Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S III

It’s the battle between the flagships! Two handsets enter, only one can leave claiming supremacy in the smartphone landscape. For a good while now, Samsung’s pride and joy in the 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.

Looking around the sides of both handsets, they share many common elements – like their 3.5mm headset jacks, microphones, power buttons, and volume controls. However, the Samsung Galaxy S III employs a more universally favored microUSB port, which offers video-out with the aid of an MHL adapter, while the iPhone 5 sticks to Apple’s newer proprietary Lightning docking port.

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.


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.




Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 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: Jul 15, 2011

there is no way that those look similar.

122. abdane

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 07, 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: 292; Member since: May 03, 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: 292; Member since: May 03, 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: 292; Member since: May 03, 2011

Umm, hello, no comparison of iphone 5 maps vs SGS3 navigation?

163. ninastock

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 05, 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!

160. ShutUp

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

You are gorgeous :)

17. binerry

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Yeah... it's a conspiracy. /sarcasm

59. 305Bucko

Posts: 506; Member since: Aug 07, 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: Jan 06, 2011

he actually uses one as his primary device...

33. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

not sure if semi blind or a troll -_-

47. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 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: Aug 07, 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: May 03, 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: Jul 20, 2012

Oh look! You got 1 New Mail. Philip Schiller To: PAPINYC Re: Truly pathetic attempt at a deceptive visual illusion. --------------------------------------------------​--------------------------------------- PAPINYC You're viewing it wrong. That is normal. Phil


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Ha-Ha!! +1 (+2 if I could)

92. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

good joke, actually, philip schiller is right, he is viewing it wrong.......

128. TarunV

Posts: 28; Member since: Jul 21, 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: Sep 06, 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: Oct 02, 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: Jul 15, 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: 134; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Go for htc one series if u prefer lowlight.

72. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 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: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Something suspicious on the photo samples the one that supposedly has low light is brighter than the medium light situation...


Posts: 167; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

i Like all three phones.

68. issa8

Posts: 54; Member since: Jul 26, 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: 628; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

Neither is exceptional in the durability department. Get a silicon case.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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