In just a few short weeks, Apple’s new iPhone 5S will be met head on with a new Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy Note 3. Both devices will be powerful and will have their advantages but there are some key areas where the iPhone 5S could beat the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Last year, we saw Apple and Samsung go head-to-head with the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S3. This year, more of the same as Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2 have been battling for supremacy in the U.S. market for most of the year. And in just a few short weeks, we will see the companies collide once again as Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 3 is likely going to challenge the iPhone 5S alongside the Samsung Galaxy S4.
In Berlin, Germany last week, Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a replacement for the Galaxy Note 2 that on paper, appears to improve on it in just about every single way. The device is coming with a massive 1080p display, powerful stylus-enhanced software, upgraded multitasking, a faster processor, more RAM, a better camera, and a new design that is both slimmer and lighter than the previous model.
Furthermore, the Galaxy Note 3 has a firm release date in the U.S. as it will be heading to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon in October. Even Verizon has announced a specific Galaxy Note 3 release date.
This imminent release date means that it will likely be extremely close to another big time release in the U.S., the iPhone 5S release date, which is expected to be delivered on or around September 20th.
Last year’s Galaxy Note 2 didn’t hit the U.S. until late October and November, more than a month after the iPhone 5 arrived. This means that the sparks will be flying even higher this year as consumers try and decide between the iPhone 5S, Galaxy Note 3 and a host of other devices on shelves.
There will be many that will be looking to pick up either the iPhone 5S and the Galaxy Note 3. Each will have its strengths and here, just a day ahead of the iPhone 5S launch event, we take a look at ways the iPhone 5S could beat the Galaxy Note 3.
All signs point to the iPhone 5S retaining the same design as the iPhone 5 which means that the iPhone 5S design should come with a few big advantages over the Galaxy Note 3’s design.
While Samsung has slimmed down the Galaxy Note 3 and made it more lightweight, it’s 168 grams and 8.3mm thin as opposed to the 180 gram and 9.3mm Galaxy Note 2, the Galaxy Note 3 is still going to be a massive device, much larger and much heavier than the iPhone 5S. The Galaxy Note 3’s new faux leather design also looks nice, but it’s still made out of plastic.
Apple’s iPhone 5 design is a marvel as it not only comes with a premium design made out of aluminum, it also comes with a design that weighs only 112 grams and checks in at 7.1mm thin. That makes it a much easier device to carry around, particularly in ones pocket. The Galaxy Note 3 isn’t exactly a tablet but it’s getting there.
What’s more is that the massive 5.7-inch display makes the Galaxy Note 3 footprint much larger than the 4-inch iPhone 5, and likely, the iPhone 5S. This means that the iPhone 5 is much easier to hold in one hand.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be coming to AT&T, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile and Verizon though it looks like it may not come to any smaller carriers in the U.S., something that happened with the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Note.
On the other hand, the iPhone 5S will likely be coming to all five of those carriers, plus a host of regional and pre-paid carriers like C Spire and Cricket Wireless, something that will offer consumers even greater choice when it comes to picking up a new smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3, as expected, has landed with a premium price tag thanks to its massive display and its bundled S Pen stylus which is a key component to the Galaxy Note 3 experience.
Carriers not called T-Mobile will be offering it up for $299.99 on-contract, far more expensive than the iPhone 5. With the iPhone 5S expected to retain a starting price tag of $199.99, the iPhone 5S will likely be cheaper making it more attractive to those that are searching for a smartphone while on a budget.
There will be Galaxy Note 3 price drops but we won’t see $100 slashed off the price right off the bat which should make the iPhone 5S the cheaper option, at least at the beginning.
One of the perks of buying an iPhone is the software support that the device gets over time. Apple typically keeps its iPhones update for three years before discontinuing software support. What this means is that the iPhone 5S, which is coming with iOS 7, should see support through iOS 10, should Apple release it.
The Galaxy Note 3 software situation is far more unclear. In the past, we’ve seen Samsung struggle to keep its Galaxy Note models updated, likely due to the large display and the complicated software that is on board. In fact, the Galaxy Note 2 hasn’t seen a single major software update since its arrival last year. It remains on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The original Galaxy Note has also been stagnant and has only received one major update since it hit the U.S. back in 2011. It’s unclear if it will be going any further but if it does, its next update will likely be its last.
The uncertainty and Samsung’s failings in this department could make the iPhone 5S the safer choice for those that want a device that is continually updated with major updates and bug fixes.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was rumored to have a fingerprint reader on board but that ultimately did not pan out. The iPhone 5S is heavily rumored to have a fingerprint reader on board, something that could prove to be a huge benefit to the device’s security.
Samsung made it a point to drive home the fact that the Galaxy Note 3 has Samsung’s Knox on board but the software is aimed mainly at enterprise. A fingerprint reader on board the iPhone 5S, particularly one found embedded in the home button, could help to protect iPhone 5S users of all shapes and sizes in a convenient and effective manner.
Apple typically doesn’t bring gimmicks to its hardware and software so if there is a fingerprint reader on board, it’s likely going to be powerful and useful for most iPhone users.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 will more than likely come with one storage option and one storage option only, a 32GB model that will allow users to expand with a 64GB microSD card. That means users will be able to get 96GB of total storage. There are, however, limitations to the microSD card that severely limit what users can store on there.
For example, we just moved a 60MB game to the microSD card, but when we moved a Twitter app that had accumulated 300MB in data, it just moved a 4MB app, not the data. This is something that is implemented by Google, not Samsung.
The iPhone 5S will more than likely come in at least three storage variants, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Files of all shapes and sizes can be stored on there meaning the 64GB option is going to be fantastic for those that download apps, movies and more.
There is also talk of a 128GB iPhone 5S, something that could best the Galaxy Note 3’s storage as well.
Samsung has done a valiant job of getting a wide range of accessories out to its new devices, the Galaxy Note 3 included, but we expect the Apple accessory machine to put the Galaxy Note 3 options to shame.
What we mean is that we should see some quality accessories for the Galaxy Note 3, but where the Galaxy Note will have one or two options, the iPhone 5S should have four, five or six.
Overall, the Apple accessory ecosystem is much stronger than the one found on Android, and we could see iPhone 5S accessories beat the Galaxy Note 3’s in terms of quality and quantity as accessory makers look to capitalize on Apple’s biggest ever iPhone launch.