With recent performance results demonstrating Samsung’s lead over its rival, Apple, for the seventh month in a row, we begin to question exactly why people are choosing the South Korean manufacturer’s Galaxy S3 over the much anticipated iPhone 5.
What is worth noting is that while Samsung’s Galaxy S3 might be topping the mobile phone popularity charts, it is not the iPhone 5 which is hot on its heels. Although Apple’s latest release is most compariable to the S3, it is in fact its predecessor, the iPhone 4S which is currently in the closely-tied battle with Samsung.
Here we will look into the differences and similarities between the two phones, and try to explain what Samsung seems to be doing to get it so right.
The first difference between the iPhone and the Galaxy S3 is the operating systems (OS) that they both use. Apple uses its own iOS, in this case the latest version, iOS 6, whereas the S3 uses the most recent version of Google’s Android system, Jelly Bean.
At first glance, the two operating systems work and appear in different ways. Apple’s OS consists of rows of apps and widgets which the user can move to various screens. While Android also allows users to install various apps to its home screens, it goes one step further in that users can move and resize each app to suit their needs. Furthermore, you can install more dynamic widgets to your home screens using the Android OS, such as weather reports that update in real time, which not only make your home screens appear more personal and lively, but make it easier to access information that is most salient to the user.
Another major difference between the two operating systems is the applications that are pre-installed on both devices. For instance, Apple products exclusively use their own internet browser, Safari, whereas the Android OS comes installed with Google Chrome and a generic internet browser, as well as two separate icons that allow for both your Gmail account as well as your accounts linked to other domains. While the iPhone OS allows users to access more than one email account, the android OS makes it a lot easier for users to use both Google and non-Google sites.
Looking at both models side by side demonstrates just how different both handsets look. The Samsung Galaxy S3 sports a larger screen at 4.8 inches, compared with the iPhone’s 4 inch screen. Although this is the first Apple phone to feature a display bigger than 3.5 inches, when watching videos or TV programs on each device, I can only conclude that the S3 provides a much more comfortable viewing experience. Saying that, some actions on the S3 are difficult to conduct with just one hand as a result of the large screen, which is where Apple wracks up points for making the model easy to use.
Both phones offer a similar display quality: the iPhone 5 offers a greater ppi pixel density, whereas the S3 provides a larger pixel resolution. When looking at images on both devices, however, the S3 appears to display a more vivid display, whereas the iPhone is more toned-down and natural.
Though the Samsung handset is powered by a 1.4 GHz processor and the iPhone 5 a slightly smaller 1.2 GHz processor, general users who aren’t technical experts will scarcely notice the difference.
When it comes to the overall look and feel of the two handsets, the iPhone 5 seems a little more substantial, most probably due to the fact that the steel grey casing is non-removable compared to the rather flimsy plastic case of the S3. That said, it is worth noting that the S3’s removable shell can only be a good feature, as it allows the user to change the battery and also to extend the phone’s existing 16GB memory by inserting an SD card. However, the iPhone does not provide this option, which makes the user rely on the phone’s in-built memory, and while the iPhone 5 is available in a 64 GB handset, this is remarkably more expensive than its 16GB or 32GB brothers.
Both phones offer an 8 MP camera with a 3264 x 2448 pixel resolution. As a result, photographs taken on both devices emerged identical.
Although it is common knowledge that the Apple store features more apps for its users, this isn’t to say that the Google Play Store is sparsely furnished. In fact, few users would probably be able to tell the difference between the two in terms of apps available, as Google offers all of the most popular apps including Facebook, Twitter, Angry Birds and much more.
You may also argue that the S3 benefits more than the iPhone in that it offers users both the Google app store and the Samsung app store, increasing the variety of apps available to them.
On contract with 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 100 MB of data, the iPhone 5 can be purchased from £33 a month. This compares with the Galaxy S3, which costs just £22.50 for the same contract.
To purchase the iPhone 5 on pay-as-you-go, however, the price ranges from £509 (16GB) to £699 (64 GB). On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S3 costs £499 SIM-free. Although you may note that the S3 is only £10 cheaper than the iPhone 5, as mentioned above, due to the fact that you cannot extend the memory on Apple products by inserting an SD card, it seems advisable to purchase one of the more expensive models, thus making it a more expensive buy.
Overall, it is difficult to decide which is the better phone, the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the iPhone 5.
Although I have favoured the Android OS for being more dynamic and user-friendly, that doesn’t mean that the new iOS 6 is necessarily inferior, or of a lesser quality, especially when the Apple app store is larger than Google’s. The larger screen on the S3 makes watching videos and playing games a more interesting experience, though at times the S3’s screen makes using the device with only one hand difficult to do, which can get a little annoying.
The cost, however, demonstrates a large divide between the two handsets; with such a difference in price between them on contract and pay-as-you-go, my vote would always go for the cheapest- in this case the Samsung. Normally, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for, but in this case the Samsung offers much of the same, if not more, than the more expensive iPhone 5.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel