8 Ways the iPhone 5 Beats the Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Apple just released the new iPhone 5 and already, the company has sold millions of devices around the world. However, it will face some stiff competition from Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

While the Galaxy Note 2 brings some exciting features to the smartphone table, the improvements that Apple made to the iPhone 5 makes it a better device than Samsung’s phablet in a number of different ways.

Read: 8 Ways the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Beats the iPhone 5.

By no means is the iPhone 5 a perfect device, but there there are areas where Apple’s smartphone is going to beat the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phablet. Those who are interested in picking up one of either device would be smart to take note of these differences before deciding which to buy.

Here are eight ways the iPhone 5 beats the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.


Build Quality

While the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is built using a whole lot of plastic, just like its Galaxy brethren. The build quality of the Galaxy Note 2 isn’t terrible, but plastic just can’t compete with the gorgeous industrial design of the iPhone 5.


The Galaxy Note is still plastic.

With the iPhone 5, Apple ditched the glass back for a beautiful anodized aluminum back that is punctuated by two glass inlays at the top and the bottom of the device. Around the sides of the iPhone 5 is a metal band that holds it all together.

iphone-5-review- 2

The iPhone 5 is comprised of aluminum, metal and glass.

All in all, the amazing build quality of the iPhone 5 is one of its core strengths and an area where it shines over the Galaxy Note 2.


The Galaxy Note 2 has a massive display which requires an absolutely massive footprint. In fact, the Galaxy Note 2’s display is 5.5-inches, up from the 5.3-inch display of the Galaxy Note. And while it’s thinner than its predecessor, it’s also a little bit heavier. The Galaxy Note 2 weighs about 180 grams which is fairly heavy for a smartphone.

And while the iPhone 5 received a bump in screen size to 4-inches, it didn’t get any wider, it only got taller. In addition, it also weighs a mere 112 grams. That being said, we feel like the the iPhone 5 is much more pocketable than the Galaxy Note 2, something that many people look for in a smartphone.


Easier to Hold

Again, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a monster. Below, you can see an image that depicts just how much larger the Galaxy Note 2 is than the iPhone 5.


The Galaxy Note 2 is a large device compared to the iPhone 5. Very large.

Besides being less pockatable, the shear size of the Galaxy Note 2 makes it difficult to hold. That was something that gave us pause with the original Galaxy Note as well as the LG Intuition because holding the devices with one hand was difficult.

Personally, I have huge hands and it’s still hard to feel comfortable clasping onto phablet devices like the Galaxy Note 2. Those with little hands will have a much easier time grasping the iPhone 5 with one hand to make a phone call or shoot a friend a text.



The Samsung Galaxy Note camera was good, but not the best, and unfortunately, Samsung decided not to upgrade the camera with the Galaxy Note 2. It will employ a similar camera as the original phablet which means it will shoot good but not amazing photos.

The iPhone consistently has the best camera in the game and thus far, it’s looking like the improved iPhone 5 camera (despite claims of a purple haze) is still the camera to beat.


A photo taken with the iPhone 5.

In its side-by-side comparison, PhoneArena points out that while the Galaxy Note 2’s camera is good, it can’t match the iPhone 5 when photos are taken in the sunlight. The Galaxy Note 2’s photos are a bit more washed out. There is also more contrast found in the shots taken with the iPhone 5’s camera.

The same goes for video.


A Galaxy Note 2 sample image.

iOS 6 also brings the iPhone 5’s software up to speed with Android with Panorama mode and we also still have HDR lighting available, something that I use extensively to take fantastic photos.

In addition, pulling up the iPhone 5’s camera is still faster than trying to pull it up on an Android device, even one running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This ensures that you won’t miss important shots.


Those looking to avoid breaking the bank with a new smartphone purchase are likely going to want to look more closely at the iPhone 5. That’s because the starting price of the Galaxy Note 2 is likely going to be $299.99 on-contract. That’s what Sprint will be selling it for and that’s what U.S. Cellular will be selling it for.

That price, at least at U.S. Cellular, is for the 16GB model which means that the Galaxy Note 2 with more storage will cost more, presumably $399.99 for a 32GB model and $499.99 for a 64GB model.

For many people, that’s an extremely expensive premium for a smartphone.

As for the iPhone 5, it starts at 16GB for $199.99 on-contract and moves up to $399.99 for a 64GB model, much cheaper than the Galaxy Note 2.


While the Google Play Store has closed the gap in terms of the number of applications it offers, developers still are opting to release their software first on Apple’s App Store and next on Google’s Google Play Store. For example, SEGA just released the popular game Crazy Taxi for the iPhone 5 and it’s no where to be found for Android. In fact, there isn’t even a release date.

This is not just limited to Crazy Taxi either, this is a more than regular occurrence. Compounding the problem is that when apps are finally released for Android, there is often a lack of compatibility.

While we expect the Galaxy Note 2 to support most apps at launch there is no telling which apps will and will not support it down the line, something that potential buyers should be weary of.

Software Updates

Speaking of software, another key area where Apple’s iPhone 5 will beat the Galaxy Note 2 is update speed. With Apple, you get a few iOS updates a year culminating with one big release that is often available for aging devices. For instance, iOS 6 is available for the iPhone 3GS even though its over three years old.

With the Galaxy Note 2, there is no telling how long it will take for its first bug update, its first major Android update, or how many major Android updates it will get after its launch.

The AT&T Galaxy Note took quite a long time to receive Ice Cream Sandwich and it’s still waiting on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a piece of software that was released in July. In fact, it may not get that update until next year. And then, once it does, there is no telling if it will get any further updates.

This is an area where the iPhone 5 soundly beats the Galaxy Note 2.

Accessory Ecosystem

Apple dominates the accessory ecosystem. From cases, to docks, the iPhone 5 will never be in short supply of quality accessories.


The iPhone dominates the accessories landscape.

And while the Galaxy Note 2 will likely have its fair share because of its popularity, there won’t be as much of a variety which means choices will be limited for those looking to purchase add-ons for their smartphone.

Stay tuned to see areas where the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 beats the iPhone 5.