iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Specs & Design Comparison

What happens when you put Apple and Samsung’s newest smartphones side-by-side? We will find that out today as I thoroughly compare the specs of each phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 hit the Northern-American market on July 11th of 2012. Its predecessor was Samsung’s flagship phone, so the S3 sure had some huge shoes to fill. Thus far, sales have ‘dominated’ under Samsung terms, selling 20 million devices since the middle-eastern release in late May.

The iPhone as you may know was just announced at the Apple event on Wednesday. The official release date is set for September 21st and will sell a projected six-million devices over the first three days of sale. Everything related to the device specs have already hit the public, so let’s begin our comparison.

The Display & Design

The iPhone 5 sports a display size of 4-inches with the S3 being much larger at 4.8-inches. The resolution for both devices stands at 16:9. If you enjoy watching movies, that is great news because a 16:9 resolution is the native resolution for television and movies.

If you’re looking for display quality, Apple’s phone has 326 ppi and the S3 trails slightly below at 308 ppi. But it has been said the human eye cannot depict pixilation past the 300 ppi mark, making both phones nearly equal.

The iPhone 5 utilizes a new in-cell LCD panel that combines the display with the touch sensors allowing for a slimmer device. Currently the S3 uses a Super AMOLED display. I determined that both displays are pretty much equal in technology.

The shape of the iPhone 5 remains the same as the past two iPhones, being rectangular with curved edges. With the Galaxy S3, the phone has a similar shape but the screen is wider and the edges are much more curved.

May we also bring up that the Samsung Galaxy S3 display withstood a drag-race? That is just how strong the glass display on the phone is.

Weight & Size

We mentioned above that the size of the S3 was much larger than the iPhone. We have a few photos of the S3 on this post, but the actual size is hard to determine unless you have the chance to hold it in your hand. Some people find that a 4.8 inch screen is too large; hence the iPhone’s 4-inch screen is perfect. So before you buy a phone, try it out in the store.

As for the thickness, the iPhone 5 happens to be the overall thinnest phone on the market. Standing at 7.6 mm, the S3 is 1 mm thicker at 8.6 mm. Some people actually have said the iPhone 5 is becoming too thin.

The weights of the two phones are closely comparable, as the iPhone 5 holds at 3.95 ounces and the S3 at 4.7 ounces. This wouldn’t be a deciding factor on the purchase, but it’s great to know.


The iPhone 5 comes with storage options of 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB. It is very convenient for users who want a wide range of storage options, but the S3 has an even better storage concept. With the S3, users can purchase either the 16 GB or 32 GB model. That’s not all; a microSD slot can hold up to 64 GB of external storage.

Processing, Speed & Internet

The iPhone comes packed with an all-new chip called the “A6” processor. Apple has produced their own systems-on-a-chip for the past three years. The latest A6 addition is thought to be a dual-core using two ARM Cortex A15 cores. The amount of RAM on-board is likely 1 GB, an upgrade from the 4S.

Handing the spotlight over to Samsung, the S3 uses a Qualcomm S4 1.5 GHZ dual-core processor. Even more impressive; it packs 2 GB of RAM.

Included on both devices is the capability to run on LTE networks. If you’re in an area without LTE coverage you may instead purchase a 3G package.


The camera may be the most important feature of the phone to specific buyers. We bring our phones literally everywhere, and they are being used to take pictures more than physical cameras.

The iPhone 5 and S3 have similar camera hardware, both shooting 8 megapixel shots and 1080p video. Furthermore, they both have the ability to enter panorama photo mode. I would say that neither camera is better than the other based off of photos available on the internet.


With past Apple phones, many users complained about battery life, especially promptly after the iPhone 4S release. With the iPhone 5, it was promised the phone would receive a hefty 8 hour battery life while connected to LTE, or 40 hours of audio. Apple never specifically stated the battery size, however the mainly correct rumours have suggested 1430 mAh.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 battery seems outstanding. According to past reviews, the phone has 22 hours talk time and 800 hours standby. The official size of the battery is 2100 mAh; evidently larger than the suspected iPhone 5 battery

 iOS Or Android

With the iPhone running iOS and the S3 running Android 4.1, we had to bring this topic up. They both have positives and negatives, but the largest difference between Android and iOS is the landing page, also known as the home screen. Android allows users to have widgets, such as the weather and time, while iOS is simply full of small individual icons.

The Android operating system is run on thousands of different devices. When you download an application from the Google Play store, we can’t guarantee the quality will be top-notch. An application may be optimized for a 1280 x 720 device, but you have a 1024 x 600 device. This will ultimately mean bad quality.

So, What Phone Should I Buy?

Well, without a doubt, these two phones are very popular. The displays are amazing and nearly equal in quality. The iPhone is lighter, although both are very lightweight phones. To those needing more than 64 GB of storage, the S3 is perfect. The processing and cameras are near equal.

If you’re looking for a lightweight phone with a huge screen and expandable storage option, the Samsung Galaxy S3 may be the perfect fit. While on the other hand, the iPhone would be perfect for consumers looking for a lightweight phone with a smaller screen.

Also whether you want an iOS or Android phone will be a huge decision factor. I would suggest you play around with Android 4.1 on the Galaxy S3 at a local carrier’s store.

[photo via CNET]

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