Samsung Galaxy S III vs Apple iPhone 4S

Introduction and Design
In this comparison, we're using the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S III, which comes with a quad-core Exynos CPU and 1GB of RAM. The U.S. versions come with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU and 2GB of RAM, as well as LTE, except for T-Mobile's, which lacks LTE.


Always a difficult decision, choosing between the latest and greatest Android phone or the latest and greatest iPhone is a problem that every smartphone user faces at one point or another. Thankfully, the key to solving that problem isn't that far away when you know what to look for. Having both the Samsung Galaxy S III and Apple iPhone 4S here with us, we thought that we absolutely have to pit these two ambitious guys against each other in order to make it easier for you to determine if you are more of a Galaxy S or iPhone user.

Please let us kill the suspense from the very beginning – the Galaxy S III and iPhone 4S are so different and excellent in their own way, there isn't an ultimate “better” phone. For each of us, the better choice would be different as we're all looking for different things. Our comparison between the Galaxy S III and One X achieved its goal of pointing out the ultimate Android phone. However, it is now time to venture out of the Android zone and get the attention back to the notorious OS wars.


There can't be two handsets more different when it comes to their appearance than the Galaxy S III and iPhone 4S. There's no doubt that the iPhone excels with its solid glass and steel construction, which makes the GS III look a bit toyish compared to it.

Obviously, it's going to be much more comfortable to deal with a compact smartphone like the iPhone 4S, which allows you to reach even the opposite end of the screen just by using one hand only. In contrast, the large dimensions of the Galaxy S III make it more difficult to handle and operate. There's also the fact that with the GS III, you can often press its capacitive menu or back keys by accident, whereas such a thing is impossible to do on the iPhone, since it simply lacks such keys.


The Samsung Galaxy S III, being a Samsung handset, uses the HD Super AMOLED tech, while the Apple iPhone 4S sticks to the oldie-but-goodie IPS-LCD. Although the IPS-LCD panel of the iPhone is much better in terms of contrast and color, compared to the old LCD tech, it can't really compare with the absolutely amazing contrast level and ultra-saturation of the Super AMOLED screen, which looks much more striking. However, the IPS-LCD display is closer to reality, due to the cold color temperature of the AMOLED-powered Galaxy S III screen.

The screen size is one of the main differences between the Galaxy S III and iPhone 4S. Most of you probably know that the iPhone's display measures 3.5”, while the GS III comes with a gigantic 4.8” one. Obviously, if you consume a lot of multimedia on your phone, the Galaxy S III will have a great advantage thanks to its much bigger screen.

Even though it packs more pixels, the display of the GS III has a lower pixel density (306 ppi), compared to the iPhone 4S (330 ppi), due to the larger physical size. And while the iPhone's display is superior in this respect, the difference doesn't really have a dramatic effect on your viewing experience.

Samsung Galaxy S III 360-degrees View:

Apple iPhone 4S 360-degrees View:


The Galaxy S III is an Android 4 ICS phone, which has Samsung's proprietary TouchWiz Nature UX on top of the OS UI. This proprietary UI is here to differentiate and enhance the software found on the device with a number of new features that are otherwise not found on other Android handsets. Good examples worth mentioning here are S Voice and SmartStay. The former is a Siri-like voice recognition service, while the latter is a cool function which allows the phone to use its front facing camera to track your eyes. If it determines that you're still looking at the display of the phone, it keeps it active; if you appear to be no longer looking at the screen, once the set display time-out period ends, the screen will be turned off.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 4S runs on the latest iOS 5 version. Its user interface is more simplistic, as it presents you with a grid of icons (your apps), and that's pretty much it. There are no widgets like in Android, that could provide you with information right from the home screen. In iOS, you have to start a certain app in order to find what you're looking for. An exception here is the weather forecast, as in iOS 5, Apple added an Android-like pull-down status bar, which houses a weather widget. As far as special features go, the iPhone 4S has Siri, which is the same as S Voice, but it doesn't sport a SmartStay-like feature. It does, however, have iCloud, which lets you back up app settings, photos, music, contacts and so on on Apple's servers. Samsung's S Cloud will be the company's alternative cloud offering, but it's not yet ready for prime time.

Overall, the open nature of the Android OS on the Galaxy S III will allow you to do pretty much anything with the phone. You can basically do almost the same kind of stuff that you do on your PC – download torrents, directly transfer files via USB cable, etc. There are all things that aren't really permitted in iOS, where everything has to go through the iTunes program on your computer. In exchange for your digital freedom, Apple gives you a richer content ecosystem including apps, movies, music, books, magazines, etc.


Thanks to its significantly larger display, the Galaxy S III will be the more comfortable phone to type on if you happen to experience problems hitting those tiny letter keys. Still, you shouldn't expect a dramatic speed increase, since the iPhone 4S's keyboard is extremely well designed to allow for comfortable typing.


The browsers of the Samsung Galaxy S III and Apple iPhone 4S are extremely capable. Both are incredibly fast and fluid, but the Galaxy S III has the advantage of supporting the Adobe Flash Player, while Flash on the iPhone is almost non-existent. It's true that pretty much every major site now has a Flash-free version, but why not enjoy the more beautiful Flash experience if we can?

The iPhone 4S is a world phone. Users around the world, including the U.S. are treated to pretty much the same device, things are a bit more inconsistent with the GS III. When the U.S. versions of the Galaxy S III are finally made announced, most of them will probably differ from one another in some way. One thing is for sure, the Verizon, Sprint and AT&T versions (if there are such) will most probably have LTE support, while the iPhone is still stuck with HSPA.

Processor and memory:

The Galaxy S III sports a quad-core processor, which is clocked at a higher frequency than the dual-core CPU of the iPhone 4S. This doesn't really matter in this case, since we are making a cross-platform comparison. It actually would have mattered, if the performance was different on both devices, but they both run super-fluidly, without any delays or slowdowns, they are pretty much equal in this respect.

Both the GS III and iPhone 4S come in 16, 32 or 64 GB flavors, but the Galaxy S III lets you install a microSDXC card for up to 64 GB more, giving it the edge if you really need such amounts of space.


Samsung has always made sure that there's a plethora of settings in the camera program of its handsets, and the case with the Galaxy S III is not different. You can tweak pretty much everything from the resolution through the ISO sensitivity to the focusing mode. With the iPhone 4S, you can simply choose whether to enable HDR mode or not, and that's that.

The iPhone 4S manages to capture slightly better images with its 8MP iSight camera. Their advantage is mostly found with the higher level of detail and slightly better exposure. The pictures of the Galaxy S III aren't that far behind, though, as it's also a wonderful camera phone.

It's the opposite when it comes to the 1080p video that these guys record. Although the sound captured through the microphone of the iPhone 4S is better, the video itself looks better from the Galaxy S III, due to being sharper. Otherwise, color reproduction is the same on the two phones.

Samsung Galaxy S III Sample Video:

Apple iPhone 4S Sample Video:

Samsung Galaxy S III Indoor Sample Video:

Apple iPhone 4S Indoor Sample Video:


The Samsung Galaxy S III is definitely the better phone when it comes to the multimedia experience, and it bests the iPhone in both the hardware and software aspects here.

Although the iPhone 4S has a more mature content ecosystem, the Galaxy S III gives you the convenience to easily transfer your files to the phone, and then enjoy them on the much larger Super AMOLED screen. When you factor in the presence of a microSDXC card slot, it also becomes clear that you'll be able to store more stuff on the GS III.

There really isn't so much of a difference in the music players of both device, but we do like that fact that the GS III has all of the settings placed within the actual music player, whereas with the iPhone 4S, you always have to exit the music player, open the Settings app and navigate to the music settings if you want to tweak something.


The iPhone 4S proved to be a bit more inconsistent with its sounding during phone calls, while the GS III really impressed us with the loud and relatively clear tones emitted through its earpiece. Both handsets sound very good on the outgoing end. The Galaxy S III again has a slight edge thanks to its flawless noise-cancellation technology, which eliminates pretty much any ambient noise.

On the other hand, the Apple iPhone 4S's loudspeaker does sound louder and clearer compared to the one of the Galaxy S III, which is on the weaker side.

The iPhone 4S is rated to provide 8 hours of 3G talk-time, as well as 8.3 days of stand-by. Unfortunately, Samsung hasn't announced any specific numbers regarding the battery life of the Galaxy S III. With moderate use, you should be able to get about 2 days out of the Galaxy S III, while the iPhone 4S may last slightly longer, due to the more power-efficient software and smaller screen. With heavy usage, you'll hardly get more than a day from the Galaxy S III, and a day and a half from the iPhone 4S. However, this is all hypothetic, as the battery life of a smartphone depends on numerous factors, including coverage, how much time you spend connected to a 3G/4G network and how much to Wi-Fi, what apps you use, etc., etc., so don't give it too much thought.


As we stated in the beginning, this is one of those fights which could last for an eternity, because each of the opponents is the best in its own way. However, as we break things down, it should become clear to you which way you want to go.

There shouldn't be any doubt that the iPhone 4S is the better-designed handset. With striking visuals and premium written all over it, this is a phone that you won't be embarrassed to put on the table. Quite the contrary, you might want to put it there, as it has turned into a status symbol. The design of the Galaxy S III, on the other hand, caters to the needs of the hardcore crowd, thanks to its large display that makes enjoying multimedia that much more fun.

Apart from its multimedia superiority, the Galaxy S III is also the better phone if you love tinkering with the software of your mobile device. Are you of the type that is constantly looking for ways to personalize their computing devices, including their cell phone? Do you find it cool to install custom ROMs and/or overclock the processor of your handset, just to see how far you can go? If the answer to at least one of those questions is a resounding YES!, then you, our friend, absolutely need to get a Samsung Galaxy S III. We guarantee that you'll love it.

And who should get the iPhone 4S? Apparently, those guys would be the kind of users who don't really pay so much attention to their smartphone, but still want something that's contemporary and reliable. Are your needs limited to the basic phone stuff, surfing the web, occasional social network check and maybe even playing a game every now and then, but you have no intention of spending hours of rooting, flashing ROMs and searching for the ultimate widget set? Well, you guessed it you'll be better off with the iPhone 4S, as it's designed just for you, buddy.

Now, let the intelligent and level-headed discussion begin!

Samsung Galaxy S III vs Apple iPhone 4S:

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