Sony Xperia ion vs Samsung Galaxy S III

AT&T customers surely have a lot to be happy about, especially now that two highly prized Android smartphones are now available for purchase and poised for an old-fashioned showdown at the O.K. Corral. On one side of the field, we have the highly touted Samsung Galaxy S III, which has already garnered a lot of attention amongst the Android community. And on the other, the Sony Xperia ion is seeking to woo people with its attractive $99.99 on-contract pricing. Very similar in hardware department, it’s safe to say that they’re both top-shelf devices, but there can only be one left standing in this showdown.


Honestly, there isn’t a definitive device that has a better design over the other. Yet, we still find ourselves gravitating slightly more to the Samsung Galaxy S III because it sports a cleaner appearance, it’s skinnier, and lighter. With the Sony Xperia ion, however, it has the sturdier build between the two thanks to its brushed metallic casing, but the compromises are made with its heavier weight and bulkier feel in the hand. Furthermore, its sharp edges aren’t as comforting as the rounded feel of the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Trying to activate any of the Xperia ion’s set of Android capacitive buttons is a frustrating experience, whereas it’s not much of an issue with the Galaxy S III’s combination physical home and capacitive buttons.

Comparing the rear cameras of these two behemoths, the Sony Xperia ion’s beefy 12-megapixel auto-focus camera shouts loudly over the 8-megapixel snapper of the Samsung Galaxy S III, but having a higher count number doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be a stand out winner. We’ll talk more on their qualities later. As for front-facing cameras, the Xperia ion packs a 1-megapixel one, while the Galaxy S III is outfitted with a higher 1.9-megapixel camera – both of which can shoot in 720p.

Needless to say, we love the fact that they both offer expandable memory via their microSD card slots, but we prefer the standard microHDMI port of the Xperia ion – especially when the Galaxy S III requires a special type of MHL adapter. Lastly, Samsung’s beauty benefits from a removable battery, whereas the Xperia ion is locked up inside of its body.


Checking out there two beauties, it’s safe to say that they flaunt some sharp looking displays thanks to their large size and high resolution. Specifically, the Samsung Galaxy S III features a 4.8” HD Super AMOLED display, while the Sony Xperia ion comes to the table with a 4.6” HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA engine. Seeing that the two share the same 720 x 1280 resolution, Sony’s baby is obviously sporting the higher pixel density, but seriously, it’s not much of a factor seeing that it’s almost indistinguishable when looking at the two from the same distance away. Still, the Galaxy S III has the slight wow factor thanks to the saturated colors tones that its AMOLED panel is able to produce, but it doesn’t have the color accuracy of Sony’s display. Finally, viewing angles are better with the Galaxy S III, since the Xperia ion’s display fades at slight angles.



1. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Good comparative review, but I believe it would be fare to compare the ION to the SGS3 once it has ICS in it. I won't say the ION would be better by then but I believe it can atleast close the gap by then. . .

2. tahnik

Posts: 201; Member since: Jul 17, 2011

Ya...We know how ics changes everything...

13. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

well yeah ICS changes the weight the screen size the camera and the buttons magically change into working awesome buttons!


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

The SGS3 is an amazing phone. The Sony one isn't bad if you are on a budget but if you want the best, look no further.

4. wendygarett unregistered

IDK... For some reason i prefer ion... Probably because of attractive price...

5. santaclaus

Posts: 52; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

Proven: same camera sensor for SGS3, Ion, Iphone from the camera comparison

21. Atlas

Posts: 158; Member since: Apr 15, 2012

That's because the i4S and the ion both use Sony cameras, plus they also helped with the GS3s camera as well

6. imran_khan0786

Posts: 61; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

S3 made by a cheap plastic and we heared s3 is exploding and heating problem. My three friends lost there money on s3. Never ever go for s3 better to take oneX or ION. Samsung just making craze in the public. Here no one ready to go with s3. Best of luck.

8. SleepingOz unregistered

Another ignorant retard who comes up with his invalid "cheap plastic" argument. Lost their money? How? And how is the ION or the One X better? Have you even read their comparison articles?


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

No no no and no. Please shut up dude. One story about some guys phone exploding when he was probably using a cheap unsafe charger and to avoid paying for it he lied. There's been several cases of Iphones exploding. Another is the plastics that the sgs3 is the most durable there is. It's the same plastic found on the one x, just glossy. Get a phone cover like you should anyway. Heating problem? My phone is the coolest cell phone I have used and I mean that literally. Not once has it felt hot or even warm to the touch and I use it constantly. You are just going by stupid little reports you read about that happened to a couple people. Faulty devices are in every product there is.

23. OptimusOne

Posts: 694; Member since: May 22, 2012

lol one x and ion are both plastic O.o

7. SleepingOz unregistered

I found myself loving the GSIII's design.

11. Oxygen

Posts: 125; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

You are not the only one..

17. droly23hp

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 08, 2012

im liking just the blue one though, it looks less plastic because of the brushed design.. the back of the white looks pure plastic..

18. wsucoug13

Posts: 164; Member since: May 04, 2012

it is pure plastic...

19. Galen20K

Posts: 579; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

Polycarbonate, 100 times stronger than regular plastic and heck of a lot more durable. I don't see this as a bad thing. Haters just love to embelish facts.

9. ryq24

Posts: 876; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

after giving the ion a low score what hope does Ion have against s3. nada! zero! none! but in fairness, the verge also give a very low score for ion. i hope sony is reading all the reviews so they could learn something out of it!

12. BabyWade

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 12, 2012

Personally I wouldn't compare the Xperia Ion (mid-range) to the SGS3 (high-end), but still a good comparison.

14. OpTiMuS_BlAcK

Posts: 418; Member since: May 04, 2012

They've been comparing the SGSIII to every new phone, when will it end? -_-

16. parkwaydr

Posts: 572; Member since: Sep 07, 2011

When some beats it, which won't happen anytime soon.

20. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Ray S. also comparing Samsung Galaxy S III with iPhone 4S...

15. parkwaydr

Posts: 572; Member since: Sep 07, 2011

Honestly, the ion is a good release for Sony, while it may not compare to the gs111, its a quality stepping stone for Sony to work off of, let's face it, Sammy knows how to build monsters, give it time, and soon Sony will unleash high shelf monsters, that being said, the ion is still a great phone for those who want good quality on a small budget.

22. Martine

Posts: 102; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Title is very misleading. It is more like Sony Xperia Ion vs Samsung Galaxy SIII (US version)

24. grkumar4phonearena

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Very nice comarasion review on both phones. But, personally I prefer Sony phones only.

26. PhantomAss

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

just go green, the world gonna be "hot"

27. win.legacy

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

I have a samsung galaxy s3 and xperia ion... but in some ways i like my xperia ion better.... i mean in many ways

28. X55526622233

Posts: 17; Member since: Apr 14, 2013

I have a samsung galaxy s3, htc one X+, xperia ion, and xperia Z what I can say is... s3 is better when it comes to games, xperia ion and Z are better in terms of camera, htc one X+ uhhhhmmmm... yeah...I don't know why I bought this s**t.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.