Compared: iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy SIII and Note II

You probably already know that the iPhone 5 was launched yesterday, and the biggest news about the device is its size.  Yes, it’s bigger–perhaps Apple is looking to invade the phablet space.  Yes, I know it’s not that big, but it’s certainly bigger than other iPhones.  Hmmm, I think i remember the late Steve Jobs wasn’t fond of big smartphones, saying that a smartphone should be used used with just one hand.  I guess you can still use it comfortably with one hand but what if you have really small hands?

Anyway, since I’ve mentioned big devices, let’s compare the iPhone 5 to what Samsung, their biggest competitor, has to offer: the Galaxy SIII and the Galaxy Note II.


iPhone 5: Height: 4.87 inches (123.8 mm), Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm), Depth: 0.30 inch (7.6 mm), Weight: 3.95 ounces (112 grams)
Galaxy SIII: 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm, 133g
Galaxy Note II: 80.5 x 151.1 x 9.4 mm, 180g


iPhone 5: 4” Retina display with 1136-by-640 resolution and 326 ppi, Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on front

Galaxy SIII: 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED (1280×720) display, Corning Gorilla Glass that provides exceptional damage resistance to the drops, bumps, and scrapes of everyday use.

Galaxy Note II: 140.9 mm (5.55″) HD Super AMOLED (1,280 x 720), Cornign Gorilla Glass that provides exceptional damage resistance to the drops, bumps, and scrapes of everyday use.

Capacity and Price

iPhone 5: 16GB $199, 32GB $299, 64GB $399with free 5GB iCloud – with a new two-year contract either on AT&T, Sprint or Verizon

Galaxy SIII: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB (coming soon) user memory – can be upgraded to up to 64GB via MicroSD, $199 with a two-year contract

Galaxy Note II: 16/32/64GB User memory + 2GB (RAM), microSD slot (up to 64GB)

Cellular and Wireless

iPhone 5: GSM model: GSM/EDGE; UMTS/HSPA+; DC-HSDPA; CDMA model: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B; LTE; Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n; 802.11n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz); Bluetooth 4.0; GPS and GLONASS

Galaxy SIII: 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz; 3G (HSPA+ 21Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz; 4G (Dependent on market); WiFi a/b/g/n, WiFi HT40; GPS/GLONASS; NFC; Bluetooth 4.0(LE)

Galaxy Note II: 3G: HSPA+21Mbps; (HSDPA 21Mbps / HSUPA 5.76Mbps); 4G LTE: 100Mbps / 50Mbps; Bluetooth v 4.0 (Apt-X Codec support) LE; USB 2.0 Host; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi HT40; Wi-Fi Direct; NFC; S Beam


iPhone 5: Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G; Browsing time: Up to 8 hours on LTE, Up to 8 hours on 3G, Up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi; Standby time: Up to 225 hours

Galaxy SIII: 2,100 mAh

Galaxy Note II: Standard battery, Li-ion 3,100mAh

Colors and material

iPhone 5: Black&Slate, White&Silver – The back of iPhone 5 is made of anodized 6000 series aluminum — the same material used in Apple notebooks — with inlays along the top and bottom made of ceramic glass (on the white and silver model) or pigmented glass (on the black and slate model).

Galaxy SIII: Garnet Red, Pebble Blue and Marble White – brushed polycarbonate material

Galaxy Note II: MArble White and Titanium Gray – brushed polycarbonate material


iPhone 5: A6 – Apple engineered chip

Galaxy SIII:  Exynos 4 Quad processor @ 1.4Ghz for HSPA version, and 1GB of RAM.

Galaxy Note II: 1.6 GHz quad-core processor


iPhone 5: iOS 6

Galaxy SIII: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgradable to 4.1 Jelly Bean

Galaxy Note II: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean


iPhone 5: 8MP iSight camera that features Autofocus, Tap to focus, LED flash, Backside illumination sensor, Five-element lens, Face detection, Hybrid IR filter, ƒ/2.4 aperture, Panorama and improved video recording feature now with face detection and enhanced image stabilization, 30fps; 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video and Backside illumination sensor

Galaxy SIII: Main(Rear): 8 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Flash & Zero Shutter Lag, BSI; Sub (Front): 1.9 Mega pixel camera, HD recording @30fps with Zero Shutter Lag, BSI; Best photo

Galaxy Note II: Main (Rear) : 8 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash, BSI; Sub (Front) : 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera, BSI, Best Photo, Best Group Pose, Low light shot


iPhone 5: Three-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Compass

Galaxy SIII: Accelerometer, RGB light, Digital compass, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer

Galaxy Note II: Accelerometer, RGB Light, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer


iPhone 5: Nano SIM

Galaxy SIII: Micro SIM

Galaxy Note II: Micro SIM

Standout features

iPhone 5: Ultrafast Wireless, Maps, EarPods, Lightning connector, enhanced Siri, Passbook

Galaxy SIII: Smart Stay, Direct Call, Smart Alert, Social Tag, S Voice

Galaxy Note II: Optimized S Pen, Air View, Popup Note, Easy Clip, S Voice, Smart Stay



Based on the specifications above, the iPhone 5 wins on the dimensions category as it is the thinnest, smallest, lightest and narrowest of the three devices.   As for the resolution and the screen, Samsung takes this category because both the Galaxy Note 2 and S 3 have higher resolutions with a tough and durable screen.

For the memory or capacity, Samsung also wins this category because of the microSD slot.  Samsung’s devices also have an edge over the iPhone 5 because of their NFC capability.  But I must admit, I’m loving the new material used on the iPhone 5, it looks elegant and sleeker, while still retaining the look of the iPhone 4/4S.