The Samsung Galaxy S3 is – very likely – set to be unveiled on May 3rd. But Apple is busy beavering away in its Cupertino labs on the next iPhone – and rumoured specs and features are already starting to leak out.
So how do the two hypothetical handsets stack up, based on what we know so far? Bear in mind that the following face-off is purely based on rumours and speculation; we'll be back with a proper analysis once the handsets have been announced.
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5 – design
Going on leaked imagery, the Galaxy S3 looks set to sport a curved design similar to that of the Galaxy Nexus, with a rumoured 8mm thick, 125g body. The Galaxy S3 may, if rumours are to be believed, feature the same ceramic outer shell as the HTC One S.
The iPhone 5, meanwhile, will reportedly feature a unibody construction using a new liquid metal alloy that’s lighter, thinner and more resistant to impact damage than existing materials.
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5 – screen
It’s an increasingly common complaint that the iPhone’s screen is too small remaining at 3.5in across the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S despite the competition increasing in size.
The Galaxy S3, for example, will reportedly sport either a 4.6in or 4.8in Super AMOLED screen, with a resolution of around 320ppi – competing with the iPhone’s Retina Display.
There’s a consensus forming that the iPhone 5 will finally get a screen size boost, with Wall Street analysts suggesting that it will come packing a 4in screen. Earlier rumours have suggested that it may even scale up to a 4.6in Retina Display.
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Apple iPhone 5 – power
Apple is reportedly testing iPhone 5 prototypes with a variant of the A5X processor found in the new iPad – codenamed N96 – which packs a 1GHz dual-core CPU and a quad-core GPU. Like the new iPad, the iPhone 5 will also come packing 1GB of RAM.
Samsung, meanwhile, is loading the Galaxy S3 up with the latest version of its 1.5GHz quad-core Exynos processor – reportedly more powerful than either the Snapdragon 4 or the Tegra 3.
On paper, then, the numbers suggest that the Galaxy S3 will have more grunt than the iPhone 5 – but Apple may yet have some tricks up its sleeve.
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Apple iPhone 5 – camera
The Galaxy S3’s camera has been the subject of much speculation, with a leak on Amazon suggesting that it’ll come packing a 12MP snapper, while some reports suggest that Samsung's been developing a 16MP camera that may find its way into the S3. A leaked Galaxy S III manual, though, suggests that the S3 will sport a less ground-breaking – if still impressive – 8MP camera.
Round the other side, there’s talk of the Galaxy S3 incorporating eye-tracking tech into its front-facing camera – likely unfounded speculation, but an interesting idea all the same.
Apple has historically put a lot of effort into keeping its camera tech ahead of the competition – you need only look at the camera on the iPhone 4S for evidence of that. And Cupertino might be set to steal a march on its rivals by packing Lytro light field camera tech into the iPhone 5.
Apple could also be planning to leap into the third dimension, with patents pointing to a possible 3D camera in the iPhone 5 that will include face and gesture recognition.
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5 – NFC
Samsung’s already packed NFC tech into the Galaxy Nexus – and Google is pushing Android Beam hard for NFC-equipped phones. It’s no great stretch to imagine that the successor to arguably the most popular Android smartphone will arrive packing NFC tech.
The iPhone 5 also looks set to make the leap to NFC, with an Apple patent relating to iTunes gifting using the technology. NFC is waiting on Apple to get on board before it can really take off – and Cupertino’s taking its sweet time about doing so – but it looks like NFC on the iPhone 5 could actually happen.
Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5 – connectivity
LTE connectivity is pretty much a given in next generation phones, so it’s no surprise that the iPhone 5 is likely to come with 4G, according to analysts. Likewise, the Galaxy S3 is pretty much a dead cert for LTE connectivity, alongside low power Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.