The debate over which smartphone can call itself the world’s best is one that has been raging ever since the term ‘smartphone’ was first coined. Every time we think we’ve got a handle on it, and that we can confidently declare a winner, one of the mobile giants releases a new model and we start the debates all over again. But for many, the debate boils down to three simple questions:
Apple vs. Samsung. Android vs. iOS. iPhone 5 vs. Galaxy SIII.
But is there more to it than that or can the debate over the best smartphone really just be a question of looking at Apple and Samsung’s flagship releases?
Apple iPhone 5: The Lowdown
The iPhone is one of the lightest smartphones you will find. It weighs just 112g, that’s 16% less than the Galaxy and 20% lighter than its predecessor, the iPhone 4S. The first thing you will notice about the latest incarnation is the screen size, its significantly longer than any previous iPhone and marks the first notable instance of Apple following an industry trend rather than initiating it.
The camera has not changed but tweaks to the iOS (operating system) have led to sharper shots and an impressive panoramic feature which stitches a series of images together to create a wide scene. The front facing camera has been improved and now even records video at High Definition.
Performance is as impressive as you would expect with the new A6 processor cranking out speeds that have won several benchmarking tests against its rivals. This should make multi-tasking, app switching and browsing all seem smoother than ever.
Samsung Galaxy S3: The Lowdown
Released only in July 2012, the S3 (or SIII) already feels like a veteran given that the Galaxy brand is a few years old. The huge Super AMOLED screen (4.8 inches) of the S3 is arguably the most attractive on the market and although having the brightness cranked up will sap your battery, there’s no doubting its beauty. Slim, but not as slim as the iPhone, and long, the Galaxy is a phone with tablet persuasions.
The 8MP camera from the S2 returned, despite whispers of a full 12MP, but with a variety of shooting modes, including the 6fps ‘burst’ mode. With face tagging, smile recognition and location services, the camera feels like a high-end digital model.
Inside, the Galaxy runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich (the latest version) and is powered by a 1.4GHz processor. While slightly slower than the iPhone, the difference is negligible to the general user.
The Nokia Lumia phone running the latest Windows Mobile operating system has received consistently good reviews as has the incredible HTC One X. The Sony Xperia range proves that the Japanese giants are about more than just TVs and gaming and Samsung’s range from the Galaxy S2 to the Nexus and Note can still stand tall against their rivals.
So what’s the verdict? Impressive as though the competition is (especially the HTC One X), the numbers and public opinion seem to break it down into a straight battle between the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3. Which is best? From a straight tech point of view, the iPhone just edges is, possibly benefitting from an extra three months in development, but for many the choice comes down to, simply, which do you prefer.