iPhone 5 vs. Galaxy S3 4G vs. One XL

Apple's iPhone 5 will join an exclusive collection of smartphones in Australia when it launches on 21 September. We take a closer look at its 4G competition.

Apple's iPhone 5 will join an exclusive collection of smartphones in Australia when it launches on 21 September, being one of only a handful of 4G-capable phones available at this time. We thought we'd take a closer look at how it compares with the current 4G king, the HTC One XL, and the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S III (GS3) 4G.

This isn't an exhaustive list of 4G phones available in Australia, though. Telstra has committed to five new 4G phones by Christmas, of which we know two will be the upcoming Motorola Razr HD and Razr M. For its part, Optus has only announced the GS3 and iPhone 5 for its new 4G network so far, and we expect to see more from the telco in the very near future.

Apple iPhone 5

Samsung Galaxy S3 4G

4-inch IPS LCD
640x1136 pixels
4.8-inch Super AMOLED
720x1280 pixels
4.7-inch Super IPS LCD
720x1280 pixels
Apple A6
Unknown clock speed
Samsung Exynos
Quad-core 1.2GHz
Qualcomm S4
Dual-core 1.5GHz
16GB, 32GB and 64GB options 16GB and 32GB 32GB
Non-expandable memory MicroSD card slot Non-expandable memory
7.6mm thick
112 grams
8.6mm thick
133 grams
8.9mm thick
129 grams
8-megapixel BSI camera 8-megapixel BSI camera 8-megapixel BSI camera

Bigger battery, better

As you can see in the table above, there isn't that much separating these three models. Samsung has the largest screen by a hair, Apple offers the phone with the highest storage capacity and they all share the same networking features.

What should tell them apart is how long you can use the phone for between charges. We already have enough evidence to tell us that the One XL is out of the race on this metric. HTC's choice of an 1850mAh battery just doesn't compare with the 2100mAh capacity unit in the GS3. In true Apple fashion, we haven't been told how big the battery in the iPhone 5 is, and we'll probably have to wait until someone breaks one open to find out. Apple made some decent-sounding battery life claims during its keynote, including 8 hours of talk time and 40 hours of music playback, but battery life is always a combination of several factors working together.

This is also one area where the new Motorolas could get a look-in. The Razr HD has a 2500mAh battery on-board, which is the largest of any phone of this size (the Samsung Galaxy Note has a 3100mAh battery, but this is offset by its giant screen). Even the Razr M has a 2000mAh battery, placing it on paper in front of the HTC XL. The Razr M will also have a 4-inch screen for those considering the iPhone 5 for its compact size.