Most people are aware of the release of the new Iphone 5 last week. The question on many people’s minds seems to be “is it better than the latest Samsung Galaxy SIII ? Is it a worthy upgrade? I know many people seemed to be disappointed with the release of the Iphone 4S last year after all the surrounding hype around a totally new version. It seems that it was this lack lustre release which gave Samsung an excellent window of opportunity to then release the Galaxy SIII soon after and win many hearts over, even from some of the most diehard fanbois.
Within this article, we intend to stack up the Apple Iphone 5 with the Samsung Galaxy SIII.
First off, lets compare the ergonomics and design of the phones. The new iphone is probably the thinnest smart phone of its calibre out on the market right now. It is certainly the most thin and light weight phone that Apple has brought out so far and feels solid with its aluminium and glass design. The Galaxy SIII is definitely well built, nice sleek edges and chic modern design but let’s face it, its build is plastic and not of the same build class as the iphone.
The iphone display still remains retinal but the display is now 4 inches long (increase of 1/2 inch from previous models) so now you can fit an extra row of apps on your phone and enjoy a better widescreen experience. The width of the phone however, still stays the same which is a good thing. I find that the Galaxy SIII is quite hard to hold and use with one hand. Writing text messages and emails with the iphone is much easier to do with one hand. However, Samsung debuts with the SUPER AMOLED display which does offer more brighter vivid colours and higher contrast than the new iphone, while the screen of the iPhone 5 does have a slight blue tinge. Althought I challenge anyone to comfortable fit the Galaxy SIII in their pocket. So in this round it’s pretty much a draw and comes down to personal taste and what your looking for in a smart phone.
The next feature to compare is the inbuilt camera of both phones. It’s about time that Apple trully pulled their finger out and put some effort into upgrading the camera hardware. This time they pulled through it seems, The new iphone features an 8 megapixel camera just as the Galaxy SIII does. Though I still find that the Galaxy takes better quality pictures in low light and it’s colours were more vivid. The iphone now offers panoramic photo stitching, but this is not that new – Samsung has already beaten them to the punch on this one. Apple have also upgraded their face camera to be slight improvement at 1.2 megapixels. But again Samsung has outshined them and done one better with 1.6 megapixels for their front camera. Both phones can record HD video. It’s quite hard to call on this one but I think Samsung has the slight edge over the iphone with its camera features.
Next up is the processing speed of the phones. The iPhone 5 is run on the A6 dual core processor of Apple and the Samsung Galaxy S3 has the Exynos quad core 1.4GHz, which does come out on top on paper. Additionally, the US version of the Galaxy S3 comes with a dual core processor, with 2GB of RAM, and in benchmarks it comes out on top of its quad-core sibling as well. The S3 did score higher than the iPhone 5 in Geekbench tests with Jelly Bean, but when tested with ICS, it came below the iPhone 5. So we are again seeing a very close call as to which is the more powerful device. I’d say this one is a draw.
Both phones now come with 4G LTE, which has been a long time coming as 3G speeds are already seemingly becoming slower as our expectations of mobile internet have grown (and so has the wealth of rich internet content that we are all hooked on!). If you’re with Telstra, that’s no problem but other networks are currently rolling out their 4G services and some areas within Australia will just have to wait patiently as the 4G rollout continues into the next year.
A real game-changer (or some would call it a dealbreaker) was thrown on the table as Apple has decided to change the connector to a smaller version with less pins. This will cause quite a few people to kick up a fuss as they have invested a lot of money into Apple accessories over the years and now they have to fork out extra cash to get new connectors or converters which can only currently be bought from Apple stores (as I have heard). Great money maker for Apple it seems. Their justification for it is that the new thin design will not allow for the traditional connector, they had to change it. But it does sound all to inconvenient. Guy Kawasaki, a former Apple Evangelist, even cries foul and calls Apple arrogant in its implementation of the lightning connector over a standard Micro USB connector (that most other Smartphones use). I suppose we all have to accept change at some point. To new prospective purchasers of Apple products, this won’t even register as an issue. But it sure has rubbed a few shoulders of dedicated Apple iphone fans. But this kind of complaining opens the doors for other old wounds of apple-haters to fester; why doesn’t Apple let replace the battery or extend the hard drive capacity by use of micro SD cards. Better yet why doesn’t Apple let you load on your media using File Explorer and why can you only play one or two specific types of video whilst most Android devices will playback most common video formats (avi, xvid, divx, wmv, etc).
The iphone has definitely lost points over this one and will continue to do so but it obviously hasn’t hurt them that much. They still sell like hot-cakes. Many people no longer really care about external memory and the itunes interface anymore, they seem to get over it pretty quick. Maybe they will get over the new connector just as quickly.
In summary, these two phones pretty much stack up on par with each other in performance and appearance. It really comes down to individual tastes, styles and needs of the customer. Certain people will be more suited to one than the other. Predominantly Apple seems to cater for the people who just want to pick up a phone and use it without having to get their head around many tech topics. Probably most suited for non-technical people (I know I could offend some people hear but it’s just my opinion). However the Galaxy SIII and the rest of the Smartphones running out there seem to cater best to people who really want to play with their Smartphone; tweak it and really get to know the ins and outs and the true potential it can reach as a personal device to enrich and engage their lives.
To put it even simpler, some people just prefer the Apple interface and just won’t want to invest the time in learning a new interface and new system. They most likely have also invested a considerable amount into the iTunes store. We all know you can’t take those purchases with you if you decide to cross over to Android devices. Really in this game, you might as well be comparing Holden cars with Ford cars, they will just keep making better and faster models.
Really it’s just going to come down to personal choice for your needs, which phone you think suits you best. Maybe if Apple spent less time in courts, they might be able to commit more time to the next release which could really blow the competition out of the water. With this release, they are not really adding much new to the market – it seems they are just keeping up, which isn’t necessary a bad thing either.
Update: Apparently the new iOS6 is already got some cracks in the seams. It’s maps application is really copping a lot of slack over ditching google maps in favour of Apple implementing its own mapping application which is apparently sending customers into a head spin by putting landmarks at incorrect locations and doing some crazy 3D mapping that looks like earthquakes have twisted and bended the landscape into “Salvador Dali / Picasso” like creation. The Passbook application does not seem to do much as there are no apps developed for it yet (anyone think that feature was a bit premature?) Other tweaks and enhancements seem only cosmetic and the further integration of Facebook and other social services is nothing really to shout about – Android has been doing this for years.