Two of the biggest names in Android, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, are soon going to be going head to head in the United States, leaving many customers on the fence about which phone might be right for them. Here, we take a look at how the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note 2 match up against each other from an assortment of angles.
The Samsung Galaxy S III, which replaced the wildly popular Galaxy S II earlier this year, has been one of the major Android successes over the last few months as it has lured in many smartphone customers with its large screen, sleek design, and 4G LTE capabilities. And while it has certainly been one of the go-to Android phones, consumers are now going to have another in-house Samsung option to look at in the form of the Galaxy Note 2.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 is the successor to the popular Galaxy Note phablet that the company launched amidst skepticism in 2011. However, by 2012, when AT&T finally launched the original 5.3-inch phablet, it was clear that Samsung had a hit on its hands, all but assuring that there would be a sequel in at some point down the line.
In August, Samsung announced that sequel, revealing the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, a device that in most ways, trumps the original Galaxy Note.
Those looking to get a new smartphone this holiday season will likely have both of these devices atop their lists and that’s no surprise. Both are quality smartphones. But how do they compared to each other.
Let’s take a deep dive as we look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 versus the Samsung Galaxy S III.
As we get closer to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 U.S. launch event in New York City on October 24th, we’re finding out more and more about the various release dates for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which unfortunately, are all over the place.
Thus far, only T-Mobile has released the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which it did today, October 24th. However, we do have several other release dates out in the open. Sprint will be releasing the Galaxy Note 2 on October 25th and AT&T will start taking pre-orders starting tomorrow for a release date on November 9th. Currently, AT&T’s release date is the further away.
Verizon hasyet to reveal any release dates though we’ve heard that it may not get its device until November. We might know later on today at the Galaxy Note 2 launch event. As for U.S. Cellular, it will launch it on October 26th.
As for the Galaxy S III, it has been out for a few months on the same five carriers that will be offering the Galaxy Note 2. That means that those looking to get it, can do so on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 features a massive display and thus, it also features a large footprint in terms of its design. The measurements of the Galaxy Note 2 are 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4mm thin with a weight of 6.35 oz. That translates to 180 grams for those that are more familiar. This means that while it’s lighter than the original Galaxy Note, it’s still heavy for a smartphone. It’s also fairly thick.
As for the design specifics, it features a design made of durable plastic and it also employs curved edges for a much sleeker looking device as opposed to the original. The Galaxy Note 2, like the original, also features a single home button.
As for the Galaxy S III, Samsung has said that the design was inspired by nature and that translates into a device that features a design made from plastic along with the same curves found with the Galaxy Note 2.
The Galaxy S III specifics include 137 x 71 x 8.6 mm thin. It weighs 133 grams which is much lighter than the Galaxy Note 2.
One of the unique aspects of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is the size of its display. Unlike most smartphones, the Galaxy Note 2’s display goes over the 5-inch mark which has made many designate it as a “phablet”. While the original Galaxy Note featured a 5.3-inch display, the Galaxy Note 2 received a boost and features a spacious 5.5-inch HD display.
While the size may have increased, Samsung did nothing different with the rest of the display. The display comes with 1280 x 720 HD resolution and features 265 pixels-per-inch which is down from the original Galaxy Note. The screen allows for stylus input as well given the Galaxy Note 2’s S-Pen accessory.
The display also offers 16:9 resolution which means it will provide true widescreen content, perfect for watching movies and TV.
The Galaxy S III also features a massive display though it’s smaller than the Galaxy Note 2’s 5.5-inch display. The Galaxy S III features a massive 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD display that offers a similar 1280 x 720 resolution.
Like the Galaxy Note 2, the Galaxy S III also has a 16:9 aspect ratio but features a much higher 306 PPI which means that it’s display will produce crisp text and images.
Moving beyond the design and display, let’s take a look at how the rest of the specifications of the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2 match up against each other.
Starting with the Galaxy Note 2, here are the major features found on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 phablet:
- 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD display with 1280×720 resolution
- 1.6GHz Quad-core Exynos Processor
- 16GB/32GB/64GB Storage
- 8MP Camera/1.9MP Front-Facing
- 3100mAh Battery
- 2GB of RAM
Now, a closer look at the main features of the Samsung Galaxy S III:
- 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD display with 1280×720 resolution
- 1.5GHz Dual-core Snapdragon S4 Processor
- 16GB/32GB Storage
- 8MP Camera/1.9MP Front-Facing
- 2100mAh Battery
- 2GB of RAM
Key differences that can be found here include the processors. The Galaxy S III features a less-powerful dual-core processor while the Galaxy Note 2 has a quad-core processor. While average users won’t see too much of a difference, the quad-core processor should mean that the Galaxy Note 2 can deliver faster gaming and overall, better multitasking.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 also comes with a new ergonomic S-Pen stylus that allows users to write and draw directly on the screen. It’s also equipped with unique software like S-Note, which is a simple note taking app designed for the S-Pen.
The battery sizes are different though the Galaxy Note 2 needed a larger battery to use in conjunction with its larger display. Both get solid battery life and battery life that is now common with 4G LTE devices. Don’t expect all day usage, but don’t expect to be running to charge it every hour.
Other specifications add up, which means that the Galaxy Note 2 really is, in some ways, a larger Galaxy S III.
With the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung didn’t go above and beyond the camera found on the original Galaxy Note. In fact, the camera should be about the same as the camera found on the original as it checks in at 8MP. We found the camera on the original Galaxy Note to be good but certainly not at the top of the list in terms of quality. It’ll get the job done though. We should also mention that it will shoot 1080p video.
A sample photo taken with the Galaxy Note 2 camera can be seen below.
As for the Galaxy S III camera, while we didn’t find it to be on par with the HTC One X’s camera, it’s certainly a decent camera and performs well under low light. It can also shoot 1080p video.
A sample photo that was shot with the Galaxy S III can be found below.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is going to be running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right out of the box, a version of Android that just so happens to be Google’s current mobile operating system. This means that it will have expanded Notifications, improved Browser and Calendar, more Face Unlock capabilities, a smoother user interface and more.
What we consider to be the best features in Jelly Bean can be seen in the video below.
Of course, the Galaxy Note 2 will also be running Samsung’s TouchWiz over the top of it and will also come with some unique software as well including the ability to split-screen multitask. That means that users will be able to split the device’s massive display to run two different apps at once. So, on one side, users could be browsing the web, while on the other, have Facebook open. It, like the Galaxy S III, will also be able to pop out video to view while performing other tasks.
The Galaxy S III is still on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich though it appears that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean updates are imminent. We’ve heard that Sprint might be getting its Jelly Bean update as soon as tomorrow so it’s possible that other carriers could follow suit soon afterwards.
Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S III are going to be available on the five largest carriers in the United States. That means that both will be on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon.
That leaves consumers with a lot of options in regards to which device to pick up. However, not all of these devices are equal.
While the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S III will run on the 4G LTE networks of AT&T, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and Verizon, the Galaxy S III only gets HSPA+ speeds on T-Mobile’s network. HSPA+ is slower than 4G LTE, the latter of which can pick up speeds at up to 10 times faster than typical 3G networks. HSPA+, while faster than 3G, is not as fast as LTE.
As for the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2, it appears that it may only run on the carrier’s HSPA+ network as well. An FCC filing revealed that the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 might have a 4G LTE radio but thus far, we’re unsure if that’s the case and given that the company is marketing it as HSPA+ enabled, it may not happen.
The Galaxy S III is also available on smaller carriers like MetroPCS in the U.S.
Finally, after weeks of waiting, it seems that we finally have all the pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in the United States. As of now, only one carrier, Verizon, has yet to announce official pricing. But thanks to a leak, we think we know what customers can expect.
First, let’s start with what we know. The pricing of the Galaxy Note 2 on AT&T, U.S. Cellular and Sprint will all be $299.99 on-contract. That pricing is for sure and it will net customers a 16GB Galaxy Note 2.
T-Mobile has released the phone but it’s much more expensive than the other Galaxy Note 2’s. The carrier is offering the device for $370 on-contract with a $50 rebate. That’s quite the price tag for a device that still doesn’t have a 4G LTE network to run on.
Verizon is rumored to be releasing the Galaxy Note 2 for a similar price though the carrier has yet to confirm the pricing for the Galaxy Note 2. Thanks to a leaked MAP though, $299.99 appears to be the pricing to expect.
The Samsung Galaxy S III pricing is much more clear, given that it’s been out for several months. And because of that, the device is currently extremely cheap, except for the T-Mobile version.
At Amazon, the AT&T Galaxy S III is a mere $119 on-contract, the Sprint Galaxy S III $100 on-contract, and the Verizon Galaxy S III just $150 on-contract. These are prices that those looking at the Galaxy S III will want to take advantage of because they are deep discounts.
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