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iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Smartphone Comparison

grand master

iPhone 5.jpgApple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 5, is due to be released on Friday. Featuring a larger 4-inch widescreen display, the new iPhone 5 doubles up on the processing power of the iPhone 4S and contains supports for new 3G and 4G mobile networks. iPhone 5 also ships with the iOS 6 operating system which comes with a new GPS navigation service, the PassBook mobile wallet and Facebook integration.

 

We’ve already taken an initial look at the iPhone 5 and had a video blog from zoeawesome. In this article, we now take a further in-depth look at the iPhone 5 and look at how it compares to its predecessor, the iPhone 4S. We’ll also look at how the iPhone 5 matches up against the most popular Android handset: the Samsung Galaxy S3.

 

Display

 

One of the most discussed changes in the iPhone 5 is the move towards a larger 4-inch display. The new display is taller than that found in previous iPhone handsets and is a radical change for Apple: all of their previous iPhones have had a display measuring 3.5 inches. The move to a larger display allows for a fifth row of icons on the home screen and allows for more content to be visible on the screen at one time.

 

Many critics argue that Apple is still playing catch-up with Android-based rivals with their move towards a larger display. Last year’s Galaxy S2 already featured a 4.3-inch display and this year’s Galaxy S3 features a huge 4.8-inch display. The Galaxy S3’s display is also of the higher HD resolution and uses the newer organic LED technology which gives more vibrant colours and higher contrast ratios. Others argue that the Galaxy S3 is simply too large and that the iPhone devices are more portable.

 

 

Apple iPhone 5
iPhone 5 Front.jpg

Apple iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S Siri.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S III
Marble White.jpg

Display Size

4.0 inches

3.5 inches

4.8 inches

Resolution

1136x640

960x640

1280x720

Technology

LCD

LCD

Organic LED

Pixel Density

326ppi

326ppi

306ppi

Subpixels

RGB

RGB

PenTile

 

Apple A6.jpgProcessor & Internals

 

The iPhone 5 features a new Apple A6 processor and 1GB of RAM. According to Apple, this provides double the performance of the iPhone 4S which featured a dual-core A5 processor. Little is currently known about how the iPhone 5 performs in the real-world: we’ll have to wait until the benchmark results for that.

 

The Samsung Galaxy S3 features a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM.

 

 

Apple iPhone 5
iPhone 5 Front.jpg

Apple iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S Siri.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S III
Marble White.jpg

Processor Speed

???

1GHz dual core

1.4GHz quad-core

Processor Type

Apple A6

Apple A5

Samsung Exynos 4

RAM

1GB

512MB

1GB

 

Operating System

 

iOS 6.jpgThe iPhone 5 ships with the iOS 6 operating system whereas the iPhone 4S ships with iOS 5. The iPhone 4S will receive a software update to iOS 6 once it has been released.

 

The Samsung Galaxy S3 features Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. An update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is set to be made available in the coming months.

 

It’s really a matter of preference whether you prefer the iOS operating system or the Android operating system. It’s generally accepted that Android is more customisable but possibly harder to use. We’ve previously hosted a full comparison of mobile operating systems.

 

 

Apple iPhone 5
iPhone 5 Front.jpg

Apple iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S Siri.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S III
Marble White.jpg

Operating System

Apple iOS 6

Apple iOS 5,
upgradable to iOS6

Google Android 4.0
upgradable to 4.1

No. of applications

500,000+

500,000+

500,000+

Application Store

iTunes

iTunes

Google Play

 

Network Connectivity

 

The iPhone 5 has received a lot of attention for its support of next-generation mobile networks – the most high profile being 4G LTE. 4G promises turbo-charged download speeds on your smartphone of up to 100Mbit/s though in the majority of cases, real-world download speeds are likely to be closer to 15Mbit/s. 4G services are currently only available from EE in the UK.

 

The iPhone 5 also adds support for dual-carrier HSPA+ networks. Although based on 3G technologies, the technology is sometimes described as 4G in America as it can offer download speeds of up to 42Mbit/s. giffgaff customers will have access to dual-carrier HSPA+ (up to 42Mbit/s) on the iPhone 5.

 

The iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S3 feature HSPA+ connectivity for download speeds of up to 21Mbit/s.

 

 

Apple iPhone 5
iPhone 5 Front.jpg

Apple iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S Siri.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S III
Marble White.jpg

3G HSPA+
Up to 21Mbit/s

Yes

Yes

Yes

3G DC-HSPA+
Up to 42Mbit/s

Yes

No

No

4G LTE
Up to 100Mbit/s

Yes, see supported bands.

No

No, but LTE
version available

 

SIM Card

 

The iPhone 5 uses a new nano-SIM card which is smaller and thinner than the Micro SIM cards used by the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S3. giffgaff already offers Micro SIM cards and is currently working on offering Nano SIM cards for the iPhone 5.

 

Camera

 

All three handsets feature an 8-megapixel camera sensor and LED flash. According to Apple, the camera on the iPhone 5 is improved with a new sapphire lens that incorporates a dynamic infrared filter. It also features a new low-light shooting mode. The iPhone 5 also features an improved 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera.

 

 

Apple iPhone 5
iPhone 5 Front.jpg

Apple iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S Siri.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S III
Marble White.jpg

Rear-Facing Camera

8 megapixels

8 megapixels

8 megapixels

LED Flash

Yes

Yes

Yes

Video Recording

1080p, 30 frames per second

1080p, 30 frames per second

1080p, 30 frames per second

Front-Facing Camera

1.3 megapixels

VGA (0.3 megapixels)

1.9 megapixels

 

Storage

 

All three handsets are available with three different amounts of on-board storage: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. The Galaxy S3 also has the addition of a micro-SD card slot too: providing up to 64GB of additional memory. This ability to insert a micro-SD card is particularly useful as storage tends to be cheap and can be removed and swapped with ease.

 

The iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S have access to Apple’s cloud storage solution: iCloud. You’ll get 5GB of free storage. Samsung provides 50GB of space on the Dropbox cloud storage service with the Galaxy S3.

 

 

Apple iPhone 5
iPhone 5 Front.jpg

Apple iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S Siri.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S III
Marble White.jpg

Internal Memory

16GB/32GB/64GB

16GB/32GB/64GB

16GB/32GB/64GB

Micro-SD Expansion

No

No

Up to 64GB

Cloud Storage

5GB iCloud

5GB iCloud

50GB Dropbox

 

Battery Life

 

The iPhone 5 features virtually the same battery as the iPhone 4S. Both handsets feature a lithium-polymer (Li-Po) battery with a capacity of around 1,430mAh. The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes out on top in this round with a 2,100mAh lithium-ion battery which is removable and replaceable.

 

 

Apple iPhone 5
iPhone 5 Front.jpg

Apple iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S Siri.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S III
Marble White.jpg

Standby Time

225 hours

200 hours

590 hours

Talk Time

8 hours

8 hours

11.6 hours

Battery Capacity

1,440mAh

1,430mAh

2,100mAh

Battery Technology

Li-Po

Li-Po

Li-ion

Removable?

No

No

Yes

 

Accessories

 

The iPhone 5 contains a new connector port which Apple calls ‘Lightning’. It is much smaller than the old 30-pin connector and is fully digital so will eventually give more connectivity options to the iPhone in the future. However, it also means that any old iPhone docks and accessories will no longer work with the iPhone 5 without a £30 adapter.

 

The Galaxy S3 contains a standardised micro-USB slot for charging and connectivity to other devices.

 

NFC (Near Field Communication)

 

Neither the iPhone 5 nor the iPhone 4S support NFC technology. Near Field Communication is built in to the Galaxy S3 and allows for mobile commerce, file sharing and other cool things such as automation.

 

 

Apple iPhone 5
iPhone 5 Front.jpg

Apple iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S Siri.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S III
Marble White.jpg

NFC Support

No

No

Yes

 

Price

 

With all three handsets being packed with the latest technology, they’re not going to come cheap. You can often save money by buying your handsets SIM-free and upfront and taking a cheap tariff such as our giffgaff goodybags.

 

Comparing SIM-free prices, the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S3 tend to be around £80 cheaper than the new iPhone 5:

 

 

Apple iPhone 5
iPhone 5 Front.jpg

Apple iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S Siri.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S III
Marble White.jpg

16GB model

£529

£449

£450

32GB model

£599

£529

£480

64GB model

£699

?

?

 

We’ll have a full comparison of the cost of buying an iPhone 5 SIM-free against contract soon.

 

Your Thoughts…

 

In this article, we’ve taken a look at the new Apple iPhone 5 and looked at how it compares to the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S3.

 

Are you planning to buy the new iPhone 5 or do you prefer alternative handsets such as the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S III? Did Apple impress you with their latest handset or were you expecting more? We’d love to hear your thoughts: please drop us a comment below and let us know what you think!

 

Ken Lo writes about mobile technology and the mobile industry at Ken's Tech Tips.

52 Comments
enigma

My thoughts?

Why doesnt everyone stop acting like children in a sweetshop & realise that the difference between the current iphone and the new one is basically a screen that is one half of one inch bigger. 4G, which is one of its strengths isnt due out any time now, and 4S will run the same ios 6 software. Keep calm Smiley Indifferent

dabbler
Get over the iPhone 5, big deal. It's not exactly a vast improvement. How many more blogs/posts are we going to have to put up with about this iRubbish?
maestro

I have read the A6 CPU is 1GHz each core and is dual core. So that makes it 2Ghz in total.

handy giff-staffer

Thanks for the blog - I'm an iPhone user, but I have to say the SG3 is a pretty interesting option with the better battery life (always an issue with iPhones) and the Micro-SD option  Smiley Happy

newcomer

screw you samsung!!!! you have about 50 different types of phones just to try to keep up with apple, who only have one phone and are the most talked about tech company in the 21st century, so i don't see why everyone should gang up on apple when they only have one phone (which puts the rest to shame!!)

ess
contributor

planning on buying the iphone 4s but wanted the s3 at first. the comparison is still making me want the s3 but budget istight

kingpin

so in comparison,the S3 is the betterly speced phone. To all them out there arguing, its not rocket scienece. there both phones pick the one you like and leave it at that

student

So many comparisons everywhere.....

 

It is unvelivable the importance of mobile phones right now.....

mastermind

Nice comparisons, good blog!

apprentice

Good comparison!!!

Thanks! Smiley Happy