Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Sony Xperia S
Samsung's Galaxy S3 takes on Sony's Xperia S in a head-to-head showdown
We pitch the Sony Xperia S against Samsung's latest and greatest handset, the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Sony Xperia S - 128x64x10.6mm, 144g
Samsung Galaxy S3 - 136.6x70.6x8.6mm, 133g
The Sony Xperia S is a landmark device in the Xperia catalogue because it marks the first smartphone produced solely by Sony. The result is something that is both familiar to existing Xperia designs from the Sony Ericsson era and yet different thanks to a new Sony-specific twist.
Broadly speaking, the phone is recognisable as an Xperia model thanks to its D-shaped cross section and the overall form-factor distinctively echoes the Xperia style.
However, if you compare it to the last Sony Ericsson model, the Xperia Arc S, it's a much bulkier and more angular device. The extensive use of curved lines and surfaces is reduced to only a few curved accents here and there and the abundant razor thin edges have been replaced with broad, flat and more grip-friendly alternatives.
In terms of build quality the Xperia S delivers a satisfying plastic which feels good in the hand and overall the phone seems solid and sturdy.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 appears to have taken design cues from the Galaxy Nexus and the HTC One S school of curved and rounded-off bodywork, which is a very current and contemporary approach.
Some of the proportions are a little strange, however, and it ends up looking somewhat ‘bottom heavy'. The biggest faux pas though is the plastic used which has a very tacky feel and totally detracts from the overall quality of the handset.
We think the Xperia S is very sharp looking while the Galaxy S3 is fairly uninspiring, add to that the poor quality plastic feel and Sony's handset easily comes out in the lead.
Winner - Sony Xperia S
Samsung's Galaxy S3 features a large 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD capacitive multi-touch screen with a 1280x720 pixel resolution and a pixel density of 306 pixels-per-inch (ppi). The display is reinforced with Corning's Gorilla Glass.
The Xperia S has a smaller 4.3-inch LED-backlit LCD capacitive display at the same resolution as its opponent, which gives one of the best pixel densities we've seen on a smartphone at 342ppi. It has a scratch resistant coating and supports 10-finger multi-touch.
Clarity on both screens is superb, although the Xperia S is way out in front. That said, a perceptible difference may only be noticed by people with perfect 20/20 vision as most people have trouble discerning differences in pixel density much over 300ppi anyway.
The Xperia S's backlit LCD should deliver consistent brightness and work well in direct sunlight, while the Galaxy S3's Super AMOLED HD will cope better than most OLEDs in such conditions. The Galaxy S3 enjoys deep blacks, vivid colours, good brightness and excellent contrast with plenty of ‘pop'.
We expect that for most users in practice there will be very little difference between these displays and both offer brilliant picture quality.
Winner - Draw
Sony's Xperia S comes in one internal storage flavour and that's 32GB backed up by 1GB of RAM. There's no micro SD capability to be found here.
Against the apparent tide of decreased onboard and card storage in premium phones, Samsung has sensibly gone for a full range of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of internal space, each with 1GB of RAM and micro SD for cards up to 32GB. We approve.
Winner - Samsung Galaxy S3