Mobile : Head to Head: Galaxy S III and iPhone 5

If you’re in the market for an advanced smartphone, you’re probably considering the two most recognizable models around: the Samsung Galaxy S® III and the Apple iPhone® 5. Let’s peel back some of the hype and examine the features of the world’s two most popular devices.

The Next Big Thing Is Already Here


In the crowded smartphone market, performance can be a key difference. The Galaxy S III is powered by a Qualcomm 1.5 GHz Dual-Core processor, 2 GB of RAM, plus the ability to expand storage capacity up to 96 GB of memory. The iPhone 5 brings what it’s calling the A6 processor, storage capacity up to 64 GB, and 1 GB of RAM.

The Key Difference: There are no publicly disclosed details about the iPhone processor, and RAM is not listed in iPhone 5 specs. The Galaxy S III processor is the latest model of well-known and widely tested processors, while storage can be expanded to hold significantly more data at 96 GB, which is 32 GB more than the iPhone 5.

Insight: The Galaxy S III’s 2 GB of RAM is a significant boost to an already powerful processor, and more than enough to power through video games and video. The extra data storage capacity of the Galaxy S III is equal to roughly 40 hours of video.


The most obvious feature—and what you’ll notice the most on any device—is the quality and size of the display. The Galaxy S III features an HD Super AMOLED touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 on a generous 4.8-inch screen. The Apple iPhone 5 “retina” display is measured at 4 inches, vertically, with a resolution of 1136 x 640.

The Key Difference: The Galaxy S III display is larger than the iPhone display.

Insight: With a larger display and more pixels, the Galaxy S III not only provides more detailed images but more real estate to view them. The additional space is also ideal for writing email, and larger font sizes for people with poor vision.


Smartphone users do many different things best, but the one thing everyone does well is share. Whether it’s photos, videos or data, all users can take advantage of this feature. The Galaxy S III brings many different technologies to its users, including S Beam, NFC technology, AllShare Play, Wi-Fi Direct and Kies Air. The iPhone 5 features AirPlay and iTunes and the ability to share photo streams through iCloud, with what we know today about iOS 6.

The Key Difference: The Galaxy S III features multiple ways to share—device-to-device, device-to-multiple-devices, device-to-home-theater, and more, including NFC technology. The iPhone 5 can directly share with home theater systems through Airplay and does not include NFC.

Insight: The Galaxy S III notably provides NFC, the cutting-edge technology behind Google Wallet and TecTiles, plus more options to share with other devices anywhere, which includes photos, video and data.

Battery Life

Smart device users are always limited or empowered by battery life. Both the Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5 feature battery upgrades to previous models. The Galaxy S III features a removable 2100 mAh battery while the iPhone’s permanent internal battery lists up to 8 hours of talk time.

The Key Difference: Independent CNET tests measure the Galaxy S III’s battery life at 7.8 hours, while Apple markets the iPhone 5 with 8 hours of talk time.

Insight: The Galaxy S III’s removable battery enables users to extend the battery life according to individual usage, rather than a hunt for an open electrical outlet.

Operating System

The smartphone operating system can make the experience of using a device either simple and functional or complex and impossible. Both phones use a widely loved OS. The Galaxy S III features Android 4.0, a Google-based experience, while the iPhone 5’s iOS 6 is an Apple-only operating system.

The Key Difference: Android 4.0 is an open architecture platform, which integrates Gmail and other Google applications, and comes preloaded with additional enhancements like a new Google Search, Google Wallet and more. The iPhone 5’s iOS is a closed architecture designed to work with other Apple products.

Insight: The Galaxy S III’s Android 4.0 platform is elegant, functional and integrates the intelligent Google online experience—like Google Search and Gmail—into every aspect of the device.


Samsung Galaxy S III iPhone 5
4.8" screen 4.0" screen
HD Super AMOLED™ display Retina display
1280×720 HD resolution 1136×640 resolution
Up to 790 hrs standby time Up to 225 hrs standby time
Up to 8 hrs talk time Up to 8 hrs talk time
Full HD 1080p video recording Full HD 1080p video recording
4.7 oz weight 3.95 oz weight
S Voice™ Siri™
16 or 32 fixed + up to 64GB
microSD storage
16, 32 or 64
fixed internal storage
Android™ 4.0 OS iOS 6.0 OS

Screen images simulated. Appearance of device may vary. Features listed are representative of each device and not all inclusive.
Samsung, Super AMOLED, S Voice and Galaxy S are trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. iPhone and Siri is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Android are trademarks or registered trademarks of Google Inc. Other company names, product names and marks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners and may be trademarks or registered trademarks. Product information obtained from phonearena.com. This article is not affiliated with or endorsed by Apple Inc.
The above content is provided for information purposes only. All information included herein is subject to change without notice. Samsung is not responsible for any direct or indirect damages, arising from or related to use or reliance of the above content.

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