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iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Can Decide? This’ll Help

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If you have saved up for a new device or your contract is just about over, then you could be deciding between the two hottest new smartphones this month that is widely available all major US carriers – the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. If you need help choosing, then continue reading.

iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes with Jelly bean installed and the iPhone 5 of course runs on iOS, in this instance iOS6. Each of these have good and bad points. iOS is reliable, user friendly, stable and typically runs smoother than Android. Devices that run on iOS usually have a higher resale value, as they are upgraded continuously and don’t get outshined by other iOS devices more than once a year. The Apple App store is also great and has apps that are more polished, possibly due to stricter quality control. However while apps in the Play Store may not have rigourous guidelines to abide too, you will find many more free apps that rely on ads instead of being paid apps. You will also find a wider selection of apps no matter how weird their purpose may seem to many.

Android is always evolving and it seems that Android gets better with each new release. Google were being too modest when they said that the update to Jelly Bean was only minor. There have been some great improvements with Jelly Bean to Android and while there is more clutter, the improvements to performance are worth it. Some users may get thrown off when updates come in. I personally was a little lost when my Nexus S went from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich. This is never the case with the iPhone as iOS updates are much more streamlined. This of course may feel a little stifling at times but it has its advantages as well like mentioned above.

Moving on, Android also offers plenty of customisation on the home screen and users can utlize widgets, custom launchers, custom keyboards and more. Android also doesn’t have to rely on iTunes for content syncing and transfer. The iPhone 5 has the traditional grid of icons and everything else is pretty much neatly tucked away under Settings. In terms of customisation, you’d be looking at picking a wallpaper and ringtones and you’re set!

Android is not well known when it comes to getting updates out in time and while the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes with Jelly Bean, there are no promises it may move to Android 5.0 (Key Lime Pie?). With the iPhone 5, you are guaranteed to get updates, possibly even for the next few years as we saw with the case of the iPhone 4 recently. Another downside is that often older Android handsets are left out of updates so as to encourage sales of newer handsets. Bear this in mind before you pay out $700 for a new smartphone thinking it is the bees knees.

Now that we’ve gotten the more difficult aspect of picking which platform is best, let’s get down to hardware!

Basically the specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 beat those of the iPhone 5 at first glance. It comes with a bigger display of 5.5 inches, has twice the processing power and RAM thanks to the quad-core chipset and 2GB, and of course the larger battery of 3100mAh that’s more than double that of the iPhone 5. On the downside the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a large device and that is how it manages to have everything you could want in a smartphone, including the S Pen.  Unfortunately, Samsung has clad all this in a plastic body which doesn’t ooze of luxury like the iPhone 5 does. But folks, there’s some serious hardware under there once you get past the appearance.

The iPhone 5 on the other hand may not match the size of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, however it beats the Note 2 in regards to design, ergonomics and its camera. Apple has the upper hand here, as always.

You will get around 35 hours of talking with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 on 2G and 16 on 3G. The device also has support for SD card, NFC, and packs a removable battery. All a big no for the iPhone 5.

Both of the handsets come with similar built-in storage options and have 8 megapixel cameras. The iPhone 5 has a 1.3 megapixel front camera and the Note 2 a 1.9 megapixel camera. Both have support for HSPA+ and 4G LTE. The Note 2 gets extra points for expandable storage while the iPhone 5 does for its best-in-class BSI sensor that takes better pictures in low light conditions.

Price wise, you can grab the base iPhone 5 models for $199 while the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will cost you $299 (both are on-contract prices).

Alex customizes his cars and smartphones like its going out of fashion. Jumping between Korean and American, not only does Alex provide in-depth reviews but he usually hangs on to the models for some “real world testing” weeks at a time.