor is
announced, but Apple
should be ashamed of itself
for this overcharging here
like it always does for its
silly adaptors. They
probably cost $2 to make,
and it’s simply price
gouging. (Luckily for them,
the most hardcore Apple
fanboys/fangirls don’t care
about their general trend
of overpricing everything
the company sells, for
some strange reason I’ve
yet to comprehend.)
MAPS: One big software
change on the iPhone 5 is
that Apple now relies on its
own maps, and no longer
uses Google maps. There
have been some major
bumps in the road for Apple
in this transition, especially
in Europe, where mapping
is just way off. Even in the
U.S., some folks aren’t
happy with how the new
maps work.
This is a work in progress,
and a result of Apple trying
to distance itself from its
rivals (Google is behind the
Android operating system,
hence the distancing), so
for now and probably a
long time, the GS3 has the
edge in terms of getting
you where you need to go
properly. If I were a user
of the new iPhone, the
downgrading of the
navigation capability of my
phone would be very
annoying. They’d be better
of just going online and
visiting Google Maps and
leaving the Apple
navigation alone completely
until they work out the
bugs in this transition.
Point blank, Apple’s
weakening of its maps
feature is the biggest
disappointment on the
iPhone 5, and a big win for
the Galaxy S3 in
comparison, as Google
Maps work wonderfully on
it.
APPS: Of course, behind
all this other mess, it’s
really – for a lot of folks –
all about the apps.
Apple, of course, was out
with its iPhone before
Android phones ever hit
the market, so they got a
big jump on the competition
in terms of having better
app selection. And it’s true
that pretty much whatever
you need to do with an
app, Apple’s got you
covered on the iPhone.
But that doesn’t
necessarily mean the
Android competition loses
this battle. It may have
gotten a later start, but in
the past several years
Google’s Android Market
(now referred to as the
Google Play Store) has
grown by leaps and
bounds, and I would say at
this point it’s caught up to
Apple’s App Store in terms
of offering whatever you
might need in the app
department.
In the past, the apps battle
was a clear win for Apple,
but I think those days are
over.
OPERATING SYSTEMS:
This is really the big
difference between these
two phones.
Apple’s iPhone 5 runs the
latest version of Apple’s
operating system – iOS 6.
This features integration
with Apple’s ecosystem –
iTunes, iBooks, etc. When
you use an iPhone, you’re
in Apple’s world. Some
people like that, others
don’t. With the Galaxy S3,
you get Android 4.0 (aka
Ice Cream Sandwich), and
an update promised soon
to Android 4.1 (aka Jelly
Bean), and you’re in
Google’s world here –
Google Maps, Google Voice,
Gmail, etc.
The operating systems
operate quite differently in
my experience. I find the
Android OS more easily
maneuverable than iOS 6,
for basic reasons such as
the presence of a pull down
menu listing your apps in
use, and the presence of a
back button on the phone
instead of having to hunt
for an arrow within each
app to return to the
previous screen. Other
little things bother me
about iOS 6, such as the
more difficult steps you
must take to sign out of
some apps that are
operating in the
background.
Still, I know a lot of folks
who love their iPhones and
don’t complain about the
user experience, so
obviously we’re not all
going to have the same
opinion in this regard. This
opinion about operating
system preference, to me,
is the decision you’ll make
that will likely have the
biggest impact in
determining which of the
two phones you prefer.
NFC: One feature that the
GS3 has that the iPhone 5
does not is NFC, aka near-
field communication, which
allows users of phones
that both have this feature
to share certain things by
simply tapping the phones
together, and you can use
it to pay for purchases. It’s
a very cool feature, though
not widely used yet, so I
don’t think it will sway too
many people from Apple to
Android. But, it’s fair to
mention that Apple is
lagging behind in this
exciting new area of
smartphone technology,
and if they’re smart they’ll
make sure to add it on
next year’s model.
CALL QUALITY: Call
quality on these phones
will, of course, depend on
which network you are
using and where you are
calling to/from, but in my
time with Verizon’s iPhone
5 and AT&T’s GS3, I didn’t
experience any dropped
calls or distortion or
anything of that sort. It
would appear to me that
the issues previous
versions of the iPhone
have had with call quality
are now pretty much gone.
BATTERY: 4G phones are
notorious for sucking up
battery, but with proper
management of your
features like WiFi and
Bluetooth, you can make
them last longer.
Samsung’s GS3 slightly
outlasted Apple’s iPhone in
my testing, and both were
among the better 4G
phones I’ve seen so far.
They got me through the
day and then some, unless
I was just going crazy with
my app use.
NEW EARPODS: One
small change on the iPhone
5 comes in the area of
accessories, as a new
variety of earphones are
included — called EarPods.
As you can guess, they fit
better in your ear. Hardly
revolutionary, but I
suppose they do feel a
little better in the ear.
SIRI vs. S VOICE: The
star feature of the iPhone
4S was Siri, your personal
assistant who will answer
any question you ask –
sometimes accurately,
sometimes not. She’s a little
better this time around,
and still has a little wit in
her, but Samsung also
offers something similar on
the GS3 – called S Voice.
It’s got its own bugs, too,
just like Siri, but both of
them allow you to ask
questions, open apps,
make calls, etc.
Some consider S Voice to
be a clone of Siri, but that’s
for the courts to settle
(Apple and Samsung will
likely be suing each other
into the next century over
various copyright cases).
To the user, I’ll just say
this: Both Siri and S Voice
do what they’re supposed
to do – for the most part,
but with a few hiccups that
will likely be worked out on
future updates. Siri maybe
gets a slight advantage,
but it’s not by much.
PRICES: The pricing for
the iPhone 5 is the same on
Verizon, AT&T and Sprint:
With a new 2-year-
contract, you pay $199 for
the 16GB version, $299 for
the 32GB version and $399
for the 64GB version.
Costs for the Samsung
Galaxy S3 vary by carrier:
On both Verizon and
Sprint, it costs $199.99 for
16GB version, $249.99 for
32GB version, with new
contract; on AT&T, it’s $
199.99 for 16GB version
(and refurbished GS3s are
just $99.99) with a new
contract; and on T-Mobile,
prices are now $99.99 for
16GB version and $149.99
for 32GB version, with a
new contract.
This is to be expected, as
Apple never adjusts its
pricing (at least until the
next model comes out), but
with the Android phones
you can sometimes catch a
break at the point of
purchase. Personally, I
think the $399.99 price out
of pocket even with a
contract is a bit ridiculous,
but I doubt most people
would go that route
anyway, as 64GB is not
needed by 90-some
percent of buyers.
BOTTOM LINE: As
Samsung and Apple battle
in the courtroom over
copyrights and the billions
they are making, the battle
between these two
superphones is now
officially under way, as the
iPhone 5 is finally here to
compete with the Galaxy
S3, which had been
dominating the market for
the past several months.
My final verdict is that
these phones are very
close in overall
performance and quality,
but the undeniable truth is
that the iPhone 5 is finally
catching up to its Android
competition – namely the
Galaxy S3. Most specs are
very close between the
phones, but the Galaxy S3
has some features that you
can’t do with iPhone (NFC)
and better maps/
navigation. Both phones
are very fast, have 4G
access, great cameras and
video, and it’s a safe bet
to say these are the two
best phones on the market
right now. Really, in the
end, it all comes down to
what is your favorite
operating system and how
big you want your phone to
be.

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