Apple contender: iPhone 5 ($199)
Alternative: Samsung Galaxy S III 4G ($199)
How seriously are Samsung's Galaxy products threatening Apple's dominance? So seriously that Apple and Samsung remain embroiled in litigation over whether Samsung infringed on Apple iPhone and iPad patents to make its Galaxy smartphones and Nexus tablets.
Sales of both Samsung products were banned in the U.S. for a bit, but now the Galaxy S III is available to AT&T (T), Sprint (S), Verizon (VZ) and even iPhone-deprived T-Mobile customers. It's also going for as much as $150 less than the iPhone, with Sprint offering it for $49 on Black Friday. The phone's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4G LTE capability and quick dual-core processor are lovely, but the Galaxy SI's strong 8-megapixel camera and S Beam technology (which allows users to move photos, videos, documents and other files between phones by tapping their backs together) are its biggest advantages. Those earned it the same 94 out of 100 that Decide.com gave the iPhone 5.
While its S Voice is a pale replica of the iPhone's Siri and drains an already weak battery, the Galaxy S III is already beating the iPhone in an area where Apple was once thought invincible: apps. Say what you will about Google Play's selection compared with the App Store, but Google execs never had to offer an embarrassed apology for the quality of Google Maps.