The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is one of the most highly-anticipated smartphones of the year, and it’s only natural to wonder how the latest high-end release from the company stacks up against the competition, including the company’s current flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S4. How do the two compare? Let’s take a look!
Design and Build
As has been the case with most Samsung releases over the past year, the design aesthetics of both smartphones are quite similar, with the Note 3 featuring a more rectangular design. Considering the fact that the Galaxy Note 3 features a larger display, at 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm and weighing 168 grams, the device isn’t that much bigger than the Galaxy S4, which has dimensions of 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm and weighs 130g, with the difference in thickness and weight almost negligible.
While both smartphones are similar from the front and sides (with the same silver spine on both), turning them over is where the separation begins. It’s different! Unlike the glossy plastic back cover that every current Samsung smartphone, including the Galaxy S4, features, Samsung has changed things around with the Galaxy Note 3. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features a faux leather back cover, complete with a fake stitch around the edges, which feels soft, and makes it very easy to grip. Granted, it’ still plastic with a different texture, but the this change will be enough for the Galaxy Note 3 to stand out in a Samsung smartphone lineup with devices that are almost identical in look and feel.
Both the 5-inch Samsung Galaxy S4 and the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 feature a Super AMOLED Full HD (1080p) display, with there being an obvious difference in pixel density because of the size, with 441 ppi and 338 ppi respectively. With both displays, we the same vibrancy and high saturation that leads to bright colors, and a great experience overall.
The rumors surrounding the Galaxy Note 3 camera turned out to be untrue, with both the Note 3 and Galaxy S4 featuring identical 13MP rear shooters, with a BSI sensor, LED flash, zero shutter lag and Smart Stabilization. Like the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy Note 3 camera is loaded with features, including Drama Shot, Sound & Shot, Animated Photo, Eraser, Best Photo, Best Face, Beauty Face, HDR, Panorama, and more.
Both smartphones also feature the same 2MP front camera.
Not surprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features a larger 3,200 mAh battery to power the larger display and faster processor, compared to the 2,600 mAh battery of the Galaxy S4. In both cases, the battery is removable.
Similar to the Galaxy S4, there will be (at least) two versions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The LTE version features a 2.3 Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, while the 3G version will house a 1.9 Ghz Octa core processor (quad-core 1.9 Ghz ARM Cortex-A9 + quad-core 1.7Ghz ARM Cortex-A7). The Galaxy Note 3 also boasts 3GB of RAM, an Adreno 330 GPU, and 32GB or 64GB internal storage, which is further expandable via microSD up to 64GB.
On the other hand, the Galaxy S4 features a 1.9 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 600, or 1.7Ghz octa core Exynos 5410 processor, 2GB RAM, and 16/32/64 GB internal storage with microSD expansion.
It’s obvious that the Galaxy Note 3 is the more powerful of the two devices, and it’s good to see Samsung drop the 16GB option, which a lot of our readers wanted.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on-board, which, until the recently announced Android 4.4 KitKat is released, is still the latest version of Android. The Samsung Galaxy S4, on the other hand, runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but with an Android 4.3 upgrade on the way soon.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Samsung device without the TouchWiz UI overlay and its numerous features. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 includes all Galaxy S4 features, plus some new features such as Scrapbook, S Finder, Pen Window, and My Magazine, along with a lot of new (upgraded) S-Pen related apps, such as Air Command, Action Memo, and Screenwrite. You can check out the complete list of features in detail here.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is an absolute beast of a smartphone, and if the larger display isn’t a concern, is definitely a great choice. You can find everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 here, and don’t forget to stay tuned with Android Authority as we continue to bring you live coverage from IFA 2013!