iPhone 5 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S3 Vs. Nokia Lumia 920

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iPhone 5 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S3 Vs. Nokia Lumia 920

The market is abuzz with talks about the latest iPhone and how it stacks up against the other big guns. Here’s how the battle goes — the iPhone 5 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S3 Vs. Nokia Lumia 920.

Samsung Galaxy S5 beckons!

Samsung released its flagship device the Galaxy S5 at MWC 2014 in Barcelona. Read all about the most-awaited phone of the year, here.

The war of the flagships just got hotter, with Apple announcing its latest device, the iPhone 5. Apple’s nearest rival, and current market leader Samsung has already handed over its reigns to the third generation (the many hybrid versions with the various suffixes not included!) of the Galaxy phones, the Galaxy S III. Hot on their heels is the Lumia 920 from the stables of the old warhorses, Nokia. Each of these devices come with a host of new and some not-so-new designs and innovations. So whether you want a phone that is ‘designed for humans’ or ‘the biggest thing to happen to it since itself?!’ or you just simply want to ‘connect to people’, here’s a look at the features of these extremely capable knights, and how they stack up against each other.

iPhone 5

Operating system :  iOS 6

Processor : 1.2 GHz dual-core, A6 CPU

Memory : 16GB / 32GB / 64GB, 1 GB RAM

Screen :  4″ IPS LCD

Resolution : 1,136×640 pixels

Primary Camera : 8 MP

Secondary Camera : 1.2 MP

Battery : 1,440 mAh

Dimensions : 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Colors : Black / White

Price : $199 (16GB) / $299 (32GB) / $399 (64GB)

Samsung Galaxy S3

Operating system :  Android 4.0

Processor :  1.4GHz quad-core, Cortex-A9 CPU

Memory :16 GB / 32 GB, 1 GB RAM

Screen : 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED

Resolution : 1,280×768 pixels

Primary Camera : 8 MP

Secondary Camera : 1.9 MP

Battery : 2,100 mAh

Dimensions : 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm

Colors : Blue / White / Brown / Red / Black / Gray

Price : $199 (16GB) / $229 (32GB)

Nokia Lumia 920

Operating system :  Windows Phone 8

Processor :  1.5GHz dual-core, Snapdragon S4

Memory32 GB, 1 GB RAM

Screen : 4.5″ AMOLED

Resolution : 1,280×768 pixels

Primary Camera : 8.7 MP

Secondary Camera : 1.3 MP

Battery : 2,000 mAh

Dimensions : 130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7 mm

Colors : Black / White / Yellow / Red / Gray

Price : $99 (32 GB)

Design and Construction

The iPhone 5 sticks to the much successful bar form of its predecessors. Apart from minor changes in the design elements from the 4S, the iPhone 5 boasts of a slimmer waistline (18% thinner) and has grown taller too. The width however remains the same, which might not be to the liking of everyone out there. It fits snuggly in your hand, and the size is just right for one-handed use. It now comes with a brushed metal back, which adds to the luxury feel of the phone. The earphone slot sits pretty at the bottom of the phone, just by the side of the stereo loudspeakers. In its new form, the iPhone has lost some serious weight and now weighs in at a mere 112 g.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

The Samsung Galaxy S III has the same rounded corners and bezel as most of the phones of the Galaxy family. It is a pretty sizable phone, with a screen size of 4.8 inches. Its plastic body might not add to the overall appeal of the phone, especially in certain colors, but it does help keep the weight of the device down to a modest 133 g. The back of the phone sports a textured finish, which helps to get a good grip on this otherwise huge device. Although the phone isn’t small by any stretch of imagination, it does not venture into the realm of the ‘tabs’, and is surprisingly easy to handle. It however isn’t the most comfortable phone when it comes to one-handed use, unless of course you are blessed with exceptional large hands.

Brownie Points- 3 out of 5

The Nokia Lumia 920 flaunts the same polycarbonate unibody design of its predecessor, the Lumia 800. The almost edge to edge screen occupies most of the front of the phone. As a result there’s very little bezel around the phone, which helps maintain the phone’s slim profile. The phone weighs in at a hefty 185 g because of the extensive use of polycarbonate. The phone feels solid in the hand and is surprisingly easy to maneuver around with one hand. The back of the phone is pretty bare other than for the camera which sits towards the center, encased in a special scratch-resistant ceramic plate with the company logo on it. The bright and vibrant colors of the phone really make it stand out.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5


The Retina Display on the iPhone 5 is one you need to behold. With a pixel density of 326ppi, pictures absolutely come alive and text looks crisp. With a taller construction, the phone now flaunts a 4-inch IPS LCD with a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. In true Apple style, the resolution too has changed to an awkward 640 x 1136 pixels. All in all the display is beautiful, as has always been the case with iPhones, and is the centerpiece of the phone.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

The Samsung Galaxy S III has one of the largest screens on a phone in the market today (without considering the tablets and phablets). Measuring in at a mammoth 4.8 inches, this HD Super AMOLED screen, although a little on the dimmer side, is quite a treat to the eyes. It offers a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels, so you won’t miss out on any details. Colors look bright and vibrant, and it offers good sunlight legibility. The screen protected by Corning Gorilla Glass II, which is supposed to be even thinner and stronger than the original Gorilla Glass.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

The screen is the jewel of the Nokia Lumia 920. It is by far one of the most beautiful screens on any phone in the market today. It sports a 4.5-inch IPS TFT screen, with Nokia’s proprietary PureMotion HD+ technology. The screen is shielded by the Corning Gorilla Glass on top. The company claims it to be one of the most sensitive screens in the market, and recognizes the faintest of touches, that too through thick gloves. The pixels too supposedly update, up to 2.5x faster than other LCD screens (moving images don’t tend to blur as much). The screen also happens to be one of the brightest screens ever on a phone, so legibility under direct sunlight is good too.

Brownie Points- 5


The camera is one of the elements in the iPhone 5 that has got a major upgrade. It still sports the same 8 MP ‘iSight’ camera from the 4S, but it too has lost a few pounds to fit into the slimmer phone. It now incorporates a dynamic low-light mode and is housed within a beautiful sapphire cover just above the brushed metal back. The camera now offers added functionality like panorama mode (stitches together images to make an astounding 28 megapixel image) and also has an option to capture images while recording 1080 HD videos at 30fps. The front-facing camera now shoots videos at 720p and would come in handy to take self portraits and use Apple’s FaceTime feature over LTE.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

The Samsung Galaxy S III makes for a very good shooter. The 8 MP camera on board the phone is very much the same as the one on the old S2, but brings in some serious software optimization. Images seem nice and bright and have a good level of saturation, without going over the top with it. The camera app is pretty snappy, although it still doesn’t seem to make full use of the quad-core beast ticking inside. The camera offers various camera modes like Burst Shot (takes 20 pictures in real quick succession), Best Shot (clicks 8 pics in succession and recommends the best of the lot), along with the standard HDR, Beauty and Panaroma modes. The front-facing camera for video calls and self potraits is pretty impressive too, and has a 1.9 MP, which records videos at a neat 720p.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

The Nokia Lumia 920 sports a very impressive 8.7 MP Carl Zeiss lens with Nokia’s proprietary PureView technology. The camera on board the latest of the Lumia series, takes some real nice still photos even in low-light conditions and the advanced software optimization also provides for superior image stabilization. It shoots 1080p videos at 30fps. The secondary video call camera has a 1.3 MP sensor and takes some decent self portraits.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

Operating System

The iPhone 5 is the first of the Apple devices to sport the latest iOS 6. iOS, which has always been known for its simple and beautiful user interface, has made the user experience even better with its latest upgrade. The transitions through the various windows are buttery smooth, which makes using the iPhone even more of a joy. There are a host of additions and improvements like the all new maps, updated Siri, better Facebook integration, seamless photo sharing, the new Passbook feature and an improved email client, to name a few.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

The Samsung Galaxy S III comes with a heavily customized Android 4.0 ICS out of the box, with an upgrade to Jelly Bean right around the corner. Samsung has incorporated its popular TouchWiz Nature UX with Android ICS, and the result is a rather appealing user experience. It brings in some rather intuitive features like Smart Call (when you are viewing a contact or a message from someone, you could just bring the phone to your ear to place a call to that person), Smart Stay (a sensor keeps the screen on as long as you are looking at it) and various other features too. Samsung also has its own ‘Siri’-esque S-Voice personal assistant on its new flagship. The screen, the powerful processor and the good implementation of the UI, make this an absolute delight for the user.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

The Nokia Lumia 920 runs on the latest Microsoft Windows Phone 8 platform. The revamped OS looks sleek and is rather easy to use. It now comes with a very capable web browser, along with a host of new features and loads of eye candy. The Windows Tiles look nothing short of spectacular on the Lumia and screen transitions are extremely smooth. There’s deep Facebook integration and the NFC technology has been extensively used for various applications.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

Processing Power

The iPhone 5 is powered by Apple’s Dual-core 1.2 GHz A6 CPU. The iPhone 4S sure was nippy, and Apple’s newest baby claims to be twice as fast when it comes to graphic performance. Apple’s latest offering is the new phone to beat, especially when it comes to sheer processing power. The A6 CPU has integrated two 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A15 cores and blows even the much touted quad-cores right out of the water with its phenomenal performance. The PowerVR SGX 543MP3 GPU is mighty powerful, and has three cores to handle even the most demanding of graphics and video playback.

Brownie Points- 5

The Samsung Galaxy S III creates a niche for itself, when it comes to pure processing power, at least on paper. The phone is powered by an extremely capable Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9 processor. This in turn translates to some real nippy performance, right from screen transitions to seamless 1080p HD Video playback, and if you could also have a video play right on top of any other application that’s running. The upgrade to Jelly Bean should further add to the incredible speed and performance of this beast, and should be able to better use all the 4 cores on board. The phone also features a Mali 400MP GPU, which makes playing HD games and other graphically demanding applications an absolute breeze.

Brownie Points- 5

The Nokia Lumia 920 ticks on the extremely powerful Dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait processor. Graphics are handled by the Adreno 225 GPU. HD video playback runs like a dream and the beautiful screen makes the images come alive. HD gaming too is buttery smooth with no lag in transitions.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

Storage and Memory

The iPhone 5, like its immediate predecessors, will be available in the 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB versions. You also get 5 GB storage space on iCloud. The phone also has 1 GB of RAM to carry out all its functions smoothly.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

The Samsung Galaxy S III comes in 16 GB and 32 GB variants. This can further be upgraded with up to 64 GB via the memory card slot available. To aid the powerful processor on board, the S III comes with a 1 GB of RAM to play around with. The phone handles multitasking without much of an effort.

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

The Nokia Lumia 920 offers 32 GB of storage space. There is no expandable memory option, although the new Windows Phone 8 supports it. You do however have the option of using the 7 GB SkyDrive. The phone has 1 GB of RAM to handle all its functions and aid hassle-free multitasking.

Brownie Points- 3 out of 5

Battery Life

The iPhone 5 receives a battery upgrade as well. The 1,440mAh battery is said to have a talk-time of up to 8 hrs (2G) / 8 hrs (3G) and standby time of up to 225 hrs (2G) / 225 hrs (3G).

Brownie Points- 3 out of 5

The Samsung Galaxy S III has a rather miserly 2100mAh battery powering it. The company claims that the phone has a talk-time of 21 hrs 40 min (2G) / 11 hrs 40 min (3G) and a standby time of 590 hrs (2G) / 790 hrs (3G).

Brownie Points- 4 out of 5

The Nokia Lumia 920 is powered by a 2000mAh non-removable battery. It is claimed to have a talk-time of up to 17 hrs (2G) / 10 hrs (3G), and a standby time of up to 400 hrs (2G) / 400 hrs (3G).

Brownie Points- 3 out of 5

Pricing and Availability

The iPhone 5 is available through all the major US carriers on a two-year contract. The 16 GB variant costs $199, 32 GB for $299 and 64 GB for $399.

Brownie Points- 3 out of 5

The Samsung Galaxy S III is available on a two-year contract of $199.99 (16 GB) and $229.99 (32 GB) with all the major networks in the US. The 64 GB version is expected to be released in Q4 of 2012.

Brownie Points- 3 out of 5

The Nokia Lumia 920 released in the first week of November ’12. It is available with all the major networks at around $99.99 on a two-year contract.

Brownie Points- 3 out of 5


iPhone 5 – A fantastic screen. Slick form and styling. New improved OS. Great camera. The brand name.

Samsung Galaxy S III – Large trend-setting 4.8 inches of real estate on the screen. Powerful quad-core processor. Innovative UI and software implementation. Jelly Bean update expected to make user experience even better.

Nokia Lumia 920 – Nice compact and sturdy form factor. Innovative use of NFC technology. Improved UI and better Facebook integration. Brilliant screen and touch sensitivity.

Editor’s Pick

#1. The Lumia 920 is my favorite of the lot, with its appealing form factor, the powerful dual-core Krait processor, a gorgeous display and the new improved Windows Phone 8 on board. The implementation of the NFC technology and Nokia’s aggressive campaigning seems to have caught the attention of world. It needs to be seen however, if the phone actually lives up to all the hype or rings the death knell for the Finnish giant. The first generation of Lumia devices left a sour taste when their phones weren’t upgraded to Windows Phone 8. Let’s hope that things would be different this time around and Nokia keeps the wishes of its rapidly declining group of followers in mind.

#2. The Galaxy S III has one of the most powerful processors in a mobile phone. On paper there are few phones that stand up to this phone. The fact however is that Android doesn’t make full use of the four cores available on this device. It does have some very innovative features and some real impressive software optimization for the camera, but its major let down is the use of cheap plastic all around. Such a beautiful and, may I add, pricey device surely deserved more attention from the manufacturer, and we wouldn’t mind the little added weight that would’ve brought along.

#3. The iPhone 5 is undoubtedly a beautiful and very capable phone, with a tried and tested form factor and a display to die for, but the phone itself isn’t revolutionary like its predecessors, the first gen iPhone or even the iPhone 4. The tweaked A6 processor surely has even put its quad-core cousins to shame, but the fact remains that it offers little else. Apple might have its own reasons for not increasing the phone’s width, but this need not be to the liking of most people around. Also, although the phone packs most of the technology in the market today, it is definitely not all bells and whistles. Apple has always been hugely criticized for its use of proprietary connectors, and they have brought ‘lightning’ upon themselves by totally redesigning the connectors. Also with its own maps app, Apple was walking into uncharted waters, and has drawn serious flak from all quarters, as the maps have some very serious flaws. You might need to keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer before you rely on the maps on board this otherwise extremely capable phone. Google supposedly has a iOS 6 compatible Maps App ready for the phone, which should address the woes of millions of Apple fans all over the world. While the sales of the phone have shot through the roof, it remains to be seen if it sustains, more so with the competition coming up with some brilliant devices for much, much lesser. The problem is that Apple have set such high standards for themselves that people just expect so much more out of them.

There can be no clear winner or loser here, as what works for someone need not work for someone else. So if you are out to get yourself a perfect phone, you might wanna keep all the reviews aside, because at the end of the day these are only but numbers. The best way to pick your phone would be to walk into the store and get a hands-on feel of these phones and decide for yourself.

* Image Source (Press Kit) – www.nokia.com / www.samsung.com / www.apple.com

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