Samsung Galaxy S III vs. Apple iPhone 5
The Advice Sisters have been using the Galaxy S III for several months now and are quite impressed with the phone and Samsung’s attention to the features that make the phone easy and fun to use. So we couldn’t help but also be curious in what Apple would do to compete. Frankly, we’re not very impressed with the iPhone 5.
First there is the display. Apple finally realized that a 3.5 inch screen was useless in really viewing web pages, especially when compared with the Galaxy S III’s 4.8 inch so they upped it to 4.0 inches which is a help but still smaller than the majority of all Android phones. But why in the world did they build a non-standard 640p display, when all of the HD video in the world is 720p and above? That means the phone has to convert the video on the fly from 720p to 640p leading to detail loss, blurring, and out of focus images.
The Galaxy S III on the other hand has a true 720p display, so all of the detail in the original comes through. Fans of Apple might say it has a “Retina Display”, but the Galaxy S III has the same 300 pixels per inch technology but with a much bigger screen (if your vision isn’t great, or you’re trying to read the display in poor lighting, this is a major plus).
Finally the iPhone 5 touts the phone as having better color because of their new thinner screen. But what they’re really saying is that the iPhone 6 has better color than the iPhone 4S, not any advanced Android phone. Advanced Android phones like the Galaxy S III use AMOLED screens (something Apple will never have as long as it continues to be a bully and deprive people of their choice in their own smart phones) which emit light directly, not, as the iPhone does, through a filter and a backlight. AMOLED screens are the most advanced and gorgeous available today (for example 3400:1 contrast ratio versus 800:1 for the iPhone 5).
The back cameras on both phones are for all practical purposes identical (8 megapixel, LED flash, auto-focus, image-stabilization, 1080p at 30 fps). But although the features for front cameras on both phones are the same the Galaxy S III front camera is 1.9 megapixel versus 1.2 for the iPhone 5.
Yes the iPhone 5 is half an inch shorter, half an inch narrower and half an ounce lighter, but the size in the Galaxy S III is directly a result of the big, gorgeous screen and if the iPhone is a guide, just as the Galaxy S III is lighter than the iPhone 4S, the next Galaxy will likely be lighter than the iPhone 5. Yes the iPhone is thinner, but where the Galaxy S III feels great in the hand, the thinner iPhone feels like you are holding a piece of glass by the edges. In fact, if you are taking photos or video with a device this slim, it is hard to keep the camera, steady.
As far as base usability the Galaxy wins hands down. Apple must think it’s customers are all children, because you get one big button which takes you home, and wipes out everything you have done to that point. The Galaxy S III on the other hand has three buttons, a “Home” button like the iPhone, a “go back a step” button and a “menu” or “what can I do from here” button which makes using the phone exceedingly easy to use. Yes, I know there are multi-touch gestures that help but unless you take a class on them from Apple, assuming you live somewhere Apple deems worthy of a store, or have very learned friends with lots of patience to teach you, you will never figure them out on your own. And, alas, half the time when you need these multi-tasking touch gestures, you will not remember the special gesture, or may get it wrong, or end up frustrated as the phone does something else you do not want it to.
Another usability feature is the Galaxy S III updates its software over the air. With Apple the operating system (iOS) is mixed up with the user data so to update the phone you have to connect it to a computer, do a complete backup, update the operating system and the do a complete restore. Since Android and the Galaxy S III keeps user data in a separate area all you need do is click button to update phone and the when it tells you turn the phone off and the on again. All done, simple as pie.
As far as other features, Apple wins one and loses on three. Apple has a dock connector so you can use your phone as a music player or alarm clock with ease just by dropping it into the enabled device. The Galaxy S III uses Bluetooth for the same purpose but it is not as simple and does not charge the phone. Where Apple loses big time is Samsung has a user replaceable battery and with the average battery lasting two years, not having the inconvenience and cost of shipping your phone for a major repair as you would with an iPhone is enough to make you decide against the iPhone right there. Also with a replaceable battery you can carry a charged spare battery in case you need extra talk time. Another killer feature of the Galaxy S III which the iPhone lacks is a micro-SD card slot. Thus with the Galaxy S III you can backup your phone or pictures or tunes to the micro-SD card and transfer them to another phone or a computer or load tunes, photos or videos on the card so you can use them on the phone. Finally the Galaxy S III has “near field communications” (NFC), the ability to “tap and pay” (Google wallet) or instantly transfer information such as pictures to another current generation Android phone.
*this report for advicesisters.net is courtesy of Anthony Sabatini