Home » Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Galaxy S3: what's changed?

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Galaxy S3: what's changed?

Samsung's Galaxy S3 was one of the most popular smartphones of 2012 but how does it compare to its replacement, the Galaxy S4? We take a look at how the new flagship handset compares to its predecessor in our Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 comparison review. The Galaxy S4 looks a lot like Samsung last year's flagship smartphone Galaxy S3. But surely there are some differences, most notably on the inside, where the phone steps up to an either an Exynos 5 or Snapdragon chip, depending on the region. As is our way, we've combed the spec sheets for both models to see exactly what's changed this time around.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Galaxy S3: Specifications


Galaxy S 4

Galaxy S III


Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)

Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)


1.6GHz Exynos 5 Octa / 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 (varies by market)

Samsung Exynos 4 / Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 (varies by market)



1GB / 2GB (Variants)


5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED

4.8-inch Super AMOLED


1,920 x 1,080

1,280 x 720


Gorilla Glass 3

Gorilla Glass 2

Pixel Density

441 ppi

306 ppi


16 / 32 / 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)

16GB / 32GB

Primary Camera

13-megapixel BSI AF

8-megapixel BSI AF

Secondary Camera

2-megapixel BSI

1.9-megapixel BSI


GSM/EDGE/UMTS/DC-HSPA+/LTE Cat 3 (bands vary by market)

GSM/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA+/LTE (bands vary by market)


WiFi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, HT80

802.11 a/b/g/n, HT40


4.0 LE

4.0 LE





NFC / MHL 2.0 / IR LED












136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm

136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm


Black Mist / White Frost

Pebble Blue / Marble White


Read our Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 comparison review to find out more.

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3: Design

Taking on a near identical form to that of the S3, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is an inoffensive yet somewhat uninspiring affair with Samsung’s trademark plastic finish detracting slightly from what is otherwise a high-end, cream-of-the-crop device. Lining the two handset's up against each other, and front-on it is slightly difficult to distinguish between the two. The Galaxy S4 is marginally smaller than the Galaxy S3 despite it's larger screen. The two are the same height at 136.6mm but the Galaxy S4 is 69.8mm wide compared to 70.6mm. It's also thinner and lighter than its predecessor at 7.9mm. Weighing in at a comfortable 130g, the Samsung Galaxy S4 feels secure in the hand, not too heavy as to cause distress while also offering enough heft to offer reassurance against the inevitable knocks and drops that will occur over the course of a typical 24-month contract. Impressive work from Samsung if these figures are correct.

 Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3: Screen

As rumours suggested, the Galaxy S4 has a 5in screen, meaning it will be slightly larger than the Galaxy S3's 4.8-inch display. Both use Samsung's favoured SuperAMOLED technology. It's resolution has increased from 720x1280 up to a Full HD 1080x1920. This ups the pixel density significantly from 306ppi to 441ppi. It improves the sharpness a lot, even though you're not getting that much different from the S3.Side by side you can see the difference close up, and the brightness and efficiency have been tweaked to make this a more compelling screen in a phone.

 Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3: Processor

Samsung used its own Exynos 4 Quad processor for the Galaxy S3, a quad-core chip unsurprisingly. It's clocked at 1.4GHz and is based on the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture. The Galaxy S4 outdoes this with the Exynos 5 Octa processor. It's the first smartphone to boast an 8-core chip. It consists of four Cortex-A15 cores clocked at 1.6GHz for performance while the remaining four are Cortex-A7s clocked at 1.2GHz for less demanding tasks and power saving.The RAM has also been doubled from 1GB to 2GB so we're expecting the Galaxy S4 to ace our benchmarks.


Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3: Storage

Samsung was generous with the storage options on the Galaxy S3 matching the iPhone with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models plus a microSD card slot. The situation is unchanged when it comes to the Galaxy S4 so there's nothing to worry about here.


Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3: Cameras

The Galaxy S3's 8Mp camera was a fairly standard resolution for 2012 with the exception of only a few handsets. The Samsung Galaxy S4 camera is a step up from its predecessor, with a 13MP sensor on the back, which now has to bulge slightly from the chassis. The Samsung Galaxy S4 also got a 2.1Mp front facing camera. It's marginally higher than the Galaxy S3's 1.9Mp but importantly can record video in Full HD 1080p rather than 720p.

Samsung Galaxy S4 

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3: Software

Now running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is almost up-to-date in the world of Android. The Galaxy S4 will ship with version 4.2.2 which is no significant difference and both have Samsung's TouchWiz interface. The Galaxy S4 does have new features including Smart Scroll, Smart Pause and Air Gesture to name three. We're hearing that the Galaxy S3 will be updated with some of the new features but it's not clear which will and which won't make the move.

 Blu-ray to Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3: Battery

We expected the Galaxy S4's battery to be larger than the Galaxy S3's 2100mAh battery - and it is, at 2600mAh (both are removable). Whether battery life will be longer will only become apparent when we give it a proper test. It's a hard one to call since the screen is larger and has a higher res, but the Exynos 5 processor has power saving cores which could make a big difference.

Also Read:

Can Galaxy S4 play MKV, AVI, VOB, Tivo, MPG, FLV/F4V videos?

How to transfer videos/movies from PC/computer to Samsung Galaxy S smartphone

How to move Blu-ray, DVD movies to Galaxy S4 – Blu-ray to Android Ripper

My Profile