Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Galaxy S III has been tearing up the scene, and when the Apple iPhone 5 finally became a reality, Samsung made sure to let everyone know that “the next big thing is already here.” Talking the talk, we’re taking these two hotshot smartphones and pitting them against one another, to unequivocally proclaim which device reigns supreme amongst the two.
Visibly seeing a huge size disparity between the two, the iPhone 5 is undoubtedly easier to grasp in the hand, seeing that it’s lighter in weight, skinnier in frame, and not as cumbersome to hold in the hand as the Galaxy S III. In addition, it’s quite evident that the iPhone 5 is the more premium looking device between the two, as it sports a brushed aluminum rear casing and a sturdier construction. However, there’s no doubt in our mind that the Samsung Galaxy S III would probably handle a fall a lot better than its rival – mainly because its plastic body wouldn’t be as badly beaten up.
Below their displays, there are physical buttons that get us back to their respective homescreens – though, one is raised while the other is recessed. Nevertheless, there’s not one that’s more advantageous since the necessary tactile responses are there.
Buttons below the displays
The Apple iPhone 5 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right)
Sizing up evenly to one another, these flagships bear the same count 8-megapixel auto-focus cameras with LED flash, both of which can shoot 1080p videos of course. Meanwhile, Apple’s beauty sports a front-facing 1.3-megapixel snapper, while there’s a 1.9-megapixel one on the Galaxy S III. So far, it looks like an even match, but we’ll compare the qualities of the two a bit later on.
The sides of the Apple iPhone 5 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (right)
After spending some time meticulously detailing their intricacies, it’s still a difficult call on which device has the better display. With the Samsung Galaxy S III’s 4.7-inch HD 720 x 1280 Super AMOLED display, we love it for its larger size and saturated colors, while the iPhone 5’s 4-inch 640 x 1136 Retina Display wins for its better visibility outdoors and exceptionally accurate colors. Sure, the Retina Display of the iPhone 5 coughs up the higher pixel density of 326 ppi, versus the 306 ppi figure with the SGSIII, but in all honesty, it’s negligible since they’re both soundly detailed. Since they both flaunt great viewing angles, it ultimately comes down to colors for this one. Being an AMOLED panel, the SGSIII exhibits cooler tones that tend to cast a bluish hue to the color white, while the iPhone 5 produces colors that are very natural in tone – so it’s simply a matter of preference.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Apple iPhone 5||535
|Samsung Galaxy S III||294
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Samsung Galaxy S III||No data
|Apple iPhone 5||No data
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
1. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
PhoneArena either used Photoshop to scale-up the iPhone 5 or scale-down the Samsumg Galaxy SIII because their is NOOOO way that those two phones are even that similar in size. Truly pathetic attempt at a deceptive visual illusion.
2. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
there is no way that those look similar.
122. abdane (Posts: 490; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)
i know that the iPhone is thinner, but it really looks that the GS3 is thinner ! weird...
138. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)
good job done John. this was one of the best reviews here on PA. absolutely no bias. its was fair and very detailed.
on the other hand S3 blows away ip5. well done SAMMY. keep up the innovation.
144. NeXoS (Posts: 286; Member since: 03 May 2011)
Actually, iphoneArena didn't compare blacks when doing the display test. The iphone 5's black level is more like dark gray. The Galaxy S III black is like Zulu black!
Also, Galaxy S III wins on the memory front. Apple's 64gb iphone 5 costs
145. NeXoS (Posts: 286; Member since: 03 May 2011)
Also, Galaxy S III wins on the memory front. Apple's 64gb iphone 5 costs $850.
You can buy a 64gb microSD card for $50 and add it to the 32gb phone for a whopping 96gb of memory!
How could iphoneArena just brush off that little detail? They act like both phones are equivalent in this category when they most certainly are not.
Removable storage is why the SGSIII is better than the iphone 5 and HTC One X when it comes to memory!
146. NeXoS (Posts: 286; Member since: 03 May 2011)
Umm, hello, no comparison of iphone 5 maps vs SGS3 navigation?
163. ninastock (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)
Excuse me, NeXoS, I came on thi site by absolute accident. I was looking for reviews about the cell phones. And when I saw MY DAUGHTER'S PICTURE as YOU-NeXo S on one of the "reviewers"-I went speachless! It's illegal to use somebody's pics from Internet as yourself!!! I tried to inbox you in private,but here is no inbox messaging on this site. My daugher , who is under age still,even that this picture was taken 2 years ago via her picture posting on FB as her profile picture. Some of her SCHOOL friends ,perhaps, downloaded it and placed it on internet. Since she has no access to her FB by any strangers amd we are private family there is no way she gave anybody the right, neither her parents, to use our daughter's picture while portraiting yourself as her. We are going to investigate such an illegal activity. I am absolutely in shock!!!! Please! Remove that photo of my daughter!
59. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)
PAPINYC has obvously never seen an iPhone in real life and has no idea what he's talking about.
nothing worse than a sore loser in denial.
141. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
he actually uses one as his primary device...
33. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 408; Member since: 24 May 2011)
not sure if semi blind or a troll -_-
47. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
Those are actual size... Everyone just assumes the s3 will be massive compared to the Iphone 5 because of the difference in screen size... The difference is that the top and bottom bezel is smaller on the s3 than the Iphone which allows it to be kept quite small.. Just went to the apple shop a few hours ago and was surprised that when compared to my s3 it wasn't that much difference in portability... It's like a 1cm taller and 0.5cm wider than the Iphone 5...check other comparisons such as mobile technology review and the s3 is not that huge considering it's screen size..
62. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)
Exactly. As if 3/4" of an inch diagonally was going to make a HUGE difference.
Apple has their share of blind fans but apparently so does Android. idk why some have to lower themselves to applefanboy level.
Accept it and move on to points where the GS3 is better.
96. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
Fan boys are just sad that's all there is... My guess is they are so fanatic about apple, Google, Samsung etc is because they are missing something in there lives... I have a s3 for me it's the best phone but that doesn't mean it will be the best phone for someone else . There never will be one perfect phone and the industry will never make one perfect phone otherwise people will have no reason to buy the next.
70. whysoserious (Posts: 318; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
Oh look! You got 1 New Mail.
Re: Truly pathetic attempt at a deceptive visual illusion.
You're viewing it wrong. That is normal.
92. techspace (Posts: 938; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
good joke, actually, philip schiller is right, he is viewing it wrong.......
128. TarunV (Posts: 28; Member since: 21 Jul 2012)
This goes to you, PAPINYC, taz89, and all other "Fandroids" found in HUGE quantities on this site. And also to wendygarrett.
I would also like to draw your attention to this, Mr. Ray S., Mr. John V. and Mr. Michael Heller, (Just for fun, no offence to you, as I know this is you job, guys.)
Seriously, I'm a 60 year old tech enthusiast who teaches advanced Computer Sciences and Mobile Ubiquitous Computing and comes to this site to see some really great articles by these great guys, and hopefully, some sensible, mature and intelligent comments. But you guys, well... Just quit whining and grow up. Fighting over mobile phones..? Seriously?
140. ambrown (Posts: 33; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)
I don't think it was photoshopped. The iPhone 5 is currently the "thinnest" smartphone, but really only by ridiculously small amounts. Sometimes though visual appeal can make something appear smaller than it is, such as is often the case in automobiles. I think the S3's unique edges make it appear thinner than it is. If you were to compare them very closely in a brightly lit room then you would come to the conclusion that the S3 is indeed bigger all around and thicker than the iPhone 5. But most people probably won't really notice if one is thinner than the other in real world situations.
147. yeaaa (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)
The thinnest phone oppo find 5 which is 6.5m and the resolution is 1080p 442 pixel density. Iphone 5 just became trash in a couple days.
3. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
CLASH OF THE TITANS!
iPhone 5 is great no doubt, and Galaxy S 3 too.
haha, but wait till the Galaxy Note 2 and Nokia Lumia 920 - the storm is yet to come.
oh, if those Titans aren't enough - Let there be Google Nexi.
22. MeoCao (unregistered)
I think iPhone 5 has advantage in low light photos, but this can be improved by tweaking the software so I think SS will upgrade GS3 photo feature.
And after JB upgrade I don't see how iPhone 5 can beat GS3.
48. x88yunkw (Posts: 101; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)
Go for htc one series if u prefer lowlight.
72. bbblader (Posts: 588; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
nokia dude nokia htc is less than iphone even search for the comparison of the 808 920 gs3 i5 and htc one x
98. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 1100; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
Something suspicious on the photo samples the one that supposedly has low light is brighter than the medium light situation...
68. issa8 (Posts: 54; Member since: 26 Jul 2011)
Wait so which one is really more durable? PA says the GS3 is more durable, but from drop tests I've seen on youtube it shows the GS3 screen always cracking.
I prefer the GS3 but I'm clumsy and don't wanna pay $$ for replacements!
110. someones4 (Posts: 622; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
Neither is exceptional in the durability department. Get a silicon case.
115. Mittal (Posts: 493; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)
yup u gotta compromise with a silicon case
93. buccob (Posts: 2153; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
I am very pleased with this review except with 1 minor point. And that is that even though the screen on the S3 has its disadvantages and saturated looks... you CAN change the settings under "display" to allow for a more natural color, "movie", "dynamic" or standard mode.... So that alone makes it way better than the one on the iPhone...
Again even if it comes down to personal preference, Amoled screens can be used consciously to preserve battery life...
I.E. if you are reading a lot of web pages (white background) then hit the button to turn the screen "Negative" and invert colors for a while... and it will help a lot...
I use Waze in "night mode" all the time... and it is equally practical but more power efficient.
And so on...
Amoled has many advantages over regular LCD.
137. alxcsb (Posts: 5; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)
I am so saving up the cash and buying the 920, that's if it will look in reality as it does in those pictures and if WP8 is all that it promises to be.
4. chunk1x (Posts: 248; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)
In a few moments from now, you'll all see about the biggest troll fight between iTroll and Fandroid in the history of Phone Arena ever.
80. -box- (Posts: 3977; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
I doubt it. The more rabid and delusional iFans have left, which has mostly calmed the more outspoken Android fans down. A lot of back and forth, sure, but not as vehement.
5. IHateApple (banned) (Posts: 122; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)
Great Review. BTW I am starting to like iPhone 5 more than the SGS3. But still the best phone according to is the HTC One X.
12. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
actually all of those are equals. if you watch comparisons between the s3 and one x, judgements may vary too.
83. zibbyzib2000 (Posts: 218; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
I have an iPhone 4s but I'm really starting to like the SG3 because of the NFC and the video pop up thing. I don't like the curved back though, or how the camera and speaker are set up right in the middle.
118. Jonathan41 (Posts: 532; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)
What about the One X. You still get the NFC plus you get a tough yet good looking unibody build and the awesome looking and fast Sense 4.0 skin. You may even want to go with the One X+ if you feel like waiting a few months for it to be released. It will have a Tegra 3 quad-core chipset and you'll still get the LTE, build quality and NFC.
6. Vinayakn73 (Posts: 190; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
ios needs UI refreshment the old dull UI becomes so boring nowdays. apple must better concentrate on its idea than to sue other companies.
32. biophone (Posts: 1900; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
What actually do you want to be refreshed. Maybe widgets are a possibility as the mac already uses widgets. I liked those videos about how widgets could be added to iOS discreetly. Otherwise iOS is a really good launcher for applications. Thats what an OS is at its core.
39. redsox420 (Posts: 90; Member since: 27 Aug 2012)
ios is a joke. Who likes a phone that is cluttered with rounded boxes all over the place? I have 1, yes 1 icon on my Samsung Infuse. I have nothing but widgets, from weather to flipboard to poweramp. etc. I have 5 pages to scroll through and only 5 widgets and 1 icon on them. I use Circle Launcher to access vital apps. If I need lesser used apps, I hit the app drawer and boom Im in..
Folders are for people who can't use a real phone. Iphoney is for people who pretend to be cool.
IOS will always fail because of the lack of widgets. Once they add widgets, Lawsuits will ensue. Such as with Big Fruitys inclusion of LTE..
The best phone will be the Note 2.. If you enjoy 4 inches of screen and a locked down user experience then get the iphoney.
sure the iphoney has a slight better advantage in low light, and a clearer screen, but I am a photographer, so my DSLR does the job when I want a high quality photo. I don't care what camera a phone has, its still subpar to anything on the market. .
119. Jonathan41 (Posts: 532; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)
You missed the X button. It's right underneath the one you pushed.
8. darkvadervip (Posts: 365; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)
Bobfreking55 you said the best honest thing I've seen posted in a long time.
9. REYNER (Posts: 187; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
wow i completely agree with the conclusion! good job PA!
88. -box- (Posts: 3977; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Except for the part about the iphone being the "best" choice for easy-to-use smartphones, yeah
10. FranksGT (Posts: 167; Member since: 29 Aug 2012)
In all honesty. The Iphone 5 is very nice. Even though I love android. But for one thing there is and I personally have found NO lag in the GS3, so in performance wise, there should be no difference, unless your running 720p youtube videos, will browsing and making a call.
But performing the same task there is NO DIFFERENCE in performace on either phone. So this is a little BIASED.
THE REST OF THE REVIEW IS PERSONAL PREFERENCE.
The average AMERICAN couldn't tell a difference in the quality of the screen to be honest, because I couldn't when viewing Phone arena, or even most youtube videos.
THe camera is where the phones stick out. Thats about it.
11. rasinhussy (Posts: 88; Member since: 28 Dec 2008)
Just as far as screens go, the SGS3 just seems to over-saturated.
54. mas11 (Posts: 1034; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
I'd rather have a nice 4.8" HD display than a sub-HD 4" display any day.
64. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)
John V stated, it comes down to personal preference. I prefer accuracy considering, when compared, the extra 0.8" diagonally is not much bigger
124. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)
a lighter phone has never been a determining factor for me. Doesnt make me run faster, doesnt take more effort to take out of my pocket. Thinner is nice because when you put a case over it, I dont want it to look bulky. But since its really not that much thinner than the GS3, that also is out of the equation.
Wish the iPhone ran Android would be perfect device! ...for me anyway
133. mas11 (Posts: 1034; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
I agree, honestly I don't care how light a phone is, I would rather have a phone that felt sturdy in hand than light any day. Plus what really matters is performance.
116. E.N. (Posts: 2577; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
I've been saying it for the longest time that the colors are over-saturated. Sometimes it looks really good and other times its looks bad and gaudy
13. biophone (Posts: 1900; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
Fair review pa. I think the sgs3 deserves the win but the iphone 5 is no doubt a close second. You can't go wrong with eiter of these two!
14. tmcr7 (Posts: 179; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)
1. scuffs easily
2. inaccurate maps
3. wifi problems
4. static lines on keyboards
5. costs an arm and a kidney
It doesn't take a genius...
24. biophone (Posts: 1900; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
1. You're gonna get a case. And at least the iPhone 5 is more durable then the sgs3. (and not made of cheap plastic)
2. You can still use google maps online or wait for the app. Plus maps is still improving (its in beta)
3. Will be fixed shortly (at least iPhone users can say that with confidence cough cough nexus) And not all users are experiencing this problem.
4. Should be fixed shortly also.
5. It costs 200 pretty fair. (no one buys unsubsidized)
It doesn't take a genius to spot a troll!!
As an aside I think the sgs3 is better but its close and its not a no brainer between the two.