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iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy S3 & review roundup

Everybody knows that the smartphone of the moment is the Samsung Galaxy S3 (S III) and it looks bound to be a smash hit for Samsung. Due to be released at the end of May for the UK and Europe and in the summer for the US, some of its main competition will come from Apple’s iPhone 4S. Today we want to look at the iPhone 4S vs. the Samsung Galaxy S3 and also give readers a review roundup.

The Galaxy S3 has some very decent specs and features and first impressions seemed quite impressive although since then we’ve noted a rather mixed reception. We’ll give you some idea of the key specs and features of the Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4S before moving on to what the reviews had to say. We’ve already given readers official specs of the Galaxy S3 but brief highlights include an Exynos quad-core processor for the international variant, with the US version possibly dual-core to enable LTE.

Other notable specs for the Galaxy S3 include a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display with 1280 x 720 resolution (309ppi), 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p HD video capture, a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, 1GB of RAM, 16/32GB of internal storage with microSD expansion, NFC support and running Android 4.0 ICS skinned with TouchWiz. There’s also a 2100mAh battery, which sounds impressive but of course given the large screen and quad-core processor it has a lot to power. We can’t judge the battery performance yet though so we’ll reserve judgement on that for now. If you want to see more on the Galaxy S3 then check out the video below our story showing a hands-on look.

The Galaxy S3 certainly has a lot to recommend it then and for those who favor the Android OS this is an obvious choice of new smartphone. There are others though who would consider Apple’s iOS platform and might be thinking of the current iPhone 4S and Tech Digest has compared the two. The iPhone 4S by comparison has a 3.5-inch IPS TFT LCD display with Apple’s infamous Retina Display and resolution of 960 x 640 offering 326ppi. Both the Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4S have excellent displays then and your choice between the two may simply depend on screen size.

The processor for the iPhone 4S is an 800MHz dual-core A5 chip, which though it may sound dated offers speedy and smooth performance. Compared to the quad-core of the Galaxy S3 though (in some regions), some may feel this is one up to Samsung. The iPhone 4S also comes in three storage options, 16, 32 and 64GB but has no expandable memory. It also has an 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video recording capability and a front-facing VGA camera while its lithium-ion battery offers around 8 hours of 3G talk time, 6 hours of 3G browsing and 9 hours of Wi-Fi browsing.

The iPhone 4S runs on the latest Apple iOS and as we said earlier, operation systems alone may be the main factor for some as many people have a clear preference between Android and iOS. Both platforms offer a huge variety of apps from either Apple’s App Store or the Google Play store. The iPhone 4S features the popular Siri voice recognition software and Samsung has brought its own S Voice to the Galaxy S3. Another point to remember is that The Galaxy S3 for the US will feature LTE connectivity but that doesn’t exist on the iPhone 4S (though may come to the iPhone 5).

Another thing to take into account is the design of the phones and although some people have not exactly been blown away by the look of the Galaxy S3 and it’s plasticky feel, others were not impressed when the iPhone 4S came out last year with the same design as its predecessor. We cannot compare pricing yet on these two smartphones as no pricing has been announced yet for the Galaxy S3.

Ultimately both phones are very decent smartphones indeed although some of the specs of the iPhone 4S are beginning to look a little dated. Of course we should remember though that the iPhone 5 may not be too much further away and it will be certainly be interesting to compare the Galaxy S3 and the next iPhone when it appears. For now though personal preference will play a big part in how you choose between the Galaxy S3 or the iPhone 4S.

Now we’ll move on to our look at some of the reviews so far for the Galaxy S3. Firstly PC World looks at the Galaxy S3 against the iPhone 4S and HTC One X. It points to the advantage of the microSD slot for the Galaxy S3 and its huge display and slimness at only 0.34inches compared to the iPhone 4S, which measures 0.37-inches thick. This review sums up by saying that although the camera for the Galaxy S3 isn’t a major step up, the processor and LTE connectivity more than make up for it.

Another review, this time on Wired, explains a lot about the software of the Galaxy S3 rather than hardware so this is a good review to check out if you want more on that. It delves into the facial recognition feature, Smart Stay, Direct Call, Pop Up Play and S Voice and the phone’s aesthetic touches.

Next we looked at a review from Computerworld, consisting of a hugely comprehensive Q & A. One of the questions asks if the Galaxy S3 is better than other phones to which the response is that there is no one ‘right’ choice and that it comes down to what the individual wants. Although the Galaxy S3 is described as a “compelling choice” it’s also stated, “There’s nothing about the Galaxy S III that makes other recent high-end devices look inherently worse or outdated in comparison.”

In our final look we came across an article on PC & Tech Authority that asks if Samsung’s innovation is outpacing Apple’s. This points to the rich catalog of Apple iOS apps and the aluminum and glass of the iPhone 4S design making it feel more “grown up” than other plastic designs. However it goes on to say that Samsung has obviously listened to its customers to come up with the intuitive experience and larger screen offered by the Galaxy S3 and refers to Apple as “caught napping.”

We’d be really interested to hear from readers with thoughts on these two flagship smartphones. Taking into account our comparison and review roundup, have you a definite preference for one over the other? Maybe you’re going to wait to see what the iPhone 5 has to offer before you decide? You may feel that the Galaxy S3 wasn’t everything it could be, or alternatively feel that Apple has indeed been ‘caught napping?’ Let us know with your comments.

Comments

36 thoughts on “iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy S3 & review roundup”

  1. Reply
    jordan evans says:

    i am impressed with the new s3,cant wait to get it,does so much more than its predecessor
     

    1. Reply
      Thomas Jeffcott says:

      iPhone 4s still tips it for me samsung galaxy s2 and from what Ive seen the s3 just look and, for the s2, feel more plasticky and android operating systems aren’t as beautifully simple and nice to use as ios. And yes I’m probably an apple fanboy but that’s because apple products just have a something about them that makes me think why would you want something else other then you think you look cool by saying “I’m cooler then u because I haven’t followed the crowd”.

        1. Reply
          greg says:

          I own a samsung galaxy note, for me comparing my phone to an iphone 4s is its like a childs toy to me. But hey if thats all you want to do with it is make calls then i guess its ok, as long as you dont have one with an antenna issue.

  2. Reply
    Rob Gallagher says:

    Comparing S3 with Apple’s next phone will make sense.
    In my opinion, a larger screen like Samsung S3 is more like to turn consumer away from the experience of a phone towards more like a tablet. There should be a limit to the size of the phone. Ofcourse, it’s a choice, but it is ridiculous to carry a phone of the size of your shoe, doesnt even fit in your pocket.
    Come up with some innovative but practical features like Apple does, and not just keep inserting more powerful processors, and make the screen size larger.
    Ofcourse, it is not difficult to make the screen larger, but what is matters is , how practical will it be.

    1. Reply
      Kartutero says:

      Mas malaki ang screen ng celfone mo mas sikat ka sa barangay nyo…ganyan ang utak pinoy! 4s pa rin!

  3. Reply
    Xkanesx says:

    I was given the 4s as my work phone but i have a Galaxy S2
    as my personal phone.
    I hate the 4s.. screen is tiny..feels thick and heavy.
    It feels like a phone that was released a few years ago.
    I have no idea what people see in the Iphone.

  4. Reply
    jksd says:

    Cant w8 to get the s3 :D. Its not too fair to compare the s3 with the 4s as the iphone 5 should be a few months from being released. but as an ex-iphone lover, i can say that iphone has many restrictions compared to the galaxy smartphones. if apple doesnt broaden its ideas then it will be run over by its competitiors

    1.  There are many restrictions to it, but if you actually dwell a little deeper and do more research regarding your phone, you will soon come to realize that iOs has many capabilities that an android would never support.

      Have you seen the UI for Samsung’s S Voice or whatever they call it? Talk about innovation. What a rip-off from Siri.

      1. Reply
        Bhavz says:

        Have you seen the notification drop down menu on apple products? Talk about innovation. What a rip off from android.

      2. Reply
        Martin Tran says:

        Please explain what you mean by “many capabilities than an android would never support”? Because I know of none.

        Also, search for Google Voice Action August 2010. Then search for “Motorola vs IPhone Ad: Is Voice Actions Really Faster Than Siri?” After reading and watching all that information, what do you think of Siri now?

        Are you aware that Siri existed prior to iPhone 4S? People had the app on their 3GS and 4. Explain to me why Apple only integrated Siri in 4S and not update 4.

        Perhaps you’re the one who should do a bit more research.

      3. Reply
        Vuanhle83 says:

         you mean if you jail break an iphone then it can do what an android already can as standard

  5. Reply
    Cellowizard says:

    Why is the retina display infamous? Infamy has negative connotations and I’ve never heard anything bad about it.

  6. Reply
    DarkDrake says:

    samsung is a rising company before few years no would know samsung! officially apple is far more decent then samsung ! it sounds good i own iphone then i own samsung. and i bet if you’ll see samsung phones to anyone decent people, all celebrities carry iphone. you cant say no to that!

  7. Reply
    beathan regan says:

    Uggh. So you’ve done nothing for me.  You reviewed the reviews I’ve already read.  Thank you much.

  8. Reply
    shanghai says:

    i don’t even know why we’re talking about iphone at all. yes, many people have them, and even more people are getting them people other people already have them. and what i can say from personal experience is that the overwhelming majority of iphone buyers are people who simply never even bothered to explore other phones prior to making a purchase.

    1. Reply
      Shanghai says:

      correction…even more people are getting them BECAUSE other people already have them.

    2. Reply
      Husskash says:

      I had iphone…I switched to htc android….and now I’m glad to go back to iphone…never android again in my life

      1. The opposit way for me. Never iphone again! Maybe Tizen, but iphone are small, dull, and locked up. No p2p, no Flash, no shortcuts on lockscreen, you cant put tings where you want. etc etc

    3. Reply
      dtna7 says:

       You feel “special” now don’t you.

      Ok then. go play with your toy and be a good boy.

    4. Reply
      Fred says:

       I guess you have personally spoken with “the overwhelming majority of iphone buyers” or somehow managed to know whether or not they researched other phone.  It’s amazing that you were able to pull that off!  Hats off to you.  I’m impressed!

  9. Reply
    Hassan Salam1 says:

    Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III cost $450usd

    The Official specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S3 are –

    1.4GHz quad-core processor
    16 / 32GB Internal storage memory
    SD Card slot to expand memory to 64 GB
    4.8″ Super AMOLED display
    8 megapixel camera
    1080p video recording at 60fps
    2100 mAh battery
    NFC Chip
    Ice Cream Sandwich OS – 4.0.4 version

    SKYPE Call & Chat : hassan.inc1

    hassan.salam1@hotmail.com

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    Delivery Time: 2-3days delievr to your doorstep.

  10. Reply
    Discossister says:

    Everyone I know who has changed from an iPhone to a Galaxy has sworn they will never go back.  In my experience the people who still have an iPhone (who are becoming fewer and further between) have it because they use iTunes.  When I tell them that they can transfer their iTunes files they begin to seriously consider changing.

  11. Reply
    Andre says:

    As an iPhone 4 user, I agree that the Samsung S3 is better than the iPhone 4s having played around with both. To give Apple their dues, they are the ones to beat, they set the bench mark. If it wasn’t for iPhone we’d probably still be using Nokia’s & Blackberry’s. Reason why I haven’t converted yet is because iPhone still have the most stable OS, the touch screen is second to none in terms of responsiveness (No Lag) and I’m going to do the smart thing and wait to see what the iPhone 5 is saying…. Jail broke my iPhone so no limitations what so ever (even got flash) when IOS6 get released I’ll probably un-jailbreak it.

  12. Reply
    dtna7 says:

    once you said “the infamous Retina Display”, i knew how “credible” your article is and I stopped reading.

    Why is it so hard to find a professional journalist nowadays?

  13. Reply
    Yogidig says:

    Just my two cents.  I’m an iPhone user and I have been an Apple user for ages… So, I played a little bit (no more than 10 min) with the S3 it looks nice, but the plastic case made it feel a bit cheesy, it have better specs (is a newer phone) as expected it. But to be honest it just no that appeling to me.  I’ll wait for the upcoming iPhone 5 and then take a decision … BTW, the specs of the S3 are far much better than the iPhone 4S …

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