Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Apple iPhone 4S | Speed, Performance and Features Compared | Full Specs Compared
When the Second World War was over, there was a cold war going on between Russia and United States of America. It was a war fought with minds and wasn’t disclosed to the general public although they knew of the apparent friction between those two countries. Similarly, Samsung and Apple are entangled in a cold war with each other over their smartphone products. Neither declares the war openly and tries to run the other down. Instead, they continue a war of minds to innovate and come up with the best product to satisfy customer needs efficiently. Time to time, these conflicts erupts in the backyards of the courts of different countries as patent issues. The ones who would keep a sharp lookout would understand that these are actually a part of a large game, a cold war.
Samsung had released Galaxy S II before iPhone 4S in order to get a competitive edge over the market and succeeded in the endeavor. The logical disadvantage of this move is for the Galaxy S II to have lesser features compared to Apple iPhone 4S. However, apart from the wonderful Personal Assistant Siri, Samsung Galaxy S II has proven to be better in terms of hardware compared to Apple iPhone 4S which used to amaze a lot of reviewers. And now, we are seeing the Samsung’s newest smartphone of the Galaxy family, Galaxy S III, and we’ll be comparing it with the Apple iPhone 4S in order to understand the differences between these two handsets.
Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III)
After a long wait, initial impressions of Galaxy S III haven’t disappointed us at all. The much anticipated smartphone comes in two color combinations, Pebble Blue and Marble White. The cover is made with a glossy plastic that Samsung called as Hyperglaze, and I have to tell you, it feels so good in your hands. It retains a striking similarity to Galaxy Nexus rather than Galaxy S II having curvier edges and no hump at the back. It is 136.6 x 70.6mm in dimensions and has a thickness of 8.6mm with a weight of 133g. As you can see, Samsung has managed to produce this monster of a smartphone with a very reasonable size and weight. It comes with a 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi. There’s apparently, no surprise here, but Samsung has incorporated PenTile matrix instead of using RGB matrix for their touchscreen. The image reproduction quality of the screen is beyond expectation, and the reflex of the screen is also rather low.
The power of any smartphone lies in its processor and Samsung Galaxy S III comes with a 32nm 1.4GHz Quad Core Cortex A9 processor on top of Samsung Exynos chipset as predicted. It also accompanies this with 1GB of RAM and Android OS v4.0.4 IceCreamSandwich. Needless to say, this is a very solid combination of specs. The initial benchmarks of this device suggest that it’s going to top the market in every aspect possible. A significant performance boost in the Graphics Processing Unit is also ensured by the Mali 400MP GPU. It comes with 16 / 32 and 64GB storage variations with the option of using a microSD card to expand the storage up to 64GB. This versatility has landed Samsung Galaxy S III with a huge advantage because that was one of the prominent disadvantages in Galaxy Nexus. As predicted, the network connectivity is reinforced with 4G LTE connectivity that varies regionally. Galaxy S III also has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n for continuous connectivity and the built in DLNA ensure that you can share your multimedia contents in your big screen easily. S III can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot enabling you to share the monster 4G connection with your less fortunate friends. The camera seems to be the same available in Galaxy S II, which is 8MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. Samsung has incorporated simultaneous HD video and image recording to this beast along with geo tagging, touch focus, face detection and image & video stabilization. The video recording is at 1080p @ 30 frames per second while having the ability to video conference using the front facing camera of 1.9MP. Besides these conventional features, there are a whole lot of usability features that we can eagerly await.
Samsung is boasting a direct competitor of iOS Siri, the popular Personal Assistant that accepts voice commands named S Voice. The model exhibited didn’t have a sound model of this new addition, but Samsung guaranteed that it would be there when the smartphone is released. The strength of S Voice is the ability to recognize languages other than English, like Italian, German, French and Korean. There are a lot of gestures that can land you in different applications, as well. For instance, if you tap and hold the screen while you rotate the phone, you can go directly in to the camera mode. S III will also call whoever the contact you were browsing when you raise the handset to your ear, which is a good usability aspect. Samsung Smart Stay is designed to identify whether you’re using the phone and switch the screen off if you’re not. It uses the front camera with facial detection in order to achieve this task. Similarly, Smart Alert feature will make your smartphone vibrate when you pick it up if you have any missed calls of other notifications. Finally, Pop Up Play is a feature that would best explain the performance boost S III has. Now you can work with any application you like and have a video playing on top of that application on its own window. The window size can be adjusted while the feature worked flawlessly with the tests we ran.
A smartphone of this caliber needs a lot of juice, and that is provided by the 2100mAh batter resting at the back of this handset. It also has a barometer and a TV out while you have to be careful about the SIM because S III only supports the use of micro SIM cards.
Apple iPhone 4S
Apple iPhone 4S has the same look and feel of iPhone 4 and comes in both black and white. The stainless steel built gives it an elegant and expensive style which appeals to the users. It also is almost the same size as iPhone 4 but slightly heavier weighing 140g. It features the generic Retina display, which Apple is extremely proud of. It comes with a 3.5 inches LED-backlit IPS TFT Capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors and scores the highest resolution as per Apple, which is 640 x 960 pixels. The pixel density of 330ppi is extremely high that Apple claims that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels. This obviously results in crisp text and stunning images.
iPhone 4S comes with 1GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A9 processor with PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU in Apple A5 chipset and 512MB RAM. Apple claims this delivers two times more power and seven times better graphics. It is also highly energy efficient, which enables Apple to boast an outstanding battery life. iPhone 4S comes in 3 storage options; 16/32/64GB without the option of expanding the storage with a microSD card. It utilizes the infrastructure provided by carriers to stay in touch at all times with HSDPA at 14.4Mbps and HSUPA at 5.8Mbps. In terms of camera, iPhone 4S has an improved camera of 8MP that can record 1080p HD videos @ 30 frames per second. It has a LED flash and touch to focus function along with Geo-tagging with A-GPS. The front VGA camera enables the iPhone 4S to make use of its application Facetime, which is a video calling application.
While iPhone 4S is graced with generic iOS applications, it comes with Siri, the most advanced digital personal assistant up to date. Now the iPhone 4S user can use voice to operate the phone, and Siri understands natural language. It also understands what the user meant; that is Siri is a context aware application. It has its own personality, tightly coupled with the iCloud infrastructure. It can do basic tasks like setting up an alarm or reminder for you, sending a text or email, schedule meetings, follow your stock, make a phone call etc. It can also perform complex tasks like finding information for a natural language query, getting directions, and answering your random questions.
Apple is best known for its unbeatable battery life; thus, it would be normal to expect it to have a fabulous battery life. With the Li-Pro 1432mAh battery it has, iPhone 4S promises a talk time of 14h in 2G and 8h in 3G. However, the users have been making complaints about the battery life and update for iOS5 has partially solved the problem.
A Brief Comparison between Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) and iPhone 4S
• Samsung Galaxy S III is powered by 32nm 1.4GHz Quad Core Cortex A9 processor on top of Samsung Exynos chipset with 1GB of RAM while Apple iPhone 4S is powered by 1GHz Cortex A9 dual core processor on top of Apple A5 chipset with 512MB of RAM.
• Samsung Galaxy S III runs on Android OS v4.0.4 ICS while Apple iPhone 4S runs on Apple iOS 5.1.
• Samsung Galaxy S III has 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi while Apple iPhone 4S has a 3.5 inches LED backlit IPS TFT capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 960 x 640 pixels at a pixel density of 330ppi.
• Samsung Galaxy S III has 4G LTE connectivity while Apple iPhone 4S has to suffice with HSDPA connectivity.
• Samsung Galaxy S III has 16 / 32 and 64GB variations with the option to expand the storage using microSD card while Apple iPhone 4S has 16 / 32 and 64GB variation without the option to expand the memory.
• Samsung Galaxy S III has 8MP camera that can record 1080p HD videos and images simultaneously while Apple iPhone 4S has 8MP camera that can record 1080p HD videos.
• Samsung Galaxy S III comes with 2100mAh battery while Apple iPhone 4S has 1432mAh battery.
When it comes to a high end Samsung and the Apple iPhone, giving the verdict is always difficult. It’s even more difficult when the Samsung product is their signature line, Samsung Galaxy. With the surfacing of Galaxy S III, Samsung has added a lot of usability aspects to their new handset that would hurt Apple iPhone 4S very much. For starters, it has Samsung S Voice, which is a direct competitor to the personal assistant in iPhone 4S; Siri. Although we haven’t given it a spin yet, S Voice can’t be falling behind after so much time of research on Samsung’s end. S III also has Smart Stay, Smart Alert and Pop up Play along with a series of smart gestures that make it incredibly pleasant and easy to use this handset. It also has an improved keyboard and a stunning UI that gives Samsung Galaxy S III an edge over any other product in the market. Thus, my personal opinion would be Samsung Galaxy S III over Apple iPhone 4S, and I can only back up that decision with the benchmarks of both of these devices compared when I have the details at hand. Till then, it depends on your personal opinion.