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6 Ways the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Beats the Nexus 4



In just a few short weeks, both the Nexus 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will complete their launches in the United States. And come November, both devices will be pitted against each other in a battle for consumers this holiday season.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2, a 5.5-inch phablet that marries features of a tablet with the features of a smartphone. The Nexus 4, Google’s latest Nexus smartphone made, for the first time, by LG. Both, extremely attractive devices in their own right.

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


The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 bests the Nexus 4 in many ways.

Each possesses some features that are different from the other and because of that, each beats the other some areas. Starting with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, it is not a perfect device, but there are certainly several areas where the Galaxy Note 2 phablet beats Google’s new Nexus 4. And those thinking about picking either one up should definitely think about the advantages the Galaxy Note 2 offers over the Nexus 4.

Read: iPhone 5 vs. Nexus 4.

That being said, here are six different ways that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 beats the Nexus 4 from LG.


First, and maybe foremost, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is outfitted with a 4G LTE radio which allows it to work in conjunction with the 4G LTE networks of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon. T-Mobile’s Galaxy Note 2 doesn’t yet have 4G LTE capabilities but it will once T-Mobile decides to activate its dormant 4G LTE capabilities in 2013, probably with a software update.

What this all means is that the Galaxy Note 2 can get data speeds that can reach up to 10 times faster than 3G. The best way to describe it is like having Wi-Fi on the go. So that means streaming video, surfing the web and doing any kind of activity that requires data is as seamless as it would be on a home Wi-Fi network.

The Nexus 4 does not have 4G LTE capabilities. Instead, LG and Google shunned it in favor of HSPA+, which, while fast, is not as fast as 4G LTE.

In the video above, we can see AT&T’s 4G LTE network besting T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42 network, the same network that the Nexus 4 will call home. The unlocked version of the Nexus 4 will also work on AT&T’s HSPA+ 4G network but again, it’s not as fast as 4G LTE.

Bigger Screen = Better for Video

Yes, the Nexus 4 display is 4.7-inches. That’s pretty big for a smartphone. However, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 takes it a notch up and offers a massive 5.5-inch HD display that offers widescreen support which makes it amazing for watching video on-the-go. Watching content like movies or television shows on-the-go is absolutely amazing on a device with this size display.

With widescreen support and the size, it also makes it a perfect device for sharing video. Two people can easily watch a movie on the Galaxy Note 2 while riding in the car or on an airplane.

The size of the display also means that it will be able to, unsurprisingly, display more content. That means more to consume with less time spent scrolling to find the content that users enjoy.

Amazing Multitasking

The Nexus 4, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, will feature a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. But, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, there aren’t any unique on-board features that take advantage of the display size and that kind of powerful hardware.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 offers powerful multitasking including a feature called called split screen multitasking which allows users to run multiple apps at the same time, a feature that takes full advantage of not only the Galaxy Note 2′s 5.5-inch HD display but also the processing power of the device.

Galaxy Note 2 owners will be able to split the screen in half and on one side, have Facebook open, while on the other, be browsing the web. And thanks to the hardware, all of that is done flawlessly, without any lag.

In addition, the Galaxy Note 2 will be outfitted with a feature called Popup Video, a feature directly from Samsung, that allows users to open a video and move it around the screen, set it somewhere, and perform other tasks while it’s still playing.

These multitasking features won’t be found natively on the Nexus 4.


One of the unique features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is the device’s S-Pen, a stylus that benefits from some unique software that Samsung has included on the Galaxy Note 2.

Those familiar with the previous Galaxy Note will find that the Galaxy Note 2’s S-Pen is much improved over the last version, featuring an ergonomic design which comfortably allows users to write and draw directly on the screen.

Beyond that though, there are some unique applications that are native to the Galaxy Note 2 and won’t arrive for the Nexus 4 or any other Android device.


The Galaxy Note 2’s S-Pen is one powerful stylus.

The Galaxy Note 2 features an S-Pen holder, so that users can easily store their S-Pen. Better yet, when a user takes the S-Pen out of the holder, the device will automatically open an S Pen menu where users will find a number of S-Pen specific apps.

Some of those applications include Air View which allows users to hover over things like e-mail, calendar or an image to get a preview of the content before actually having to open it, a feature called Easy Clip which lets users crop content on screen including images to save for later use, and finally, the ability to use the S-Pen to draw out Quick Commands for tasks like email.

These are powerful applications that won’t become available on the Nexus 4.

Removable Battery

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 sports a massive 3100 mAh battery, that rather conveniently, can be removed should the user choose to remove it. So, if at any point, the battery needs to be replaced or a user just decides to use a different battery, swapping the stock battery out for another one will be an extremely easy process.


The Galaxy Note 2 features a useful removable battery.

The Nexus 4 does not possess this kind of luxury. The back of the Nexus 4 does not have a removable back which means that users are going to be stuck with the Nexus 4’s 2100 mAh battery. So the Nexus 4 won’t support any kind of upgrade and it will be difficult to replace should the battery go bad.

microSD Support

In addition to the battery limitations, the Nexus 4 doesn’t feature a microSD card slot which means users are stuck with the on board storage. That means either 8GB or 16GB of space which, with increasing app sizes, can be difficult to manage.


The Galaxy Note 2 features only 16GB of storage space in the U.S., at least for now, but it also features a microSD card slot. That means that users can buy up to a 32GB microSD card which will make the Galaxy Note 2 into a 48GB beast.

That means more space for apps, more room for games and movies and less reliance on the cloud.



  1. Brandon

    10/30/2012 at 5:37 pm

    You missed a big deciding factor – Price. GN2 Unlocked $673 (amazon) vs. Nexus 4 $349 16 GB Unlocked.

    • papasito

      10/30/2012 at 9:08 pm

      Its only 299 from wirefly dude

      • MarkCameron

        10/31/2012 at 7:17 am

        Love my job, since I’ve been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I’m making it online(Click on menu Home)

      • TheTruthSquad

        11/07/2012 at 12:03 pm

        $299 at Wirefly is with a two year contract.. $673 is unlocked.

    • Sarah

      11/15/2012 at 10:00 am

      I doubt he missed it. So what? Read the title of the article… it’s “6 Ways the Samsung Galaxy Note Beats the Nexus 4”. It’s not an in-depth side-by-side comparison of the two.

  2. Justin

    10/30/2012 at 7:50 pm

    Well Brandon, the reason being the Note 2 is obviously packing a lot more features compared to the Nexus 4. In the end the consumer will need to make the decision themselves as to which device will allow them to be the most satisfied with. For me, Note 2 all the way.

  3. Gokhan

    10/30/2012 at 7:51 pm

    Galaxy Note 2 is too big for most. To make the matters worse, while the display is bigger on Galaxy Note 2, it’s not true HD, since it doesn’t have RGB colors but supports the obsolete pentile technology with only two colors per pixel. (Human eye has three-color vision.) The result is inability to reproduce actual colors and lack of image clarity. You are much better off watching a video on Nexus 4, which has a top-notch true HD display.

    Nexus 4 also sports the latest version of Android, Galaxy Note 2 doesn’t. Most people will be far better of with Nexus 4 and will save a lot of money, as you can get an unlocked, contract-free one for only $299 and without the usual carrier upgrade fee.

    • Justin

      10/30/2012 at 7:55 pm

      LOL @ Gokhan, you must not be looking at the same screen I am because my Note 2 looks absolutely amazing. @[email protected]

      • rbreban

        11/02/2012 at 1:12 pm

        extra bright super saturated colors is not amazing, its for the average user who dos not know crap about tech

        • lens

          11/12/2012 at 10:54 pm

          I don’t need super accurate colors on my phone display. If the pentile screen is more readable in bright light and other non-ideal viewing conditions, then it would be my choice in spite of color errors. I don’t know if that is the case, but I’m saying that there are other more important issues for me than color accuracy.

    • not for small pocktets or small hands

      10/30/2012 at 8:00 pm

      for the “too big for most”…there are other options to. One thing to realize THIS PHONE IS NOT FOR THOSE WHO WANT A SUB 4” OR SMALLER FORM FACTOR! For those who dont mind the size, THERE IS NO OTHER PHONE THAT CAN COMPARE WITH THIS PHONE…. at the moment.

    • Raul

      10/30/2012 at 8:06 pm

      Galaxy Note 2 is not pentile. It’s a custom RGB panel.

    • Eccoo Damo

      10/30/2012 at 8:50 pm

      Seriously Gokhan, you might want to learn a few things about the device before making comments that would make you look stupid. Galaxy Note 2 is not pentile technology and I just got it and the display is amazing.

    • Eccoo Damo

      10/30/2012 at 8:52 pm

      One other thing, Note 2 comes with the latest version of Jelly Bean, your comments are just BS might want to retire from ever posting on the internet.

      • T'Challa

        11/28/2012 at 3:33 pm

        It does NOT come with the latest version of Jellybean. It comes with 4.1.2 while the Nexus 4 is running 4.2.1. It might not seem like a big difference, but there are some added features that make it an upgrade.

      • Guy who laughs at Eccoo Damo

        12/01/2012 at 4:31 pm

        “might want to retire from ever posting”

        how rude, stupid, and embarrassed are you? Note 2 does NOT come with 4.2.1..

    • Thericker

      10/30/2012 at 9:17 pm

      The GN2 does not use pentile display. It is true Full RGB. The Note 1 was Pentile.

    • Wombraid3r

      11/02/2012 at 1:03 pm

      The GNote II display uses a Non-Pentile RGB matrix.

    • zaeentech

      11/03/2012 at 4:50 am

      GN2 does not have any Pentile technology screen. Please enlight yourself by checking out this link at GSM Arena “Plenty of people were keen for Samsung to put a non-PenTile screen on the Galaxy Note II and the Koreans delivered.”

    • FreddieBoy

      11/03/2012 at 7:47 pm

      Note 2 DOES NOT have pentile screen. It actually has ALL three RBG colors n EACH
      Pixel, unlike other RGB screens that take 1.5
      pixels to include ALL three colors. WRONG AGAIN ! !

    • Jeff

      11/05/2012 at 8:00 pm

      One, the note 2 does NOT use a pentile display. Two, I have the Note 2 and I cannot see the pixels and watching movies on this thing is AMAZING! Actually I wrote this with the s Pen handwriting to text. Pretty Awesome :)

    • T'Challa

      11/09/2012 at 6:46 am

      Actually the Note II is the first AMOLED device to not be pentile. That being said, I’m still getting the Nexus 4. I’d rather have stock android than “split screen multitasking.”

    • distortedloop

      11/12/2012 at 4:26 pm

    • Eddie

      11/13/2012 at 2:52 pm

      to correct.. the Note 2 does come with the latest version of Android. You should check your facts before blabbing on things that aren’t true.. just saying

    • John Campbell

      11/15/2012 at 7:12 pm

      Too bad it isn’t pentile and while it may not be up to your expectations it is vastly better than the first note. It is truly 720p something not so good on a big screen tv but good enough for a 5.5 inch screen. See the difference here: the whites and blacks are much better as are all the other colors.

    • AJ75

      11/17/2012 at 7:37 am

      Not pentile. Next.

    • User-10292

      02/15/2013 at 7:53 pm

      The Note 2 is not Pen Tile, It is perhaps RGB, but the pixels are organized in a unique way.

  4. Jill Banks

    10/30/2012 at 8:04 pm

    Nexus 4 for me. A contract is for suckers. The Note 3 will be the one worth spending $700 for.. Its going to have the 1080p screen and Exynos 5 A15 processor.

    • Linda Greenwood

      10/30/2012 at 8:25 pm

      Well than let me get the Note 2 now and Note 3 when that comes out :)

  5. team nexus

    10/30/2012 at 8:22 pm

    You forgot number 7 reason! Galaxy note 2 will probably get one minor update lol…if that.

    • ducter

      10/30/2012 at 9:24 pm

      Absolutely untrue. Samsung has been one if the only manufacturers that actually do update devices. They have also already open sourced the kernel.

      For me, personally the lack of SD card plays a major role in passing on the nexus.

  6. wayne g

    10/30/2012 at 9:12 pm

    @adam Mills, you said the Gnote 2 micro sd card will support up to 32gb, its actually up to 64gb.

    • Thericker

      10/30/2012 at 9:32 pm

      Yes! Correct! I have it installed. It’s the extreme microXDSC card. Up to 94MB read/write speed!

      • Thericker

        10/30/2012 at 9:33 pm


  7. Best iphone5 Case

    10/30/2012 at 9:22 pm

    The best part is Amazing multitasking capability

  8. Sean

    10/30/2012 at 9:34 pm

    6 reasons the Nexus 4 is better then the Note 2.

    1. Price. $700 vs. 350. Buff said.
    2.ppi much higher on the Nexus
    3. Comes with the latest Android update 4.2.
    4.Will get all future updates.
    5.LTE isn’t wasting the battery.
    6. It fits in my pocket.

    I do in fact love the note 2. I was one day from buying it. Couldn’t turn down the android updates, with the 350 price.

    • eccoo damo

      10/31/2012 at 1:14 am

      Most of your 6 reason are bogus.

      1) Doh, the Galaxy Note is a much better phone with many more features thus the price but it doesn’t matter to me cause I got mine for $275
      2) Doesn’t matter about the ppi, since you can’t even tell the difference. The screen is crystal clear.
      3) So does the Note 2.
      4) So will the Note 2
      5) Trying to waste the battery on this is like trying to suck dry the ocean.
      6) So does the Note 2.

      Just admit it, you couldn’t afford the Note 2 so you had to make up most these.

      • T'Challa

        11/28/2012 at 3:57 pm

        1) The Nexus 4 is faster and more responsive. (snapdragon s4 pro > exynos 4)
        2) stock android > touchwiz
        3) The note II only comes with android 4.1 not 4.2
        4) Samsung waits about a month or two before pushing out updates. The two year old Nexus S got Jellybean before the Galaxy SIII
        5)The Nexus 4 also has LTE on Band 4. Plus 42 megabyte hspa+
        6) The Note II looks downright silly when you hold it up to your face.

        I love both phones, but the Note II can’t really be compared to any phone. It separates itself automatically. It’s half an inch away from even the second biggest phones outside of the Note name. The multitasking features on the Note, while no doubt cool, would be more useful on a full fledged tablet like the note 10.1. The Nexus 4 is more comparable to the international galaxy s III. They are about the same size and they were made for the same markets.

  9. Aunt P

    10/30/2012 at 9:47 pm

    Gokhan if you watch the video you will see it is not a pentile display. Also, it does come with the most current Android version – Jelly Bean.

  10. HelloNexus

    10/30/2012 at 10:28 pm

    Definitely plan on buying Nexus 4 on launch day the note 2 but the performance combined with cost can not be beaten i’m

  11. Tarryn Holden

    10/31/2012 at 3:51 am

    Love my job, since I’ve been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I’m making it online… Be84.comCHECK IT OUT

  12. nely

    10/31/2012 at 8:15 am

  13. Carlos

    10/31/2012 at 4:30 pm

    I will without a doubt be buying the Nexus 4 over the GN2. Not because of the insanely lower price (my contract is out next week for att, I could spend $300 for the Note 2 with a contract or $300 for the N4 without one, It’ll be the same out of my pocket either way) but because of the quality, power, and supported pure Google experience.
    I’m not going to say the Note 2 or GS3 have necessarily horrible build quality, but it’s nothing excellent. I find the hard plastic pretty ugly honestly…I’ve always hated how great Android phones suffered from their build quality. Also the center button they have at the bottom has always been unappealing to me, it would be better if they went with the neat and clean on screen buttons. The N4 is actually made with great quality materials. It has gorilla glass on the back like the front which makes it look amazing, and a center frame that protects that glass from laying on a table or from a fall on a flat surface. I like the shiny metal rim it has too…overall it’s amazing in appearance and has excellent build quality, a whole lot better the the previous nexus and far better than any Samsung phones.
    You can’t deny the power either. It’s seriously incredible how powerful this phone is…it beats the Cortex-A9 clocked at a 1.7ghz by a huge amount with the Snapdragon S4 pro clocked only at 1.5ghz, and you bet xda devs will make some crazy stunning over the top kernel for it too which is always really fun.
    The last thing is the pure Google Jellybean experience. I don’t care what anybody says, Google knows exactly what they’re doing when making their software, and the way it comes out from them should be left that way. Phone companies want to modify the already perfect UI to be unique, but for me it really just ruins the clean look and feel, this is especially the case with TouchWiz. Sure the Note 2 might get updates for a while, but of course the N4 will get updated even longer, that’s the awesome thing about a Nexus device!
    You guys can complain about it not having LTE all you want…its an opinion whether its worth the battery life or not. I for one, would way rather have my perfectly around-10mbps dl speed I get here and keep more of the battery life. Theres a good chance that even if it had LTE I would have it off most of the time to save my battery anyways. And then theres the whole entire external storage thing… to be completely honest I actually agree with that one. I really, really wish they had the option for an SD card, even though we all knew they wouldn’t have it (even since the Nexus S). We also know about Google’s whole Google Drive thing…what a coincidence, right? It is kind of shameful really on Google’s behalf. But I will never use up all of the 16gb anyways…and the memory connected directly to the board is probably super fast flash memory and more efficient. Still I would have really loved SD card support.
    Also, I know some of you guys like/don’t mind/are not bothered any by the size of the Note 2… it doesn’t bother me that much either but I would still rather have a more reasonable form factor with the N4.
    So I hate to inform you guys, the N4 does have small and big disadvantages, but its far better hardware wise, in my opinion also better software wise being a Nexus device with a fresh and clean and overall amazing UI that I’ve always loved, and the processor just completely kills all other SoCs. It’ll be really fun overclocking it like I said. Annnyyyways, the Nexus 4 is just a whole lot better of a buy then the Note 2, even if the prices were the same! And I don’t think the Note 2 sucks, its just not as good as the N4…to me not even close to as good.

    Hope you guys are happy with your decision either way :)

    • Joe

      11/05/2012 at 8:29 am

      “bet xda devs will make some crazy stunning over the top kernel for it too which is always really fun.” No, we won’t be supporting this device. No removable battery makes it hard to develop for, because we ALWAYS have to pull the battery after our mods. So, you will enjoy Google updates, but you will not have any developer support. Blame google/LG for that. As for “performance” killing other SoCs – not true again. It’s marginally faster as we all expected, but in a world of fast, who cares? Fast is fast. I hope the N4 works out for ya though!

      • Justin

        11/08/2012 at 7:14 pm

        The Nexus line is FOR developers. You obviously haven’t checked out the dev section of the Galaxy Nexus. Also, you’ll be stuck with touchwiz as a base for development (if you want full featured) with samsung phones as they won’t open source their exynos platform completely, making it more difficult to develop for.

        All development stuff aside if you don’t care about that, updates will not come as timely as you’d like.. once google releases a new version it needs to go through Samsung and then through carrier modifications before they push it out.. this is a timely process as we’ve come to know. By the time it’s pushed out there will most likely be a new version from google almost or already out. So you will probably be one iteration behind if you go non vanilla. I’m definately going to get the phone that’s the most future proof if I’m going to have it for 2 years or more, and that is the Nexus since google develops specifically for the nexus line and I know I’ll always have the latest and greatest that google has to offer.

        The Note is a great device, but it certaintly isn’t the definitive winner vs the nexus.

  14. infinite galaxy

    11/01/2012 at 1:02 pm

    N4 is pure google and thats it. Gn2 is amazing. I have totally defected from Apple to this big screen yet easy to use device. The multi screen feature is amazing. One handed operations mean I can type with one hand including texting and dialing numbers. In fact I have written this comment using one handed swipe on my note 2. Best phone ever.

  15. Angelo

    11/01/2012 at 8:48 pm

    Im def going with N4. Good bang for the buck and pure Android experience. I dont put music and videos on my phone so 8GB would just be for apps and pics. GNote 2 though is a beast!! But way too big for me, if they made the S4 with an S-Pen and same size as S3 that would be a winner.

  16. rbreban

    11/02/2012 at 1:17 pm

    Love my job. Getting paid $7.25\hr while typing stupid comments on the internet.Click on the menu home.

  17. yegura

    11/05/2012 at 9:10 am

    I’d go for the Note 2, but the price difference for the unlocked device makes the Nexus 4 very attractive. Also i prefer stock Android over the TouchWiz. I’ll wait another week, until Nov 13 to make up my mind…

  18. Rein

    11/13/2012 at 6:53 am

    Galaxy note 2 is amazing..expensive but amazing, screen is is really fast and the battery life extreme!

  19. Joshua

    11/13/2012 at 2:26 pm

    What do you mean you would rather have stock android that split screen multitasking. Sorry I’m just not sure what you mean.

  20. Rika

    11/16/2012 at 3:38 am

    samsung galaxy note 2 is really great im loving each moment of it… the video n the aplication is so good. Its way better then my iphone5 n also i dont thing this phone is big lol its a decent size n eventually get hang of it.

  21. Kyle Richardson

    11/16/2012 at 10:26 am

    At this time, it does not appear that U.S. versions of Galaxy Note 2 support multi-tasking. No word if there will be any updates to fix this. Anyone else have any info. about multi-tasking?

    • Mary

      11/28/2012 at 2:58 pm

      I know it does for verizon…

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