Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Samsung Galaxy S2

By Dmitry Sheynin , Apr 05, 2013 01:05 PM EDT

Is the Samsung Galaxy S4 worth the upgrade? Before rushing off to the store on the release date, you should consider how the Galaxy S4 specs compare to the Galaxy S3, and even the Galaxy S2.

The Samsung Galaxy S3, the follow-up to the Galaxy S2, has been Samsung's flagship Galaxy smartphone since 2012, but as the Galaxy S4 release date rapidly approaches, we reflect on the product line's history, from the Galaxy S2 all the way to the Galaxy S4, and we compare the specs and features of each device.    

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Galaxy S3

The Galaxy S4 release date is still not confirmed, but pre-orders in the U.S. begin on April 16. How do the Galaxy S4 specs size up versus the Galaxy S3?

For an in-depth look at the Samsung Galaxy S4 specs, check out this article, then take a look at our hands-on review with the Galaxy S4 from Samsung's unveiling event in New York.

Design-wise, the Galaxy S4 isn't radically different from the Galaxy S3. The Galaxy S4's dimensions are nearly identical to Galaxy S3. The S4's SuperAMOLED screen is gorgeous and vibrant and probably the biggest differentiator between the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 also packs a 1.6GHZ octa-core processor, twice the cores of the Galaxy S3's 1.4GHz ARM chip. The Galaxy S4 also sports a 13-megapixel camera, which we guess is an upgrade over the 8-megapixel camera on the Galaxy S3, but during our hands-on with the S4, we honestly couldn't detect a difference. Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will ship with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean preloaded, which we know means a lot to many of you, but just don't forget you'll still have to put up with TouchWiz.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. Galaxy S2

The Galaxy S3 came with Android Jelly Bean preloaded — one of its most noteworthy updates over the Gingerbread-powered Galaxy S2. Although the Samsung Galaxy S2 can be upgraded to 4.x Jelly Bean, Galaxy S3 ran the newer OS right out of the box.

When it debuted in 2012, the Galaxy S2 was among the first smartphones to sport a dual-core processor — a 1GHZ Exynos chip. This was a big upgrade over the original Galaxy, powered by a single-core Hummingbird processor. The Samsung Galaxy S3 continued the tradition of doubling processor cores, with an Exynos quad-core chip running at 1.4GHz. The Galaxy S3 chip didn't only increase performance, it also decreased power usage by 20 percent.

When it comes to the screen, there's no comparison between the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S2. The Galaxy S3 features an HD AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1,280 x 720. It's a half-inch bigger than the 4.3-inch Galaxy S2, which has a screen resolution of 800 x 480.

The dimensions of the Galaxy S3 were larger than the Galaxy S2 in most every regard. The Galaxy S3 measures 136.6 x 70 x 8.6mm versus the Galaxy S2, which is 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49mm. The S3 also weights 133 grams compared to the 116 grams of the Galaxy S2.       

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