Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Camera
Apple iPhone 5
The rear iSight camera remains impressive, taking great pictures in bright conditions. There’s a bigger virtual camera capture button and video stabilisation seems to have improved.
It now detects faces and auto-focuses in video and allows you to capture stills while taking video. The video-compression algorithm has also improved, reducing the file-size of footage without any discernible reduction in quality, and making for friendlier email attachments.
Low-light image capture improvement was also discussed in the Keynote but we still experienced a fair bit of grain in our testing. The major improvement is with the front camera, which has been upgraded to 720p video, making FaceTime and Skype chats much clearer. Still shots are captured at 1.2MP, so not exactly archive-worthy. The new Panorama mode is intuitive and produces great results. It doesn’t capture in landscape orientation, which feels counter-intuitive, but the speed at which it processes and pops out a pretty, panoramic shot is impressive.
Samsung Galaxy S3
The rumoured 12MP camera sadly does not make an appearance. Instead the Galaxy S3 arrives with a perfectly reasonable 8MP/1080p camera, exactly the same as that on the HTC One X. In burst mode, the camera takes continuous shots at a rate of 6fps, then picks the best shot based on smile detection, blink detection, contrast and blurring. According to Samsung, the camera also has zero shutter lag along with an improved shot-to-shot time. You'll be able to set up rules for photos to be automatically placed in groups based on faces, contacts or location. There's also Face Zoom which means that you can tap on a face when lining up a crowd shot and the camera will zoom in automatically. The lack of optical zoom means that this is going to be fairly limited, but we look forward to trying it out in the wild.
It also has a 1.9MP camera on the front, which suffices for profile pictures, video calls and the like. Curiously, that's actually smaller than the Galaxy S2's 2MP front camera sensor, but still a major improvement on the 4S' 0.3MP front-facing camera.
Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Power
Apple iPhone 5
Moving from the A5 processor found in the 4S and the iPad 2, to a new A6 chip, Apple claims it will deliver a CPU two times faster than the A5 and up to times better graphics. So, expect apps to launch quicker, browsing to speedier and overall performance to step up significantly from the 4S.
Samsung Galaxy S3
Samsung has put their own quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor into the Galaxy S3, and bolstered it with 1GB RAM. The quad-core processor certainly seemed to do the trick in the limited time that we had with the phone. There was barely any lag when switching between home screens and firing up apps. Flash memory is available in 16, 32 and 64 GB versions, improving on the S2's 16GB offering, while there's also a micro SD card slot should you wish to expand the memory. There's also 50GB of free storage for your content on Dropbox for the next years, which is double what HTC is offering on its HTC One X.