Tuesday, September 4, 2012

iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 - Design, Screen and Power

Based on rumours and conjecture, we take a look at how the iPhone 5 will compare with the Samsung Galaxy S3. Specs, design and screen - which phone will we remember as the smartphone king of 2012? We'll update this article as more light is shed on the iPhone 5. UPDATED with additional info on 4 September Release Date iPhone 5 - 12 September unveiling, early October release Samsung Galaxy S3 - Available now, unveiled May 2012 We're just a few days away from the unveiling and release of the iPhone 5, a day that's sure to set the gadget-loving world aflame. In traditional Apple style, it's highly unlikely that we'll have to wait too long to actually get hold of the thing. Two weeks is the normal time frame, putting the iPhone 5's actual release date in late September or early October. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has already been released, of course, and has done extremely well in its short time on this Earth. Back in July we heard that the phone had already broken through the 10 million sales barrier, making it a faster seller than either of its predecessors, the original Galaxy S and the hugely popular Galaxy S2. Design iPhone 5 - 7.6mm thick, metal casing, non-removable battery Samsung Galaxy S3 - 8.6mm thick, plastic casing, removable battery In recent months, a number of iPhone 5 casing components have been leaked. They suggest that the next iPhone will be just 7.6mm thick, a full millimetre less than theSamsung Galaxy S3 - 8.6mm thick. It's extremely impressive, but suggests the iPhone 5 will have the slightly severe feel of the iPhone 4S - expect compact and dense, but you'll probably want to use a case to improve ergonomics. An iPhone 5 render based on rumours The leaked case shows that the iPhone 5 will have a metal body, rather than the dual glass panels of the current design. However, one of the more interesting rumours that to circle around the phone is that Apple will use "liquid metal". This is an unusual metal alloy that feels like glass. Even if it turns out to use good old aluminium, we're ninety-five per cent sure that it'll feel higher-end in the hand than the Samsung Galaxy S3. Samsung's great white (well, pebble blue and white) hope for 2012 has an all-plastic finish that uses a flimsy, ultra-thin back cover. This is the one part of the phone that has caused some criticism, as it doesn't make it feel all that much like a device you should be spending £500 on. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is also significantly larger than the iPhone 5, thanks to its ginormous 4.8in screen. It's 71mm wide, while the iPhone 5 is likely to be around 58mm wide. Our top recommendation is to get hold of a Galaxy S3 before buying if it's on your hit list. Some will find it a bit too big for comfort. The final iPhone 5 design? Accessories iPhone 5 - new-design headphones, new power connector, adapter Samsung Galaxy S3 - microUSB charge cable, Samsung noise isolating IEM earphones, adapter We don't normally compare the accessories of phones when we give them the head-to-head treatment, but Apple's accessories this time around are of note. The iPhone 5's headphones are set to get a completely new design, one you just don't see elsewhere. Pictures of the new earphones have leaked, and they're not the typical iPhone buds of old, or the common noise isolating IEM type either. They're small, made of plastic and appear to want to nestle into your ear canals, presumably offering some degree noise isolation without the use of rubber tips. How will they sound? We don't have a clue, but we're looking forward to finding out. The power cable of the iPhone 5 will also be different, using the new 9-pin socket rather than the 30-pin type that has been in use for years. Samsung's Galaxy S3 is more ordinary in its approach. It features a microUSB charge cable, a power adapter to plug this cable into and a standard pair of Samsung-branded IEM noise isolating earphones. Screen iPhone 5 - 4in IPS, 1,136 x 640 resolution Samsung Galaxy S3 - 4.8in Super AMOLED, 1,280 x 720 resolution Every generation of iPhone since the original of the species back in 2007 has uses the same size screen - 3.5in. That's all about to change with the iPhone 5. Although unconfirmed, virtually every rumour out there says that it'll have a 4in widescreen panel, using a widescreen 16:9 resolution rather than the 3:2 ratio of the current model. It's this change of screen style that will make the iPhone 5 able to offer a larger screen without making the phone much wider. The width of a phone is one of the most important factors in how a phone feels to hold - and Apple is sure to be careful about messing up the iPhone's ultra-accessible ergonomics. The issue with changing the relative dimensions of the screen so markedly is that - unlike when the iPhone went all Retina Display on us - upscaling apps won't be easy. However, the most simple solution will be for the phone to display black bars at each end of the screen for apps without iPhone 5 optimisation. The Samsung Galaxy S3 cares a lot less about how wide it is. With a gigantic 4.8in display, the Galaxy will be too wide for some hands - it's a whopping 7.6cm across. Screen pixel density will be comparable to the new iPhone, though, with 720 x 1,280 spread across the display. Each phone uses quite a different screen tech type. The Samsung Galaxy S3 features a Super AMOLED panel, while the iPhone 5 is expected to stick to the IPS display that has been an Apple staple for years now. Super AMOLEDs offers superb black response and vivid colours, but IPS screens tend to look a little more natural. In our recent comparison of the Samsung and the HTC One X, we found in favour of the HTC's IPS type. We wouldn't be surprised if Apple comes up with some spectacular new claims about the iPhone 5's "life-changing" screen tech, either. Power iPhone 5 - 1GB RAM, A6 processor, power TBC Samsung Galaxy S3 - 1GB RAM, Exynos 4412, Quad-core 1.4GHz One area where the Samsung Galaxy S3 might beat the next iPhone is its processor's figures. The Samsung Galaxy S3 uses the impressive Exynos 4412 chip, which has four cores and runs at 1.4GHz. Just recently, a picture of the iPhone 5's processor has been released. Previously it was believed that the new iPhone would feature an iterative update of the A5x processor seen in the iPad 3, but the piccie here clearly shows that the chip is an "A6" model. A name doesn't mean everything, but it does suggest that the iPhone 5 processor will represent a "proper" generational shift over Apple's previous CPUs. Of course, it could also have been Photoshopped in. Neither name nor picture tells us how fast this "A6" processor will be either. DigiTimes writes that it will be based on the quad-core Exynos family used in the Samsung Galaxy S3, but we'll have to wait until the iPhone 5 unveiling to find out - DigiTimes is not the most reliable source of iPhone news. Connectivity iPhone 5 - new proprietary 9-pin connector, no microSD, microSIM Samsung Galaxy S3 - microUSB, microSD, microSIM Perhaps the most earth-shattering change in the iPhone 5 is that it'll reject the 30-pin connector used across iPods, iPads and iPhones in favour of a much-smaller 9-pin model. This will be comparable in size to the microUSB standard, although it's not expected to be exactly the same as microUSB. Apple is never keen on going with the bog-standard option when it can make its own version. The problem with changing connector is that the new iPhone will likely be incompatible with current iPhone docking accessories - not good news if you own something like a B&W Zeppelin. However, we'd bet that Apple would produce a dock converter accessory to make up for it. And, naturally, you'll have to fork out a few quid for that. It's all change, but the next iPhone won't bring expandable memory to the series - no iPhone to date has offered a memory card slot. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is pretty much the polar opposite in its approach. It lets you use microSD cards and uses the microUSB standard. Handily, it's MHL compliant, too, able to output HD video with surround sound audio to an HDMI port when used with the right cable. Unlike the iPhone, the Samsung doesn't rely on sync software to transfer files directly either - you can drag and drop files when plugged into a computer over USB. Cameras iPhone 5 - 8MP, LED flash Samsung Galaxy S3 - 8MP, LED flash The rumour zone that has been subject to the wildest ideas is the iPhone 5's camera. So many Apple patents have been published in the last year that touch on camera features that you could almost believe it'll wash your car and buy a present for the other half on your anniversary. Top patents include a 3D camera and a multi-focus sensor. The latter will let you choose several points in a scene that you want to be perfectly clear and sharp, rather than just the one. We think the 3D camera is less likely - especially as it's highly unlikely the next iPhone will have a 3D screen - but hey, it could happen. The megapixel count of the next iPhone hasn't become too much of a hot topic yet, with recent rumours suggesting it'll stick with the eight megapixels of the iPhone 4S. This is the same count as the Samsung Galaxy S3, too. Why is everyone (well, apart from Sony) sticking at 8MP these days when 12MP cameras in phones have been around since 2009? We'd wager that the phone-makers have gotten savvy and realised the point at which megapixels can do no more for the small sensors of phones. Over the last year, we've started to see phone-makers big-up the size of their sensors just as much as the megapixel count. This is a good thing, and we hope Apple is going take a similar approach and edge past the currently class-leading iPhone 4S with the next iPhone. A diagram from the Apple patent outlining a 3D camera A 12MP sensor is still possible, though, and Sony has reportedly talked about its sensors being used in the new phone. However, this talk was doing the rounds back in February - half a lifetime ago in tech terms. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has an 8-megapixel sensor and reams of features including image stabilisation, touch focus, 1080p video capture and an LED flash. However, its image quality is at best on-par with the iPhone 4S's camera (and outperformed by it in some conditions) and we hope that the iPhone 5 will offer some significant improvements. Battery iPhone 5 - 1430mAh (TBA) Samsung Galaxy S3 - 2100mAh The last time the iPhone 5 battery cropped up on the rumour shopping list was way back in 2011, so we regard it as anything but airtight. With a reported 1430mAh capacity, it's a way below the 2100mAh of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Samsung made a particularly strong effort with the latest Galaxy's battery, outstripping most of its rivals by around 20 per cent. For example, the HTC One X uses an 1800mAh unit and the Sony Xperia S a 1750mAh battery. We expect the iPhone 5 will match or slightly better the stamina of the iPhone 4S - which in turn suggests that the rumoured 1430mAh figure is bunkum. Unless Apple has really come up with some power management miracles, it needs a larger battery than the iPhone 4S - which has a 1420-1430mAh battery. Verdict The jury isn't so much out on this one as "not yet picked", but we can confidently say a few things about the Galaxy S3-iPhone 5 match-up. You can bet the iPhone 5 will feel denser and more expensive in-hand and will continue to offer the beginner's usability benefits of iOS over Android. However, it'll also be a lot less flexible - using a new proprietary socket and lacking a memory card slot - and you can bet that by the time it's released the Samsung Galaxy S3 will be substantially cheaper to own wholesale accessories,iphone accessories,ipad accessories,ipod accessories

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