The Galaxy Note 2 and the iPhone 5 are two of the hottest smartphones on, or entering the market.
While these two devices offer vastly different screen sizes, the success of the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy S III like design of the Galaxy Note 2 is drawing the attention of smartphone shoppers.
The iPhone 5 is already in the hands of 5 million users, but as contracts expire and users go looking for a new smartphone, the Galaxy Note 2 and the iPhone 5 are sure to be at the top of many lists.
This iPhone 5 vs. Galaxy Note 2 comparison will help users figure out which device is the best fit for their needs, and hopefully help users deal with waiting for the Galaxy Note 2 release.
Galaxy Note 2 vs. iPhone 5
Galaxy Note 2 vs. iPhone 5 Display
The iPhone 5 gains a larger 4-inch display with this release, but it’s nowhere near the size of the Galaxy Note 2’s 5.55-inch display.
The larger 5.55-inch HD display of the Galaxy Note 2 bumps the size of the device to 21mm wider than the iPhone 5, pushing the Note 2 into two-hand territory for many users. The Galaxy Note 2 boasts a HD Super AMOLED display with a 1280 x 720 resolution.
On the iPhone 5, the larger screen is widescreen for the first time, offering a better movie watching experience than earlier iPhones. The iPhone 5 uses a Retina Display with a 1136 x 640 resolution. This is not a full HD resolution.
The Galaxy Note 2 display offers a 265 PPI pixel density, which is lower than the iPhone 5’s 326 PPI. A higher pixel density delivers clearer text because users cannot see individual pixels while reading or using the phone. Early reviews say the Galaxy Note 2 display is impressive, and PhoneArena provides a closer look at the Note 2 display.
Ultimately this comes down to the size of the display and size of the device. Both phones use a 16:9 aspect ration, which means no black bars while watching movies. On the iPhone 5 this means a 4-inch diagonal screen, compared to a 5.55-inch diagonal screen on the Galaxy Note 2.
Users who plan to watch lots of TV, movies and HD content may appreciate the added 1.55-inch screen size. The Galaxy Note 2 also boasts a split screen multitasking feature that allows users to use two applications side by side as seen in the video above. This feature is missing on some of the first units to arrive in the UK, but we’re hopeful it will arrive in the U.S.
The difference in screen size translates into a vastly different size for the phones, as shown in the sizeeasy comparison below.
I find larger phones, like the LG Intuition, which measures 139.6mm wide difficult to use with one hand, so it’s something users should keep in mind. When paired with a good Bluetooth headset, the size of the phone becomes less of an issue in my experience.
Galaxy Note 2 vs. iPhone 5 Carriers
The iPhone 5 is available on three major U.S. carriers and several smaller carriers. This includes AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, as well as pre-paid from Cricket Wireless.
The Galaxy Note 2 will arrive on five U.S. carriers including Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, U.S. Cellular and T-Mobile.
We expect that Samsung will release the Galaxy Note 2 on all U.S. carriers around the same date, so users won’t need to jump ship to AT&T like they did with the original Galaxy Note.
The iPhone 5 and the Galaxy Note 2 both feature 4G LTE connectivity, though T-Mobile is not ready for 4G LTE yet. This means unlike last year, there is no speed sacrifice to get the iPhone, and there is no need to sacrifice 4G LTE coverage if the Verizon Galaxy Note 2 arrives on time.
This comparison of the major carriers provides a good look at the network strengths and weaknesses of AT&T v.s Verizon vs. Sprint. While it is iPhone 5 specific, the coverage and speeds are applicable to both phones.
There is hope that the Galaxy Note 2 will support simultaneous voice and data on Verizon and Sprint, but it is not confirmed. The iPhone 5 cannot make calls while using 4G LTE, but the Galaxy S III can do this on both networks.
AT&T and Verizon are the biggest players in 4G LTE, though Sprint is trying to catch up. The video below compares AT&T vs Verizon 4G LTE speeds.
Galaxy Note 2 vs. iPhone 5 Camera
Both the iPhone 5 and Galaxy Note 2 feature 8MP cameras capable of recording in 1080P HD. Below are several samples from each device.
The iPhone 5 delivers a fast shutter just as many users enjoyed on the iPhone 4S, but Samsung is no slouch with early reviews reporting fast shutter speeds for the Note 2.
The iPhone 5 brings a panorama mode to the table for the first time, but Samsung’s camera app delivers many more features such as Best Shot, Best Face, Smile Detection and Burst Mode.
Sample iPhone 5 photo from Apple.
View more iPhone 5 Sample photos from Apple.
Sample Galaxy Note 2 photo from Android Central
Check out more Galaxy Note 2 sample photos in a variety of settings.
Galaxy Note 2 Sample HD Video
iPhone 5 Sample HD Video
iOS 6 vs. Jelly Bean
The iPhone 5 arrives with IOS 6, the latest version of iPhone software from Apple with new maps, Facebook integration and other features. Samsung puts Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the Galaxy Note 2, Google’s latest version of Android. So, both of these phones feature the latest software features and enhancements.
The videos below highlight some of the best iOS 6 and Jelly Bean features. Samsung includes TouchWiz and S-Voice on the Note 2, offering some extra features and user interface changes.
iOS 6 Features for the iPhone 5
Jelly Bean Features
In addition to the new features the Android and Apple app stores are much closer than in the past. The iPhone still gains a small nod thanks to faster app availability, both in terms of new apps released and all apps working on the iPhone 5 at release, but developers are faster about bringing app compatibility and new apps to Android so this is not as big of an issue as in the past.
One are that is a clear edge for the iPhone is the number of accessories. This is not just in terms of iPhone 5 cases, but actual iPhone 5 accessories that require apps to work, but are not available on Android. One example is the Nike Fuelband.
Samsung users can enjoy features not found on the iPhone thanks to S Beam Share Shot and AllShare. With these features, Galaxy Note 2 owners can share playlists and other items by touching two phones together and can share photos to several Samsung smartphones at once, as shown in the Samsung Galaxy S III promo below.
Galaxy Note 2 vs. iPhone 5 Features
The iPhone 5 and the Galaxy Note 2 both offer 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models, but only the Galaxy Note 2 includes a MicroSD card slot to add up to 64GB of extra storage.
The back of the Galaxy Note 2 removes, offering access to the Micro SD card slot and providing the opportunity to remove the battery, something users cannot do with the iPhone 5.
The Galaxy Note 2 also packs the S Pen, a stylus that offers control of many functions and ties int special S Note apps. The S Pen can be used for handwriting as well as selecting information on the screen.
Read: New S Pen Features
- One of the new features is Air Note, a way to see extra information while hovering the pen over the screen.
- Popup Note, a notepad that shows on screen if the pen is pulled out while on a call.
- Quick Command, the ability to send a email, start a call or send a text with a shorthand note.
The video below highlights many of these features and other Note 2 features such as the pop up Web Everywhere and pop up video player..
Galaxy Note 2 vs. iPhone 5 Specs
Based on our time with both phones, we expect snappy response on both the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy Note 2, but users interested in specs can find them here.
iPhone 5 Specs
- Apple A6 Dual Core Processor
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB/32GB /64GB models
- 4-inch Retina Display 1136 x 640
- Rear – 8-megapixel iSight camera
- Front – FaceTime HD camera with 1.2MP photos and HD video (720p)
- Bluetooth v 4.0
- USB Host unofficially supported
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi – 802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Galaxy Note 2 Specs
- 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB/32GB /64GB models
- microSD slot – up to 64GB
- 5.55-inch HD Super AMOLED 1280 x 720
- Rear – 8 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash
- Front – 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera
- 80.5 x 151.1 x 9.4 mm, 182.5g
- 3,100mAh Battery
- S Pen
- Bluetooth v 4.0
- USB 2.0 Host
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi HT40
- Wi-Fi Direct
Galaxy Note 2 vs. iPhone 5 Price
The iPhone 5 starts at $199 on a two-year contract and goes up to $399 for the 64GB model. The off contract pricing is $649, $749 and $849.
U.S. Cellular is the only carrier to announce U.S. Galaxy Note 2 pricing, at $299 on contract for the 16GB model. The other carriers will likely follow this price. If the higher capacity Note 2 models arrive at all carriers we expect pricing of $100 per size jump.