November 22, 2014

Comparing the iPhone 5 to the Galaxy S III

samsung_galaxy_s_iii_720w

Apple’s big, annual smartphone release, the iPhone 5, is out and ready for your consideration.  But, with so many other options available from Android manufacturers, should you look to Apple?  Is the 4-inch display and 4G LTE version of what amounts to last year’s phone worth your money?

Here’s a quick head-head chart that breaks down the main hardware differences between the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III.  Keep in mind that these devices are not sold strictly on the merit of hardware.  If that were the case, Android would own even higher market share.  No, consumers like to buy based on experience, features, and other intangibles.  To that end, Apple does quite well, however Android players are getting better all the time.

Samsung, as many of you know, puts their own twist on the Android experience, calling it TouchWiz. While it’s not a stock Android UI, it more closely resembles the stuff that comes with the 4.0 “Pure Google” experience.  Along those lines, Samsung has integrated features, apps, and services into their flavor of Android that have become standardized across other manufacturers.  If you want to see what might be in the next release of Android, Samsung might be the one to watch.

Battle of the 2012 smartphone

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Apple iPhone 5 Samsung Galaxy S III
OS  iOS6 Android 4.0 w TouchWiz
Display  4-inch 1136×640 (326ppi) 4.8″ Super AMOLED 1,280 x 720 (306ppi)
Processor  A6 dual-core 1.5GHz Dual Core
Memory 2GB RAM
Storage 16GB 16GB
Expandable Storage  NA Up to 64GB microSD
Camera (rear)  8-megapixel f/2.4 aperture 8.0-megapixel
Camera (front) Front-facing 720p 1.9-megapixel
Data connectivity 3G CDMA, HSPA+, 4G LTE 4G LTE
Battery ??

8hr talk/225 hr standby

2,100 mAh8hr talk/200 hr standby
Weight  112 grams 133.2 grams
Dimensions  7.6mm thick 5.38″ x 2.78″ x 0.34″ (8.6mm thick)
Other

NFC

Android Beam

S Beam

Price 16GB ($199)
32GB ($299)
64GB ($399)

16GB ($199)

32GB ($249)

[/default_table]

Early Consensus

We noticed that Apple spent considerably more time speaking about the new camera features, overall design, and tweaks to existing tech.  Of particular note is the fact that Apple glossed over the battery talk quite quickly.  With 8hr talk time, 225 hour standby, it’s not anything today’s top Android’s are not capable of delivering.  Still, Apple has definitely pushed forward with some of the tech that goes into the camera, games, and general user experience.

Existing Apple users who own a bunch of accessories will be required to buy an adapter so that they can plug in the iPhone 5.  Existing Android users can hop from device to device without worry of whether it will offer microUSB.

While Siri has been updated for the new handset, it’s still something that users will have to “ask” to get to work.  Google Now, on the other hand, delivers relevant details without prompt, and learns over time, what the user is like and where they go.  Here’s to hoping for Android 4.1 in the near future.

Which one is right for you?

If you are here because you were seriously considering switching from Android to Apple, chances are good you’ve already made your mind up.  Having said that, the iPhone 5 is not the monumental step forward that tech-savvy folks might expect.  General users, however, will like the idea of a bigger display and faster data connection, even if it’s something Android users have enjoyed since 2010.

All said and done, there’s enough “new” here to keep iPhone users coming back.  Sure, there’s more over on the Android side of the tracks but nobody is going to spend the money that Apple will to talk about it.  Well, maybe Samsung.

NOTE: Because of similarity, portions of this comparison were pulled from other posts.