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6 Ways the Nexus 4 Beats the Samsung Galaxy Note 2



Google’s October 29th Android event was washed out by Hurricane Sandy, but the company still decided to press on anyway, unleashing a flurry of Nexus announcements earlier this week which included the launch of the heavily rumored Nexus 4. Unlike last year’s Nexus which hit the U.S. in December, the Nexus 4 will be coming stateside next month and it will be doing battle with several heavyweight devices including the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is Samsung’s latest phablet and one of the most anticipated devices of the year. And while it boasts some advantages over the Nexus 4, which we detailed in our 6 Ways the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Beats the Nexus 4, the Nexus 4 returns the favor in several areas.

Read: 6 Ways the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Beats the Nexus 4.

Like the Galaxy Note 2, the Nexus 4 isn’t a perfect device. However, there are definitely some ways that it trumps the Galaxy Note 2, one of its top contenders. And just about all of them come outside of the scope of hardware.

The Nexus 4 and Galaxy Note 2 are both hardware beasts. Both feature exquisite HD displays, quad-core processors, and decent enough cameras. But where the Nexus 4 shines is where the Nexus devices have always shined, its software.

Let’s take a look at six ways the Nexus 4 beats the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.


One of the first things you’ll notice about the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is its steep price tag, $299.99 on every carrier but T-Mobile which charges $370 on-contract for the device. And one of the first things you’ll notice about the Nexus 4 is its extremely cheap price tag, especially for the unlocked models.

T-Mobile will be offering up the Nexus 4 on its HSPA+ 42 network in November for $199.99 on-contract. That’s much cheaper than the Galaxy Note 2 on T-Mobile and much cheaper than the Galaxy Note 2 in general.

But where the Nexus 4 really shines is its off-contract pricing. Google has dipped extremely low this time around and for $299, customers can snag a 8GB Nexus 4 and for just $50 more, an unlocked 16GB Nexus 4.

That’s a bargain for those that don’t want to deal with contracts, don’t want to spend a lot of money, don’t care about 4G LTE, and are content using the HSPA+ networks of either T-Mobile of AT&T.

Vanilla Android

Price isn’t the only place that the Nexus 4 shines either. The Nexus 4 will, unlike most other smartphones including the Galaxy Note 2, will be coming with a pure vanilla version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. That means it will offer a pure Google experience, something that won’t be found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which has Samsung’s TouchWiz fingerprints all over it.

If you want Android in its purest form, without any crapware from carriers, the Nexus is the only way to go for that. And as someone who owns a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, it would be hard to ever convince me to get a non-Vanilla Android smartphone again.

Quicker Updates

As it’s a Nexus device, the Nexus 4 will be getting quicker than normal updates courtesy of Google. The unlocked versions of the Nexus 4 will likely be among the first to receive major Android updates and will also be treated to quick bug fixes for any issues that may arise. It’s unclear how T-Mobile’s version will operate but we assume that it won’t pose the same kind of interference that Verizon did with the Galaxy Nexus.

Either way, the Nexus 4 for T-Mobile will also get its updates long before the Galaxy Note 2 gets its upgrade.

Speaking of the Galaxy Note 2, it, like many other Android phones in the U.S., will unfortunately be at the mercy of American carriers when it comes to upgrades. U.S. carriers are notoriously slow to get their phones updated with bug fix updates and major Android upgrades.

The Galaxy Note 2 also has the pleasure of being a unique device in that it features different software and a larger display than other devices. This means that its updates could take even longer to roll out. Just look at the original Samsung Galaxy Note which took forever to get Android 4.0 and is still without Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Those that want quick updates and lots of bug fixing will want to look at the Nexus 4.

Android 4.2 Out of Box

With the launch of the Nexus 4 came the anticipated announcement of Android 4.2, the latest version of Jelly Bean which looks to improve upon Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the operating system that will be on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

The Nexus 4 will have Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and all of its features, which can be seen in the video below, when it arrives in November. That means users will have access to the new Photo Sphere, gesture enhanced keyboard, new Quick Settings, Daydream and a whole lot more.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 owners, on the other hand, will likely be waiting well into 2013 before the software upgrade arrives. Samsung has not even said when Android 4.2 will hit any of its devices so its safe to assume that there will be a lengthy wait.


While the Samsung Galaxy Note 2’s display is great for watching content, it means that the device itself is absolutely enormous. Specifically, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4mm thin with a weight of 6.35 oz which is equal to 180 grams.

While fairly thin, that’s extremely large and heavy for a smartphone. Those that had issues gripping the original Galaxy Note with one hand will likely run into the same problem here with the Galaxy Note 2.

The Nexus 4 is smaller, thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Note 2 which means that it will be easier to hold and much easier to put into one’s pocket. The Nexus 4 is 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1 mm thin and weighs just 139 grams.

Built-In Wireless Charging

Lastly, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the Nexus 4 will come with built-in wireless charging, of the Qi standard. Google, at some point, will be releasing a Wireless Charging Orb companion for the Nexus 4 which will allow the Nexus 4 to wirelessly charge while it sits in Daydream mode and shows off photos from one’s Gallery or news from Google Currents.


The Nexus 4 will feature wireless charging.

And it will so without the use of any sort of cords, or third-party attachments.

Users should also be able to purchase a wireless charger like the Energizer Wireless charger to use with the Nexus 4.



  1. Ashwin Chandrasekaran

    11/02/2012 at 8:48 am

    Sorry to disagree with you, but except for the Price and Wireless charging – all the rest are something specific to each phones. One doesn’t fare well than the other because of those points, in my opinion.

    • Daenon Janis

      12/13/2012 at 3:53 pm

      Are you blunt? Note 2 in 5 years will be running android 4.3 MAYBE 4.4 where as with the Nexus 4 it will keep getting updates until the hardware is obsolete. Which wont be any time soon because we can hardly utilize the hardware we have right now to their full potential.

  2. Joe

    11/05/2012 at 8:13 am

    The GN2 also has wireless charging capability. Guess you should rename this article to 5 ways.

  3. Sam

    11/05/2012 at 12:29 pm

    To me the Vanilla Android and Android 4.2 are basically the same thing. Also a lot of the ways it beats the GN2 are opinionated things while the GN2 clearly beats it in the ways from the other article. Either way both phones will be amazing.

  4. E Evans Mathis

    11/10/2012 at 5:24 am

    Sounds to that Google Pure is just a fascist market ploy against markets that a droid community will dismantle.

    GN2 all the way.

  5. E Evans Mathis

    11/10/2012 at 5:26 am

    But good review. And I do like GOOGLE just not all the time.

  6. JonyCruz

    11/13/2012 at 5:59 am

    im sorry, but these “ways” i feel are more convenience than making the device more superior than the note II. So its cheaper, smaller, and may get updates first. But the note II was still get the updates, has a bigger display screen, a longer battery life, a 1.6 Ghz processor (as opposed to 1.5), automatically comes with 16GB of internal storage and can be expanded with a 64GB micro SD card which can’t be done on the Nexus 4.

    so, i don’t mind paying $100 for a BETTER device.

  7. markw

    11/14/2012 at 10:41 am

    Already got the gn2. I love the size of it, part of the reason i got it. It will get 4.2 so no big deal, i travel about quite a bit so im not bothered with wireless charging, its used as a tablet, phone, sat nav and is great for working with documents on the go. Plus at £69 on an unlimited data plan in U.K its cheap enough. It’ll keep me going until the note 3 hits. I dont see the nexus 4 having any advantages

  8. davedutah

    11/16/2012 at 5:42 pm

    Sorry, but I’ve had the GN1 and now have the GN2. Both are very pocketable. That’s how I always carry them. In fact, I feel like I’m wasting pocket space, carrying a smaller phone. Why not have the biggest screen you can fit in your pocket? I’ve always “typed” on phones with two hands. But I often find myself using my Note (1 & 2) with one hand, and it is very usable that way for lots of things. People make up expected problems with the GNote. But the size is definitely a plus–not a minus. The screen and the battery benefit from the size.

  9. davedutah

    11/16/2012 at 5:45 pm

    Oh, and Samsung has gotten the picture with TouchWiz. It is a very thin layer, that adds to, instead of detracts from Android. For example, having two apps on the screen at the same time is VERY useful at times, and something you just can’t do with vanilla. And Samsung’s camera is much better than the vanilla Nexus camera.

  10. Mike Mack

    11/17/2012 at 4:29 pm

    I have the Note 2
    but if anything were to happen to it & I was low on $$ then I would get this phone
    it’s the best phone if you’re on a budget
    but if money isn’t an issue then the Note 2 is the phone to get


      11/20/2012 at 6:14 pm

      completely agree, I’ve had many phones and even the original Galaxy Note and nothing compares to how incredible the Galaxy Note 2 is I’m absolutely loving it. The original was uncomfortable to hold in one hand but could be done, but the Galaxy Note 2 is the perfect size and unless you have tiny girly hands its extremely comfortable. The Nexus 4 is a great phone for the price but it in no way other than quicker updates beats the Galaxy Note 2 even in benchmarks which in quadrant with a fully loaded up months worth of crap on it I’m getting over 1000 more points then the Nexus 4. Also battery life blows the Nexus 4 away as I’m getting 10-11hrs of continuous non stop use with the screen brightness Set at 3 / 4 power which is incredible especially for such a large display. It can get 2 days with moderate use and the Nexus 4 can barely last a day. Nothing compares to the Galaxy Note 2 its the best all around device ever. – KID ANDROID. ( Team.Android.Canada).

  11. tierecke

    11/20/2012 at 9:57 pm

    sorry but I also disagree. nexus has no replaceable battery and no expandable memory. podcasts, app caches etc full 16gb easily on my galaxy note before I even use a card. these two huge disadvantages are no go for me.

    I love the size of gn1. I’d love to buy a vanilla android device, but it has to have a replaceable battery, expandable battery, great screen and great camera.

  12. kiem

    12/06/2012 at 12:47 pm

    Yea… Technically and factually flawed, and highly opinionated. Price is true. but as with virtually all android devices, you can get a pure vanilla ROM for your phone, although many would find it limiting. Quicker updates is true but not necessarily that much quicker, as Devs typically add all the updates in teh first few days of a release for some phones, and sometimes before a google phone gets the update. Android 4.2 out the box is true but an OTA should be arriving soon and if you can’t wait just go look at what the devs put together again. and the GN2 provides wireless charging on most variants.

  13. ken

    01/17/2013 at 10:19 am

    What a joke, enough said

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