Oct 25 AT 6:37 PM Dima Aryeh 46 Comments

Experiment shows Galaxy S III touch accuracy far better than new iPhones

Touch Accuracy

My father owns an iPhone 5, and every time he has asked me to fix something or install something, I’ve had a bit of trouble with the display. What I touch doesn’t always register accurately, especially on the top of the screen (I can never hit the install button in the App Store). I attributed this to a small screen and me being used to my Galaxy Note devices, but it appears there is a lot more to it.

OptoFidelity performed a few tests on the brand new iPhone 5S and 5C, comparing them to the aging Samsung Galaxy S III. One of the tests was touch accuracy. It used a machine that uses an artificial finger to touch points on the display and compare the coordinates to what the operating system reports, which shows how accurate the touch screen really is. The results are shocking.

The charts for the iPhones are covered in red dots, while the green area is fairly small. In comparison, the Galaxy S III has its display filled with green dots and only the edges are red. Green means that the accuracy is within a milliliter, while red means that the accuracy is off by over a millimeter. And the iPhone touch accuracy is quite a bit off.

Touch Accuracy 2

Touch Accuracy 3

Here, the touch accuracy is displayed on the top row of each device’s built in keyboard. As you can see, it’s quite difficult to press the O and P buttons accurately. In Samsung’s case, all the keys are equally easy to push due to some superb touch accuracy.

However, the iPhone does hold one advantage. The response time of the touch screen is faster than the most popular Android devices, so what you touch happens a tiny bit faster. This is undeniably important, but touch accuracy is arguably far more important. Have you experienced these issues?

Source: GSM Arena

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • lferrin

    I 100% agree. I have an iPad 4th gen and a HTC one. It seems that the iPad has the same accuracy problem especially on the small “install” button.

    • Dan

      I noticed this too… at least we have an explanation and I wasn’t just “doing it wrong”.

    • masterpfa

      Almost as important is, what can be done to improve the touch response in Android phones?

    • Richard Yarrell

      crappy Iphone is a JOKE…

      • Vagrants on Acid

        Your mother’s festering cunt is a joke.

        • Theuns Botha

          Terrible comment. Bad taste. Sent from my HTC one using SwiftKey, you asshole.

      • squiddy20

        Yeah… I believe the 9 million people who got the 5c and 5s in the first 3 days of their release would beg to differ. Idiot.

  • Mikes_phone_and_tab

    I also agree. I’ve noticed this on my iTouch 5 . Especially with buttons on the top and bottom corners. It frustrates the mess out of me trying to click it several times to get it to register.

  • bobo

    My friends with iphones use the screen response time as one of the main advantages an iPhone has over an android phone. It drives me nuts that no manufacturer could equal apple’s screen response time. Is it THAT hard?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      I wish they would!

    • Isle of Droid

      Yeah the iPhone’s screen response time destroys any Android phone except for the HTC One and the Nexus 4. On my Xperia Z if you try and swipe left very slowly on the home screen, it will take at least 0.2s for the screen to respond. If you swipe fast/normal speed, the response time is fine though. I think it has to do with the way Android handles touch events. It probably keeps the touch panel on some low power mode when you are not doing anything with the phone.

      • FastAndFurious

        I can sense a delay of 0.1s … so I agree with you – 0.2s response time is very annoying.

      • jcloud

        Nexus 4? I don’t think so. I’m typing on it

      • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

        “Raw” touch response time and UI touch event response time are two different things. It’s unclear which one the article is referring to. The “raw” touch response time has a lot to do with the hardware and its driver software and is unlikely to get faster even if the OS gets updated. The UI response time, however, is mostly software related. It can be improved as the OS gets updated (either through the update from the underlying Android OS, and/or the OEM skin.)

  • Arthur

    This accuracy problem on iOS devices has more to do with the capacitive grid built into the display, maybe Apple chooses a grid with touch points that are further apart where as Samsung has those points closer together. The touch responsiveness is a OS issue, something Android still has catching up to do.

    • Jason

      Care to explain how this article proves the contrary?
      I own a Nexus 4 and don’t know what lag or unresponsiveness is on a phone… Then my friend comes over with his 5S and in about 2 minutes I want to smash that laggy pos on the ground. Utter crapple junk. Apple has been behind android since for 2 years. The gap is widening.

      • Karim

        i totaly agree with you! i own a nexus4 and it is really smooth! :D i get frustrated every time i use my sisters iphone 5…

  • CJ LaFleur

    I’m going to pull this article out every time anyone tries to say Apple is better than Android. This made my day and made me laugh. Great article.

    • Odie

      Sadly, you know it won’t affect their love for the iPhone very much. I should try using my family’s iPhone, I never really noticed any accuracy issue, but maybe it just didn’t bother me. I’ve only ever used Nexus phones since coming to Android, and touchscreen phones for that matter, so I don’t have any real comparisons to draw from.

  • Jason

    Finally, some clarification as to why I can never seem to press buttons on my wife’s iPhone 5! It drives me nuts, and I’ve thought it might be a defective iPhone. Looks like it’s not defective, it’s just “magical”! Love my GS3!

  • donger

    Wow very interesting info.

  • Steven Webb

    This whole time my girlfriend (who is an iOS user) kept telling me I was doing it wrong!

    • Odie

      Technically, you were. iPhone users have subconsciously adapted to the inaccuracy and so they would argue that it’s 100% accurate. It very similar to when your car pulls to the left and, after some time, you automatically know to always have to wheel turned 20 degrees to the right to compensate.

  • Matt

    Now I know why I was always struggling with dismissing notifications. That tiny little shitty X is impossible to hit.

  • Filip

    Wow, haha! So this is the answer to why an iphone never recognises my touches. Sometimes i have to press the back button like five times before it recognises a button press. But i noticed this a few years ago with the iphone 4 when comparing to my HTC Desire.

  • Pravas

    That’s good to know. I know where not to put my money next.

  • Das

    I always this phenomenon was due to me not being used to iOS.

  • someone

    I wish this was one of GSMarena things that show device’s information.

    Also wish they’d showed benchmark results.

  • mattcoz

    I’d like to see a roundup of other devices.

  • AndroidAndFreak

    check out this new lock screen “Start”

    Please like my blog if you like :)

  • uzidon

    If you go to the Mac and Apple forums, they are still saying that it is because you’re “holding/doing it wrong”. It has something to do with Perspective Compensation, I believe. That iPhones compensate the touches for the angle at which the phone is being held.

  • Mann

    it should have better touch accuracy apple don’t have product that use a stylus

    • klcow92

      the S3 does not use a stylus either…

      • Mann

        i simple search could have you from embarrassment

      • Chris

        you’re joking?

        Samsung sells stylus for the GS3 its call the Samsung Galaxy S III C Pen


        GS3 and pretty much all the new produce have pinpoint accuracy one of Samsung selling point is use of their styles pen with touch wiz apps with all product not just the note

        • Gestur

          He obviously means an active stylus as his point was that, just as the iPhone, the S3 does not have a stylus. If a device would count as having stylus because you can use the stylus in your link, then every device with a capacitive display would count, including every apple touch device.

          • Reddick

            You and klcow92 have no clue when it comes down to the hardware being used in the GS and note series for touch registration they both use he same hardware

            Your comment on stylus and capacitive display are irrelevant when they are not complete accurate.
            Like OP said the screen is precise because of the use of stylus its not really hard to comprehend this.

            And BTW here is stylus required for iphone/pad it needs huge ass rounded tip just to register properly.


  • TSS

    any data on how the iPhone points are deviated? Just to see if apple includes parallax effect into its touch algorithm/

  • Ben

    Usually the articles on this site aren’t completely fan boy based and tell the whole truth (hence why I come here for android news) but you’re only reporting half the story on purpose.

    The origional article and research you are citing said that their research doesn’t take into consideration apple”s technology that augments the touch in software so that you are more likely to hit what you are touching in real world situations. For example the edge touch detection so your hand doesn’t register a touch by accident on the side of the iPad. Or the keyboard touch where when you type say “keyboar” it will expect a D next so it will make the touch area of say Z smaller since you really aren’t likely to hit it. There are a list of technologies that help in these real world situations.

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I live in the real world so these technologies help. All this article shows is that Samsung doesn’t implement those and registers 100% of your touch… Whether your touch is right or wrong.

    Come on android and me, please go back to atleast reporting complete information about an article, that’s why I come here.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      I didn’t see any such information, otherwise I would have reported on it. Could you give me a source on this touch point augmenting tech Apple uses?

      Also, wouldn’t it only apply to the keyboard if this was true?

      • TSS

        Detailly looking at the embed iPhone keyboard photo in the paragraph, you can see the points at center are accurate. Side points are inaccurate but with increasing tail lengths approaching the edge. If, assuming the tail represents degree of deviation, i can suspect the inaccuracy done in purpose.

    • r

      Usually the articles on this site aren’t completely fan boy based and tell the whole truth (hence why I come here for android news)

      LOL this is joke right?

  • n25philly

    You’re touching it wrong

  • Ryan@MobiEspion

    S III is far more better than IPhones. I have been using it since last 7 or 8 months and love this phone. :)

  • jamal adam

    For all they put into the iPhone, one would assume that Apple would do this well but I guess not. Accuracy is pretty important on touchscreens and I’m glad Samsung is doing it well.

  • http://no stokis

    i would love this article to be on engadget, where many isheep fans would be crying.