Less than a week before release, hype for the Samsung Galaxy S3 is growing at a rate unprecedented in the Smartphone market. After more than doubling the pre-order record previously set by Apple – more than 9 million for the S3, compared to around 4 million for the 4S – the fledgling flagship device has been dubbed “the iPhone killer”, and has become the standard bearer for disaffected Smartphone consumers across both England and America. But does the S3 really have what it takes to take a bite of the Apple, or are they struggling in vain? We’re going to take a look at the specifications of both mobiles to see how they stack up. Released in October, the iPhone 4S swiftly became renowned as Apple’s most inventive and versatile Smartphone yet. Its prime directive is fluidity: the user interface is designed to be as intuitive and functional as possible. It’s a smart way of doing things; by ensuring that different hand motions such as swiping, tapping and pinching the screen become inextricably linked with the concept of iPhone interaction, Apple have, in essence, created a brand based on the users own synergistic experience with the device – a brand which has been expanded by identical touchscreen interaction with the iPad. In terms of raw specifications, the 4S utilizes the iOS 5.1.1, Apple’s most recent variant on their proprietary operating system. It’s capable of acting as an internet hotspot, diversifying its internet connection over WiFi, Bluetooth and USB and permitting access to Apple’s famed app store while on-the-move. Its most unique and talked-about feature is probably Siri, however. An automated voice control system, Siri is unique among such software in that it permits near-total control over every aspect of the device, from weather reports to appointments. This means it’s much easier for somebody busy with a different task – such as exercising in the gym, or driving a car – to check things on their phone without compromising their own safety. It recognises three languages on launch – English, French and German – with plans for more languages to be added as the system matures. Because the 4S is a slate-style touchscreen (eschewing excessive buttons in favour of a streamlined design), its keyboard is virtual, meaning greater functionality for inputting in a range of different languages across the board – ensuring a broad market saturation. Apple, then, are clever marketers - that much is obvious to anybody who has paid a modicum of attention to their advertising campaigns. But for a raw comparison of the respective specifications of the iPhone 4S and the Samsung S3, you need only check out the table below.
So the S3 is the more powerful of the two in terms of raw processing power, has longer battery life, and a larger screen (though, admittedly, with a lower range of pixels). Additionally, it possesses a microSD card slot which can augment its memory by up to an additional 64GB, permitting storage space greater than virtually every other Smartphone on the market. It also offers a greater range of features: smile recognition, in addition to the facial recognition it shares with the 4S; simultaneous HD video recording and image capture; active noise cancellation, for superior sound quality when communicating; smart eye tracking, allowing the device to undergo a “soft standby” when not looked at; and many other fringe features which the iPhone lacks. Only the voice integration can truly be regarded as objectively inferior to the iPhone’s proprietary Siri system.
But when you get right down to it, that’s not what this fight is about. Apple has never claimed to put out the strongest products on the marketplace: their claim to fame has always been sleek functionality combined with relentless, saturation marketing. For Samsung to stand a chance of beating out Apple in the long run, they’re going to need to spend a lot of money building up an aesthetic brand as recognisable as the classy, minimalistic sheik of the iPhone. The Samsung S3 may well be the Smartphone that drives the iPhone 4S off its precarious position as most-touted Smartphone, but will its follow-up be able to go toe-to-toe with the iPhone 5, or will it stand to become just another flash-in-the-pan contender for Apple’s crown?
Only time will tell.
|Samsung Galaxy S3||Apple iPhone 4S|
|4.8 inches wide Super AMOLED touchscreen, 720 x 1280, 306 ppi||3.5 inches wide LED backlit IPS TFT touchscreen, 640 x 960, 330 ppi|
|16/32/64 GB storage options, running 1GB of RAM||12/32/64 GB storage options, running 512MB of RAM|
|8 Megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash||8 Megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash|
|Quad-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A9 processor||Dual-core 1GHz Cortex-A9 processor|
|Exynos 4212 Quad chipset||Proprietary Apple A5 chipset|
|2100 mAh battery||1432 mAh battery|
|Android 4.0 OS (Ice Cream Sandwich)||iOS 5, upgradable to 5.1|