This is the kind of question we CNET editors are asked all the time, and with good reason. Given the breakneck pace of the smartphone world, there's always something good now, but something better around the corner -- and you want your investment to last.
In some ways, the answers are obvious if you prefer one OS over another, have a Mac at home, or need a phone right now. However, if not, there's a lot to like about each platform's superphone (we surmise; one of them hasn't even been announced yet), and we can't make your decision for you. So here's what we'll do. We're going to break it down by some of the phone features that we think could sway your decision.
When it comes to first-class materials, Apple has Samsung beat. That is, if you like glass on both sides of your handset, and an industrial look and feel. With the Galaxy S3, Samsung unabashedly sticks to its plastic preference, but has managed to make it look and feel sleeker and more desirable than on past Galaxy S devices. The GS3 also features a Gorilla Glass 2 cover, which we expect Apple to announce as well on its mystery iPhone.