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Samsung and Apple are currently the biggest players on the smartphone market, both struggling for the position of the leading smartphone manufacturer.

Both companies claim their original designs have been copied by the other and both companies have attempted to legally ban the sales of the other’s products in many countries. The merit of these denunciations is to be either confirmed or dismissed by the courts, but it is clear that Apple and Samsung will remain bitter opponents for the months, or perhaps years to come.

This seems to be a reason good enough to line up the flagship devices from each company to see how they compare in reality.

Released last autumn, Apple’s iPhone 4S has quickly become the smartphone of choice for a large percentage of the smartphone users, beating the competition from various Android devices including Samsung’s Galaxy S2. In May, Samsung launched its heavily marketed Galaxy S3, boasting bigger and better specifications than any other smartphone device, including Apple’s iPhone 4S. But the question remains whether Samsung Galaxy S3’s bigger screen, thinner and lighter design and better processor really mean it will be strong enough to make the tremendous Apple fan base change their mind?

 

Build and design:

iPhone’s build quality has set the standards high for smartphone manufacturers. It might be significantly smaller and still heavier than Samsung’s flagship smartphone, but it looks and feels much more elegant, classy and it does look and feel as a high-end product.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S3’s mainly plastic design makes it lighter than the iPhone; weighing 133g compared to the 140g iPhone 4S. Despite the fact that iPhone has a slightly higher pixel density of 326ppi opposite to the Galaxy S3’s 313ppi, the difference is not really noticeable – watching movies, streaming online clips and flicking through your photo albums on the Galaxy S3’s huge super Amoled display – the biggest ever featured on any Android device – is really enjoyable because it’s extremely clear, bright and crisp.

However, the cheaper build quality of the Galaxy S3 means the iPhone’s design and build quality win in this round.

Performance

When it comes to internal specifications, the Galaxy S3 has a quad-core processor running at a clock speed of 1.4GHz whereas the iPhone 4S is powered by a dual-core CPU running at 800MHz. The Galaxy S3 also has twice the RAM of the iPhone, with 1GB of RAM compared to 512MB in the iPhone 4S.

However, our tests showed that specifications don’t always make a big difference in the reality. Lining up the two smartphones side by side and launching applications at exactly the same time showed that, more often than not, iPhone 4S usually had much faster at responding to simple commands.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S3 was slightly faster at bringing up information from the web, doing so in a matter of split seconds Since both devices have their different advantages and disadvantages in this aspect, the result is even.

Winner: Draw.

 

Software and OS

Both Android and iOS rely on multi-tasking features to help users switch between apps. However, the task manager on the Galaxy S3 is much more user-friendly than that on the iPhone 4S thanks to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. For example, you can slide between the icons of the apps running on iOS and you have to hold down a tap until the icons start “shaking” then you can exit the ones you choose individually. Essentially, it is the same idea as the Galaxy S3 – just not as much fun or as easy to use. Managing apps is easier on the Galaxy S3, but the apps available on the Android OS are far fewer than those available on the iPhone, which gives users access to over 500,000 apps compared to Android’s mere 400,000.

 

Winner: Draw.

 

Camera

Both Samsung Galaxy S3 and Apple iPhone 4S feature an 8MP back camera. However, the Galaxy S3’s huge screen makes snapping photos far more entertaining and easier.

Samsun Galaxy S3’s front camera has more megapixels than the iPhone 4S – 1.9MP versus 0.3MP. The Galaxy S3 also allows users to take photographs while filming video, unlike the iPhone 4S.

Winner: Galaxy S3.

 

Overall

While the Galaxy S3 has more features, including NFC, a powerful CPU, more memory, and a larger screen, the iPhone 4S is simply easier to use. Texting is easier on the smaller screen of iPhone 4S, but the much larger display of the Galaxy S3 means it is superior when it comes to watching videos.

Samsung Galaxy S3’s battery life, especially considering the size of its screen, is its main selling point, but when it comes to usability the iPhone 4S appears to be easier and more ergonomic.

Winner: Draw.

 


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