iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy Note

User guides Paul Briden 18:28, 4 Oct 2011

We take a look at the new iPhone and compare it to Samsung's Galaxy Note

We see how Apple's brand new iPhone 4S stacks up against Samsung's big Galaxy Note.

Form:                                                                              The Samsung Galaxy Note is a sizeable piece of kit, for a phone anyway, measuring 146mm tall and 83mm wide, but despite this it’s still a wafer thin device at a mere 9.7mm.

Even so, it’s got a fair bit of heft to it at 178g. We like the slick and minimalist design which compliments the large screen space nicely.

It’s a very clean, neat and tidy design with not much to distract the eye, allowing you to focus on the glorious visuals.

Apple's iPhone 4S looks exactly the same as its predecessor, the iPhone 4. There's been no external overhaul whatsoever and frankly we're more than a little tired of the current iPhone design.

Winner - Samsung Galaxy Note

Display:                                                                           The Galaxy Note has an amazing display, for starters it is simply huge, approaching tablet levels in fact at 5.3-inches.

It’s a Super Amoled capacitive touchscreen made from reinforced Gorilla Glass and featuring multi-touch. The phone is also fitted with accelerometer and gyro sensors for auto-rotate functions.

Screen resolution is an impressive 800x1280 pixels with a pixel density of 285 pixels-per-inch (ppi).

Apple’s new device hasn't changed a bit, the iPhone 4S still has the same 3.5 inch LED backlit TFT retina display. The capacitive touchscreen clocks in at 640x960 pixels and a pixel density of 330 pixels-per-inch.

It's also got a scratch-resistant coating which resists grubby fingerprints. Multi-touch input, an acceleromter and gyro sensors complete the package.

Despite the fact we hardly approve of Apple's stagnant approach the retina display is still brilliant thanks to its very high 330 ppi pixel density. We prefer the size of the Galaxy Note, however and it's still a hugely impressive piece of kit.

Winner - iPhone 4S

Storage:                                                                     Samsung’s Galaxy Note comes in two storage variants with either 16GB or 32GB available, it also has support for a further 32GB via microSD and comes with a 2GB card as standard. To help the processor in its duties it also packs 1GB of RAM.

The iPhone 4S has three options for 16GB, 32GB or 64GB so it out maneuvers the Galaxy Note quite easily here. Apple's phone loses out on RAM though with only 512MB. There's still no card support, but then we rather expected as much.

The iPhone wins here by providing a higher top-end storage option, which counts for a lot, but we're still dissapointed about the lack of a card slot and a lacklustre quantity of RAM.

Winner - iPhone 4S

Processor:                                                                 Samsung’s device carries some clout with its dual core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, it’s clocked at 1.4GHz and runs the Exynos chipset, complete with a Mali-400MP graphics processing unit (GPU).

Apple has crammed all the power of an iPad 2 into the comparatively small chassis of the iPhone 4S, thanks to a 1GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A9 processor running the Apple A5 chipset and a SGX 543MP2 GPU.

It's a valiant attempt from Apple for the company's first dual core phone, but it's still not enough to topple what Samsung regularly churns out and that faster clock speed and Mali GPU will make all the difference.

Winner - Samsung Galaxy Note

Operating System:                                                            The Galaxy Note runs on Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform. Although it runs smoothly and is relatively stable it isn’t as feature packed as subsequent Android builds, as well as the new Microsoft Windows Phone Mango platform.

We like the multi-tasking, which is top-notch, but apart from this we’re left wanting for something a bit beefier.

iOS 5, which the iPhone 4S runs, promises much more content for your money with an integrated BlackBerry Messenger style iMessage service and a Siri voice-powered virtual Assistant.

Winner - Apple iPhone 4S

Camera:                                                                           Both phones feature 8-megapixel primaries at a 3264x2448 pixel resolution and capable of 1080p video capture.

Winner - Draw

Final Thoughts:                                                                We're very impressed with the Samsung Galaxy Note, and not so impressed with Apple's rehash of the iPhone 4, which is certainly as good as some Samsung and Android devices, but nothing exceptional.

The iPhone 4S has the better operating system but apart from this we think the Galaxy Note is a better choice.

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