Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs S3
Samsung is perhaps the most challenging rival firm for Apple because their products tend to serve the same purpose with a significant difference in the price tag. All that was possible after the introduction of Google Android operating system and the smartphone manufacturers were in a frenzy, to come up with new models almost every month back in the days. Those Android oldies used to have processors cranked up at 333MHz not far from today. However, nowadays we start to talk about smartphones with having a 1GHz processor in mind in the most pessimistic cases. Most of the time, we perceive a smartphone to have a dual core processor with features that can match a real computer. That match has come to a whole new level with the introduction of Tablet PCs and now that even smartphones come with Quad Core processors, general public are more reluctant to buy a PC.
However, sometime people think that a tablet takes up too much space and hence hesitate to invest in them. That is why Samsung has come up with their multi-purpose smartphone series Galaxy Note. It’s not a smartphone by definition, nor is it a tablet. Hence the name ‘Phablet’ came into play. In an economic point of view, investing in a phablet instead of a smartphone and a tablet is logical. There will be some constraints compared to the tablets, but a phablet can essentially do the same amount of work and hence can be an ideal replacement. So we were delighted when we heard that Samsung has released another one of these phablets, this time a little bigger. We have to say, Samsung Galaxy Note II caught us by surprise, but by all means, it was a pleasant surprise. Since Galaxy Note II is going to compete with the Samsung’s flagship product Galaxy S III, we thought of comparing the two handsets.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (Note 2) Review
Samsung’s Galaxy line is the prominent and flagship product line that has earned much respect towards the company. It is also these products that have the highest return for Samsung’s investments. Hence Samsung always maintains the quality of these products at a very high level. At a glance, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 isn’t any different to that image. It has a majestic look that closely resembles the looks of Galaxy S3 with the same Marble White and Titanium Grey color combinations. It has a 5.5 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with vibrant color patterns and the deepest blacks you could ever see. The screen was viewable from very wide angles, as well. It features a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 267ppi with a 16:9 widescreen. Samsung promises that the screen is more optimized to today’s visually oriented apps. It goes without saying that the screen is reinforced with Corning Gorilla Glass 2, to make it extra scratch resistant.
Following the footsteps of Galaxy Note, Note 2 is slightly bigger scoring dimensions of 151.1 x 80.5mm and has a thickness of 9.4mm and a weight of 180g. The layout of the buttons hasn’t changed where it features the big home button at the bottom with two touch buttons on either side of it. Inside this housing has the best processor that is featured in a smartphone. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes with 1.6GHz Cortex A9 Quad Core processor on Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad chipset with Mali 400MP GPU. The powerful set of hardware components is governed by the brand new Android OS Jelly Bean. It also features a 2GB RAM with 16, 32 and 64GBs of internal storage and has the option to expand the capacity using a microSD card.
The information on network connectivity is bound to change given the unit produced didn’t feature a 4G. However, when it is introduced to relevant market, necessary changes would be introduced to facilitate 4G infrastructure. Galaxy Note II also features Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n with DLNA and the ability to create Wi-Fi hotspots to share your internet connection with friends. It also has NFC along with Google Wallet. The 8MP camera has become a standard in the smartphones these days and Note II features a 2MP camera on the front for the use of video conferencing. The back camera can capture 1080p HD videos at 30 frames per second with image stabilization. One of the specialties in Galaxy Note series is the S Pen stylus provided with them. In Galaxy Note II, this stylus can do a lot more compared to the conventional styluses featured in the market. For instance, you can flip over a photo, to get its virtual backside and scribble down notes just as we do on actual photos sometimes. It can also act as a virtual pointer on the Note II’s screen which was a cool feature. Galaxy Note II also has the function to record your screen, every key stroke, pen marking and stereo audio and save it to a video file.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 features a 3100mAh battery that may be able to survive for 8 hours or more with the power hungry processor. The increased mileage of the battery will suffice for the bag of tricks introduced with the Galaxy Note II compared to the original Note.
Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) Review
Galaxy S3 was one of the much anticipated smartphones of 2012. The S3 comes in two color combinations, Pebble Blue and Marble White. The cover is made with a glossy plastic that Samsung called as Hyperglaze, and I have to tell you, it feels so good in your hands. It retains a striking similarity to Galaxy Nexus rather than Galaxy S II having curvier edges and no hump at the back. It is 136.6 x 70.6mm in dimensions and has a thickness of 8.6mm with a weight of 133g. As you can see, Samsung has managed to produce this monster of a smartphone with a very reasonable size and weight. It comes with a 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi. There’s apparently, no surprise here, but Samsung has incorporated PenTile matrix instead of using RGB matrix for their touchscreen. The image reproduction quality of the screen is beyond expectation, and the reflex of the screen is also rather low.
The power of any smartphone lies in its processor and Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a 32nm 1.4GHz Quad Core Cortex A9 processor on top of Samsung Exynos chipset as predicted. It also accompanies this with 1GB of RAM and Android OS v4.0.4 IceCreamSandwich. Needless to say, this is a very solid combination of specs and tops the market in every aspect possible. A significant performance boost in the Graphics Processing Unit is also ensured by the Mali 400MP GPU. It comes with 16 / 32 and 64GB storage variations with the option of using a microSD card to expand the storage up to 64GB. This versatility has landed Samsung Galaxy S3 with a huge advantage because that was one of the prominent disadvantages in Galaxy Nexus.
As predicted, the network connectivity is reinforced with 4G LTE connectivity that varies regionally. Galaxy S3 also has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n for continuous connectivity and the built in DLNA ensure that you can share your multimedia contents in your big screen easily. S3 can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot enabling you to share the monster 4G connection with your less fortunate friends. The camera seems to be the same available in Galaxy S 2, which is 8MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. Samsung has incorporated simultaneous HD video and image recording to this beast along with geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection and image & video stabilization. The video recording is at 1080p @ 30 frames per second while having the ability to video conference using the front facing camera of 1.9MP. Besides these conventional features, there are a whole lot of usability features.
Samsung is boasting a direct competitor of iOS Siri, the popular Personal Assistant that accepts voice commands named S Voice. The strength of S Voice is the ability to recognize languages other than English, like Italian, German, French and Korean. There are a lot of gestures that can land you in different applications, as well. For instance, if you tap and hold the screen while you rotate the phone, you can go directly in to the camera mode. S3 will also call whoever the contact you were browsing when you raise the handset to your ear, which is a good usability aspect. Samsung Smart Stay is designed to identify whether you’re using the phone and switch the screen off if you’re not. It uses the front camera with facial detection in order to achieve this task. Similarly, Smart Alert feature will make your smartphone vibrate when you pick it up if you have any missed calls of other notifications. Finally, Pop Up Play is a feature that would best explain the performance boost S3 has. Now you can work with any application you like and have a video playing on top of that application on its own window. The window size can be adjusted while the feature worked flawlessly with the tests we ran.
A smartphone of this caliber needs a lot of juice, and that is provided by the 2100mAh batter resting at the back of this handset. It also has a barometer and a TV out while you have to be careful about the SIM because S3 only supports the use of micro SIM cards.
A Brief Comparison Between Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and S3
• Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is powered by 1.6GHz Cortex A9 Quad Core processor on top of Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad chipset with Mali 400MP GPU and 2GB of RAM while Samsung Galaxy S3 is powered by 1.4GHz Cortex A9 Quad Core processor on top of Samsung Exynos 4412 Quad chipset with Mali 400MP GPU and 1GB of RAM.
• Samsung Galaxy Note 2 runs by Android OS v4.1 Jelly Bean while Samsung Galaxy S3 runs on Android OS v4.0.4 ICS.
• Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has 5.5 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 267ppi while Samsung Galaxy S3 has 4.8 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 306ppi.
• Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is larger, heftier and thicker (151.1 x 80.5mm / 9.4mm / 180g) than the Samsung Galaxy S3 (136.6 x 70.6mm / 8.6mm / 133g).
• Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has 3100mAh battery while Samsung Galaxy S3 has 2100mAh battery.
Deciding between Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Samsung Galaxy S3 can be a tough call. This is because both handsets are very much alike, internally as well as externally. Although Note 2 is a successor to Note, it’s more like a big brother to Galaxy S3 with the same outlay and the same color mixtures. Both have Quad Core processors that will seamlessly multitask, and the slightly higher clock rate in Note 2 isn’t going to make any visible enhancements. However, with the additional 1GB of RAM, Note 2 may perform better than Galaxy S3 in the applications to come in the future. Besides that, the natural differentiation between these two is the larger screen size of Note 2. This is where it gets tricky because sometimes, people like bigger screens, but sometimes they just want a decent sized smartphone. So I’ll leave the decision in your hand to think about what you like. However, you can have numerous benefits from the Note 2, not only because of the large screen, but also from the S Pen stylus. The new Stylus has a variety of uses that would attract potential customers and hence I recommend you to try both phones before buying one. It certainly would help to notice that Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 would be anchored around the same price tag after sometime.
Comparison of Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs S3 Specification