Everybody knows that the smartphone of the moment is the Samsung Galaxy S3 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. I’m sure you’re all hungering after this! A comparison between Samsung’s new Flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S3, and Apple’s iPhone 4S. Therefore, today we want to look at the iPhone 4S vs. the Samsung Galaxy S3 and also give readers a review roundup.
The Samsung 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 Samsung Galaxy S3 but brief highlights include an Exynos Quad-Core processor (clock speed 1.4GHz) for the international variant, with the US version possibly Dual-Core to enable LTE connectivity.
Other notable specs for the Samsung 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.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 certainly has a lot to recommend it then and for those who favor the Goolge’s 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 Apple’s 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 screen of the Apple’s iPhone 4S is laughable when compared next to the Samsung Galaxy S3. The iPhone 4S may have it’s ‘Retina Display’, but the high resolution of the Galaxy S3 spread over 4.8-inches is even more lovely to look at. Apple should understand that big screens are what people want.
The processor for the Apple’s iPhone 4S is an 1GHz Dual-Core Cortex-A9. Compared to the Samsung’s Exynos Quad-Core (runs on 1.4GHz clock speed) 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.
While the camera in the Galaxy S3 may not appear to be much better than the iPhone 4S’ camera megapixel wise — there are a few features thrown in with it that certainly make it a few steps better. The first is Burst Shot – The smartphone captures images at a rate of 3.3/second and then chooses the best picture of a set for you. The second is the Zero Shutter lag feature – quick snaps! The last, and my personal favourite, is the ability to identify people within your photos and be able to easily send them a copy. It’s a great idea, and sharing is something that the Samsung has baked into every aspect of what is contained within the Galaxy S3.
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 Apple’s iPhone 4S features the popular Siri voice recognition software and Samsung has brought its own S Voice to the Galaxy S3. Actually, the Samsung’ S-Voice is a Apple’s Siri lookalike. It’s Samsung’s attempt at showing off their speech recognition technology alongside Apple’s. They could have changed the design a little more though. Besides the very Siri-looking interface, it seems to mostly be a booster on the voice services that came with the Galaxy S2, I found that S-Voice worked fine for me, then again so does Siri. Have Samsung improved on Voice Recognition in the areas Apple slipped up? We’ll know soon enough.
Another thing to take into account is the design of the smartphones 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.
Ultimately both smartphones are very decent mobile phones 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. 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).
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 Samsung Galaxy S3 against the Apple 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.”
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?’
Last but not least, in my humble opinion, the Samsung Galaxy S3 stands above the iPhone 4S and laughs at it. It is far thinner, lighter and delivers more for your money. In terms of the user experience, the fluidity of operation, the feature set, and in virtually every area that counts, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is light years ahead of Apple’s profitable darling.
Galaxy S3 vs iPhone S4: Spec Comparison