Smartphone face-off: Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone5

What you need to know:

  • Two brilliant phones face off. Who will emerge the victor?
  • The Samsung Galaxy S3 has enjoyed its time atop the top 10 Smartphone list, but we always knew this day would come. With the recent introduction of Apple’s iPhone 5, we can now confidently pit the King of Android against the mightiest iPhone yet. Let’s see how they fare:

iPhone 5 is a touchscreen smartphone developed by Apple Inc, the sixth generation of the iPhone. It was announced on September 12 this year and released on September 21.

It has a larger screen and a smaller pin dock connector than its predecessor. It is lighter, thinner, and contains the Apple A6 processor.

It is the first iPhone that supports LTE or has a screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The reception to the iPhone was primarily positive as many reviewers praised the hardware improvements such as the larger and higher resolution screen and improved internal components.

However, many negatively received the new “Maps” application as it is reported to contain many serious errors.

Critical reception

The iPhone 5 has received favourable reviews from commentators and reviewers. Many praise it for its high resolution screen compared to the iPhone 4S, which is one of the best phone screens available on the market.

However, many have been critical of the introduction of the new dock connector, which is not compatible with numerous gadgets that use the connector and cable supplied with the iPad and previous generation iPhones.

Reviews also state that Apple fulfils most of the promises that were stated on their website such as “better battery performance”, “two times the graphics performance”, and “two times faster.”

David Pogue of The New York Times called the 4-inch retina display a “nice but not life-changing change”, and praised the lighting connector for its size, sturdiness, and reversibility, but criticised it because of its lack of support for older accessories.

He added: “Apple has a long history of killing off technologies, inconveniently and expensively, that the public had come to love — even those that Apple had originally developed and promoted. Somehow, life goes on, and Apple gets even bigger.”

Commercial reception

JP Morgan’s chief economist, Michael Ferol, says that “sales of iPhone 5 could boost annualised US GDP growth by $3.2 billion (about Sh2.6 trillion), or $12.8 billion (Sh10.8 trillion) at an annual rate”, and Techcrunch reports that the iPhone 5 sold out 20 times faster than the 4 and 4S models.

Apple said they were “blown away by the customer response”. Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice-president of worldwide marketing, said that over two million iPhone 5 orders had been received in the first 24 hours, while AT&T said that the iPhone 5 was the fastest-selling iPhone the company had ever offered

Samsung Galaxy s3

The Samsung Galaxy S III is a smartphone designed, developed, and marketed by Samsung Electronics. Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S II, the S III is a touchscreen, slate-format Android smartphone with additional software features, expanded hardware, and a redesigned physique.

It employs an intelligent personal assistant (S Voice), eye-tracking ability, increased storage, and a wireless charging option.

Depending on country, the 4.8-inch (120 mm) smartphone comes with different processors and RAM capacity, and 4G LTE support.

The S III was launched with Android version 4.0, “Ice Cream Sandwich”, and will be upgraded to version 4.1, “Jelly Bean”, later this year.

More than 20 million units of the S III were shipped within the first 100 days of release. Due to overwhelming demand and a manufacturing flaw in the blue version of the phone, there was an extensive shortage of the S III, especially in the United States.

Nevertheless, the S III has been well-received commercially and critically, with some technology commentators touting it as the “iPhone killer”.


Reception to the Galaxy S III has been particularly positive. Critics say the phone’s blend of features, such as its S Voice application, display, processing speed, and dimensions, have an edge over its competition, the Apple iPhone 4S and HTC One X.

Vlad Savov of The Verge declared it a “technological triumph”, while Natasha Lomas of CNET UK lauded the phone’s “impossibly slim and light casing and a quad-core engine”, calling it the “Ferrari of Android phones”, a sentiment affirmed (“a prince among Android phones”) by Dave Oliver of Wired UK and (“king of Android”) Esat Dedezade of Stuff magazine.

Gareth Beavis of TechRadar noted that the S III is “all about faster, smarter, and being more minimal than ever before while keeping the spec list at the bleeding edge of technology.”

Matt Warman of The Daily Telegraph said, “On spending just a short time with the SIII, I’m confident in saying that it’s a worthy successor to the globally popular SII.”

The S III was the first Android phone to have a higher launch price than the iPhone 4S when the Apple product was released in 2011.

Tim Weber, business editor of the BBC, observed, “With the new Galaxy S3 they [Samsung] have clearly managed to move to the front of the smartphone field, ahead of mighty Apple itself.”

Conversely, reviewers have opined on the design and feel of phone, calling its polycarbonate shell “cheap”and having a “slippery feel”.

The S Voice was described as “not optimised” and “more rigid than Siri” with its poor voice-recognition accuracy, with instances when it would not respond at all. Another usage problem was a microphone malfunction that resulted in difficulty communicating during a call.

Reviewers have noted the somewhat abrupt auto-adjustment of display brightness, which tends to under-illuminate the screen and its inferior camera compared to that of the HTC One X.

However, it has twice the battery life compared to the HTC handset, achieved partly through the dim display. Others say the numerous pre-installed apps make the S III feel “bloated”.


When Apple went took Samsung to Court over the SIII

APPLE WON a decisive victory this month in a lawsuit against Samsung, a verdict that will give Apple ammunition in a far-flung patent war with its global competitors in the smartphone business.

The nine jurors in the case, who faced the daunting task of answering more than 700 questions on sometimes highly technical matters, returned a verdict after just three days of deliberations at a federal courthouse in San Jose, California. They found that Samsung infringed on a series of Apple’s patents on mobile devices, awarding Apple more than $1 billion in damages.

That is not a big financial blow to Samsung, one of the world’s largest electronics companies. But the decision was closely watched because it could help shape the balance of power in the growing smartphone and tablet computer business.

It could also give Apple a tool it can use to more aggressively protect its innovations from a fleet of rivals flooding the market with competing devices.

The jury found that various Samsung products violated Apple patents covering things like the “bounce back” effect when a user scrolls to the end of a list on the iPhone and iPad, and the pinch-to-zoom gesture that users make when they want to magnify an image.

Samsung was also found to have infringed Apple patents covering the physical design of the iPhone.

Despite the eye-popping award, the more important long-term effect of the jury’s decision could be the impact it has on Android, the Google operating system used by Samsung and a broad array of other companies in their devices.

For every iPhone sold worldwide, more than three smartphones running Android are sold, reflecting the meteoric rise of Google’s software and a potential threat to Apple.

Apple’s suit against Samsung, the largest maker of smartphones in the world, has partly been viewed as a proxy war against Google, which Apple executives have derided as a copycat, swiping Apple’s innovations. Steve Jobs, the late chief executive of Apple, told his biographer that Android was a “stolen product.”

The stakes in the case were enormous, in large part because Apple has become the most valuable public company ever through the blockbuster success of its mobile products.

The evidence Apple presented during the trial, including internal Samsung memos and strategy documents, left little doubt that the iPhone inspired a major effort by the Korean manufacturer to overhaul its mobile phone efforts.

But a key question throughout the trial was whether the jury would decide that Samsung had stepped over the line by improperly copying Apple’s technologies.

The verdict in the trial hardly concludes the legal battles over patents among companies in the mobile business. There are dozens of legal cases between Apple and Samsung winding their way through courts in other countries.