Samsung Galaxy S III vs Sony Xperia S

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.


Sony's lineup of Android phones has been picking up pace recently, but now with the Xperia S and its buddies, the P and U, the company is hoping to finally reclaim that title of a leading phone manufacturer. However, for such a thing to happen, Sony's Xperia S will have to win quite a few tough fights – like the one against the Galaxy S III, which, as we know, is not an opponent to mess with.

Anyway, such a clash is basically inevitable, if you want to be the alpha smartphone, so here it goes!


You don't need to be a design school graduate to see that the engineers at Samsung and Sony have had some completely different ideas on their minds when designing the Galaxy S III and Xperia S. In short, the Galaxy S III has a much rounder shape, which feels a bit more user-friendly, compared to the sharp edges of the Xperia S. The GS III is also slimmer and has a glossy plastic finish. Meanwhile, the Xperia S is matte and feels in an entirely different way, so it'd be best to try them both before you decide which one works better for you.

It's true that the glossy plastic of the Galaxy S III attracts quite a lot of fingerprints, but it's also true that the Xperia S, especially in its white form, is a handset that gets dirty very easily, so you may often have to take a minute to clean it up.

In terms of dimensions, both handsets are pretty much equal. We say that because even though the Xperia S is a bit smaller (after all, it has a smaller screen), it has more of a rectangular shape, whereas the Galaxy S III has rounded corners, which makes it feel more compact than it is.


Both the Samsung Galaxy S III and Sony Xperia S feature fantastic displays. On one hand, we have the Galaxy S III's 4.8” HD Super AMOLED, and on the other, there's the Xperia S's 4.3” LED-backlit LCD. As we said, both of these are magnificent, but also both have pros and cons. Due to its AMOLED-based technology, the GS III's screen has better contrast and more vivid colors, but the Xperia S actually blasts it with its ultra-bright output, as well as more natural, but still captivating color gamut. Also, thanks to its smaller size, the Xperia S comes with a higher pixel density – 342 ppi, versus the 306 ppi of the GS III. The difference is not great, of course, as both are very detailed, but still, there is one, especially when you also have in mind the GS III's PenTile matrix.

Samsung Galaxy S III 360-degrees View:

Sony Xperia S 360-degrees View:


Currently, the Samsung Galaxy S III is much better positioned as far as software goes, because it's running Android 4 ICS out of the box. Meanwhile, the Sony Xperia S is still rocking Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is waiting for an update to ICS, which should come very soon.

Right now, however, the GS III is much more fluid than the Xperia S, and most of the apps perform visibly better as well. All in all, TouchWiz Nature UX on the Galaxy S III and TimeScape UI on the Xperia S are quite different when it comes to their visuals, but the core functionality concepts are basically the same – homescreen pages, widgets, context menus, etc., etc. Honestly, we like them both, and the only thing that's troubling us right now is the Xperia's laggy performance. We sincerely hope that this will get fixed once the ICS update arrives.


We've come to the conclusion that whether a certain phone will be comfortable to type with depends on a number of things, not just its screen size. Of course, screen size is important too – that's the main reason why typing on the GS III's portrait keyboard is considerably easier than on the one of the Xperia S. When you're typing in landscape view, however, there's hardly any difference between the two, as the Xperia S manages to provide a very well-made keyboard design.


The ICS browser was a huge step forward from what we had in Gingerbread. In addition to this, Samsung has always put effort into enhancing the Android browser and improving it even further. By now it should be clear to you that the GS III has a wonderful browsing experience, while the Xperia S, unfortunately, is quite poor in this respect, due to its laggy browser. Of course, you can always try to fix that by installing a third-party browser like Opera Mobile, for example, but this kind of stuff comes to show you that there's still quite a bit of work ahead of Sony. Naturally, Flash Player is supported on both handsets.

Processor and memory:

One of the key features of the international Galaxy S III is the quad-core Exynos love. Unfortunately, it's expected that the U.S. versions of the phone will come with a dual-core Qualcomm chipset, because of the quad-core CPU's incompatibility with LTE.

Meanwhile, LTE or not LTE, the Xperia S comes with a dual-core Snapdragon, clocked at 1.5 GHz, which isn't bad. The international GS III will have an edge in performance, but hardware-wise, the Xperia S is not bad either. It's only the software that's holding it back now.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuNenaMark 2
Samsung Galaxy S III 53351201658,6
Sony Xperia S3206659537,5

Their makers have been generous when it comes to RAM as well – both the Galaxy S III and Xperia S have 1 GB RAM, which is more than enough at this point.

The GS III comes in 16, 32 and 64 GB flavors, which is supplemented with a microSD slot for cards of up to 64 GB. Sony's product, on the other hand, comes with 32 GB, and that's that – no other storage options, no microSD expansions.


There are not too many differences regarding the camera experience on both handset. However, the few differences that are worth mentioning are actually quite significant. First up, the Xperia S seems to be a bit more of a camera-centric phone, as it comes with a dedicated camera shutter key, like in the good-old times. Its camera interface is also full of all kinds of settings, but we do like the camera UI of the GS III a bit more, because of its more intuitive layout.

We were nicely surprised by the 12MP camera of the Sony Xperia S. It actually managed to produce shots that are slightly more appealing than those of the Galaxy S III. Thanks to the 12MP sensor, the handset does capture more detail, although noise isn't a rarity either. The Galaxy S III's images have less noise, but there's a bit less detail, and their colors are not as lively.

The 1080p video of the GS III, however, proves to be unstoppable, as the one from the Xperia S is much blurrier. Otherwise, both shoot at 29 fps.

Samsung Galaxy S III Sample Video:

Sony Xperia S Sample Video:

Samsung Galaxy S III Indoor Sample Video

Sony Xperia S Indoor Sample Video:


Sony's consumer entertainment heritage has paid off with the Xperia S, as we find a quite fancy music player running on the phone. It's nothing that would enhance the functionality, but rather adds some visual goodies. The Galaxy S III also has a pretty good music player, though, with the cool Music Square feature that chooses the songs you'll listen to based on your mood.

We've said many times that the video player of the Galaxy S III is awesome, and the Xperia S does nothing to change that, as it relies on the standard Android gallery app to find and play videos. Naturally, we'd prefer to watch our video on the Galaxy S III, because of the bigger, 4.8” screen, but the Xperia S is by no means bad with its vivid 4.3” display. At the end of the day, you'll be getting a wonderful movie-watching experience with both handsets.


Both the Samsung Galaxy S III and Sony Xperia S are great performers when it comes to call quality. The two handsets will treat you to a loud and clear audio through the earpiece, while at the same time they both have capable microphones and noise-cancellation technologies. However, we found the loudspeaker of the Xperia S to be a bit louder.

The Sony Xperia S is able to provide up to 8.5 hours of 3G talk-time and 17.5 days of 3G stand-by, which is a decent achievement. Unfortunately, for some reason Samsung hasn't released such details about the Galaxy S III, but we've come to believe it's able to deliver a comparable battery life.


Currently, it's obvious that the Galaxy S III has an upper hand in this fight, because of the fact that it's running Ice Cream Sandwich. This allows it to have a more fluid, faster and overall more polished performance compared to the Xperia S. This is not only true for the UI, but for many of the core apps, like the browser, as well.

Meanwhile, the Xperia S has a better camera (as far as photos go), as well as a competitive specs sheet, but it will take a good ICS update for it to be able to compete on the same level as the Galaxy S III.

Samsung Galaxy S III vs Sony Xperia S:

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