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iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Big Versus Bigger

A few days ago we’ve brought you the iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 showdown and since the article got pretty popular among the smartphone enthusiasts, we thought that we should compare the biggest iPhone ever with the biggest Samsung smartphone ever.

Even though some would say that you can’t compare a smartphone-tablet hybrid (the Galaxy Note 2) with a smartphone (the iPhone 5) the iPhone vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2 battle should be interesting, since both devices are running the latest versions of the software platforms underpinning them, and both are hig-end terminals.

It’s obvious that the iPhone 5 is the more popular one with 5 million pre-orders in the first weekend, the same number of Galaxy Note units shipped by Samsung in five months. But the South Korean officials are confident that Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will outsell its predecessor.

iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 come from different environments: one famous for its stability (Apple’s iOS 6), the other popular for being highly customizable (Google’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean), which would make the comparison between them an even tougher job.

Because the Samsung flagship was only made available for purchase in South Korea, there aren’t too many benchmark tests floating around, so the result of the iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note fight will be dictated by the technical specifications.


Both iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 come with similar specifications when it comes to wireless technologies. The two terminals pack 2G/3G support, they are both LTE-friendly (it seems that Samsung has fixed the 4G limitations of the Exynos 4412 CPU, therefore the US variant will have this SoC, too) and have Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Bluetooth and WiFi hotspot.

iPhone 5 comes with a new dock connector, dubbed Lightening, which make it incompatible with the old Apple accessories (unless you buy an adapter that has a price of $30).

On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes with microUSB 2.0, which is used by most of the smartphone and tablet makers, so any cable featuring this technology would be compatible with the phablet. Note 2 also comes with NFC and WiFi direct, which used together with the S Beam technology help you sent files to other NFC smartphones effortlessly. The NFC is also useful when it comes to mobile payment.

With all these beings said, it’s obvious which smartphone is the winner of this battle: the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.


Apple iPhone 5 looks like a smurf when compared to Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The iOS-powered smartphone is 123.8 mm tall, 58.6 mm wide, 7.6 mm thin, while weighing in a mere 112 grams. Its sizes are perfect for texting, writing emails and doesn’t require to hands to operate.

Note 2 measures 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm and has a weight of 183 grams. The Android phablet excels when it comes to video playback and web browsing, but you will definitely need two hands to handle it and pretty uncomfortable to carry in your pocket. For this particular reasons the dimensions battle brings one point to iPhone 5.


iPhone 5 comes with a 4-inch display packing Retina technology and a resolution of 640 x 1,136 pixels. Is protected by Gorilla Glass, has an oleophobic coating, a pixel density of 326 ppi and since it’s the biggest touch panel to be installed on an iPhone it will definitely please the fans. Because of it’s size, the display is a compromise between texting and web browsing, being pretty versatile.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 packs a gigantic 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD with 16:9 aspect ration and 720 x 1280 pixels resolution. It has Gorilla Glass 2, but since it’s that big you will simply not be able to control it with just one hand and this might prove pretty annoying some times.

Even though Galaxy Note 2 has a HD display, iPhone 5 wins the point here because of its versatility.


This fight will end pretty fast and there can only be one winner. Both smartphones come with up to 64 GB of internal memory, but Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will allow you to expand it even further using the microSD card slot that supports up to 64 GB of extra storage. Next is the RAM: 1 GB for iPhone 5, 2 GB for Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The South Korean smartphone wins. As simple as that.


Samsung chose to borrow Galaxy S3’s camera for the Galaxy Note 2; an 8 megapixel sensor with autofocus, LED flash, full HD video recording support, image stabilization, taking stills while recording HD video capabilities, face and smile detection and geo-tagging.

iPhone 5 comes with an 8 megapixel camera, with autofocus, LED flash, simultaneous HD video and image recording, touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection, panorama, HDR, full HD video recording and an advanced BSI sensor.

Since the quality of photos taken with Note 2 will be exactly the same of the ones take with GS3, then the iPhone 5 has to be the winner because of the snapshots it manages to capture in low light conditions.


It’s a interesting battle here. It’s a battle between a very fast dual-core A6 processor and the mighty Exynos 4 Quad, this time at 1.6 GHz.

iPhone 5 features a dual-core SoC developed in-house by Apple and based on ARMv7 technology. It has a GPU with three cores and is twice as fast as at A5 chip installed on iPhone 4. It seems that the A6 processor can co up to 1.3 GHz. In the blue corner there’s a Exynos 4412 chipset based on four Cortex A9 cores clocked at 1.6 GHz with quad-core graphic processing.

Even though some are claiming that the A6 outperforms the Exynos it “doesn’t take a genius” to know that a battle between a dual-core and a quad-core can only have a winner. So our point goes to Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

Battery Life

The iPhone 5 has a decent 1,440 mAh battery that is set to keep it powered for 225 hours of stand by or 8 hours of 2G or 3G talk time. Well if those figures doesn’t say anything to you than you should probably want to know that the users have reported that the iPhone 5 can stay up for a whole day of moderate usage.

On the other hand the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes with a gigantic 3,100 mAh battery which provides an autonomy comparable to one of a 7-inch tablet: 980 hours of 2G / 890 hours of 3G standby time or up to 35 hours (2G) / 16 hours (3G) talk time. The first Note had a 2,500 mAh battery and it went through one and a half days of moderate usage on a single charge. Samsung claims that the new quad-core Exynos is more power efficient than its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 2’s battery life might be really impressive, so the phablet gets one point.


The iPhone 5 looks glossy, is easy to handle with one hand is skinny and uses premium materials like aluminium and glass. There are two body colors available, Black and White, and both of them look great. It is elegant, as it keeps the same classy design language introduced in 2009 by the iPhone 4.

Galaxy Note 2 definitely looks better than its predecessor, the plastic used for the body no longer looks cheap, but it is not enough to get close to the nice design of iPhone 5.

Operating System

The battle here is very controversial. Each operating system has its ups and downs and is more like an Android fans vs iOS fans battle. It’s like choosing between a Chevy and a Ford.

Both iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 come with the latest version out of the box, iOS 6 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, respectively. Apple has stability, Google has customization.

Some say that the iOS haven’t changed too much since its debut and that the users got bored by the same overall appearance. But you just can’t get bored with an operating system like Apple’s. The iOS is so successful that Apple can’t afford to change its recipe.

The iOS 6 loses points because of the new Maps application, which is definitely a disappointment. Apple even lost the personal assistant battle, and eve though Siri is way better than S Voice, it can’t cope with Google Now which comes packed in Jelly Bean.

The Note 2 comes pre-loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is great as you won’t have to wait until the update hits your device. As you probably know Samsung uses TuchWiz UI for their smartphones, which isn’t very popular among the Android enthusiasts, but this time the South Koreans have done wonders with the user interface.

Besides getting all the treats from Samsung Galaxy S3, like Smart Alert (the phone vibrates when you have unread notifications and you try to pull it out of the pocket or to pick it off the table), Smart Stay (using eye tracking technology this feature doesn’t dim the display as long as you are looking at it), Direct Call (call the contact displayed on screen by simply holding your phone up to your ear) or Pop up play, plus some new, cool ones, like Air View or Multi Window. You can see all the new goodies on Galaxy Note 2 in this video and if this doesn’t get you, then I don’t know what does.


iPhone lost the battle against Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The Apple smartphone got 3 points, being triumphant when it came to Dimensions, Display, Camera, and Design, while Samsung Galaxy Note 2 scored 5 points outmatching iPhone 5’s Connectivity, Memory, Processor, Battery Life, and Operating System.

Some of you will probably disagree, while others will say I was right. That’s why I’m inviting you to share your opinions in the comments section below.