Galaxy Note 4 vs. iPhone 5s: What Buyers Can Expect

Those looking to buy or upgrade to the iPhone 5s are likely taking a look at current and upcoming competitors. One device in particular is the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 4, a device that’s confirmed for September 3rd and will be released sometime in the next few weeks. Here, we take an updated look at the Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 5s to help better prepare those in the hunt for a new device.

Last September, Apple took the stage and announced two brand new iPhones. One of those iPhones was the iPhone 5s, a flagship that replaced the iPhone 5 and quickly took its place among the smartphone elite. For the past year, the iPhone 5s has reigned as the top iPhone and one of the top smartphones on the market. The device is in the hands of millions of consumers and there are likely thousands of others considering it as their next smartphone.

Many iPhone 5s users and prospective buyers are starting to weigh their options. Many people are taking a look at the iPhone 6, Apple’s rumored new iPhone release that’s expected to arrive in September. Others are, or are also, taking a look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, a device that’s confirmed for arrival in early September and a device that could potentially attract many consumers interested in the iPhone.

For months the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has sat in the rumor mill, waiting for its announcement date. And with that announcement date now right around the corner, we’re starting to see Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors including Galaxy Note 4 specs and Galaxy Note 4 release date details start to firm up ahead of the device’s launch date.

With that in mind, we want to explore the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors offer up some predictions in key areas. Here’s how we expect the Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 5s match up to play out next month.

Galaxy Note 4 Release Date + Huge Price Difference

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is expected to challenge both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 in September.

The Galaxy Note 4 launch date will come just days before the iPhone 6 launch.

The Galaxy Note 4 launch date will come just days before the iPhone 6 launch.

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Earlier this month, Samsung confirmed the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 launch date for September 3rd. The confirmation came in the form of an invite that beckons the media to upcoming Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 events in New York City, Beijing and Berlin. Samsung will live stream the event over YouTube giving millions of consumers around the world the chance to watch the events unfold live.

The Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 event, which teases a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release, will take place just six days before Apple is expected to launch its new iPhone 6. That’s a big reason why we are telling consumers to hold off on the iPhone 5s, at least for now.

It’s there that we expect to hear all about the Galaxy Note 4 release date. For now, Galaxy Note 4 release date rumors continue to point to a quick arrival in an effort to take on the iPhone 6.

Rumors have singled out the week of September 15th as a possible release window for the Galaxy Note 4 though that remains unconfirmed. We are fully expecting the Galaxy Note 4 to be released in September and would not be surprised if Samsung did in fact get the Galaxy Note 4 out early to challenge the iPhone 6.

So what does this mean for iPhone 5s buyers and upgraders?

iPhone as hotel keys

For one, it means that you only have a few weeks to wait before another top notch option arrives. That September 3rd launch date is concrete and we expect the Galaxy Note 4 release date to arrive in September. For those thinking about buying the iPhone 5s, it means that you’ll encounter a price drop sometime in September.

With a Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 on the way, the iPhone 5s will likely drop in price in order to compete. Walmart already dropped the iPhone 5s price to $99 on-contract and we should see more iPhone 5s deals emerge in the next 30 to 40 days. What this means is that we expect the iPhone 5s to be much cheaper than the iPhone 5s.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 pricing hasn’t emerged just yet but it’s hard to imagine a device of this caliber, with these high-end specs on board, dipping far below the Galaxy Note’s usual home at $299.99 on-c0ntract. With the iPhone 5s already at $99, it’s possible that the Galaxy Note 4 will be a full $200 more expensive than the current iPhone.

Design Differences & Similarities

The iPhone 5s is well known for its industrial design that’s comprised of both glass and aluminum. Apple’s design is also extremely thin, 7.6mm, which makes the device easy to hold with one hand. It’s punctuated by its Touch ID fingerprint sensor that’s housed inside the device’s iconic home button. The fingerprint sensor brings added security and convenience.

If you aren’t familiar with the iPhone 5s design after more than a year on shelves, take a look at the iPhone 5s video below. It will take you through the most important pieces of the iPhone 5s design and hardware.

Rumors out of Korea suggest that the Galaxy Note 4 could come with a metal frame. This is something that was recently backed up by an alleged Galaxy Note 4 photo-op that shows a device with a textured back with metal edges. While we were a tad skeptical, Samsung’s recent Galaxy Alpha launch shows that the company is indeed committed to using new materials.

This could be the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

This could be the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha features a combination of plastic and metal and it could certainly be a foreshadow of what’s to come. As we’ve pointed out, the change makes sense. For years, consumers have complained about Samsung’s boring plastic materials. Last year’s Galaxy Note 3, for instance, used a faux plastic leather back that wasn’t as nice as the iPhone 5s’ design.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 design rumors also suggest that we’ll see a fingerprint sensor, an IP67 certification (dust and water resistance) and the same four colors that debuted on the Galaxy S5 (blue, white, black and gold). These seem likely at this point given their presence on the Samsung Galaxy S5. Rumors also point to a microSD card slot for expanded storage and we’ve also heard that it will come in 32GB in the U.S.

To get a sense of what might be coming, have a look at the Galaxy Note 4 concept photos below. They’re based on the latest rumors and offer a clean look at the alleged Galaxy Note 4 design.

Big Time Display Differences

The iPhone 5s’ 4-inch Retina Display offers superb resolution but the screen size is much smaller than most flagship Android smartphones and much smaller than the Galaxy Note 3’s 5.7-inch display.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is rumored to be coming with a large 5.7-inch QHD (Quad HD) display. QHD resolution will offer higher resolution gaming, something that’s key on a device of this size, and it will also sharpen the look of movies, television shows and other content. Those unfamiliar with QHD resolution can take a look at our buyers guide between the LG G3 and the Galaxy Note 3 below.

At this point, there’s nothing else to expect. Galaxy Note 4 QHD rumors are rampant and we’ve recently saw Samsung deliver a new Galaxy S5 LTE-A, a device that comes equipped with a QHD display. It would be mighty strange to see the company slap a QHD display on a Galaxy S5 variant but not a late-2014 flagship like the Galaxy Note 4.

We also expect Samsung to keep the Galaxy Note screen in and around 5.7-inches. As we’ve noted, if Samsung goes any bigger it pushes the Note further into niche smartphone territory. If it goes any smaller, it gets too close to the 5.1-inch Galaxy S5. The 5.7-inch screen provides excellent gaming, multitasking, and more than enough real estate for the S Pen, the device’s stylus.

The Galaxy Note 4 is expected to have a 5.7-inch display.

The Galaxy Note 4 is expected to have a 5.7-inch display.

Of course, that means that we expect the Galaxy Note 4 to be much bigger than the iPhone 5s. One of the drawbacks of the Galaxy Note 3 is that it can be a little difficult to use one-handed. It’s not clear if Samsung has shrunk down the size of the Galaxy Note 4 to better accommodate those with smaller hands. The iPhone 5s and its 4-inch display have no such problems.

Galaxy Note 4 Specs

The iPhone 5s comes with some solid specifications including a 64-bit A7 processor, 8MP camera with an assortment of bells and whistles, fantastic battery life, and three storage options. It’s a powerful smartphone that delivers significant horsepower. We’re expecting the Galaxy Note 4 spec sheet to at least be comparable to the iPhone 5s’.

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Here’s a breakdown of the latest Galaxy Note 4 specs:

The Galaxy Note 4 will almost certainly come with an improved processor. The Snapdragon 805 appears to be the prime candidate for the United States while we could see a 64-bit processor emerge in other regions. Processing power is essential to the Galaxy Note series because of its focus on multitasking, gaming, and its S Pen stylus.

According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 805 comes with a number of added benefits including a brand new Graphics Processing Unit (GPU):

The new Adreno 420 GPU in the Snapdragon 805 processor is the first commercial mobile GPU to introduce hardware tessellation and geometry shaders, which provide greater detail for visually stunning, realistic scenes and objects in a manner that requires less memory bandwidth and lower power consumption.

Translation: Better looking gaming and perhaps, better battery life for a series that’s already known for excellent battery life and gaming. The processor should also help to deliver great looking photos, multitasking, and fast download speeds thanks to a new modem. This should help it keep pace with the Apple’s iPhone 5s.

We could see a 16MP camera on the Galaxy Note 4.

We could see a 16MP camera on the Galaxy Note 4.

We’re expecting a Galaxy Note 4 camera that’s at least on par with the iPhone 5s’ and we could see Samsung finally deliver image stabilization technology alongside its 16MP sensor. With the iPhone 6 breathing down its neck, we’re expecting Samsung to up the ante, at least a little bit, with its new Galaxy Note release.

We’re also now expecting a new UV sensor that could tie into the S Health application and provide readings on UV levels. As we’ve pointed out, it’s a feature that could save your life. It also could come with a heart rate sensor to track your pulse. Neither of these sensors are available on the iPhone 5s.

iOS 8 vs. Android 4.4 KitKat

Right now the iPhone 5s is running iOS 7.1.2. In September, it will be running Apple’s new iOS 8 update. To get a feel for the new iOS 8 update, we suggest taking a look at our iOS 8 vs iOS 7 walkthrough. It will bring you up to speed on the many changes Apple’s made to its operating system.

Check out our iOS 8 vs iOS 7 walkthrough to see the new iOS 8 features coming this fall.

Check out our iOS 8 vs iOS 7 walkthrough to see the new iOS 8 features coming this fall.

Samsung’s Note 4 won’t run iOS 8. In fact, it probably won’t run anything like we’ve ever seen. The Galaxy Note 4 comes bundled with an S Pen stylus that can be used to write and draw on the screen like a regular stylus. However, it can also take advantage of unique apps like S Note, a powerful note taking app that’s only found on Samsung’s Note line of products. Those unfamiliar will want to take a look at the video below.

We’re expecting the Galaxy Note 4 to come with souped up applications for the S Pen though we’re still not sure what those will be. Here are a few non-S Pen Galaxy Note 4 software features that have been rumored ahead of time:

  • Smart Fingerprint –  It wasn’t fully detailed but it’s assumed that it has something to do with being able to customize a fingerprint reader for certain actions.
  • Multi Network for Booster –  Could be similar to the Download Booster feature on the Galaxy S5 that combines Wi-Fi and cellular data for faster download speeds.
  • Swipe to Launch Motion Launcher –  Could be similar to Motion Launch on the HTC One M8.
  • Aqua Capture – Possibly similar to the Aqua Mode found on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. Aqua Mode allowed Galaxy S4 Active users to take photos underwater.

Expected Carriers

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is rumored for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Same as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. We don’t expect to see smaller carriers hop on board the Galaxy Note 4 bandwagon.

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Apple’s iPhone 5s is available on a number of carriers in the United States including the big five and an assortment of smaller pre-paid and regional carriers. We expect a huge difference here.

Comments

  1. Joey Smith says

    Forget about it. I don’t like Iphone, bu let’s leave Samsung, they don’t respect their customers. When it comes to updates, they’re really very slow. I’ve had the same experience that many others explain everywhere in other forums, my T Mobile S4 is a piece of crap after it was updated to kitkat 4.4.2 last february 14, 2014, I hate the phone and I’m willing to update it to 4.4.3 or 4.4.4 in order to see if it improves. I wish I could downgrade it to the oldest android version it had when I bought it. We have to move to Motorola, Nexus, HTC or whatever other phones, but Samsung SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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