Galaxy S3 vs Xperia ion Samsung & Sony shootout

Every now and then we like to bring our readers a comparison between two of the hottest smartphones of the moment and today we’re looking at the just announced Samsung Galaxy S3 (S III) and the Sony Xperia ion, announced way back at CES in January. Both of these are due for release shortly so let’s look at the Galaxy S3 vs. the Xperia ion.

We’ll start by looking at some of the specs and features of the Galaxy S3, Samsung’s flagship smartphone. This features a 1.4GHz Exynos 4 quad-core processor, at least for the international variant. The CPU for the U.S. has not yet been detailed but as the US version will offer 4G LTE connectivity it may have a dual-core processor instead, probably the Snapdragon S4. The display is a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED with resolution of 1280 x 720 and it has 16/32GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD.

Looking at the camera the Galaxy S3 has an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, flash, zero shutter lag and 1080p video recording capability as well as a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. It also has LTE connectivity, NFC support and a 2100mAh battery and runs on the latest Android OS, 4.0 ICS overlaid with Touchwiz. Dimensions are 136.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.6mm and it’s not only slim but also light at only 133 grams.

Moving on to the Xperia ion and this has a 1.5GHz MSM8260 Snapdragon dual-core processor and a 4.55-inch HD LCD display with resolution of 1280 x 720. The camera set up is a 12-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, flash and Exmor R sensor with 1080p HD video capture. There’s also a 1.3-megapixel front-facer. This has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, expandable through microSD.

The Xperia ion also has 4G LTE connectivity and NFC and the battery is 1900mAh. About the only thing that lets it down is that it will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a 4.0 update to come later. Dimensions are 133mm x 68mm x 10.6mm and it weighs 44 grams.

Comparing these two smartphones shows us that the Galaxy 3 has the edge on processor with its quad-core CPU (international variant) and it also has a bigger battery capacity and larger storage options. The OS on launch will be the latest available and another important thing to remember is the software that Samsung has very much focused on, which includes such features as S Voice, Samsung’s response to Apple’s Siri on the iPhone. However one point that seems to have been commented on widely in reports is that the design is a bit bland and that the plastic build feels cheap, although the Galaxy S3 is the slimmest and lightest of the two.

On the other hand the Xperia ion has the better camera set up and is also PlayStation Certified for an enhanced gaming experience. The design of the Xperia ion is also a big plus point as it’s sleek and stylish and should appeal to many. Pricing for both handsets is yet to be announced. Release-wise the Galaxy S3 is being launched in the UK and Europe at the end of May and then in the US at some point in the summer. The Xperia ion release was originally set for Q2 so we are still hoping to see it by June at the latest.

Ultimately of course, personal requirements will have a large part to play in choosing between these two, such as whether you use your phone a lot for photography or display preference. Both are very impressive smartphones and it may be simply the look of the handsets that helps you make your choice.

We’re always interested in comments that our readers send to us so if you’re intending to purchase a new smartphone soon why not let us know which one of these you might opt for and why? Alternatively maybe your head has already been turned by another new or upcoming smartphone?


23 thoughts on “Galaxy S3 vs Xperia ion Samsung & Sony shootout”

  1. Reply
    Tehahn1 says:

    I read as much as I could about the G s3.  Really had my sights set on it.  Then out of nowhere,  I find this little Sony Xperia Ion.  The more I read about it.  I’m liking it more than the G s3.  Even though the Gs3 has the amoled.  Sony has lots of experience in making TVs.
    The colors on the Samsung seem greenish tint.  Where the Sony LCD looks more life like.
    Samsung has a 8mp camera. (rumor was it would be a 12mp).  The Sony has a 12MP.
    Everyone claims the feel of the Samsung is cheap.  But really like the aluminum feel, shape and texture Sony put in the Xperia Ion.  Even though it’s scheduled for AT&T.  (I prefer another carrier).  I might switch.  Thank you Sony for putting together a phone we all can enjoy.

    1. Reply
      Keenan Sullivan says:

      Hopefully they release it sooner than later. I was expecting to already have one in my hands by now :/

    2. Reply
      Pitbullzonly2003 says:

      Samsung tvs are higher quality than sony. Samsung privides siny with their screens. Siny is downhill

      1. Reply
        Fakeinfo says:

        HAHAHAHA. as many people are aware, samsuck and Sony owned the LCD factory 50/50 for many many years. So I can also say Sony supplied LCD panels to samsuck all this time! It is very likely samsuck stole and copied Sony’s techonology, as they did with Apple’s iphone and ipad. So you liked samsuck’s TVs? GOOD, it is SONY TECHNOLOGY!! hahaha

  2. Reply
    Pitbullzonly2003 says:

    Samsung tvs are higher quality amd surpassed sony in every way. Samsung provides sony with the screens on tv in case u didnt know.

    1. not true, they owned an lcd glass panel factory 50/50 (1 share in samsungs favour due to korean legislation) so you could equally say sony supplied samsung with screens.
      Everything other than the lcd panel was sony’s including picture processing.

      In my experience, motion handling on sony’s surpasses samsungs which is a BIG plus.

    2. Reply
      hardwarenerd says:

       Im not exactly sure what samsung tv you are comparing to sony… but if you look at high end, you cant beat sony. Samsung has some good products, but not compared to sony quality. Sony was the ffirst to make 120Hz popular and 240Hz popular. oh and the 3D and smart tv’s. but if you are a person who will stick by their brand name, hey samsung not so bad. (but sony is better)

    3. Reply
      Surf4shore says:

      LG supplies the screens to Samsung lol 90% of LCD come from LG de dee de I fix televisions!

  3. Why u should choose SONY Xperia Ion over Samsung Galaxy S III
    1.Better Camera..or i should say best camera on an Android OS based phone
    2.Dual Core..it’s more than enough what u do on a mobile phone…unless u are a big
                       time gamer & like to play 3D games.
    3.Better UI..seriously Samsung’s TouchWiz UI sux.
    4.The design..Sleek,Simple but yet stylish.

    Why u shoul choose Samsung Galaxy S III over Sony Xperia Ion
    1.Exynos 4212 Quad core processor…
    2.Out of the Box ICS..for Sony Xperia Ion it is yet to be seen whether it is ICS or will need be upgraded later
    3.Smart Stay eye tracking (hv to wait for the reviews how much it is functional)
    4.Slightly better battery life over Sony Xperia Ion

    1. Reply
      Just says:


       deciding things for me- photography and display preference- Design- Quad is overkill right now- the S3 bigger battery is for the Quad, so actual time will be normal.

  4. Reply
    kurokishi says:

    I’m definitely going for the Gs3. I own the S3 atm and have been pleased with all it has to offer. Touchwize is fine by me, not sure why everyone hates its, but to theirs their own. 8 mp is enough for a cell phone camera. With 12mp you area going to use up morel space on your device. Besides, the mp count only determines how far you can zoom in a pic before it starts to pixilate, not really a must on a cell phone. And I’m sure no one is planning to do any serious photography on their cell phone. Get a proper camera for that.

  5. Reply
    Ronf57 says:

    I am really disppointed by verizon (USA) phone options and even more by the inability of LTE 4g…(i now refer to as Less Than Equal 4g/3g) network can not work with a quad core processor and therefore the processor equation shifts from 4 cores at 1.4ghz vs 2 core1.5ghz to 1.4ghz dual vs 1.5ghz dual. now that makes the sony the fastest. the green shift in the display is slightly a concern for me too but i prefer the larger screen size. The sony styling looks like my old sdroid original and is stillthe design i refer to as russian tank design- very utilitarian. not sony style. I am waiting for someone to crack the quad core problemas I do not just want speed, I NEED speed sothis is a multifunctional device not just a phone. I want the pad phone design.waiting….waiting…..waiting… 

  6. Reply
    Gamblor77 says:

    Megapixels don’t mean jack. It really depends on the sensor and the lense.Not sure what the sony has for a sensor because I honestly haven’t done the research; but the S3 has a BSI sensor which should be amazing in all conditions, especially low light. Also WTF don’t people like TouchWiz I don’t understand? Yes you get quicker updates with stock android but it’s cumbersome to work with and takes many more clicks to get anywhere and sucks bawls.

    1.  Sony is having Exmor R sensor for its camera which works on Back Illuminated Light rather than the front illumination….. Back illuminated cameras are only used in Digital cameras except sony…So obiviously sony has a better camera..take reviews if u want.

    2. Reply
      guest says:

      Megapixels don’t mean jack is from the days when you compared a Nikon D40 to D60. Now is not then and the processor means everything. Have you seen it?

    1. Reply
      SonyForever says:

      Are you talking about the Xperia ion distributed by AT&T? If so then it might come out this June 24

  7. Here is the true answer: if you compare Sony Xperia ion vs Samsung S3 get it from us. I have Xperia and my friend has s3. We compare both together and now my friend wants to trade with me. Guess what SONY XPERIA ION much better than S3. Samsung is copy cat.

  8. Reply
    HardwareNerd says:

    I just got my Xperia Ion yesterday and it is amazing. My friend has his Samsung Galaxy s3 (from a different carrier) and we did a swap for a couple of hours, and he is going to trade his in and cancel his contract with sprint (or Verizon).  The xperia is snappier and more user friendly. The S3 does have a larger screen, but not noticably, The Xperia screen is brighter and the colors are much more vivid. and the ability to instantly get the camera going was what sold him. and yes, if you are posting pictures anywhere, other than looking at them on your phone, the picture quality is huge. And not being updated to ICS is REALLY that big of a deal? didnt realize that was what people based their purchases on (updates to come soon?) seems a bit foolish to me.

  9. Reply
    lance says:

    samsung is not so cool. just look at the back casing. Looks almost the same as samsung corby 2. AND WTF??! what kind of being outdated is that!??

    just look at sony’s super elegant style…
    one more thing, the camera of gs3 is so fake. too contrasted and bright which makes it fake.
    roses are red:in gs3’s pictures it it F***ing MAROON!?? WTH??!!
    :meanwhile, xperia ion is so true and natural. no fake additives 😀

    just to let all of you know, these cellphones are beast.
    it’s just that people aren’t the same at many ways. so we have different likes and dislikes. and honestly

    I am a sony fan.. so being bias is normal

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