Finally, the iPhone 5 has been revealed, and for everyone waiting to see Apple's latest smartphone before upgrading their own, the time to decide has arrived. The best two smartphones on the market today are arguably Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S3.
The iPhone 5-Samsung Galaxy S3 smack-down is, in many ways, really about Apple's rivalry with Google, whose Android smartphone operating system has surpassed iOS as the most popular OS worldwide with 68 percent of the market.
Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 yesterday, and it is expected to sell upwards of 10 million units this month alone. The iPhone 5 has been hogging the spotlight all summer as anticipation of its release built, and for many consumers it may seem like Apple's latest smartphone is their best and only option. However, Android's army of loyal users will likely make the valid argument that the iPhone 5 was a relatively minor upgrade with no new technology or "wow" factor.
As for Samsung's flagship Galaxy S3 smartphone, it's a highly affordable and extremely powerful device. The Galaxy S3 features the best hardware available and will soon boast Google latest Android 4.1 Jelly Been operating system.
However, if you're already living in Apple's world the iPhone 5, and it's brand new iOS 6 operating system, will provide the best cross-platform experience yet, seamlessly syncing and integrating your Apple laptops, tablets and other devices. For Apple devotees looking to upgrade their smartphones the iPhone 5 may be the clear choice, but for the undecided here's our breakdown of how the two smartphones stack up.
Operating System: Too Close To Call?
Apple's iOS 6 features a number of great upgrades and smaller tweaks to the extremely popular operating system. There are also 200 new features, including an improved Notification Center which now shoes messages, calendar invitations and Facebook friend requests. The New iOS also comes with increased Twitter and Facebook integration, making it extremely easy to share content across your social networks.
iOS 6 is also the first Apple mobile OS to come without built-in Google Maps and YouTube apps, signifying the company's increasingly icy relationship with Google. Apple's own Map, newly-designed service features 3-D renderings of cities and spoken turn-by-turn driving directions. Unfortunately, the new Maps app only does driving directions, leaving city dwellers without subway, bike or walking directions. Google is already offering a free YouTube app to iPhone users, but the bad news is that the new video service will be chock full of ads.
As for the Galaxy S3, it ships with the Android 4.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich) but will reportedly get the 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade in the coming weeks. Apple has long complained that Android is a blatant rip-off of iOS, with Steve Jobs even warning that he was prepared to go "thermo-nuclear" over the issue. While there are many similarities between the two operating system, what sets Android apart is its high degree of customization. Unlike Apple's strictly controlled OS environment, Android offers an open source take on mobile software. That's why we side with Android an the Samsung Galaxy S3 when it comes to operating systems.
Processing Power: No Contest
The iPhone 5's Apple A6 processor is no slouch. It's 22 percent smaller than the A5 with twice the computing and graphics power. Apple has yet to release their new processor's specifications, but according to The Verge it's either a smaller redesigned A5X, or a brand new quad-core CPU. At Apple's special event yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that the A6 is the fasted iPhone processor yet, while also conserving more energy than its predecessors.
But Apple's handiwork is no competition for the Galaxy S3's amazing processor. Samsung's popular smartphone runs on the Samsung Exynos chip, the best processor on the Android smartphone market. In fact, the Exynos chip is so powerful that there's no Android app that uses the processor at its full potential.
As we said before, Apple has yet to get into the specifics of their new processor, but if it was more powerful than the Galaxy 3's they would have said so at the iPhone 5 launch event.
Display: Samsung Again
The iPhone 5 boasts a beautiful Retina Display with 1136x640 resolution and a 800:1 contrast ration. The screen also features a smudge preventing oleophobic coating. Best of all, Apple has increased the iPhone's screen size for the first time ever, creating a 4-inch display with a 16:9 ratio that perfect for watching TV Shows on your smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 features an even-bigger 4.8-inch display with Super AMOLED HD screen technology. The resolution is higher than the iPhone 5 at 1280x720. Samsung may not have Retina Display for the Galaxy S3 (although they do manufacture Apple's iPad Retina Display screens), but the South Korean tech company is well known for including their own beautifully designed smartphone screens.
Price: Samsung For The Win
According to Apple, the iPhone 5 will be sold at three separate price points: $199 for a 16GB version, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB.
Conclusion: When it comes down to it, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is in may ways a better smartphone. It's more powerful, bigger and cheaper. You would think these would be the factors that a consumer would base their decisions on, but for many people the iPhone still holds a special "cool" factor that trumps simple facts. Apple's focus on sleek design and theatrical big reveals may be enough to ensure that the iPhone 5 outsells the Galaxy S3 in the long-run.