Top Eight Compromises when Considering the Samsung Galaxy S III or the Apple iPhone 5

Top Eight Compromises when Considering the Samsung Galaxy S III or the Apple iPhone 5Buying a smartphone these days usually comes down to a list of compromises. It is up to you to choose which set of compromises is more acceptable to your daily life. The decision can be difficult. Smartphone owners have to consider several factors including carrier, contract, and price just to name a few. Then, there are the phones themselves, their operating systems, and their ecosystems.

Here are lists of some of the top compromises I found when using two of the best smartphones on the market today: the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Apple iPhone 5.

Samsung Galaxy S III

  • OS updates take way too long to get. As of this post, only the Sprint version has received Jelly Bean 4.1 and there is no talk of 4.2. (I am a Verizon customer)
  • Screen is terrible in daylight. Worse in sunlight.
  • It can be difficult to use with one hand — even a big hand.
  • Serious lack of apps and games when compared to iOS. It is improving, but definitely noticeable.
  • Android apps do not seem to get the same priority as their iOS counterparts.
  • In my use, the Wi-Fi antenna did not get a signal in spots where the iPhone 5 did.
  • No universal tap to scroll to top (it exists, but only works in select apps that support it).
  • No universal audio app controls on lockscreen. Some apps have it, and some do not. The ones that do all offer a different look and functionality.

Apple iPhone 5

  • The screen size is starting to feel cramped for bigger hands and older eyes.
  • Lack of accessories, namely ones that are compatible with the Lightning port.
  • Apple Maps still being worked on.
  • Voice and data integrated on one chip means no simultaneous surfing and calling, even though LTE supports it (Verizon/Sprint).
  • No quick settings toggles (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mobile data, etc.) in the lock screen/notification dropdown.
  • Lack of OS openness when compared to Android (ability to change entire keyboards with a third party like SwiftKey, choose default “open with” apps at the OS level, completely customize themes, etc.).
  • No widgets.
  • No removable battery.

Depending on your use and opinions, your lists of compromises may differ completely. Some things that I listed might not even be a negative to you but ultimately, I chose the iPhone 5 citing the Galaxy S III’s lack of OS updates as my main gripe. This seems to be a huge problem for any Android device that is not a Nexus. It should be addressed because it is, and will be, a major factor in holding back the Android platform.

Over all, the iPhone 5 list was the lesser of two evils for me. There really is no perfect smartphone out there. What would a perfect smartphone look like to me? Probably something called an iPhone XL that sports a 4.5″ display with a slightly more open OS and a removable battery.

What are the compromises you have made in choosing your smartphone?

My name is Vincent Guerrero. One of my main passions in life is technology. My other passions require and revolve around it. My career has been based on it. Being able to break into information technology without a formal degree was made possible and fueled by my innate curiosity in the subject and the ability to fix, test, and tinker with computers at an early age.

All of the positions I have held allowed me to and required me to maintain knowledge of the bleeding edge of technology. I feed off of this and it is a big part of what drives me every day. Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@vcg7) and say hello!

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  • Daniel Herd

    The lack of accessories should be for the SGS III. Does anyone really think that 4000 companies will just quit making docks, speakers, chargers and the like for the iPhone because they changed to docking port? Within 2 months it will surpass the tiny few docks and speakers for the micro USB port. It’s absolutely crazy that Google and the rest of the world can’t produce any demand for accessories for Android smart phones.

    • http://vincentguerrero.com/ Vincent Guerrero

      Daniel. I agree. Certainly, this list is a snapshot of what I found in the last 2 months and a personal prioritization. I still have not found a proper frame/bumper case for my iPhone 5 and I was forced to buy a non-lightning, iPhone 4 based car dock which I hacked to make the iPhone 5 fit. I was able to to find the accessories (cases, car dock) I needed for the SGS III back in August.

      I look forward to more iPhone 5 accessories soon, not to mention some showing up in my local Apple Store. My purpose in pointing it out in my article though, was to inform people that if you choose to buy an iPhone 5 now, to simply make sure the accessories you require are available as I was surprised that more were not available at this time.

  • Johnny Fernando

    Can you Bloggers especially Guest Bloggers start listing top 10 popularly used apps for apple that isn’t available to android? It’s so funny how people who clearly chose the iPhone 5 will write this. From the Top 5-10 apps that I use frequently on Apple’s appstore, I can find the exact app available for Google’s Playstore. When it comes to the major Social apps (facebook,twitter,Google+) you’d be blind to not be able to find it. Most games available on iOS is quickly adapted to Android much quickly than it took a year ago. Especially when scaling 4″ apps to 4.8″. Please give me a list of the top 10 popular apps that are not available for android.

    • http://vincentguerrero.com/ Vincent Guerrero

      Hi Johnny. When I listed a lack of games and apps for the SGS III, it was a very personal commentary. Yes, absolutely Android has counterparts of popular “Top 10″ apps, but I was not speaking about those apps. I was referring to some of the apps and games that I like on iOS are not on Android right now like Tweetbot, PunchQuest, Letterpress, Puzzlejuice, The Incident, to name a few.

      One of the apps I use most, Rdio, is missing some basic features its iOS counterpart has such as sharing a song or album on social networks. Rdio reached out and let me know that it is in fact on their road map, but the iOS version is superior right now.

      It was not an easy choice choosing the iPhone 5. I was very happy with the Galaxy S III for 2 solid months, but the straw that broke the came’s back was ultimately not being able to get OS updates in any kind of timely manner. I really really wanted Jelly Bean and it is still not available yet.

      Android is now stronger than ever and I’m sure I will be back to its platform in some way in the future, but for right now I choose to stay on the platform with more choices and timely updates.

      I do not defend or promote any device or platform over the other. I welcome the fierce mobile device competition of today because I think consumers deserve choice above all.

      • Johnny Fernando

        That’s interesting but your article is very misleading. The fact that they don’t have the games “you” and apps “you” use most. That’s not constructive journalism especially when writing about an android vs apple piece. You are talking about eight compromises not because they don’t have it but because what you personally find as a compromise.

        The apps you listed are not the ”popular” apps of the general consumer. Tweetbot? Really? You are literally nitpicking through it all. Let’s talk about popular apps. Facebook, Youtube, Yelp, Twitter, TweetDeck, Draw Something, etc etc.

        The popular games also by major Developers also have a quick Apple to Android release these days as well. I mean Letterpress hasn’t been out for over a month yet.

        The number 1 question is out of all the compromises why didn’t you list the storage space? That at $600+ you can get a 64 GB for all those apple exclusive apps while the S3 requires a $30-$60 64GB micro SD card at a fraction of the cost? While the S3 right now has dropped so far down $149-$49.99.

        I also like how you are demanding for Jelly Bean. Well, how about iOS 5 to iOS 6? The timelime for that is around the same time Samsung releases updates. Yes, other phones get it but look at this.

        Samsung Galaxy S II -> Gingerbread updated to ICS less than a year

        Samsung Galaxy S III -> ICS 4.0 is already being updated to Jelly Bean (less than 6 months of the phone’s release I might add) with all S3’s updated to Jelly Bean in less than a year of release.

        Apple iPhone 4s -> iOS 5 updated to iOS 6 a year after it’s release

        Apple iPhone 5 -> iOS 6 will be updated when iPhone 6 comes out after the iPhone 5s

        So when you take in your first compromise that OS updates take too long to get. Why aren’t you complaining that it also took the 4s almost a year to receive an update? Galaxy S3 here in the US was shipped how long ago and you already are demanding an OS update?

        • http://vincentguerrero.com/ Vincent Guerrero

          Johnny. I appreciate your passion. In my article I clearly state

          “Depending on your use and opinions, your lists of compromises may differ completely. Some things that I listed might not even be a negative”

          I respect that you disagree with some of my points and opinions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maweiler29 Michael Weiler

    When picking my Galaxy S3 I did not have to compromise on anything I needed. I am able to root and control my OS experiance as I please. App support is great as it is NOT controlled by big brother so to speak. The Iphone 5 is only the same speed as the galaxy S2 (yack on that one a bit) Battery life tends to go to the S3 (which I am able to change on the fly for a meer $13 spare) I am able to backup everything about my phone MYSELF. I have a sharing app that allows me to connect and share movies/song ETC from my home PC anywhere (allshare). I am IMO more in control of my experiance with my S3 then just experiancing the way the OEM says it must be and must stay. Apps are being ported so quickly that I am not sure your facts are accurate on avaialbility of desired apps on either side of the OS platforms… you guys pay for angry birds I get it free…..hmmm…I am not sure what compromise I am missing to use my phone which is faster….bigger…..battery is better and which I control my own experiance of how I use my device……NO big brother telling me how it must be….

  • http://www.facebook.com/denny.prijadi Denny Prijadi

    based on my experience with iPhone , GNote and Lumia , my choice for the best would be iPhone -> Lumia -> GNote.. Both iPhone and Lumia destroy any android device on smoothness and usability.. GNote’s only advantage is a bigger screen and thats not important to me..

    • currychicken

      agree. a bigger screen is what android phone’s biggest hardware innovation is. Yes , this is way overblown by fandroids. and fandroids won’t mind carrying a tablet as a phone, and keep on blurring the lines til there is a phablet.

  • Scott harwell

    I wouldn’t even consider an iPhone. First, iPhone UI is just boring. Next I can drag and drop my music and movies onto my S3. No confusing iTunes. Maps on apple? A joke. Rooted and running jb 4.1.2. Google now kick’s siri’s ass. I also don’t have to be embarrassed about being an isnob.

    • currychicken

      if iTunes is confusing, why are millions using it? Dont call yourself a techie or iPhone UI boring if you don’t even know how to use iTunes.

      The ONLY reason i won’t buy an android phone is because of Google’s constant spying on my mobile device so that it can serve ads up my curry chicken ass.

      • http://chris.pirillo.com/ Chris Pirillo

        Millions of people using something ≠ Good Product

    • Igneel

      A boring OS is still better in terms of usability compare to a complex and lagging OS. Sometimes on my S3, I tends to forget what I was about to do due to its complexity. And I also took longer time to get used to the whole customizability of the android OS when compare to iOS. I certainly prefer my old 4S than the new S3 or Note2. If you’re really using your phone as it should, you wouldn’t really need the customizations. And I can agree that iTunes can be quite a hassle once you’re used to the traditional drag-and-drop gesture.. And I’m simply proud to use a phone that excels in all its purpose.

    • Igneel

      A boring OS is still better in terms of usability compare to a complex and lagging OS. Sometimes on my S3, I tends to forget what I was about to do due to its complexity. And I also took longer time to get used to the whole customizability of the android OS when compare to iOS. I certainly prefer my old 4S than the new S3 or Note2. If you’re really using your phone as it should, you wouldn’t really need the customizations. And I can agree that iTunes can be quite a hassle once you’re used to the traditional drag-and-drop gesture.. And I’m simply proud to use a phone that excels in all its purpose.

  • Derick Bartlett

    I’d choose the iPhone as I’ve used it for years. Migrating from a Moto Droid and an HTC incredible I didn’t like the issues I had with the android counter parts. I use my device for phone calls and looking up info on the fly and a couple other things. Screen size I think is just fine with the iPhone 5 but i think it is iOS 6 that needs to be worked out. I’ve had a few issues with home share and the wifi other than that it just works for me. I’ve looked at samsung androids and just haven’t been as pleased with the overall experince and the no frequent updates. Like one of my brothers is still rocking a 3-4 year old iPhone 3GS and is still getting every update from Apple, He may not get all the updates my iPhone 4S and 5 have but it still just works for the most part.