In just a few weeks, Samsung will likely be taking the wrappings off of its latest and greatest smartphone and the successor to the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Samsung Galaxy S4. And while the device will have to compete with the likes of Apple’s iPhone 5 and the new HTC One, it will also be facing some in-house competition, not only from the cheap Galaxy S3 but also from the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
In August of last year, Samsung, rather predictably, announced a brand new phablet, a term given to a device that boasts the capabilities of both a tablet and smartphone, in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The previous model, the Samsung Galaxy Note, was a surprise success, at least to those outside of Samsung, as went on to sell millions of units across the globe.
Samsung has not broken stride with the Galaxy Note 2. In fact, sales of Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 2 are stronger than the original, likely helped by the fact that it launched on all five U.S. carriers this time around and the fact that Samsung has positioned itself as the number one Android vendor in the world.
It also helps that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a sound device, boasting specifications that are not only unique but also current-gen. The Galaxy Note 2 possesses a large 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 720p resolution, it utilizes a quad-core Exynos processor, 4G LTE data speeds, solid cameras, a slim design, and it also has an S-Pen stylus, something that is unique to the Galaxy Note series.
These features make it an incredibly tempting smartphone for those in the market and one that will very likely be popular up until Samsung announces a new version. Before that version arrives though, the Galaxy Note 2 will have to contend with another big name Samsung Galaxy device, the Samsung Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy S4 is maybe the biggest smartphone name of 2013 as it has been rumored on almost a daily basis since it initially leaked back in 2012. The anticipation has also increased due to the popularity of the Galaxy S3, meaning many eyes are on Samsung’s upcoming addition to the Galaxy series.
But how will it fair next to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, a device that, while from 2012, is still relatively new? Here, we take a look at eight ways that we think the Samsung Galaxy S4 could indeed beat the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 when it arrives.
8 Ways the Samsung Galaxy S4 Could Beat the Galaxy Note 2
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has one of the more unique displays in the smartphone world. It boasts a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD display with 720p resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio. It also sports a 267 pixel-per-inch count. The screen is fantastic, offering crisp video, web content and games, and due to its size, it can easily be shared between two people.
That said, the Galaxy S4 display will likely blow it out of the water.
Rumors suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be coming with a 4.99-inch or 5-inch FHD display. That means that it will likely have full HD 1080p resolution. And given that its rival, the HTC One, has a 468 PPI count, we imagine that Samsung will keep pace. What this means is that content will almost assuredly look better on the Galaxy S4’s display.
For those that haven’t see a 1080 display up close, see the video of the HTC One’s 1080p display below.
Of course, that’s not all that is rumored to be on board the Galaxy S4’s display. In addition, rumors suggest that Samsung may be looking to offer technology that allows users to make screen gestures without actually having to touch the display.
This type of technology has been out on devices with lesser names, the Pantech Vega 4G LTE and the Xperia Sola, but it has never been available on a big name Galaxy smartphone like the Galaxy S4.
At the very least, expect a 1080p display that is one of, if not the best of the year.
Faster to Android 4.2
Thus far, all of the rumors surrounding the Galaxy S4 state that the device will have Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on board. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is the latest version of Android from Google and thus far, it has only been limited to a few devices, namely, Google’s Nexus phones and tablets.
That could change with the arrival of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 which has been seen in benchmarks with the software on board. Android 4.2 and its features can be seen in the video below.
On the other hand, Galaxy Note 2 owners are likely going to have to wait for Android 4.2 to arrive as it currently has Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on board, an older version of the software.
Those that have been itching for the new features of Android 4.2 will likely get them on the Galaxy S4. Oh, and even if it doesn’t arrive out of the box, we expect the Galaxy S4 to get the update before the Galaxy Note 2 does.
That is because the Samsung Galaxy S4 will more than likely be receiving faster updates from Samsung due to its stature and due to it not having the complicated software that the Galaxy Note 2 has on board.
As we’ve seen with the previous Galaxy Note model, Samsung has had a tough time getting major Android updates out in a timely manner. The Samsung Galaxy S2, a device from 2011, even beat the original Galaxy Note to Android 4.1, as did the Galaxy S3.
This is likely due to two reasons. One, the Galaxy Note possesses unique software for the S-Pen stylus, which may require further testing with major Android updates. And two, the Galaxy S smartphones are far more popular which gives Samsung more reason to pump out updates faster.
The beneficiary of those details will be the Galaxy S4 which should get much faster Android updates than the Galaxy Note 2.
More Compact Design
Due to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2’s massive display, the device also sports a gigantic footprint in terms of its design. As we’ve told you, the Galaxy Note 2 measures in at 151 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm and weighs a whopping 180 grams. That is thicker than many high-end smartphones and quite a bit heavier.
It also means that those with smaller hands will have a bit of trouble using the Galaxy Note 2 with one hand. Yes, the Galaxy Note 2 can be used with one hand, but it’s often extremely awkward to do so. In order to use it properly with one hand, many users are going to have to cradle it rather than hold it which can be a nuisance.
Those looking for a smaller, and potentially more lightweight design, are likely going to want to wait for the Galaxy S4 as it will more than likely be smaller than the Galaxy Note 2.
Specific dimensions are not yet known but we don’t expect it to be any worse than the Galaxy S3’s 8.6mm design and 133 gram weight.
One of the least impressive features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is its camera. Not because it’s bad, but because Samsung didn’t really do much to improve it from the original Galaxy Note’s camera.
The Galaxy Note 2 camera is good for those that don’t care to have a top of the line rear camera, but for those that want a little extra firepower with their photos and videos, the Galaxy S4 is probably going to be a phone worth waiting for.
So far, rumors suggest a 13MP camera in the rear of the Galaxy S4, an improvement from the 8MP shooter found on the back of the Galaxy S3. No other details have leaked out but we imagine that it will likely be the best Galaxy S camera yet.
Whether Samsung accomplishes that with its new sensor, some new software, or both, remains to be seen, but count on the Galaxy S4 camera besting the Galaxy Note 2’s.
Official Wireless Charging
Samsung failed to include wireless charging with the Galaxy S3 and it failed to do with the Galaxy Note 2. Those who wish to wirelessly charge their Galaxy Note 2 must complete a modification to do so, something that could potentially go very wrong.
Those who are content with charging their phone using a cable will be perfectly fine with the Galaxy Note 2, but those looking for less clutter and something way more intriguing will likely get what they want with the Galaxy S4.
Rumors suggest that Samsung will be introducing an official wireless charging kit with their Galaxy S4. The device has already seemingly been spotted at the FCC and we’ve heard rumors that it will be one of eight official accessories for the Galaxy S4.
What this means is that the Galaxy S4 will be able to charge wirelessly simply by using the kit, something that hasn’t been afforded to previous owners of Galaxy devices.
First to New TouchWiz Software
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 takes advantage of some seriously powerful features, not just from Android, but from Samsung itself. The Galaxy Note 2 offers Samsung’s TouchWiz Nature UX, a piece of software that arrived with the Galaxy S3, on top of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Nature UX offers several powerful functions including Pop-Up Video which allows users to move video clips about the screen and S-Voice which is the software’s version of Siri.
With the Galaxy S4, we are expecting some new software from Samsung’s end. Whether that’s some new unique feature added to the current software or a brand new Nature UX 2.0, we aren’t sure.
However, software has played a big part in Samsung’s rise to the top of the Android field and we have no doubt that the Galaxy S4 will be equipped with some new software. The Galaxy Note 2 may get pieces of it down the road, but the Galaxy S4 will likely be first.
Cheaper Price Tag
While the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 price may be dropping at retailers like Amazon, it hasn’t dropped through carriers, and likely won’t until we get closer to the arrival of the Galaxy Note 2.
That means that those who can’t or don’t want to go through a third=party vendor will be stuck with a $299.99 on-contract price for a 16GB model. Those on T-Mobile will be starring down a $370 on-contract price.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 will more than likely arrive with at least one model priced at $199.99 on-contract to keep pace with the likes of the iPhone 5 and the HTC One.
Whether that is a 16GB model or 32GB remains to be seen but consumers should expect to pay less, through carriers, for the Galaxy S4.