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.