Samsung's Galaxy S III has arrived, and pundits are, as always, wondering if this one is an "iPhone killer." Though the GS3 would certainly beat the iPhone in a fight (it has a huge size advantage!), we're not so sure about the sales numbers -- a huge Cult of iPhone probably guarantees the continued dominance of Apple's signature smartphone as the best-selling single device, at least in America.
But which phone should you opt for? If you're looking to buy a phone in the next month or so, and you want a high-powered smartphone with impressive specs -- which one should you go for? We're lining up four of the most robust smartphones available -- the iPhone 4S, the Galaxy S III, HTC's One X, and the Google-Samsung collabo Galaxy Nexus -- against each other in a battle of the specs to give you a clearer picture.
|Apple iPhone 4S||Samsung Galaxy S III||Google Galaxy Nexus||HTC One X|
|Network||3G (HSPA+)||4G LTE||4G LTE||4G LTE|
|Display||3.5 inch Retina display, 960-by-640 pixels||4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED, 1280x720||4.65-inch Super AMOLED, 1280x720||4.7 inch, Super LCD2, 1280x720|
|Weight||140 grams||133 grams||135 grams||130 grams|
|Operating System||iOS 5||Android 4.0 with TouchWiz||Android 4.0||Android 4.0 with HTC Sense|
|Front Camera||VGA (less than 1 megapixel)||2 megapixels||1.3 megapixels||1.3 megapixels|
|Rear Camera||8 megapixels with LED flash||8 megapixels with LED flash||5 megapixels, LED flash||8 megapixels, LED Flash|
|Camera Features||Touch-to-focus, geo-tagging, face detection, HDR||Touch-to-focus, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, burst photography with best photo selection, share with friends via face recognition||Touch-to-focus-geo-tagging, face detection, zero shutter lag||Simultaneous video and still, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, burst photography with best photo selection|
|Storage/Memory||16/32/64GB, 512MB RAM||16/32/62GB, 1GB RAM||16/32GB, 1GB RAM||16GB, 1GB RAM|
|Talk Time*||7 hours, 41 minutes||Unknown||8 hours, 23 minutes||9 hours, 57 minutes|
|Web Browsing Time*||6 hours, 56 minutes||Unknown||3 hours, 1 minute||4 hours, 18 minutes|
|SD Card Slot||No||Yes (up to 64GB)||No||No|
|Killer Feature||Siri, natural language voice assistant||S Voice voice commands, eye recognition||Face Unlock||Beats Audio integration|
|Price||$199 on contract (16GB storage)||Unknown||$199 on contract (16GB)||$199 on contract (16GB)|
|Carriers||AT&T, Verizon, Sprint||Unknown (rumored Verizon, Sprint)||Verizon/Sprint||AT&T|
A couple footnotes:
- Talk time and web browsing time are both taken from tests conduced by mobile website gsmarena. You can view those results here.
- We didn't include processors, as we're still not sure what kind of processor the American version of the Galaxy S III will have. The iPhone 4S, Galaxy Nexus, and HTC One X (AT&T version) all pack dual-core processors; the international version of the Galaxy S III has a quad-core processor, though it's been rumored that the American version will be dual-core. You can see how the Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X and iPhone 4S match up against one another here. The quad-core version of Galaxy S III has been tested here.
The screen is huge, up from 4.3 inches on the Galaxy S II. A 4.8 inch screen makes it one of the largest displays on a flagship phone there is. Compare with HTC's One X (4.7 inches), the Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx (4.3 inches), and Apple's iPhone 4S (3.5 inches). The resolution is 1280x720.
Samsung introduces 'S Voice' on the Galaxy S III. To wake the phone up and activate the voice sensor, you simply say "Hi Galaxy!" and the phone wakes up; no need to push a button. Other voice commands, in addition to the stock ones in the Google Voice Actions catalogue: Using your voice, you can launch the camera and take a photo, turn the volume up and down, snooze the alarm (say "Snooze" as your alarm is going off -- dangerous!), and send texts and emails.
If you're writing a text to someone, and then you raise the phone to your ear, the GS3 launches the telephone app and automatically calls the person you were texting.
The Galaxy S III comes with an NFC chip that allows you to "bump" information like photos or video to other Galaxy S III owners by touching phones together, using a combination of the NFC technology and Wi-Fi Direct. With All-Share Cast, you can beam your screen to any DLNA-compatible television; All-Share Cast also allows you to share your screen onto anyone else's smartphone for document collaboration.
"Pop up play" will allow you to play a video anywhere on the screen while also performing other tasks, like checking your email or responding to texts. You can make the video window as large or small as you want. Here, you can see a YouTube video playing toward the bottom of the screen while a demonstrator prepares to search Google.
The Galaxy S III's 8 megapixel camera comes with burst photography: Holding down the shutter will take twenty photos in a row; you can then choose the best photo and the phone will automatically erase the other 19. A similar function exists on the HTC One line of phones. An alternate function: The Burst camera can take 8 photos in a row and then automatically choose the best one, if you're too indecisive to choose on your own.
The photography software comes with smart facial recognition: When you take a picture of a friend, it can recognize their face and will prompt you to send that photo to that person's phone or email address.
Essentially an eye recognition technology, the GS3 can sense when you are and are not looking it: When you are looking at your screen, the display will stay illuminated; when you stop looking at your phone, the display goes dark to save power. The feature can be toggled on and off, if you prefer to just let your screen time out.
Here's the first commercial for the Galaxy S III. At least, we think it's advertising the Galaxy S III. It might also be advertising a soap opera or Zach Braff film of some kind.