Galaxy S3 vs. iPhone 5: Battery life and screen

By Daniel Chubb - Sep 26, 2012

It might not be a match that some people think is fair, but the two biggest smartphones being compared right now are the Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. iPhone 5. Battery life and a screen comparison are two areas that interest people the most, and these specs have been covered in a couple of detailed reviews.

When it comes to a fair fight some people claim the Samsung Galaxy S3 is aging now and shouldn’t be compared to the iPhone 5, and these users state that the future Galaxy S4 would be a fairer comparison, although some Galaxy S3 owners feel the battery life and screen are far better than the iPhone 5 even though this device has just launched.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. iPhone 5 battery life – one of the most detailed battery tests for the Galaxy S3 can be seen in this article, which takes an in-depth look at the 2100mAh battery and connectivity. They found that the Galaxy S3 lasts around 8 hours under heavy usage, although they note a recent software update helped to increase the battery life event further. You can see an overview of their Samsung Galaxy S3 battery life test in the first video below this article.

If you want to compare the above review to that of the iPhone 5 battery life then you should see a detailed test via our earlier article, which highlighted how the heavy usage on the iPhone 5 still delivered more than 11 hours of battery life. This included a video loop as well as many other tasks like accessing social accounts constantly through the day, and leaving LTE and Wi-Fi on throughout the test. Just turning LTE and Wi-Fi off would increase the iPhone 5 battery life by some amount. The reviewer mentioned that the Droid RAZR Maxx only managed 10 minutes more juice under the same test, so anyone that knows how good this Motorola phone is for battery life are sure to understand the iPhone 5 is pretty impressive when it comes to getting you through the day without needing a recharge.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. iPhone 5 Retina screen – another review has taken a look at the displays of these two smartphones in detail, which includes tests for viewing angles, colors/intensities, brightness/contrast, screen reflections, and an overview that points out the positives and negatives for the iPhone 4/5 screen vs. the Galaxy S3. You can see the key points from their display review in the tables below, which includes the overall assessments and specs comparison for each screen.

The in-depth review can be seen here and makes it clear that the Samsung Galaxy S3 has the better display when compared to the iPhone 5 screen, although they still point out a few positives for the new iPhone including the fact that it has the brightest display with the lowest values for screen reflectance.

If you own the Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5 we’d love to know how your battery life is, so feel free to share a comment. It is worth noting that the above review also touched on battery life for the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3, which found the 6th generation iPhone lasting one hour longer with the display always on at maximum setting.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

Also See: iPhone X Plus size preview for concept lovers

  • Adam Spiers

    “The in-depth review can be seen here and makes it clear that the Samsung Galaxy S3 has the better display when compared to the iPhone 5 screen” – did you even read the review you linked to?! That summary is WAY off. Such sloppy journalism casts doubt over the validity of the rest of this article.

  • Better bang for the buck:s3
    Go with the trend:Apple

    I simply don’t really think that there is any function that the ip5 has is not offered by the S3. It is true that the ip5 has more apps especially when it comes to gaming, but those that became popular will be brought to android. Also, i think the Android phone is simply better because you get to customize your phone. Android is known to be better than the iphone because user can have a much better home screen by having widgets to customize it. However, customization for Android is much higher to the degree where you actually can pick the Phone that looks better. Tastes are different for everyone in terms of picking the best looking phone. You got over 30 of the most current phones to choose that you will probably prefer to the iphone. Thus, it is just stupid to say that the iphone is fashionable. I talked about the trend of the using the iphone. However, it is more like a fad then a trend, and people are too lazy to realize it because it takes so much time to understand technology, especially when you are not comfortable with it.

  • Corky

    Who does these tests? I’m very sad when it comes to battery life. I have the iphone 5 and the S3, and both fully charged full brightness, and wifi on, looping the Avatar 720p, iphone died after 7hrs 6mins, and S3 after 8hrs 46!
    Between the two, the 5’s nice but I much prepare the S3 for its screen and battery life, in real life (not lab conditions!), my iphone needs charging after approx 19 hrs and the S3 after 38, plus how many people have sent their i5 back because of light leakage! Don’t mention that in your tests do you! Mine leak, so it’s going back, and I’m getting the galaxy note 2 as my second phone instead! It battery is said to be 40percent better than the s3!

  • kess

    I have the galaxy s3 and i never take the screen off full light and always never bother turning my wifi off..i get around 7/8 hours. Wish it wad double figures like the iphone 5 but cant complain about the rest of the phone. Absolutely Fantastic!

  • Mike

    I also noted that theres is not one comment about the JAILBREAK which is inevitable. Does anyone even know what this means for an ip5 user?

  • Mike

    Lets just face it the iphone5 is not a phone for new users. If thats the case then there is no point arguing the fact of what phones better. its more a style thing. Compare an iphone to lets say a Bentley and the GS3 to a Porsche. Now the Porsche has a better performance and will be faster. But the Bentley is more luxurious and is all about style and status.

    • ArmyOfAnts

      Iphone is far from a bentley… it’s not luxurious. it’s OS sucks, it is just a heavy brick. It’s more like an old buick. People pay for eyecandy when buying apple. Have you ever honestly called apple support? tried to get someone to assist with apple? I made the mistake and offered repairs to apple products a few years back, not only was it a headache to get assistance, but repairs (replacement parts) for computers are EXPENSIVE. And to those that think apples are perfect, nothing happens to them, think again… I’ve had to remove virus’s, malware and on a few, reinstalled the apple OS.

      • Rufus

        iphone 5 isn’t heavy, i went to play with one the other day as i’m weighing up between the ip5 and the s3 atm, i actually found the ip5 far too light, felt like it would break if you sat on it, it looks ok and i have to admit i do prefer having a screen closer to that of the iphone compared to the s3. However with the huge price difference, the inclusion of loads more tech in the s3 and the annoying crybaby attitude of apple recently, couple with the fact apple osx made my life hell throughout my phd has led to me deciding on the s3. Still haven’t bought, waiting to see if the 4g lte version is on the release radar any time soon. I also like the customisability of android devices, i can choose to put a modified os on them if i so wish and i can use google maps 😛

  • JOE


  • Nonsense

    Whata load of crap

  • Jinksta24

    I had a S3 and it is a good phone a lot of customizations for it. But I personally still liked the iPhone but that’s my opinion.

  • WodOffPooH

    i love these articles written by people that own iphones that compare the iphone to an android in the only place that it can win…yes retina display is great…but the iphone is so 2009 right now…no internet while ur on the phone…

    • bill

      No doubt, the iphone 5 is a nice phone but be real. There are other phones now that have equaled and passed the iphone. If Apple would reinnovate they might be able to bring back the iphone 3-4 era again.

      • scrappycoco

        defnitely with u mate. apple needs to come up with stuff better than what they got now for the market to lead the game.

    • >>no internet while ur on the phone
      That’s Verizon vs AT&T, not iPhone5 vs Galaxy S3

      • WodOffPooH

        nah all iphones..the verizon iphone cannot do LTE while in call…whack

        • taraelg10

          Got the s3 today and love it best phone ever

  • Danny Dodge

    mY 4s had crap battery life on ios5 but on 6 it is amazing, 11 hours usage. My s3 has poor battery life and poor ram management on ics but jelly bean fixes a lot of issues so when that is available it will be a fair comparison

  • As an S3 owner, can I just put it out there: You can’t go wrong with either! If you don’t need a giant screen and love all things Apple then get the impressive iPhone 5. If you want to use an SD card and change your battery whenever, then S3 it is. Can’t go wrong!!!

    • Finally someone who gets it…they are two different phones for two different styles. I enjoyed my EVO 4G, but the iPhone 5 gives me the ease of use for WHAT MATTERS TO ME. If those same things don’t matter as much to you, enjoy what you have and I’ll enjoy what I have.

      • Each to Their Own

        Totally agree with you two. I prefer the iPhone 5, but that is probably because I don’t want all the flexibility and complex uses that the S3 offers. I wouldn’t mind Flash, though 😉

        • Just curious,
          ” I don’t want all the flexibility and complex uses that the S3
          offers” what exactly is that is so complex ? Starting an app on the S3 isn’t
          that much harder than on Iphone, just the touch of an icon. That it packs more
          flexibility using widgets, flash etc shouldn’t be a problem, if you can have a
          car with more options to it for a smaller price tag as well why not.

          I understand that some people just want say mail and
          browse the web, but why do they say android devices are complex? isn’t really
          all that complex to have a widget on your home screen or is it? I find it more
          easy to use, for example say facebook instead of going and starting up the app
          etc I just have a look at my home screen and can browse through there ad comments
          etc. My 3year old son uses my s3 or galaxy tab and listens to gumybear through YouTube,
          so really what do you define as complex?

        • You know Iphone and Android use a lot of the same apps(the lay out and everything for the same), so the complexity is at the same level. You can totally use the Android phone as an iphone without putting widgets to make it better.You don’t need to jailbreak to install apps downloaded from the computer, which makes it better.

          However, if you would like to lock yourself with the itune, instead of having a phone that you can simply drag file to like an external drive, go with the iphone. If you would like to have only what the apple design for you, instead of choosing from so much more styles provided by different manufacturers, again go with the iphone. The Flexibility i have explained above is nothing more than an enjoyment or advantage the consumers should have be granted, and i am tired of people saying how they are frustrations.

          You don’t use technology for the sake of using technology, but for the sake of a better life. Apple doesn’t define technology, it holds back people from knowing technology. It is like doing research for something. For comparison, let say Apple can tell you how convenient their library is, and maybe they even have a car to drive you through the library to find the books you need for research. However, Android simply allows you to search for things on the internet, and the only thing you need to do is to walk out of your comfort zone of doing the things in your old way, and learn to do it in the newer and better way.

  • gtonnis

    I think apple did the review. I have snow iPhone 4s work phone and s GS3 personal phone.
    GS3 is far superior over the 4s. the GS3 screen is bigger than the entire 4s phone. A lot faster, no lag and the battery lasts s lot longer

    • Wow you completely missed the point of this review than, it was mainly for the screen quality, yea we all f***ing know the S3 has a bigger screen, that part is pretty obvious, but the IPS LCD technology in the iPhone is STILL better. If Apple were to make an iPhone with a 4.8″ screen it wouldn’t even be a contest as to what phone had the “better screen”. I can’t wait for the day that androids like yourself realize that screen size will never be a legitimate argument. But while were at it I had to laugh at your “A lot faster, no lag” argument haha good one, unless you have your S3 rooted and running a Jellybean 4.1.1 rom I know for a fact you have occasional lags

      • jonn

        I remember when the s3 came out and “they” wouldn’t admit how better the screen was only referring back to “retina display”. Garbage, side by side (who cares about oled or ips or whatever) comparison with REAL eyes the S3 screen is miles beyond the 4s in all aspects. I assume if you have to put your face an inch away from the screen you may notice some pixels (which with 3.5 screen you might have to).

        Now, iphone 5 has a better screen and all of a sudden the 4s screen isnt as impressive and is now the choice of comparison to the S3.

        FYI, i just did another side by side and yes the iphone 5 screen is nice, but STILL cannot deny the screen on the S3 is something of “awe” in all aspects.


      • vitro

        screen size is a very legitimate point considering the typical usage on a mobile device is browsing, typing on office mails, multimedia, gaming etc. why would apple increase the iphone size otherwise? After owning an ‘oversized’ device I’m never going to own a device with a screen smaller than 4.7 inches again. and i have no problem using the device with one hand…
        The htc one x has the same screen technology as the iphone and though iI personally prefrred it to the s3 there’s no clear winner like you think.
        no lags on my s3 btw.

        • Maybe its just me than, or maybe its because the S3s that they have at a Verizon or AT&T store lag because of all the demo bloatware on them

      • ArmyOfAnts

        I have 2 S3’s… White and Blue… White one is stock, not rooted. Never lags, super fast application launch. I have rooted the blue one and have CyanogenMod 10 rom (Jellybean)… It’s friggen amazing. Again, no lag and get a good 9 hours off the battery. Both are amazing. One of my girlfriends has an ip5, she even complains about the battery.

        The only real drain I find on the battery, is when I play HD games. Amazing looking and how just to think, it’s all on a PHONE! rofl

        Bottom line, use what you want and what makes you happy. I don’t care for apple products… I’ve used them in the past, grew up and out. Needed something more powerful.

        • How is Cyonogenmod 10 by they way? I herd they added a quick reply feature for SMS but have never seen it in use. I currently have a 4S but the new screen size on the iPhone 5 is turning me away and even though my above argument would make it seem like I hate Samsung I am considering a S3 just for the screen size (even though I still prefer IPS LCD haha). Cause if I get an S3 the first thing I’m gonna do is put a rom on it. Im big into jailbreaking so naturally I want to do similar things with Android

  • luca

    battery life on Iphone 5 is totally crap! It drains down just looking at it.. and I close all the apps in the backgrund, switch off notifications et… 10 hours battery life in stand-by is not acceptable! A joke!

    • Really? I’ve had regular usage this morning (listened to a podcast for a half hour, browsed Twitter and Facebook multiple times, replied to multiple e-mails) and after 2 1/2 hours I’m at 90%. Last night I tested my phone on standby overnight with no apps on and it was at 91% from 11 PM to 7 AM.

      If that is what you are experiencing it is something wrong with your specific phone.

      • Hady Farah

        well my S3 looses 3% during the night from 11:00 pm to 6:30 am

    • kenny

      i have charged my iphone 5 one and a half times since i got it friday.battery life is fantastic for me.

    • majormudafuckinhun

      You’re either full of shite or you have a defective device. I get a full work day on my 5 with Bluetooth, LTE and GPS on all day. I’m in the car mostly so there’s no wifi. I usually have 25% wen I get home. Better than my Rezound. Never used a device with an S4 but I’d like to test one!

    • scrappycoco

      i got both s3 and i5. i5 battery goes very quick (using watsapp, emails, internet browsing less than 6 hours, quite frustrating, i got the phone since 22nd of sept) . i been using S3 since early july, S3 can handle these activities around 8.5 hours on average, battery size wise, its 1440mh Vs 2100mh ….overall user experenice , i like s3 more. selling my i5 now.

  • chris

    i dont understand how people can begin to compare the iphone 5 to the s3, the s3 has simply everything… but more, its like comparing two cars, one has a faster engine and better gadgets but is cheaper! and yet if you really get picky and say ” oh iphone loads so much faster” then they obviously havent yet tasted those yummy jelly beans 🙂

    • Pavy

      I am absolutely with u .. U just discussed d main point in ur comment..

  • I smell an iSheep…very biased review…

    • Etc….

      I agree! ******”Screen relative to iPhone 5″******etc.etc.etc…….
      Stop using iPhone 5 as a damn benchmark and just post the facts.

      • Brandon

        i own a samsung galaxy S3 LTE 16GB and i have ALWAYS hated iphones, they suck, ive used them b4 and i love customizing my galaxy S3 with NO limits, android is so much better than apple ever will be and thats because my samsung galaxy S3 can last me 9hours off a full charge.