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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

iPhone 5 or Galaxy S3: which should you buy?


iPhone 5 or Galaxy S3: which should you buy?

Difficult choice: Apple iPhone 5 (left) versus the Samsung Galaxy SIII.
Android v iOS
Samsung uses Google’s Android operating system; Apple uses its own iOS. They look very different, with Apple’s iPhone dominated by the now familiar grid of icons for apps and functions such as the web and calls. Android is infinitely customisable, with widgets that take up as much of the screen as you want sharing space with standard icons. So if you want to see your inbox on a main screen, rather than clicking through to it, you can do that on Android but not on iOS.
Apple iPhone 5SIM: Nano-SIM
Dimensions:123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
Weight:112 g
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 S3SIM: Micro-SIM
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
The App war
By general consensus, the iOS app store is slightly larger than the Android Play Store, but it’s quality rather than quantity that matters. For now, on that measure, iOS is still winning but Android is catching up. So if you want, for instance to download Jamie Oliver’s latest app, it’s in both stores. If you need to instantly access bus timetables, they’re in both too. The really luxurious applications that are popular on the iPad, such as The Orchestra, are missing from Android but that’s less of an issue on phones.
More functional things, such as banking apps, are increasingly available equally on both, and Google’s class leading maps software is finally on both platforms too.
PriceOn current UK contracts, you can easily pick up an S3 free at £26 per month and an iPhone 5 for £36 per month, plus £25 up front. Both deals are via Carphone Warehouse on a two-year contract. Network prices vary, but the differential remains; free phones for both on Vodafone, for instance, make the iPhone £10 per month more expensive.
Conclusion
The iPhone has become an icon, a totem among its fans. It’s not cheap, but those fans say you get what you pay for. Others argue the S3 does more for less money and offers far greater flexibility.
There is, however, no right answer. Many argue, too, that the iPhone is an easier device for users to start with as a smartphone. But the momentum, for now at least, seems to be with Android and Samsung’s S3 is its best advert.

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