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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. iPhone 5: What We Know So Far



Later this year, many iPhone 5 owners will be coming off contract and many will flirt with buying a new smartphone. iPhone 5 users likely have their eyes on several of the rumored devices including the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4. We’ve already taken a look at how iPhone 6 rumors are stacking up and here, we take a look at how it’s matching up with Samsung’s rumored Galaxy Note.

In 2012, Apple released an update to the iPhone that not only introduced a new design but a larger Retina Display, 4G LTE data speeds and the new Lightning port that is now standard across Apple’s mobile devices. That update came in the form of the iPhone 5, a 4-inch smartphone that took the world by storm.

Consumers ate it up and many who bought the iPhone 5 signed new two year contracts with their mobile service providers. Later on this year, many iPhone 5 users will become eligible for an upgrade, thanks to an expiring contract. And at that point, they’re going to have to come to a decision: Keep the iPhone 5 or go with something else.

iPhone 5 owners likely have their eyes on several current smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy S5 and they also likely have their eyes on some of the rumored devices set for arrival later this year. In particular, the iPhone 6, LG G3, Nexus 6, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung’s rumored successor to the Galaxy Note 3.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will be one of the many options tempting iPhone 5 owners this fall. And while the device itself remains in the shadows, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors have been rampant thanks to reports and Samsung itself. Yes, the company has confirmed the Galaxy Note 4 several times already.

It’s still early but with rumors emerging on a weekly basis, iPhone 5 owners are likely starting to weigh their options. It’s our job to make sure that those people are prepared as we move deeper into the new year.

Today, we want to take a look at how Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors compare to Apple’s iPhone 5, a device that isn’t sold in Apple Stores but is very much still a force.

This comparison aims to help set the expectations of current iPhone 5 owners as we head deeper into the year and closer to Samsung’s inevitable Galaxy Note 4 announcement. Here is what current iPhone 5 owners (and prospective iPhone 5 buyers) need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.


The iPhone 5’s design might be going on two years old but it remains on the best on the market. Apple’s industrial design, comprised of aluminum and glass, is hands down one of the best smartphone designs ever. It’s beautiful to hold, easy on the eyes and it doesn’t need to be covered up with a case.


Its form factor is only 7.6mm thin and it weighs a mere 112 grams. That’s lighter and thinner than most smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which sports a 8.3mm frame and weighs 168 grams. The Galaxy Note 4’s dimensions remain unknown but Galaxy Note’s have always been bigger than the iPhone and there is no reason to think that it will shrink down this year.

It’s clear that Samsung has begun a shift away from its glossy, polycarbonate designs that arrived on the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S4. Last year’s Galaxy Note 3 featured a faux leather plastic design while this year’s Galaxy S5 arrived with a perforated black plastic matte material that is much improved over the Galaxy S4’s design.

The Galaxy Note 3 is larger than the Galaxy S5.

The Galaxy Note 3 is larger than the Galaxy S5.

While they may not have an edge on the iPhone 5, the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5 designs are a step in the right direction. We expect this trend to continue with the Galaxy Note 4. In fact, reports and rumors suggest that the Galaxy Note 4 will come with an all new design when it arrives later this year.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors suggest an assortment of changes. Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung’s product strategy team, recently told Reuters that the Galaxy Note 4 will be coming with a “new form factor” later this year. There was no elaboration but rumors suggest that Samsung is considering a few different changes.

The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3 performance is very close.

One report claims that the Galaxy Note 4 will come with an IP67 certification, just like the Galaxy S5. What this means is that it will be dust and water resistant. The iPhone 5 design is durable but it’s not able to fend off dust and water in the way that the Galaxy S5 can. Those that need that type of protection must utilize a case.

We’ve also heard rumors, which have been fueled by a pair of patent filings, that this new form factor could be dominated by a brand new three-sided display, something that the iPhone 5 clearly does not have.


Back in 2012, DisplayMate called the iPhone 5 display, “the best smartphone display we have tested to date.” The publication’s claim carried over to the iPhone 5s which sports the same 4-inch Retina Display with 640 x 1136 pixel resolution at 326 pixels-per-inch.

The Retina Display is still a high quality display but according to DisplayMate, the industry voice on mobile display quality, “the Galaxy S5 is the best performing smartphone display that we have ever tested.” In other words, it appears as though Father Time has finally caught up to Apple and the iPhone.


The Galaxy Note series usually takes after the Galaxy S so we could see the same improvements on board the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 when it arrives.

There is also a good chance that the Galaxy Note 4 display could trump the Galaxy S5′s. Reports state that Samsung is at least considering a QHD display for the Galaxy Note 4. QHD display resolution translates to 2560 x 1440 resolution and that means sharper looking on-screen content. QHD resolution is rumored to be on board the LG G3 and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Prime so it’s plausible that it could arrive on one of Samsung’s biggest releases of the year.

The Galaxy Note 4 could incorporate a three-sided display.

The Galaxy Note 4 could incorporate a three-sided display.

The other upgrade could be a “bent” three-sided display. Back in January, a Samsung executive told Bloomberg that the Galaxy Note 4 could come with a new display type that would allow for better viewing angles. Since then, a series of Galaxy Note 4 rumors have pointed to a “bent” three-sided display. A recent report suggested that this feature was still in play for the Galaxy Note 4.

Recent patent filings show new form factors that Samsung could be playing around with in the lab but they aren’t a definitive look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.


At the very least, the Galaxy Note 4 display should be on par with the Galaxy S5’s which could mean an advantage over the iPhone 5. At best, it could be a QHD three-sided display unlike anything Samsung has put on its flagship smartphones. This is certainly one of the reasons why the Galaxy Note 4, at least for the moment, is so exciting to smartphone users.


The iPhone 5 is still a very powerful smartphone. It comes with a 32-bit A6 processor that is able to handle multitasking and gaming. It offers a good 8MP camera that can shoot high quality photos and video. And it comes with a 1440 mAh battery that is capable of delivering all day battery life to those that manage it well.

iPhone 5

  • Apple A6 Processor
  • iOS 7.1
  • 4-inch Retina Display
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB / 32GB/ 64GB storage options
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • 8MP rear-facing camera
  • 1,440 mAh battery
  • 802.11 a, b, g, n WiFi
  • Regular Home Button

Samsung’s Galaxy Note is a device that is geared towards gamers, multitaskers and those that consume a ton of content. Thus, Samsung always equips its Galaxy Note models with a ton of firepower. We called last year’s Galaxy Note 3 Samsung’s most powerful smartphone for a reason.

Rumors point to more of the same this time around. Galaxy Note 4 specs are said to possibly include LTE-Advanced for faster data speeds. LTE-A offers faster data speeds for compatible devices but it also requires networks to offer the capability. U.S. carriers have been slow to adopt the new technology though Verizon plans to deploy LTE-A by the middle of 2014.


To compete with the iPhone 5s and rumored iPhone 6, the Galaxy Note 4 could come with a 64-bit processor though that isn’t set in stone at this point. 64-bit processors can handle more memory than 32-bit processors, something that is important for high-performance devices like the Galaxy Note.

An early Galaxy Note 4 rumor suggested that the device could come equipped with a fingerprint reader. The Samsung Galaxy S5 sports one embedded in its home button which means that we could certainly see one on the Galaxy Note 4. The iPhone 5 does not come with a fingerprint sensor.


At this point, we’re not sure what the Galaxy Note 4 software will look like or offer but we’re sure of two things. One, it will feature applications that are related to the device’s S Pen, the stylus that comes bundled with the Galaxy Note. And two, it should feature some of the things that Samsung delivered with the Galaxy S5 software which can be seen below.

The iPhone 5 doesn’t come with a stylus, though its screen is compatible with one, and it will feature iOS rather than Android, the software that’s found on the Galaxy Note series.

IOS 8 Feature Wishlist

While the iPhone 5 currently runs iOS 7, it should get an upgrade to iOS 8 in the future. iOS 8 is expected to debut at WWDC on June 2nd and it’s rumored to be coming with a number of new features that could potentially revitalize the iPhone 5.

Release Date

The iPhone 5 was first released back in September of 2012 and remained on shelves up until the arrival of the iPhone 5s last September. In a bit of a surprise, Apple canned the iPhone 5 in favor of a lineup that consists of the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and the iPhone 4s. The iPhone 5 is available through third-party routes but it may be a bit of a challenge to find it brand new.

This comparison isn’t aimed at those who are thinking about buying a two year old phone though. It’s about those who currently own the iPhone 5 and are thinking about upgrading to the Galaxy Note 4, or perhaps even the Galaxy Note 3. iPhone 5 upgraders would be wise to check out the Galaxy Note 3 right now ahead of the Galaxy Note 4’s release because as we’ve pointed out, there is a good chance that it will share some things in common with the Galaxy Note 4.

Those trying to decide between the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 aren’t going to be able to physically compare the two until later on this year.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 -  Screen Quality

Samsung has all but confirmed the Galaxy Note 4 release for the second half of the year. More specifically, the release should land in the fall. The company historically has used the IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany to launch its Galaxy Note and rumors suggest that it’s at least considering the event for the Galaxy Note 4 launch.

IFA 2014 kicks off on September 5th and prospective buyers will want to circle that date in pencil. As for the release date, Samsung usually releases a device three to four weeks after the announcement date. What this means is that Samsung Galaxy Note 4 may not hit shelves until September or October.

Of course, this is perfect timing for iPhone 5 upgraders. The iPhone 5 was released in September which means users will likely be coming off contract in and around the Galaxy Note 4’s launch date.


There are two pieces of advice that we can offer to iPhone 5 users right now. First, go into a store and play around with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The device may not look or feel exactly like the Galaxy Note 4 but we’re not expecting the Galaxy Note 4 to shrink down or ditch the S Pen. The S Pen is one of the things that sets the Galaxy Note apart from other devices and consumers will want to make sure it’s necessary.


Finally, be patient. Keep an eye on Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors but don’t settle. There are a number of other big time devices that are either out or in the pipeline and consumers would be wise to keep tabs on those devices as well, especially the iPhone 6 which is rumored to have a larger screen.

Remember, the iPhone 5 is almost certainly going to be getting iOS 8 and there is a chance that it will get iOS 9 as well. So there is no need to rush into things, even if the Galaxy Note 4 arrives with a three-sided display.



  1. Flip Jumpman

    05/07/2014 at 9:27 pm

    What is the point of this article? Non-existent Note 4 vs the older iPhone 5? Shouldn’t it at least be vs iPhone 5’S’…

    I just slapped myself for reading this stupid shit!

  2. Noswellicus

    05/08/2014 at 2:49 am

    The article clearly favors the iPhone. About 80% is “iPhone this, iPhone that”

  3. fuk_apple

    05/08/2014 at 8:24 am

    To hell with a real a Samsung

  4. Rob

    05/08/2014 at 12:04 pm

    Why does this site say it has been updated and comes up in the news feed when is has the same information that its been guessing at for. Please change the Headline to “What we think we know so far”.

  5. Everin Malpica

    05/08/2014 at 5:56 pm

    Crappy article, doesn’t worth event looking at it.

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