Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 head-to-head review

We put the flagship Android and iOS devices head-to-head to see which offers the best mobile experience.


Even though the display on the S3 is 0.8ins larger, both are great for watching HD videos, browsing websites, looking at PDFs, word documents and emails.

It's hard to fault either display in terms of clarity. Both devices are bright enough to be used indoors and outdoors without any problems. However, put the two handsets side-by-side and you'll notice the iPhone 5 is miles brighter. We clocked a maximum brightness of 582cd/m2 for the iPhone 5, over double the 240cd/m2 we recorded for the S3.

Apple's Retina Display on the iPhone 5 has a resolution of 1,136 x 640 and has been well documented. You'll never see individual pixels, unless the content itself if not high enough in quality. Apple has also changed the aspect ratio to 16:9, meaning that videos will now take up the full screen, and there will not be any more black bars.

Although the Super AMOLED screen on the S3 doesn't have as many pixels per inch as the iPhone 5 (306 vs 326), it's still a great display. The S3 has a resolution of 1,280 x 720 and renders colours superbly replicating shades which will make your eyes water. We also like the built in control, so you can change features such as the colour temperature and contrast.

Using the on-screen keyboard on the S3 is easier as the keys are well-spaced and there are options to change the layout style and use applications such as Swype or SwiftKey. With iOS you're stuck with the default keyboard and its infamous auto-correct feature.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Apple iPhone 5 - Brightness

Winner iPhone 5

Storage and connectivity

Apple offers 5GB of free iCloud storage out-of-the-box and more storage can be purchased as required. Samsung, meanwhile, has struck a deal with Dropbox and trumps this by offering S3 user 50GB of cloud storage for three years.

Apple's iPhone 5 does support high-speed mobile internet in the form of 4G, which will be available to EE (Everything Everywhere) customers starting at the end of October. However, there is no native NFC functionality so you cannot make purchases by tapping to pay.

The UK edition of the S3 does not support 4G at present, but there is NFC functionality, so you can pay for purchases in participating food/retail outlets if you wish. Both devices support dual-band Wi-Fi.

In terms of physical connections, Apple has introduced a "Lightning" port, which won't work with any existing iPad or iPhone cables you may have. With the S3, owners can use any standard micro USB charging cable, again showing the flexibility of the Android device.

Winner - Samsung Galaxy S3

Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 full specifications

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