Most people will be familiar with the iPhone 4S; it has been commonly regarded as the best smartphone on the market since its release back in 2011. However, there is now a new kid on the block, one that is threatening the dominance of Apple’s flagship phone – the Samsung Galaxy S3.
The hype surrounding the successor to the very popular Galaxy S2 has dominated the tech industry since the turn of 2012 and over nine million pre-orders certainly showed Apple that Samsung mean business with this phone. The question is: does the latest Galaxy have what it takes to put an end to the dominance of the iPhone 4S? The best way to find out is to put the two phones head-to-head, which is exactly what we have done!
When it comes to build, the Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 4S are pretty much chalk and cheese. The iPhone differs very little from previous generations it terms of look, which definitely isn’t a bad thing. Apple’s design has always been one of its strong points and many people will favour the size of the iPhone than that of the Galaxy, which is about as big as they come in smartphones. The size of the S3 is obviously due to the 4.8-inch screen but it does have the advantage of being lighter (133g compared to 140g) and thinner (8.6mm to 9.3mm) than the iPhone. In the hand, the iPhone does feel better and more robust than the plastic-ky S3.
As we mentioned earlier, the new Galaxy comes with a huge 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD 720×1280 screen that offers 309ppi. In terms of quality, this is the best display to ever feature on a smartphone. Colours, contrast, brightness and viewing angles are all remarkable. The 3.5-inch LCD 960×640 326ppi screen is dwarfed by the S3 and the lack of size means it cannot quite match the quality of the S3. That being said, thanks to Retina Display, the iPhone still has a display superior to many other smartphones.
Internal storage has always been a strong point for Apple and they offer the iPhone in 16, 32 and 64GB versions. However, they can no longer claim to be the best in this department as Samsung match the 16, 32 and 64GB options and supersede it by including a microSD card slot. Although you would probably never need the maximum amount of storage on offer from Samsung, it’s nice to have the option.
There is an old adage in boxing that goes: “a good big man always beats a good little man”, this also applies perfectly to the Galaxy S3 vs. the iPhone 4S when it comes to power. Samsung uses its own Exynos 1.4GHz quad-core processor with 1GB RAM, which is far superior to the 1GHz dual-core A5 chip in the iPhone. The Apple is also let down by the fact it only has 512MB RAM making it seem rather insignificant when compared to the very impressive S3.
Not much to choose between the two phones in terms of camera as both have 8MP units with 1080p video recording. The picture and video quality of both phones is second-to-none and it is hard to tell the difference between them, however Samsung does have the edge in terms of features and has a better front-facing camera (1.9MP compared to 0.3MP).
The S3 comes with a 2100mAh battery which is definitely needed for such a feature-heavy phone. The iPhone has a 1420mAh battery. In theory, the S3 should give more talk, standby and browsing time, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the two were very similar.
The S3 comes with Android 4.0 ICS while the 4S has the latest iOS 5.1.1. Both are excellent operating systems and make multi-tasking a breeze. Apple does have the advantage though when it comes to the App Store which is still much better than the still improving Google Play.
The price is dependent on the network you’re on but the SIM-free Galaxy S3 will set you back £500 and the iPhone 4S at a similar price. On contract the Galaxy S3 has more affordable monthly fees with the iPhone’s being notably higher.
On spec alone the Samsung Galaxy S3 beats the iPhone on almost all fronts, but the iPhone does have the best app store and on average better quality apps, and the phone does feel more solid in the hand when compared to Samsung’s plastic backed phone. There’s not really a right choice at the moment, but Apple certainly needs to pull something spectacular out of the bag with the iPhone 5 to stop falling behind with Android ultra-rapid progress.