Phone Wars: Samsung Galaxy SIII vs iPhone 4S

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Here is the quick review between Samsung Galaxy SIII vs iPhone 4S. With the market flooded with amazing technology and every company promising their phones are the best, picking a new mobile phone these days can be a nightmare, especially if you’re not up to date on all the latest technologies. Most contracts now come with an 18month standard tariff and many of the more popular handsets demand a minimum sign up of two years.

If you make the wrong choice when its contract renewal time you’re going to be stuck with it for quite a while. Of course you can chose the latest, most popular model on the market but it won’t be long before it’s superseded by something even quick, thinner or more powerful. So what do you need to be looking at?

The top two phones that have dominated the market over the past few years are the Samsung Galaxy S and the iPhone, with the Galaxy having just released the Samsung Galaxy SIII and the iPhone 4S came out at the end of last year both know they’re on to a good thing (they’ve got the sales to prove it) and both handsets come stuffed with more extra, apps, toys and tools than you’re ever likely to use.

So where do you start?

iPhone 4S

Many people were expecting the new phone from apple to be called the iPhone 5 but the 4S has gone down a storm and they needed it to. The majority of 2011 saw Apple get their behinds handed to them by Samsung’s Galaxy SII, both phones have great screen solution, super quick web browsing capability and state of the art cameras (especially if you look at what came as standard five years ago).

The main differences between the iPhone 4 and the 4S are a slightly upgraded camera and the 4S uses the same duel core A5 processor as the iPad 2 which is also a slight upgrade. The main difference is Siri – Apples voice recognition software. Most smart phones on the market come with some form of voice recognition software but Siri was one of the first truly sophisticated ones, whereas previous technologies have tried they fell down at the basics like picking up accents or even regional dialect variations, Siri overcomes this very well and its voice recognition software is by any standards amazing.

Of course it’s not just understanding the words, it’s processing the requests, it understands the difference between you looking for the nearest supermarket, making a note of a shopping list and asking it to compose and send a text message.

Unfortunately a lot of the better features of Siri are only available state side at the moment but once they’ve got those pesky licensing issues sorted we’re hoping to see them over in the UK soon. It’s also very quick, if you want to know what your diary looks like today it pulls up your diary within a second or two, if you want to know the weather in another city on Friday it shows you a five day forecast.

Are there any downsides? As cute as the Siri gimmick is, it really is just that – a gimmick. There are times when it’s easier to use a voice command, if you’re running late trying to juggle your phone, jacket, bag and car keys as you stagger down to the car park it’s useful to be able to tell your phone to let the person you’re meeting know you’re going to be late, it might only save you 30 seconds typing the text yourself but it’s helpful none the less.

In any other circumstance it’s really not that useful, I am rarely in a rush to find the weather or play a playlist from my library, it only takes a few seconds to browse / flick through the apps pages and open the relevant one. The only circumstance it would be helpful is when you’re driving but in the UK at least, it’s still illegal to be operating your phone whilst driving even if it is running voice recognition software.

Samsung Galaxy SIII

Since 2010 Samsung have dominated the smart phone market with their Galaxy range of handsets, from the original Galaxy to the S2 and the more recent Samsung Galaxy SIII. The original gained instant success in part, because of its very quick processor (it was the fastest of its kind at the time of release), its super slim design and its great camera and sound quality.

The reality was, it looked like an iPhone, it acted like an iPhone, it just didn’t cost anywhere near what an iPhone cost, in fact the iPhone and Galaxy are so similar, Samsung and Apple have both been locked in numerous court battles since their respective releases arguing about who actually owns the almost identical technology powering their products.Samsung took their market reception and ran with it, bringing out the Galaxy SII in mid 2011 and bringing out the SIII in May of this year.

So what makes this model so good?

As we’ve already said, it is very similar to the iPhone, whether Samsung copied Apples technology or whether they saw what Apple were doing well and developed their own versions which Apple then stole is a matter for the courts. For your average smart phone user the difference is going to be minimal. The 4S is a little bit smaller but the SIII is thinner and a lot lighter. The total screen size of the SIII is 4.8 inches, meaning if it gets any bigger it’s going to be hard to differentiate between the smart phone and the tablet.

The SIII runs Ice Cream Sandwich which is Google’s shiny new operating system and makes using any smart phone using it slicker and more efficient than ever before. The SIII has a sharper resolution than the SII which makes watching anything on it amazing. It has a plethora of little quirks like the rippling screen when unlocking. It does everything the SII does only quicker and with more style, in short, the SIII is one of the most technologically advanced smart phones on the market right now.

Of course the voice recognition isn’t quite up to Siri standards but unless you’re actually going to use it on a regular basis (and really think about the practicality of it, not the clever shiny adverts on TV where everyone smiles); it’s really not fair to compare these two elements.


At the end of the day, the 4S is more expensive but it has the Apple logo on the back. The SIII is cheaper and does pretty much everything the 4S does and in most cases it does them better. Most phone uses don’t want anything more sophisticated than something they can browse the web with, take photos on, send and receive email and make and receive the odd phone call or text. These are all things these two handsets do in their sleep (not literally of course), so it comes down to your own personal preference. Having used both phones quite a bit I have to come down on the side of the Galaxy SIII every time – it’s a better phone.


Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

Meet Vishal Gaikar, the tech wizard hailing from Pune, India, who's on a mission to decode the digital universe one blog post at a time. When he's not tinkering with gadgets or diving deep into the digital realm, you can find him concocting the perfect cup of chai or plotting his next adventure. Follow his tech escapades on Twitter and buckle up for a wild ride through the world of innovation and geekery!

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