At the heart of the debate between two of the top-rated smartphones, the Android and the iOS, is the idea of an organized experience. Google’s approach is one that is capable of being individually tailored to each handset, while Apple’s iOS has strict rules.
Samsung uses Google’s Android operating system, which is infinitely customizable with widgets that share screen space with standard icons; Apple uses iOS and is dominated by the all too familiar grid of icons for displaying apps. So if you want to see your inbox on a main screen, rather than clicking through to it, you can do that on the Android but not on iOS.
Equally, however, if you want a tidy and friendly grid of icons on every screen, then the iPhone will do it for you with very little hassle. Of course, both smartphones will let you put apps into folders to make things a bit easier to navigate.
They seem to differ in what software developers are allowed to build to enhance each phone. Take the S3 for example: it comes with Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube and Google Now, an intelligent personal assistant that aims to second-guess what you want to know and suggest ideas before you even search the web (flight delays, restaurant recommendations, calendar events and turn-by-turn navigation). Recently, this just-in-time information made its way over to iOS, but like any location service, it’s hard on the iPhone’s battery and since Apple doesn’t allow live widgets on its home screen, expect a slight delay when accessing the app.
In this category, I would recommend the Android over the iPhone, as Apple prefers to let developers add features like Maps, which turned out to be a complete disaster.
Besides the look and feel, Samsung is aware that some new users may find the Android a little unfriendly. To coax this problem, there is an easy screen mode that presents users with traditional options, such as a mixture of widgets and icons like news and weather. Added features like ‘Direct Call’ let’s you dial someone automatically simply by lifting your device to your ear while looking at their contact details.
It’s worth pointing out that the S3 can be upgraded with removable memory cards and wireless charging, while the iPhone simply cannot. The mostly plastic S3 also has a 4.8-inch screen that really defines the device. It feels well-proportioned and luxurious. The iPhone 5, which is made of aluminum and glass, has a 4-inch equivalent that appears much more rectangular.
Compared to the iPhone, the S3 weighs 17g less. This difference is, of course, noticeable but I believe it to be insignificant.
iPhone has a dual core processor while the S3 has quad core capabilities, unfortunately this difference isn’t noticeable. And although Apple’s Siri voice assistance is a bit better than Samsung’s S Voice, I hardly use this feature. Both record in HD and I especially love the S3’s features such as ‘Smart Stay’, which keeps the screen on when the front-facing camera detects you’re looking at it.
Overall, the iPhone and the S3 are developed to have similar operating systems: the iPhone is elegant and contained and the S3 has an abundance of options that leave things open for consumers to work with. This is definitely more rewarding.
In my experience, both smartphones last for about the same time, with the iPhone often leading. Luckily, both now come with additional accessories that combine a sleeve with a built-in extra battery.
A general consensus shows that the iOS app store may be slightly larger than the Android Play Store, but isn’t it quality rather than quantity that matters? Functional things, such as banking apps and Google’s class leading maps are available on both platforms.
Despite the fact that the iPhone has sort of become a universal icon with its fans, I’ve found that the S3 does far more for less money and offers greater flexibility to users.
Apple iPhone 5
Dimensions:123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
Screen:640 x 1136 pixels, 4.0 inches (~326 ppi pixel density)
SD Card slot: No
Memory: 16/32/64 GB storage, 1 GB RAM
Camera: 8 MP/1080p@30fps;1.2 MP/720p@30fps
CPU: Dual-core 1.2 GHz
Samsung Galaxy S3
Dimensions: 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm
Weight: 133 g
Screen: 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.8 inches (~306 ppi pixel density)
SD Card slot: microSD, up to 64 GB
Memory: 16/32/64 GB storage, 1 GB RAM
Camera: 8 MP/1080p@30fps; 1.9 MP/720p@30fps
CPU: Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9