Samsung Galaxy S III (rumours) vs Sony Xperia S
We pitch the current Samsung Galaxy S III concept against the Sony Xperia S
We see how the current rumours surrounding Samsung's forthcoming Galaxy S III flagship compare to Sony's Xperia S.
At this point, although there's a variety of supposedly ‘leaked' previews and conceptual renders of the Galaxy S III, none of them can be considered the real deal with any certainty. So, in reality, we have no clue what Samsung's next flagship will look like.
Current rumours suggest it will be made from ‘liquid metal', a rumour also surrounding the iPhone 5. There's also some suggestion that non-metal parts will be made from high-quality ceramic.
Different sources argue that, on the one hand, the Galaxy S III won't be a huge leap from the Galaxy S2. Indeed, the difference between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S has been cited as an example of what to expect.
On the other side of the coin is the suggestion that Samsung's next phone will be a big leap from its predecessor with plenty of unique styling to set it apart.
For now, we have to say we're expecting a significant visual re-design and a slightly curved form factor seems quite likely to us given current trends with other premium devices.
If, as we hope, the Galaxy S III is drastically different in terms of aesthetic styling it may still be more-or-less the same size as the Galaxy S2. Many users have said the Galaxy S2 was either too large, or manageable but that they wouldn't want it to get any bigger.
Some rumours have suggested the next handset will get a larger screen but this could be achieved without enlarging the proportions of the device and we think this is the route Samsung will take, particularly if the rumours of an edge-to-edge display turn out to be true.
Sony's Xperia S has enough in common with its predecessors in the Sony Ericsson Xperia range to be recognisably part of the Xperia family, but at the same time Sony has made a number of design changes which mark it as part of the new generation and which tie it in with the signature look of the company's other electronics.
The handset has a D-shaped cross section with a curved back-panel and broad, flat edges which give plenty of grip but give and overall chunkier appearance than the phone's predecessor, the Xperia Arc S. Build quality feels very good as the plastic used appears to be of a high quality, overall the device seems solid in the hand.
We like Sony's design and suspect it'll stand up well to the innovations we think Samsung will make on the next Galaxy device.
Winner - Draw
As we mentioned earlier, there is some suggestion on the rumour mill that Samsung's Galaxy S III will feature an edge-to-edge display with no bezel at the sides. Whether this is true or not, the consensus from a multitude of rumour sources says the screen will be larger than the Galaxy S2's 4.3-inches, possibly as large as 4.7-inches.
We think Samsung will be aiming to topple Apple's Retina display, which on the iPhone achieves a pixel density of 330 pixels-per-inch (ppi). Samsung's capability with screen technology means it's well positioned to hit this number even on a larger screen.
If anything, the real contender the Galaxy S III has to match is the Xperia S, as it currently has the best available display on an Android phone.
It's a 4.3-inch LED-backlit LCD capacitive multi-touch screen with a 1280x720 pixel resolution and a pixel density of 342ppi. As you can imagine, this is an extremely sharp screen with amazing clarity and colours.
That said, the Galaxy S III seems sure to achieve over 300ppi and at this level it becomes difficult to perceive a difference between displays.
With that in mind we'll call this a draw.
Winner - Draw
Based on the Galaxy S2's precedent of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage variants we expect the next Galaxy flagship to boast the same range of options.
We'd like to think Samsung will stick with offering up to 32GB of expandable storage via microSD but increasingly the trend even with premium handsets is leaning towards a lack of card capability and an increase in cloud service integration.
In particular, Samsung has recently announced its S-Cloud service and there is a good chance it'll try to promote this with the Galaxy S III and depriving users of card storage has, historically, been the way to do this.
Elsewhere, 1GB of RAM as a minimum seems like a safe bet, but we wouldn't put it past Samsung to innovate here and introduce 1.5GB or even 2GB.
Sony's Xperia S has a single storage model with 32GB internally alongside 1GB of RAM and no card capability.
If Samsung's Galaxy S III lives up to the minimum of our expectations it will beat the Xperia S. If the company goes the extra mile though it'll leave Sony's device in the dust on storage capability.
Winner - Samsung Galaxy S III