Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy Note 2
Internal competition is one of the driving forces behind any successful company. There are various forms of internal competition and we have come to appreciate the type of internal competition Samsung encourages. Looking at their signature product Samsung Galaxy S line, we’ve always seen considerable innovation. They have managed to keep it at the top of the line and always promoted it as their cash cow; but that doesn’t mean there’s another star budding to become the cash cow. In fact, Samsung Galaxy Note is one of the best results Samsung has produced with the concept of internal competition and the idea in itself makes a lot of sense. Samsung Galaxy Note line is dedicated to making notes and comes with a well calibrated stylus and a big responsive display panel. It often doesn’t receive the affection that is received by Galaxy S line, but it is a great product line nonetheless. Hence we decided to give it the due attention and compare it with Samsung Galaxy S4. Again we need to mention that Galaxy Note line is also in for an upgrade soon and as such, the specs of Note II might sounds a bit outdated; but just wait till you hear about Note III. In fact, Samsung has included their beefy Exynos Octa processor in Galaxy S4 although it was initially speculated to surface with Note III. So before we start over again with Note III, here’s our take on the difference between Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note II.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Review
Samsung Galaxy S4 is finally revealed after the long anticipation and we are here to cover the event. Galaxy S4 looks smart and elegant as ever. The outer cover emanates Samsung’s attention to detail with their new polycarbonate material making up the cover of the device. It comes in Black and White with the usual rounded edges we are used to in Galaxy S3. It is 136.6 mm long while 69.8 mm wide with 7.9 mm thick. You can clearly see that Samsung has kept the size almost the same as Galaxy S3 to give a sense of familiarity while making it rather thin for a smartphone of this caliber. What this would imply is that you are going to have more screen to look at while having the same size as Galaxy S3. The display panel is 5 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display panel featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at a pixel density of 441 ppi. This is actually the first Samsung smartphone to feature 1080p resolution screen although several other manufacturers beat Samsung to it. Nonetheless, this display panel is incredibly vibrant and interactive. Oh and Samsung features hover gestures in Galaxy S4; that is to say you can just hover your finger without actually touching the display panel to activate certain gestures. Another cool feature Samsung has included is the ability to perform touch gestures even with wearing gloves which would be a step forward towards usability. The Adapt Display feature in Samsung Galaxy S4 can adapt the display panel to make the display better depending on what you are looking at.
Samsung Galaxy S4 has 13MP camera that comes with bunch of awesome features. It certainly doesn’t necessarily feature a newly crafted lens; but Samsung’s new software features are sure to be a hit. Galaxy S4 has the ability to include audio in to photos you snap which can act as a live memory. As Samsung put it, it’s like adding another dimension to the visual memories captured. The camera can capture over 100 snaps within 4 second which is just awesome; and the new Drama Shot features means that you can choose multiple snaps for a single frame. It also has an eraser feature which can erase unwanted objects from your photos. Finally Samsung feature dual camera which lets you to capture the photographer as well as the subject and superimpose yourself in the snap. Samsung has also included an inbuilt translator called S Translator which can translate nine languages as of now. It can translate from text to text, speech to text and speech to speech in any way convenient for you. It can also translate written words from menu, books or magazines as well. Right now, S Translator supports French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish. It is also deeply integrated with their chat applications as well.
Samsung has also included a customized version of S Voice which can act as your personal digital assistant and Samsung has optimized this to be used when you are driving too. We are yet to test their new navigation system which is integrated with S4. They have made the transfer from your old smartphone to new Galaxy S4 very easy with the introduction of Smart Switch. The user can separate their personal and work spaces using the Knox feature enabled in Galaxy S4. The new Group Play connectivity seems like a new differentiating factor as well. There were a lot of rumors going on about Samsung Smart Pause which tracks your eyes and pauses a video when you look away and scrolls down when you look down or up which is awesome. S Health application can be used to track your health details including your diet, exercises and can connect external equipment to record data as well. They also have a new cover that is more or less similar to the iPad cover which makes the device sleep when the cover closes. As we have speculated, Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with 4G LTE connectivity as well as 3G HSDPA connectivity along with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n for continuous connectivity. Strangely enough, Samsung has decided to include a microSD card slot on top of the 16 / 32 /64 GB internal memory you already have. Now we come down to what’s under the hood; it’s not very clear about the processor although Samsung seems to ship Galaxy S4 with two versions. The Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor is featured in Samsung Galaxy S4 which Samsung claims as the world’s first 8 core mobile processor and models in some regions will feature Quad Core processor as well. The Octa processor concept follows a recent whitepaper released by Samsung. They have taken a patent for the technology from ARM and it’s known as big.LITTLE. The whole idea is to have two sets of Quad Core processors, the lower end Quad Core processors would consist of ARM’s A7 cores clocked at 1.2GHz while the high end Quad Core processors will have ARM’s A15 cores clocked at 1.6GHz. Theoretically, this will make Samsung Galaxy S4 the fastest smartphone in the world as of now. Samsung has also included three PowerVR 544 GPU chips in Galaxy S4 making it the fastest smartphone in terms of graphics performance as well; at least theoretically. The RAM is the usual 2GB which is plenty for this beefy device. You certainly don’t have to worry about the performance with Samsung’s signature product because that is going to pack up plenty of action to keep it running for a whole year at the top of the market. The inclusion of removable battery is also a nice addition compared to all the unibody designs we’ve been seeing.
Samsung introducing Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy 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 network connectivity is reinforced with 4G LTE that varies regionally. 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 2’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.
A Brief Comparison Between Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note II
• Samsung Galaxy S4 is powered by Samsung Exynos Octa processor which is an 8 core processor with 2GB of RAM while Galaxy Note II 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.
• Samsung Galaxy S4 runs on Android OS v4.2 Jelly Bean while Galaxy Note II runs on Android OS v4.1 Jelly Bean.
• Samsung Galaxy S4 has 5 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display panel featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at a pixel density of 441 ppi while Galaxy Note II features a bigger screen of 5.5 inches featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 267ppi.
• Samsung Galaxy S4 has 13MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos @ 30 frames per second with awesome new features while Samsung Galaxy Note II has 8MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos at 30 fps.
• Samsung Galaxy S4 is smaller, slimmer, and lighter (136.65 x 69.85 / 7.9mm / 130g) than Samsung Galaxy Note II (151.1 x 80.5 mm / 9.4 mm / 183g).
• Samsung Galaxy S4 has 2600mAh battery while Galaxy Note II has 3100mAh battery.
As we have already suggested, Samsung Galaxy Note II looks somewhat mediocre in front of Samsung Galaxy S4; but that’s only because it has been there for some time. The first difference you’ll notice is the display panel where S4 features a vibrant 1080p display panel while Note II features 720p display panel. As for specs, Galaxy S4 is definitely faster than Note II because of the big.LITTLE architecture introduced by Samsung. In fact, even if it only had ARM’s A15 Quad Core processor, Galaxy S4 would have been faster because A15 is very powerful. Like I said, Galaxy Note II is not too bad itself either, featuring the Quad Core A9 processor which is bound to be faster than the secondary A7 Quad Core processor used in S4. Because of this better infrastructure, Samsung has included tons of better usability features in Samsung Galaxy S4 which we think will be ported to Note II soon as well. The purchasing decision however depends on your user case; if you watched the Samsung Galaxy S4 event in Times Square yesterday, you would have seen plenty of use cases for the new smartphone; but notice that none of them involved taking notes, scribbling on your smartphone and using it as a notebook. That is the niche market Samsung Galaxy Note II addresses and it is unlikely that Galaxy S4 can supersede that niche market. So if you are a consumer in that niche market; you already know your choice. If that’s not the case, these two smartphone are equally valid option with the spoiler alert of Samsung Galaxy S4 being the better one.