This is a real-world test, using each phone's highest-quality mode, where quality settings are selectable. In this test, only the Galaxy S3 has the option of changing resolutions.
The test was carried out on a sunny autumn afternoon outside London's St. Pancras. All phones used automatic settings when shooting the videos: we didn't use any spot focus or exposure controls.
Our intention was to use the phones just as people will use them in general use, quickly capturing something interesting without worrying about any settings.
Videos were uploaded to YouTube with no modifications to the original files, which were transferred via a USB cable to a PC before being uploaded.
We recommend you watch the videos in full-screen mode, and select the highest-possible quality (1080p). Otherwise, you're watching a scaled-down version which won't reveal the true level of detail captured by each phone.
To do this, click the square icon at the bottom-right corner of the video to make it full screen. Then click the gear icon and select 1080p HD from the pop-up menu.
Video test: iPhone 5
Video test: iPhone 4S
Video test: Galaxy S3
At the same time we shot the videos, we also took several photos on each phone. We picked the best from each, having also used each device's spot-exposure to ensure the building wasn't a silhouette against the sky.
Naturally, the photos have been scaled down so they fit on your screen, but we've also included a 100 per cent crop so you can see a portion with the full level of detail.
Apple iPhone 5:
Apple iPhone 5: 100 percent crop
Apple iPhone 4S:
Apple iPhone 4S: 100 percent crop
Samsung Galaxy S3:
Samsung Galaxy S3: 100 percent crop