If you’re about to upgrade then you may have to make the choice between two of the latest and greatest smartphones to come in this quarter, the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. If this is problematic, read on…
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs iPhone 5: some points to keep in mind
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has the coveted Jelly Bean and the iPhone 5 has iOS 6. Both of these OSs have pros and cons – iOS 6 is user-friendly, smooth and freakishly stable. Also, iOS devices have a higher resale value as they only get superseded once a year rather than every few months, like most Androids. The App Store is better than Google Play, as well, with a wider selection of more polished apps – mostly ad-free. Over at the Play Store, you’ll find a wide variety of apps, but they won’t have the same rigorous standards as the Apple ones. Generally what may be paid apps in the App Store will end up being ad-supported offerings in Google Play. Why? We’re not sure, it’s a trend that seems to reach no end.
Android is forever changing and improving – Google was playing coy when it described Jelly Bean as a minor update, as there are some amazing improvements. There is more clutter than before, but the performance improvements are more than worth it. Some users might be a bit bemused at first by a sudden bump up to ICS or Jelly Bean from Gingerbread, but it’s possible to overcome it. Of course updates to iOS feel pretty seamless – iOS can feel a bit stifling at times, but you can’t beat its ease of use.
The Android platform gives plenty of chance for home screen customization – users can change widgets, keyboards, launchers and so on. Android isn’t reliant on iTunes to sync and transfer content, either. With the iPhone 5, you get that grid of squares, then you pick you wallpaper and your ringtone….and you’re done.
On the downside, though, Android is notoriously slow at updating – the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has 4.1 Jelly Bean, but will it get the next update (4.2) any time soon? With the iPhone 5 you’re certain to get the update – and will do so for the next few years at least – think iPhone 4 with iOS 6. Older Android phones are notoriously left out of updates to drive more customers to the newer models too even if the hardware looks up to par, so think about that before shelling out $700 on the latest “must have”.
So much for platforms – let’s get onto hardware!
The specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 are obviously better than those of the iPhone 5. It’s got a 5.5” display, and twice the processing power and RAM than the iPhone 5, due to its quad-core chips and 2GB RAM. It also has that massive 3,100mAh battery that’s more than twice that of the iPhone 5 and its 1,440mAh offering. It is a big phone, however, but this is how it is such an all-singing, all-dancing gadget – with S-Pen and all that. Sadly, though, all these tricks are housed in a plastic body that’s not a patch on the classy chassis of the iPhone 5. Still, try to look past this to the hardware.
With the Note 2, you’ll get around 35 hours of talk on 2G and 16 on 3G. It also has SD support, NFC and a removable battery. The iPhone 5 can’t lay claim to this.
Both phones come with the same storage options however the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 supports expandable storage. Both have 8MP cameras on the rear, and the iPhone 5 has a 1.3MP front camera and the Note 2 has a 1.9MP offering. Both support 4G LTE and HSPA+.
So the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 gets kudos for expandable storage, processor, display and battery life. The iPhone 5 beats the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in design, price and camera thanks to its superb BSI sensor that takes better low light pics.
Both smartphones are (or going to be) available across most major US carriers at $199 (iPhone 5) and $299 (Samsung Galaxy Note 2) with a two-year contract.