Samsung Galaxy S III versus Apple (AAPL) iPhone 5: Which new smartphone is right for you?

It's the 2012 battle of the smartphones:  Apple's new  iPhone 5 vs Samsung's Galaxy S-III and other Androids.

Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine have just finished testing the iPhone 5.

With 4G, it is now as fast as the fastest Android phones, but there are still plenty of differences. Consumer Reports put all phones through their paces, assessing each one's features and options.

Screen Displays

First up, the display. Everyone wants a big screen to watch movies, play games, and use apps. Though the iPhone 5's 4-inch screen is Apple's biggest yet, it can't compare with the screens on the Galaxy or many other Android phones. Winner:  Galaxy.

Voice Capability 

Voice-control is another area of competition. The Android capabilities are quite good, though they're no match for Siri, which can understand and execute more complex commands. Winner:  iPhone 5.

Navigation 

Next up, the navigation. Android phones offer more detailed maps, better traffic info and more customization. Apple has a few well-publicized glitches with its new Apple maps, and until those are worked out, Android carries the day.  Winner:  Galaxy.

Camera 

With everyone using their phone to take pictures, how do the cameras affect your Apple-or-Android choice? Though the iPhone and some Android phones have the ability to take panoramic photos, Consumer Reports finds that when it comes to photo and video quality, the iPhone 5 outperforms Android.  Winner:  iPhone.

Talk and Surf 

What if you want to talk on the phone and connect to the Internet over the cellular network at the same time?

All 4G phones can do that, but not the iPhone 5 on Verizon or Sprint.  Winner:  Galaxy, unless you are on AT&T, at which point it is a draw. 

So although the iPhone 5 gets many things right, a lot of the top-rated Android phones do too, making them worth consideration, especially if the price is right.   Several retailers are expected to offer the Galaxy for $49 on Black Friday, which gives it a true cost advantage over the $199 iPhone 5.

Speed 

On the new 4G LTE network, speeds are comparable, so there is no standout winner.

The Bottom Line 

Due to significant improvements over the iPhone 4S, the new iPhone 5 has moved way up in Consumer Reports' ratings

Consumer Reports top-rated phones for fall 2012:

     -iPhone 5

     -Samsung Galaxy S-III

     -Motorola Razr Droid

As always, don't waste your money.

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