With a Samsung Galaxy S4 announcement rumored to be on its way “soon” and the next generation of the iPhone likely just around the corner, one might wonder why we’d do a Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. iPhone 5 comparison this late in the game.
Well, first, you may already know that I tend to ignore rumors until they’re facts. But second, even if both of the above come true tomorrow (all kidding aside, it really is just a matter of time), you may be among the savvy shoppers who love to pick up last-generation bargains as distributors and manufacturers make way for the new stock. It’s really not a bad way to pick up something nice for pretty big savings if you’re not dead set on owning the shiniest, up-to-date, ultimate version of your favorite device.
A lot of the time, penultimate ain’t so bad, either. And when you’re looking at two fine devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. iPhone 5, comparison is really a matter of quality vs. quality, with the lucky consumer in the middle left to choose which device’s nuances appeal to them most.
So how do these two powerhouses compare? Let’s look at some of their features.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Vs. iPhone 5: Operating Systems
There are arguments for and against every operating system under the sun, and Android (which powers the Samsung Galaxy S3) and iOS (iPhone) are no exceptions.
Android users generally like the system’s open source nature and trumpet the ease with which it can be customized to suit the user’s preferences. iOS users usually like the system as it’s been designed, with clean, uniform icons and a dependable interface.
Apps from Apple’s iTunes App Store go through a famously rigorous — and time-consuming — approval process to ensure quality that lives up to Apple’s standards. This can be frustrating for developers who are just trying to get their apps out to the public, but it does serve to thwart most would-be scam artists who use apps in the same way that they use malware to assist in gathering personal data for nefarious purposes (such as identity theft).
Apps from the Google Play store for Android don’t have to jump through as many hoops before they’re made available to Android users, so the turnaround time from a developer’s initial concept to the full app’s realization is much shorter than with those that go through the iOS approval process. The other side of the coin is, of course, that malicious apps are much more prevalent on Google Play; the user must be much more cautious when deciding which apps come from trustworthy sources and which apps should probably be avoided.
Another point of contention: Flash. On Android, you can view content built with Adobe Flash; on iOS, you can’t. The reasons for this were illustrated by the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a 2010 essay, Thoughts on Flash (I’d go read it if the details intrigue you; skip it if they don’t).
Whether this is a pro or a con depends on your point of view. If you feel that Flash is an overblown technology that has overstayed its welcome and relevance, then this probably won’t bother you. Others, however, see this as a deal breaker as a lot of sites on the Web still use it.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Vs. iPhone 5: Carrier Options
When the iPhone was introduced to the world back in 2007, and then for a couple of years after, AT&T was its exclusive carrier in the United States. Now, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon all have iPhone 5 plans in the US.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is available in the US through AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and other regional variations.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Vs. iPhone 5: Physical Properties
The iPhone 5 is the more compact of the two, with physical dimensions of 4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches, and a weight of 3.95 ounces.
The Samsung Galaxy S3, in comparison, is pretty darned huge. Depending on the size of your pockets, this may or may not matter, but this phone is 5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches and weighs 4.69 ounces.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Vs. iPhone 5: Displays
The iPhone 5 has a higher resolution here with its famed Retina display, but the Samsung Galaxy S3’s display is much larger. Here’s how they compare:
The iPhone 5’s display is 4 inches in size with 1136 x 640 pixels of resolution at 326 ppi. It’s protected by a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.
The Samsung Galaxy S3’s display is 4.8 inches in size with 720 x 1280 of resolution at 306 ppi. It’s protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 2.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Vs. iPhone 5: Camera Qualities
The iPhone 5 has a rear camera that’s capable of 8 MP for still captures, and 1080p for video. Samsung Galaxy S3’s rear camera specs match this. The real difference is in the front-facing cameras: 1.2 MP for still images and 720p for video in the iPhone 5; 1.9 MP for still images and 720p for video in the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Vs. iPhone 5: Batteries
The Samsung Galaxy S3 runs on an inexpensive lithium-ion battery that can be removed and replaced by the user. This can come in handy if you want to carry multiples when you’re on the road and don’t want to stop for a recharge every few hours (while talk time has been estimated up to 22 hours and standby up to 830 hours, we all know how these things go).
The iPhone 5 runs on a lithium-ion battery that can’t easily be replaced by the average user. I say easily because there are kits available that profess to help an average user do just this, but doing so unsuccessfully may damage the phone and void the iPhone 5’s warranty. Apple recommends that the user brings the battery to an Apple Store or sends it in to be serviced if it needs replacing. While this seemingly nixes the option for carrying spare batteries, you can always pick up something like the Mophie Juice Pack that should keep you sufficiently charged on the go. Without such technological trickery up your sleeve, however, the talk time on the iPhone 5 is estimated up to 8 hours on 3G, with a standby time of up to 225 hours.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Vs. iPhone 5: Data Speed
Both are capable of 4G and LTE.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Vs. iPhone 5: Memory
iPhone 5 comes in 16, 32, and 64 GB models, though none are expandable.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 standardly ships with 16 GB (though 32 GB may be your carrier’s preference); it’s expandable up to 64 GB.
Now that we’ve compared the Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. iPhone 5, is there something about either that makes it a “winner” for you? I’ve used both, and my personal preference is the iPhone 5, but I think there’s quite a bit to like about the Samsung Galaxy S3 — each phone has its own pros and cons, so they’re really almost neck and neck by the time they hit the finish line!
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. iPhone 5: which one wins the race for you?
Image shared by sidduz via Flickr