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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.

  • Ed

    I say its a Tie! 2 Great Phones! Not sure which one im buying yet!

  • Kevin Glimmersten

    Its a nobrainer, the Note II CRUSHES the iPhone in almost every way. You really get MORE with the Galaxy Note 2, it is not merely just a phone, it is so much more. Its your multifeatured gadget.

  • Sid Nileshwar

    I’ve got to say I haven’t seen the Note 2 yet, but I have held and handled the iPhone 5. As a former 3GS user, and a current HTC Rezound user, I was very, very unimpressed. I just cannot like the design no matter how much I try. I’d rate the iPhone 4 & 4S design as one of the best phone designs of all time. The 5….worse than the 4, and in my opinion, worse than the One X.

    Apple disappointed me this time around

  • KingWicked

    I have a galaxy note n7000 and i am planning to replace it with galaxy s3 red . I simply have loved being the owner of a galaxy note. It is AWESOME and no apple phone can compete with it wether a small 3.5 in iphone 4S ,or an old outdated 4 inch iphone5

    The only reason i am not buying note2 is that i have small hands.Otherwise no other phone matches for a person who wants an amalgamation of a phone and tablet.

    I love the freedom of customizing my phone, call it overclocking,rooting,installing custom roms and basically do whatever with my phone i feel like.

    unlike isheep population who has lower IQ and wants a firm like Apple to suck more money out of them for an outdated device. Iphone 3g was revoultionary, rest all other apple models are crap.

    Salute to isheep generation who still want to bury there heads in sand like an ostrich and say everything is fine we are the best 😉

    • Rien Soewardji

      It’s slimmer than Galaxy Note, but taller. So your small hand can hold it better than you held Galaxy Note.

    • yes the note 2 is less wider than note but taller….pls dont stop from buying the best phone thats out there….i have a Apple 4 but soon thats going to be my second phone 🙂

    • lllbenjolll

      So what did you buy? Note 2 or s3? 🙂

  • Daniel

    Galaxy note 2 all the way

  • important

    Because the South Korean fagship 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 2 fight will be dictated by the technical specifications.
    use spell check next time?

    • Allritch Tessono

      Fagship!!! I thought I was the only one who caught that. LOL!

    • Thanks for the heads up!

  • chunkz

    One is a phone, one is phablet, no comparison.



    • Paul Smith

      I agree, i own the note 1 but if i had a dollar for every iphone user who looks at my screen and says Wow! look at those colours and clarity of the screen, i would be rich!

  • James

    Usually your “one hand” or “doesn’t fit into my pocket” argument comes from those who never experience GNote in real life. Worse, you used the same argument for two categories to iphone’s favor. If you didn’t manufacture the non sense, you know iphone has no chance. Please remember “dimension” is one of why GNote is so attractive, depending on your task. Even browsing is not practically possible with iphone. Of course you can zoom in and scroll every 5 secs – now that one hand argument becomes useless here! I still like my iphone, but It doesn’t belong to “smart” phone anymore. I am ready to move on as soon as this GNote comes to US.

  • Abhisekh

    Galaxy note 2 an awesome phablet.. m in love with it:):):) gettin’ it ASAP…..

  • SixFootYeti

    Just ordered the Note 2 … !!!! Come on people, join the revolution … Whoop whoop !

  • Divya

    I think ur damn right .We dont need to be spending big bucks for the iphone ,its way too exaggerated and bone headed.One feels rather handicapped compared to the multifunctional ,user friendly cheerful Note 2.Big Salud and welcome to Samsung Note 2!!thanks for the information ,well written.

    • IHaveAnEvo

      the note 2 costs $300 which might just be the killer for me because the iphone is capable enough for me and its 100 cheaper granted that adapter for $30 thats such a rip-off

  • Grumpyoldguy

    Ok, I know you are wanting to be fair in the comparison, but really giving an iphone a point because its smaller, kind of misses the point, of the Note 2. And for some of us who have big hands, and weak eyes, I will not be thinking wow, the Iphone has such a beautiful display because I can hold it in one hand. I can hold the Note 2 in one hand, I might not be able to play all the games one handed, but who cares, I do have two hands. Plus the s-pen is another feature that yes, will require two hands, but I really want those features. I love what the Note 2 is offering and I can’t wait for it to hit the stores.

  • Xplmr

    I use Google Maps more than anything. That feature alone will cause me to never consider the iPhone. Not to mention the fact that their new larger small screen is smaller than Android offerings over 2 years ago. My hands are large and even my 4.3 ” Thunderbolt screen is very hard to type on without Swype. I would hold a 7″ tablet to my ear if I could get one with a phone in it. Bring it Samsung. I was getting tired of waiting for the Samsung Galaxy “Journal” (Original Galaxy Note supposedly for Verizon) I can’t wait for my new Phablet or Toblerone. Also, my 82 year old Grandmother just bought the iPhone. She said she loves “the square screen buttons(icons) and the round button at the bottom that always takes her back to them” Yeah, no thanks.

  • willy

    Dear iTards, Get an Android.

  • TheTorish

    The Note 2 is so awesome that a clearly apple biased author is forced to conclude that it wins!

  • AmericanApple

    You can’t be serious, c’mon guys, this note 2 is suppose to be a joke. Samsung made a fool out of all of you. What’s next 6″, 7″ screen? Buy this phone if you want unwanted attention. 1980s here we come.

    • really dude pls just think about it. is the iphone 5 really different from 4S. i can spot 4 differences….screen size…processor…LTE…dimensions. THATS IT. i mean for so much money thats all we get on the so called “Next Gen Revolutionary iPhone”. dont get me wrong i am an Apple fan too…i have Mac Pro…Iphone 4…ipad 2(first)….but pls its time we get practical.

      • Apple/Android Who cares?

        The iPhone 5 is currently selling for the same price as the 4S was previously, tell me how thats “more” expensive please?

        Come on people what the hell is the point of all this argument? Decide which phone you like, get it and shut the fuck up, no one cares.

        Personally I prefer iPhone solely because I like the design, build quality and ios. I own an android tablet currently and enjoy that as well and due to price its more appealing then the ipad. Doesnt mean I hate the one I dont have

  • I only Disagree with the camera part. The Galaxy note II has way more customizations and takes as good of low light pictures as the iphone5. The size is just preference. You wouldn’t be able to do split screen on a small little iphone screen. So I think thats a wash. I will say Iphone5 looks much better. But thats about it.

  • MacBook Pro

    I owned both iPhone 5 and Note 2. The only reason i got iPhone 5 was because i bought the casing and screen protector. Nothing much particularly new except like what their website says, The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone that is the word “biggest”–the screen is the biggest so far but the aspect ratio is weird. So in fact Apple is a reputable company, they tell you what their product is good in honestly.

  • Matt

    I have an iPhone 5 not super impressed. Is the note too big for your pocket? I’ve seen them online but not at a store yet. I’m thinking about switching any feed back would be appriciated thanks

    • Agent_Blade

      If you wear any skinny jeans then this phone is not for you. However this phone will fit in ur pocket if you wear regular sized jeans or dress pants, its not hard to have in you pocket at all.

      If you like the big screen and can get used to the siz then I gurantee you will love this phone. i have the GN2 and im in love with this phone (and this is coming from someone who have used a iphone 4 ,4s, and 5, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S3, Droid Razr Maxx, droid razr HD, Htc DNA and this phone beats all of them hands down in almost every field. I work for Verizon so i get a chance to extensively play with the new phones when they come out and the GN2 is the fastest most powerful and feature rich phone i have ever gotten my hands on. You wont be dissapointed!

  • Harris

    Iphone 5 or Samsung Galaxy Note II ???
    Who cares, i’ll buy both…

  • Jwalin

    marvellous! i will definitely go for the note 2. iPhone fucks!

    • mr. gn2

      Well said buddy … I think iphone is just like a price tag which always remains in you pocket

  • Dennis

    I bought iphone 3G, iphone 3Gs, then iphone 4, then lastly Samsung Galaxy Note. I’ll be buying Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in the future… Nothing else to say

  • soulSurfer

    ex iphone 3 and 3gs owner, nokia n97. Tho i enjoyed these phones…

    Have owned a galaxy note 1 for 7 months now. Was going to upgrade to S3 – but going for Galaxy note 2 now, i don’t want to go back to a smaller screen.
    Am enjoying android, and custom ROMs…GN2 FTW!

  • Nishant

    l have a note 2 and the 4s is my 2nd Phone now. Personally, I think the note 2 outdoes the IPhone in every way. And once you get used to that gorgeous screen!!!There is No going back. Besides the s pen is fantastic.

  • Chris

    Go Samsung! GTFO Apple fans who come to an Android website! Maybe you can go to Apple’s website and read their “twice faster” or “three times faster” terminology. GHz is a unit of measurement, but I don’t think “faster” is an accepted unit yet. Just have to wait for the scientists to use it one day…

  • Adrian

    My first phone was the iPhone 3g, then 3gs, next the 4g, what I can tell you is that apple likes to complicate life to users with itunes, specially speaking on “videos, music & pics”. One day I was simply dissapointed and tryied the SGII followed by samsung note, a very huge difference, life its so easy!!!

    And reading about the note 2. I think I will never get back to apple again. Also the more & more users wants a better size screen with good hardware & software!!!!

  • lllbenjolll

    My wife is the biggest isheep ever. Hahahahaha
    Love my note 2.
    It is really hard to convince apple fans to shift to android. They are just too close minded. Hahaha
    Good thing is i have 3 smart kids (9, 13 and 16 years olds) who prefer android over iOS icraps. Hahaha
    Been discouraging my wife to buy iphone 5 and ipad 4. So far, she hasn’t. Phew lol she currently has iphone 4s and ipad 2. status quo. lol