Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Vs Paul Briden 23:48, 14 Mar 2013

Is the Samsung Galaxy S4 better than the Galaxy Note 2? We find out

The new Galaxy S4 is a big handset but can it outperform the phone-maker's similarly sized Galaxy Note 2?

Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Key specs and features

The Galaxy Note 2 is a massive smartphone, it’s essentially an enlarged Galaxy S3 with stylus support. The display is a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a Wacom stylus digitiser layer and a 1280x720 pixel resolution. The pixel density clocks 267 pixels-per-inch (ppi), while colour depth and contrast are both good enough that picture quality is suitably robust.
The S-Pen sensitivity supports 1024 levels of pressure, making it remarkably accurate and responsive and far better than the original Galaxy Note or indeed any other stylus-toting smartphone.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 shares the same processor chip as the Galaxy S3, which is a quad-core Exynos 4412 ARM Cortex-A9 chip clocked at 1.6GHz with a Mali-400MP quad-core graphics processing unit. It also has 2GB of RAM which makes a big difference to running the S-Pen functionality and other processes such as multitasking.
There are options for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of onboard storage plus microSD support for cards up to 64GB.

Samsung Galaxy S4: Key specs and features

The Galaxy S4 is almost on the same scale as the Note 2 with its 5-inch, Super AMOLED display.

It also has a Full HD resolution at 1920x1080 pixels resulting in a ridiculously sharp pixel density of 441ppi.
Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Octa processor is set to take the mobile space by storm as the company has opted for an eight-core setup using both a quad-core, clocked at 1.6GHz. The setup also includes 2GB of RAM.

The Galaxy S4 sports a 13-megpixel camera fully stocked with LED flash, face and smile recognition, panoramic capture, HDR, stabilisation, simultaneous still and 1080p HD video capture and multishot mode, amongst other treats. Ont he front, there's a secondary 2-mgapixel camera.
Storage options include 16GB, 32GB and 64GB onboard along with microSD support for up to 64GB.

Running on Android 4.2.2, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is streets ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S3's Android 4.1 operating system.


The Galaxy S4 is far superior to the Galaxy Note 2 even without the latter’s stylus support. The display is richer and performance is way ahead thanks to the Exynos Octa chip, while the camera also offers improved picture quality.

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The Galaxy note 2 is better than the galaxy s4 and note 3 is going to be better

Well, I'm not convinced. While it's clear that the S4 is way better than the S3, I'm not so sure the S4/Note2 battle is so clear. I'll be anxious to see how battery life fares, and to see a more detailed comparison between the two. I'd wait for the Note 3, but rumor has it it's going to be still bigger, which wouldn't be good for me.

As thrilled as I am about the release of the S4, I think I will still be purchasing the Note 2 next month.

So the display is better but not visibly better, the screen is smaller (as it should be but an advantage for some), processor is faster, same ram and storage, same construction, lacks a pen (again that's just vs the note 2) and a slightly updated OS. I don't see why it's clearly superior. It's not even that much better than the S3. Looks like Samsung has fallen into the Apple product update cycle. Next one with a new innovative product wins (for one year at least)!

I suspect the Note 3 will be a scaled up refresh of the Note 2 as the S4 is to the S3. Similar (or slimmer) external dimensions with larger, higher res screen and narrower bezels. Improved pen performance. Actually I read a suggestion somewhere to turn the stylus into a remote earphone/microphone... that sounds like it could work!

I like the direction Samsung is taking, still can't wait for the next big hardware innovation though... Folding screen or something better - these incremental refresh releases are great but please don't get into an iRut.

Let me guess, the Note 3 is gonna have the same specs like the S4?

Ive just picked up the note 2, 3 days ago, and have to say this beast is awesome, i was diappointed to see the s4 released thinking why didnt i wait. But after only 3 days i wouldnt trade this phone, just on battery life at all, no longer do i have to worry about my screen brightness or my many widgets plastered all over, nor do i have to worry about charging it at work if im going straight afterwards, im sticking with the note 2, S$ does look awesome though, but i aint going smaller no more :)

note 3 will be to big, 5.9 or 6.3 :/

I agree im tired of trying to keep up with this electronic stuff. I love my galaxy note 2.After the note 3 next s5...

I really think Samsung dropped the ball with the s4. A lackluster spec upgrade with a bizarre introduction. I haven't seen anything that can take the place of my note 2 with the possible exception of the upcoming note 3.

"Galaxy S4 is far superior to the Galaxy Note 2"

According to which parameters?

- Camera pixel count? No one cares about these. There are more important parameters for cameras than pixel count.

- Processor speed? Yes, it is faster, but what exactly are you doing on your phone that requires performance faster than Note 2? I never had issues with my Note 2 performance.

- Screen resolution is the only clear improvement. But even here some people will argue that their vision does not allow them to see the difference between S3 and S4.

So, "far superior" really means "some people may prefer one over the other".

And when it comes to Stylus, it's a rather useful tool. It makes me want to get a full-size tablet with HD resolution. Then I can forget about paper altogether.

S4 is just a waste in the matters of upgrading from note 2! Note 2 has everything one needs! and it is going to get most of the features of S4. NOte 2 is bigger better and has a pen! a pen i say!

Samsung has too many versions of the same phone all 4 of them are the same now, how lame can they get. Plastic piece of junk try selling your galaxy s2 or s3 now. Lame iphone 4 still selling at 200$ all day that was two phones ago try that Sambung

Im ready to put my note 2 in my box of gadgets and getting me the note 3. It will have the same specs same chips as the s4. Only the note 3 will have a bigger screen and the s pen. The note 3 is the real next big thing.

I read all your comments and I'm back to the same decision as earlier today...0 decision. The Note 2, wait for Note 3 or buy the iPhone. Brain Freeze now.

conclusion: the writer of this article is an idiot

This in addition to the battery increase for the S4 over the S3, plus smart cpu core technology that allows the processor to use only half its cores or less for standard running tasks (can't believe the author didn't mention that). That would put batt usage and standby time on par with the Note 2, which is very good.

I have to agree with the author. Including the other key points, the S4 has many easily identified upgrades on the Note 2. I've changed my mind and am waiting for the better S4.

Exactly. Still opting for Note 2!

Yes I love the S4, it is fantastic. However, I won't sell my Galaxy Note 2 for one.

Once you've switched and made the small adjustments needed (eg the way you hold a larger device etc.) you may not WANT to look back.

Note 2 has a very good screen and it is great to watch a movie on if you don't have a tablet nearby. A work mate does this most lunchtimes. I bought it for great processor great features, easy legibility and a great screen. Check, check, check and check.

What surprised me was HOW useful that Wacom pen and its apps are.

I have mine configured, so that anywhere, even with a lock screen, pulling the pen out pops up a post-it note. Scribble; easily scroll; save by putting the pen back.

What could be simpler than automatic, (nearly) endless paper, always ready for you to scribble something? Great for that little diagram to describe something to a salesperson or colleague. It's a brilliant implementation.


That's what they said about the original note. Now the Note 2 is well accepted, especially when colleagues see how very easy it is to use.,

It has GREAT battery life and I deliberately got the 3G one - battery usually has more than 50% charge left at bedtime. Can't complain about that :)

I have the note 2.
I would hands down go with the s4. The screen on the s4 is a true hd screen
with almost double the clarity with the ppi. I thought the s pen I would use,
but I don't. The note 2 is 5.5 inch and the s4 is 5.0 inch so a bit nicer
size in my opinion. The s4 has a lot more goodies too.

I have the Samsung S4 and thinking about going back to the Note 2, the features on the S4 are awesome but I miss my big screen :(

Wait for a Note 3, it can't be far behind and there's simply no reason to get such a low-res screen at this point.

I wish weight was listed - pretty important for folks to know how heavy and thick the Note 2 is compared to the S4.

These kind of posts make me wonder what people are expecting. Every single feature of the S3 was improved - what more can you ask for? I understand denial is a strong impulse, but it's irrational for anyone to say the Note 2 is superior to the S4.

1080p > 720p

This is just obvious.

Funny when S4 is obvious answer.

6.3 inches is too big unless there's no bezel.

Except by then they'll be 6 months old and getting out of date. Enjoy!

You got an s3 picture in the title

fandroid....I was told by one of the cell provider's that a Note 3 is coming out in Sept/Oct even a little larger than the Note 2. I need a new phone I think I will go with the Note 2 or 3. I like the androids. My carrier is getting the Apple by Christmas. Which would you get, any comment? It is hard to decide so many great smart phones out there.

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