Apple iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S III: the truth about both smartphones that the sales-geeks won’t tell you
January 24, 2013 by Beatweek
by Bill Palmer
Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S III are the two best selling smartphones on the market, and are often lumped together as a result. But the truth is that the two devices don’t have much in common and aren’t even in the same ballpark when it comes to several vital aspects of mainstream usage. So why do both phones sell well? Simple: most of the salespeople in tech retail stores are hardcore geeks whose “religion” consists of worshipping Google, which makes the Android platform that the S III runs on, and they consider Apple to be the devil because Apple makes products that are aimed at mainstream consumers like you instead of geeks like then. When making a purchasing decision, the best strategy is to set aside the rhetoric and the claims of salesgeeks, and take a look at the basic facts. So when it comes to the categories that matter to you as a user, here are the facts of how the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S III really match up:
The iPhone 5 has a retina display screen which is as detailed as the human eye can see. The S III has a slightly larger screen that’s up a much lower pixel density, requiring you to hold it much further away from your eyes to be clear, making it a significantly smaller screen in real world use. The salesgeeks will simply push inches and pixels on you, while conveniently leaving pixel density out of the conversation.
The iPhone has iTunes, a unified way of getting music, apps, photos, and videos onto your device with zero effort or hassle, including automatic wireless syncing over the cloud. The S III has a pre-beta tool called Google Play which doesn’t work properly with most devices. In fact, the entire Android system software doesn’t run to its full potential on the S III or any other Android based phone, because Android has to be generically encoded to run on any random smartphone hardware. In contrast, Apple specifically designs its iOS system software to run on devices like the iPhone 5 which have been developed alongside it for maximum compatibility.
The iPhone has the App Store, full of mostly free and entirely safe apps which have been hand tested before going live. The SIII has a junkyard full of unstable apps which are crash prone and riddled with malware because they’re not tested by anyone before going live. The salesgeeks love this because they consider that junkyard to be “open” while considering Apple’s quality-tested App Store to be, in their rhetoric, “closed”…
The iPhone has a vibrant ecosystem of third party accessories, from headphones and earbuds with in-line controls to app enhanced real world accessories. The S3 still can’t recognize volume control on earbuds (four years after the iPhone got it), and no app enhanced accessories.
The iPhone gets full battery life when 4G LTE is turned on. The S III, because it still uses a first generation LTE antenna, gets fractional battery life when 4G LTE is turned on. For this reason some carriers secretly ship the S III with LTE turned off deep in the settings, and only display “LTE” in the menubar at all times for what they claim are advertising purposes.
The iPhone 5 recharges over Lightning. The S III recharges over micro-USB, which uses a lower voltage and takes four times as long.
The S3 costs the same $199 as the iPhone 5, despite dishonest Samsung advertisements which appear to claim the S III costs $99 but actually costs “$99 down.”