iPhone 5s vs. Galaxy Note 4 Rumor Breakdown
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iPhone 5s vs. Galaxy Note 4 Rumor Breakdown



As we approach the fall, many of you are starting to weigh the iPhone 5s against Apple’s iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Here, in an attempt to get you as prepared as humanly possible, we take a look at how the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors are stacking up next to the current iPhone, Apple’s highly regarded iPhone 5s.

In just a few short weeks, current iPhone 5s users and those in the hunt for a brand new smartphone are going to be faced with two more top notch options in the forms of the rumored iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4. And while many of you are probably focused in on Apple’s new iPhone release, there’s good reason to start preparing for the arrival of Samsung’s new flagship as well. If rumors are accurate, the Galaxy Note 4 could be one of the biggest smartphone releases of the year.

For months, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors have been rampant and they’ve teased everything from its announcement date to its camera sensor to the display size all the way down to the software. Very few Galaxy Note 4 stones have been left unturned ahead of its upcoming launch date and that helps us to make an early comparison to top devices on the market including Apple’s iPhone 5s.

This comparison between the rumored Galaxy Note 4 and the iPhone 5s is aimed at two kinds of people in particular. Current iPhone 5s owners who are wavering and are thinking about snagging a brand new smartphone this fall to replace their current model and those trying to decide between the iPhone 5s and something else. In this case, that something else is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

While we can’t paint the entire picture for you, we can get started on the canvas. This guide will help prospective iPhone 5s buyers and upgraders prepare for the Galaxy Note 4’s arrival. Here now is a look at the iPhone 5s vs Galaxy Note 4.


The iPhone 5s design is still holding up well. The design, which mirrors the iPhone 5’s, is still among the thinnest and nicest designs on the market. Only a few other designs, the HTC One M8 design for example, can compete. For now, Samsung’s flagship designs have been outgunned though we could see the Galaxy Note 4 play catchup in just a few short weeks.


Unsurprisingly, Samsung has managed to keep its Galaxy Note 4 design shrouded in mystery. We’ve seen tidbits leak out in recent weeks but the device itself still hasn’t emerged which makes a full on comparison to the iPhone 5s impossible at this point. We have seen some rumors start to converge and here’s what we’ve heard so far.

Rumors out of Korea suggest that it could come with a metal frame though without evidence, those rumors are flimsy. We do know that Samsung is worried about the impact of the iPhone 6 and with its smartphone business in decline, the company could perhaps offer a premium build to appease those that want something more than plastic.

Galaxy Note 4 Features

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 Galaxy S5 though they all remain unconfirmed.

Here’s what to make of all of this:

  • The Galaxy Note 4 probably won’t have the same design as the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung always makes tweaks, but don’t count on metal just yet. Some of those tweaks, IP67 for example, could be enticing to iPhone 5s users and prospective iPhone 5s buyers
  • Samsung is clearly looking to match the iPhone 5s with a fingerprint sensor.
  • Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 could feature a removable back and microSD card slot, hallmarks of Samsung’s devices and two features that aren’t found on the iPhone 5s.
  • We may not see the full blown Galaxy Note 4 design leak until September.


The iPhone 5s features one of the best smartphone displays in the business. Its high-resolution Retina Display offers 16:9 aspect ratio and 4-inches of real estate for gaming, watching content, and doing work. It’s not the best smartphone display on the market, that distinction goes to the Galaxy S5 and the LG G3, but it’s still a solid display nonetheless.

Sources say Apple is planning two iPhone 6 models with larger screens to better compete with the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4.

Sources say Apple is planning two iPhone 6 models with larger screens to better compete with the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 display is expected to be much larger than the iPhone 5s’ display and perhaps, more powerful.

The Galaxy Note series is known for its massive display. The Galaxy Note 3, for instance, features a massive 5.7-inch 1080p display that’s perfect for gaming, watching shows and getting stuff done on the fly with the device’s S Pen stylus. Galaxy Note 4 rumors peg its display size at 5.7-inches, same as the Galaxy Note 3.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is also rumored to be coming with a large QHD (Quad HD) display. As we’ve pointed out, 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. As we noted in our review of the LG G3.

The 5.7-inch display is still a great size for the Galaxy Note 4.

The 5.7-inch display is still a great size for the Galaxy Note 4.

Here’s what iPhone 5s upgraders need to know:

  • Given the mountain of evidence, it’s pretty clear that the Galaxy Note 4 will have a better screen resolution than the iPhone 5s. This will help it keep pace not just with the iPhone 5s but with the iPhone 6 and top of the line Android smartphones.
  • It’s hard to see a shift in screen size at this point. Everything we’ve seen points to 5.7-inches. Expect this to be one of the big differences between the two devices.
  • Yes, the Galaxy Note 4 will be a large phone, larger than the iPhone 5s. As we’ve pointed out numerous times, this is both a gift and a curse. Gift because it’s great for movies, games and the S Pen, curse because the phone will likely be very large.


While the display and design will likely be in focus on the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung’s new Galaxy Note release will come equipped with a number of other specifications to help bolster its spec sheet. Here, we put the latest rumors together. Keep in mind, this is a partial spec sheet but it should give you an idea about what to expect from the device when it arrives.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

iPhone 5s

  • Apple A7 64-bit processor
  • iOS 8
  • 4-inch Sapphire display
  • 16GB / 32GB/ 64GB storage options
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • 8MP rear-facing camera
  • 1,570 mAh battery
  • 802.11 a,b,g,n,n WiFi
  • Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor

Key things to take away from this:

  • It’s clear, from where we’re standing, that the Galaxy Note 4 is going to come with the usual spec upgrades fitting of a device from 2014. Rumors have continually pointed to new processors and it looks like Samsung could split into Snapdragon and Exynos chips once again. Look for the Galaxy Note 4 to at least match the A7 64-bit processor inside the iPhone 5s. Benchmarks remain out of reach at this point.
  • Camera rumors continue to hint at the inclusion of OIS, Optical Image Stabilization, so it’s possible that this will be a key feature on the Galaxy Note 4. The iPhone 5s camera is still one of the best on the market but we could see Samsung top it with the Galaxy Note 4.
The Galaxy Note 4 S Health app will measure UV radiation and offer education according to rumors.

The Galaxy Note 4 S Health app will measure UV radiation and offer education according to rumors.

  • The Galaxy Note typically has a larger battery than the iPhone. The Galaxy Note 3 has some of the best battery life in the business. Given the likelihood of the QHD display, we’re expecting a massive battery for the Galaxy Note 4. We would not be surprised if this was a focal point.
  • The UV sensor on the Galaxy Note 4 could be a nice addition. The iPhone 5s does not have one.


The iPhone 5s currently runs iOS 7.1.2, Apple’s latest update. This fall, the iPhone 5s will be getting iOS 8, the software that debuted at WWDC 2014 and the software that will almost certainly make its debut on board the iPhone 6 later this year.

iOS 8, currently available to developers in beta form, doesn’t look a whole lot different than iOS 7 but it will come with a number of notable changes including improved Notifications and improvements to photos. There are literally over 100 improvements inside iOS 8. We outline one of iOS 8’s key features in the video below.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s software is going to look and work differently than the software on the iPhone 5s. Samsung always outfits its new devices with new TouchWiz software features and in the case of the Galaxy Note 4, we could also see it make some additions for its S Pen stylus.

Here are a few of the rumored changes though these are old. We haven’t seen any recent Galaxy Note 4 software leaks though we imagine a few will leak out as we get closer to its launch event.

  • 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.

To get a sense of the Galaxy Note’s software, take a peek at it in action next to the Galaxy S5 in the video below.


Apple’s iPhone 5s is found on a number of different carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon and a number of small pre-paid and regional carriers in the United States.

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. The Galaxy Note series is typically more limited than Samsung’s Galaxy S and the iPhone so those thinking about upgrading to the Galaxy Note 4 are likely going to have to switch to a major carrier.

Release Date

Over the last few weeks it has become clear that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will launch in September. Every single Galaxy Note 4 launch rumor puts the announcement inside of September and more specifically, near IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany. September 3rd is thought to be the Galaxy Note 4’s launch date and Samsung is expected to confirm that date soon.

Galaxy Note 4 Speakers

As for the Galaxy Note 4 release date, it could come in just a few short weeks as Samsung works to defeat the iPhone 6. A recent report suggests that we could see a quick turnaround from announcement date to release date. Production will reportedly start soon and the device is thought to be coming out much sooner than the Galaxy Note 3 did last year.

With the Galaxy Note 4 all but confirmed for September, it should pop out right around the same time as the iPhone 6. It’s not clear how the iPhone 6 release date will affect the availability of the iPhone 5s, Apple typically kills off devices when it announces new ones, but we should see it remain on shelves at third-party retailers.

Quick Advice

At this point, iPhone 5s users and those thinking about buying the iPhone 5s should sit back and wait for both the Galaxy Note 4 and the iPhone 6 to arrive this fall.

Best of all, the iPhone 5s price should drop when the iPhone 6 arrives making it more appealing than it is right now. Waiting presents a win-win situation to consumers and our advice is to wait it out, even if you’re not sold on the Galaxy Note 4.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. trob6969

    08/04/2014 at 6:37 am

    Why even bother to put ‘design’ in the comparison catagory when its totally subjective?

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