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Galaxy Note 4 vs. Galaxy S5: What Buyers Need to Know



With a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date getting closer, consumers are starting to weigh their current device and top devices against Samsung’s next flagship smartphone. In this Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S5 comparison, we take a look at the key differences buyers and upgraders should be aware of as we march deeper into the fall.

Last month, Samsung took to the stage in Berlin, Germany to announce several new products for the fall. First, we saw another intro for the Samsung Gear S, an Apple Watch competitor and a device that appears to be a solid alternative to current Android smartwatches. We also saw the Gear VR virtual reality headset make its first appearance.

The stars of the show though were arguably the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 successor, and the Galaxy Note Edge. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is an ambitious new smartphone and one that is set to do battle with the high-end smartphones later this year including Samsung’s current devices. The Galaxy Note 4 is a mainstream device that’s ready to hit the big time in just a few short weeks.

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Like the Galaxy Note Edge, the Galaxy Note 4 comes with an array of powerful hardware specs, software features, and a release that is scheduled to take place on a number of well known carriers in the United States and around the world. And with a release date on the horizon, buyers around the world are starting to weigh the Galaxy Note 4 against the competition which includes Samsung’s Galaxy S5.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is Samsung’s current Galaxy S flagship and a device that remains on shelves as a cheaper alternative to Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 4. It’s a device that packs a number of solid hardware features, runs Android 4.4 KitKat, and features a slick design. It’s a smartphone worthy of some attention.

This updated Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. Galaxy S5 comparison will address some of the key points that current owners and prospective Galaxy Note 4 buyers, and Galaxy S5 buyers, will want to keep in mind as we push toward the Galaxy Note 4 release date.

Display & Size

Both of these devices come with an array of powerful specifications, Solid processors, great cameras. However, there are some features that we think are the game changers, the ones that you absolutely need to look at, and know about, before buying.

The Galaxy S5 comes with a 5-inch Full HD display. The Galaxy Note 4 comes with a Quad HD display. There are two takeaways here that you’ll want to absorb ahead of the Galaxy Note Edge release.


The first is the quality of the display. Quad HD isn’t just some gimmick. The Galaxy Note 4’s display will offer better resolution and better looking on-screen content. DisplayMate, one of the leading voices in display technology, says that the Galaxy Note 4 display is one of the best on the market, better than the Galaxy S5’s.

While the Galaxy Note 4’s display might be better equipped, it’s going to be bigger than the Galaxy S5’s display. The Galaxy Note series is known for its size and the Galaxy Note 4 picks up where the Galaxy Note 3 left off. This large display means that the Galaxy Note 4 itself is larger than the Galaxy S5, something that consumers should take note of.

Galaxy S5 vs. Galaxy Note 4 display.

Galaxy S5 vs. Galaxy Note 4 display.

The difference is noticeable. The Galaxy Note 4 is going to be a little harder to use with one hand. The Galaxy S5 is going to be more pocketable. It’s a trade off and one that you need to figure out before plopping your hard earned cash down. Do you need the bigger display? Does Quad HD matter to you? Do you find yourself using your phone with one hand? Know the answer to these questions before buying because this is a huge difference between these two smartphones.

S Pen

The S Pen is the Galaxy Note series’ bread and butter and one of the features that helps to separate it from other big name smartphones including the Galaxy S. It’s a feature that many people love but it’s also a feature that some Galaxy Note users end up neglecting in the long run. Before coming to a decision on the Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S5, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to become an S Pen user or not.

Samsung’s made some significant improvements to this year’s S Pen including increased sensitivity to make the note taking experience on the Galaxy Note 4 feel more like writing on paper. More sensitivity also leads to better looking text from handwriting. Samsung’s also made some significant improvements to the S Pen’s applications including, Air Command, S Note and Voice Memo, and more.

The Galaxy S5 does not come with an S Pen nor is it compatible with the S Pen so you’re really going to need to buckle down and decide if the S Pen is going to be worth it. It’s one of the reasons why the Galaxy Note 4 is so expensive.

Galaxy Note 4 Release Date

While it might be tempting to pull the trigger on one of these smartphones from the comfort of your own home, we advise you to wait until you can go hands on with the Galaxy Note 4. And while you can’t go hands-on right now, that’s going to change in a few short weeks as Samsung pushes the Galaxy Note 4 to countries around the world.

The Galaxy Note 4 release date in the U.S. is confirmed for October 17th. At that time, stores should have both devices stocked with demo units available. If you’re able, go down to your local retailer and go hands on. This will allow you to test and compare the cameras, go hands on with the S Pen and its software features, absorb the difference in display quality, and decide which design feels more comfortable in one hand.


Feeling comfortable with you smartphone is absolutely critical and you won’t be able to make that decision from behind a computer screen. Skip the Galaxy Note 4 pre-orders and go hands on before buying. It’s going to ensure that you make the right decision with your next smartphone purchase.

Galaxy Note 4 Carriers

At this point, you should be researching data plans and network capabilities of your local Galaxy Note 4 carriers. In the United States, that means doing your research on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Yes, it’s important to know your carriers and it’s important to know that the Galaxy Note 4 should be limited to those four.

Most of you will buy your next device on a major carrier but those that aren’t planning to might need to go back to the drawing board because we’re fairly certain there won’t be any surprises.

The Galaxy S5 is a little more widespread in the United States. It’s available for a number of smaller regional and pre-paid carriers. This is important to note because it means that with the Galaxy S5, you’re going to have a whole lot more choice. Choice is extremely important when it comes to your next smartphone and you’ll want to choose wisely.

Galaxy Note 4 Price vs. Galaxy S5 Price

As we’ve noted many times, the Galaxy S5 is cheaper than ever. For $99 or so on-contract, you can pick up a Galaxy S5 on most carriers. Keep in mind, the Galaxy S5 hasn’t even been out for a year yet and it’s already down to this price. That’s pretty incredible and this is a deal that you’re absolutely going to want to keep in mind, especially if you’re on a budget.


Know that you’re going to need to shell out for the Galaxy Note 4. While we had to wait a few weeks, we now know that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 will come with a familiar price. AT&T and Verizon will charge $299.99 for the 32GB Galaxy Note 4. Sprint dropped will also offer it at $299 on-contract after dropping its price down from $350 pre-launch. T-Mobile charges $0 down for the time being while U.S. Cellular has yet to reveal its price. We expect its price to fall in line with the others though.

If you can wait a few weeks, you’ll probably run into a few Galaxy Note 4 deals though it won’t be as cheap as the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy Note 4 probably won’t drop to that level until next year.

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