My boyfriend has the Samsung Galaxy SIII, so a few weeks ago he let me compare his phone’s voice assistant for a future blog post. Galaxy, to the iPhone’s assistant, Siri. I ran a few tests on each to see how they fared compared to each other, wondering if there were any real differences on how “smart” these smartphone virtual assistants really are.
Movie showtimes: Siri took me right to the showtimes at the nearest theater when I asked for the movie showtimes of “Silent Hill: Revelation” that night. Galaxy asked if I would like to do a Web search for the showtimes. Winner: Clearly Siri.
Movie ratings and reviews: Curious as to whether movie critics rated “Silent Hill: Revelation” highly or poorly, I asked both virtual assistants how good the movie was. Galaxy replied, “I’m sorry, I don’t have the answer. Would you like me to search the Web?” Siri, on the other hand, gave me the Rotten Tomatoes critics’ ratings. Winner: Siri.
App launching: I asked both Siri and Galaxy to open the CNN app for me. They both launched the app right away. Winner: Tie.4
Voice-to-text translation: I asked both virtual assistants to write a text message for me to see if one was less “smart” when it came to accurate translation. They both accurately translated what I wanted to say in a message that was ready to send via text. Winner: Tie.
Facebook posting: I asked both Siri and Galaxy to write a Facebook status for me. Siri immediately composed my status for me and asked if I was ready to post it. Galaxy required permissions from the S Voice app before it could post my status, which was a bit annoying. Winner: Siri.
Simple facts: I know that Siri pulls from Wolfram Alpha for facts, such as presidents and ages of celebrities, but I wasn’t sure how well Galaxy performed with this. So I asked both a random question (“Who was the 40th president?”) and they both answered promptly, pulling information from Wolfram Alpha.
Sports scores: Since sports scores is a new thing Siri can look up, I wondered if Galaxy was up to speed yet. Turns out “she” wasn’t and asked if I wanted “her” to perform a Web search. Siri, on the other hand, gave me the direct score of team I had asked about from the previous weekend’s game.
Weather forecast: When I asked Galaxy about the weather that day, “she” gave me the overall forecast for the day with the lows and highs, along with the current temperature. Siri not only gave me the current temperature, but also the hourly forecast. Siri also answered in a quirky way,” Don’t forget your rain coat.” Winner: Siri. Because who does not love being told by their phone to not forget their rain gear, with the added bonus of a close look at the next few hours.
Response time: When I was doing my tests, I noticed that Galaxy seemed slow on certain tasks. So, I asked both assistants to open an app for me at the same time. It only took Siri a few quick seconds, while there was a definite lag in response from Galaxy.
Overall winner: Siri. The Samsung Galaxy SIII may be the iPhone’s stiff competition, but its virtual assistant does not compare to Siri’s speed, abilities, and wit.