The Galaxy S3 may have come out a year and four months prior to the iPhone 5S, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t able to compete with it.

Size, Color and Weight

The iPhone 5S comes in space gray, silver and champagne gold, whereas the Galaxy S3 comes in black, brown, pink, blue, red, white, and grey. The S3 has a size of 5.38 x 2.78 x .34 inches, weighing in at 4.69 ounces. The iPhone 5S on the other hand has a size of 4.87 x 2.31 x .30 inches and weighs 3.95 ounces.

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iPhone 5 and S3 side by side. (iPhone 5S has the same size as the 5, just different color) Photo from

When it comes to the thickness, the S3 is manageable. Considering the fact that the S3 has a larger screen, its obvious that it will be slightly heavier and thicker.


The display is one of the most important aspects people consider when comparing phones. Here, the Galaxy S3 clearly wins if the consumer doesn’t mind the bigger form factor. The Galaxy S3 has a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels with a pixel density of 306 ppi, while the iPhone 5S has a resolution of 640 x 1136 pixels with a pixel density of 326 ppi.

Any pixel density over 300 technically can’t be distinguished from a higher pixel density by the human eye. Maybe you could tell the difference between 306 ppi and 506 ppi, but when you compare the 306 ppi and 326 ppi, it’s hard to tell which display is better. To the human eye, they are virtually the same.

What the human eye can easily distinguish though, is the size of the screen. The iPhone 5S has a measly 4 inch screen while the S3 has a 4.8 inch screen. A lot of people prefer the aspect ratio of the S3 over the elongated iPhone 5S screen. This is all preference of course. A bigger screen may be a disadvantage for you if portability/small form factor is a must.


The S3’s battery life is really impressive. It delivers 11.6 hours of talk time on 3G, and 32.1 days on stand-by. The iPhone 5S’ battery on the other hand lasts up to 10 hours on 3G talk, and 10.4 days on stand-by.

Processors and RAM

Both the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S3 have 1GB of RAM. The real difference in these phones, is the processors they run on. The S3 runs on a quad-core 1.4GHz ARM processor while the iPhone 5S runs on a dual-core 1.3GHz processor.

Between two different games or apps, you wouldn’t be able to tell the processing power between these phones, even though the S3 is significantly weaker. The S3 will become an outdated phone in the next 1-2 years, while the iPhone 5S will become outdated in 2-3 years.

When you’re considering getting the Galaxy S3 vs the iPhone 5S, the question isn’t the device can run today’s apps, but rather, the apps of the future.


The Galaxy S3 features a 1.9MP front facing camera which beats the 1.2MP front facing camera on the iPhone 5S. However, the S3 has an 8MP camera with an aperture of 2.6, while the iPhone 5S has an 8MP camera with an aperture of 2.2. This aperture difference makes the iPhone 5S’ camera quality significantly better. Not to mention that the iPhone 5S has a dual LED flash system, whereas the S3 has a single LED flash.

Obviously the iPhone 5S camera wins here. No doubt about it.

Special Features

The iPhone 5S has a fingerprint scanner and the Galaxy S3 is NFC enabled. Other than that, these phones don’t have anything too interesting.


The fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S isn’t enough to sell consumers on the device and neither is NFC in the S3. Both of these technologies are really gimmicks. Especially since the fingerprint scanner is only used to unlock the screen and to purchase apps without passwords. When the fingerprint scanner should really be able to lock certain apps and features of the phone.

NFC is just a local sharing mechanism. It’s better than Bluetooth and Wi-Fi sharing locally, but it’s nothing exciting.


Most carriers sell the Galaxy S3 16GB model for $0-50 with a two-year plan. The iPhone 5S 16GB model sells for $200 with a two year plan. Whereas the iPhone 5S’ storage can’t be upgrade, the Galaxy S3 supports a microSDXC and microSD expansion card up to 64GB.


This means that if you get the iPhone 16GB model and decide its not enough, you’re stuck with that phone for two more years. If you do the same thing with the S3, no worries, you can pull the back cover off your phone and expand it using an inexpensive microSD.


If cutting-edge technology isn’t really that important to you, then the Galaxy S3 is perfect. Not only is it free or less than $50 with a two-year plan, but it also has an amazing battery life and screen size. For its price and features, it is an amazing phone.

However, if you’re invested in the iOS market place and love taking pictures on your phone, then the iPhone 5S will be a better option for you.