Samsung Galaxy: S4 vs. S3

If you use the Samsung Galaxy S3, you may contemplating upgrading to the Galaxy S4. The S3 and the S4 have a lot in common, but there are also some big differences between these smartphones. To see whether the S4 offers features that would make it worth your money, let’s do a comparison of the phones and see how they stack up against each other.


The S3 and S4 look almost the same at first glance. In addition to featuring the same curved design and metal and plastic construction, the devices are practically identical in size and weight. The S4 measures 137x70x7.9mm and weighs 130g, while the S3 measures 137x71x8.6mm and weighs 133g. If you’d like to downsize from the S3, buying the S4 won’t help much.

However, if you want a larger screen, the S4 does have an advantage; its 5 inch display is a bit larger than the S3’s 4.8 inch screen. This isn’t much of a difference in terms of using the phone for talking and texting, but if you enjoy using your smartphone for gaming and watching movies, the S4 would indeed be a better option than the S3.


Since Apply invented the Retina display, the interface of smartphones has become one of the main criteria for choosing one phone over another. The S4 offers an impressive HD super Amoled 1920×1080 441 ppi display that offers more crispness and color balance than the S3’s 4.8in 1280×720 HD Super Amoled displayTherefore, the S4 offers a better graphical interface.

How much does this matter? Again, it depends on how you use the phone. If your S3 is primarily used for talking and texting, upgrading to a better interface won’t dramatically improve your user experience. However, if you’re a smartphone gamer or someone who likes to watch YouTube on your phone, the improved interface would be a nice option.


The Galaxy S4 comes with Samsung’s custom Touchwiz user interface that’s underpinned with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean software. The older Galaxy S3 comes with Samsung’s 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Android software, although an option to update to the old 4.1.2 version of Jelly Bean is available. Moreover, the S3 doesn’t have any of the S4’s new Touchwiz features.

In terms of usability, the biggest difference between the phones is that the S4’s menu is organized at the top of the display, while the S3’s menu is vertical. Neither software package is terribly impressive, but the S4 does offer one useful feature it’s predecessor doesn’t: the S Translator, a feature that translates foreign languages on the screen into one’s language of choice.


The S4 comes standard with 2 gigabytes (GB) of Random Access Memory (RAM), while the S3 comes with a measly 1 GB of RAM. The S4’s beefed up RAM makes it better for multitasking. However, in speed comparison tests, the S4 and its predecessor each opened web pages in a few seconds, seamlessly streamed video, and handled demanding applications with ease.

If you routinely use your phone for multitasking — such as toggling between texting, playing a game, and watching a YouTube video — the S4 could improve your user experience. On the flipside, if multitasking makes you feel frazzled, and you would rather use your smartphone for one thing at a time, there’s really no reason to upgrade to the S4 in terms of performance.

Smart phone camera taking photo, Bryce CanyonCamera 

Samsung made significant upgrades to the S4’s camera system, giving it a 13MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera. In comparison, the S3 has an 8MP rear camera and 1.9MP front camera. At first glance, the quality of photos taken with the phones seems identical. However, when you enlarge the pictures, photos from the S4 display greater crispness and clarity.

Some people use cell phones to take keepsake pictures. If this applies to you, then upgrading to the S4 could be worth the money.


Most people that have a car charger and computer charger for their smartphone never realize its true battery capability, as the battery typically remains charged near the max. However, if you need a phone that can make it through the day on a single charge, the S4, with its 2,600mAh battery, is a better option than the S3, which has a 2,100mAh battery.

Still using the Galaxy S3?

If so, replacing it in a Samsung S3 case can help extend the lifespan of the phone. Urban Armor Gear has the perfect Samsung S3 case for your Galaxy 3. Outfitted with rubber bumpers and a composite, lightweight hard outer shell, our Samsung S3 case comes in fourmodels: Aero, Aviator, Navigator, and Outland. Get our Samsung S3 case for your Galaxy S3 today!

Tell us what you think!