Comparing The Apple iPhone 5 And The Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Apple iPhone 5 VS Samsung Galaxy Note 2

There is a bit of a love-hate relationship between Samsung and Apple. Apple is actually Samsung’s biggest client for CPUs, display panels and memory chips – things it needs and uses on their iPhones and iPads among other things. However, these two are also competitors for the top slots in the smartphone market and are also involved in some legal disputes.

As Apple has now announced the iPhone 5, people have begun wondering how this new iPhone stands up to Samsung’s flagships, the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. In this review, we focus on comparing the iPhone 5 with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

Display and Footprint

Apple iPhone 5


  • The Apple iPhone 5 has a 4-inch display. It marks the first time that Apple has increased the display size of the iPhone line. All previous 5 versions of the iPhone have a 3.5-inch display
  • While the width of the phone stays the same, the screen is not longer and accommodates a row of extra icons on the home screen
  • The resolution width of the iPhone 5 remains at 640 pixels which is the same as that on the iPhone 4/4s
  • The height resolution, however, has been increased and is now 1136 pixels
  • The pixel density of the display of the iPhone 5 is 326 pixel per inch
  • While, the screen of the iPhone 5 uses LCD retina display technology for color saturation that is 44 percent higher than The iPhone 4S.
  • For display, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a 5.5-inch display
  • Furthermore, the Galaxy Note 2 screen uses Super AMOLED technology
  • The resolution of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is 1280 x 720 pixels
  • While, the pixel density of the display of the Galaxy Note 2 is 267 pixels per inch


  • Samsung has gotten rid of the PenTile pixel arrangement that had previously drawn a lot of criticism.
  • The Galaxy Note 2 uses an RGB matrix. Also its display to be one of the best displays out there for media consumption and web browsing
  • The larger display of the Galaxy Note 2 means that this device has the larger footprint
  • The Note 2 measures 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm and its weight is 180 grams
  • The iPhone 5 measures 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm and its weight is 112 grams
  • Moreover, the iPhone 5 is currently the lightest flagship smartphone available
  • Apple also claims that the iPhone 5 is the thinnest smartphone in the world, but the Oppo Finder is the actual thinnest smartphone in the world at 6.6 mm
  • It can be difficult to use the Galaxy Note 2 with one hand
  • Apple claims that they design the iPhone 5 to be used one-handed.

Verdict: If media consumption and web browsing are your major activities, go with the Galaxy Note 2. If what you want is a compact smartphone boosting a crisp display, go with the iPhone 5.

Internal Hardware


  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has some of the most impressive specs you can find on an Android smartphone
  • Moreover, the Galaxy Note 2 uses an Exynos 4412 quad SoC together with a 1.6 GHz quad-core A9 processor
  • For GPU, the Galaxy Note 2 has a Mali 400 MP coupled with a 2 GB RAM
  • The Apple iPhone 5 uses the Apple A6 SoC
  • This is Apple’s new SoC and Apple claims it has double the power of the A5
  • The A6 SoC could prove faster than the Exynos 4412


3G and LTE

  • The iPhone 5 will be the first from the iPhone line to feature LTE connectivity
  • There will be three versions of the iPhone 5 and you should make sure you choose one that is compatible with your carrier

o GSM A1428 model : AT& T for the US, Bell/Virgin, Telus/Koodo, Rogers/Fido for Canada
o CDMA model A1429: Verizon’s CDMA and Sprint for the US, KDDI in Japan
o GSM A1429 model: Germany (Deutsche Telecom), the UK (Everything Everywhere), Australia (Optus/Virgin, Telstra), Japan (Softbank), Singapore (SingTel), Hong Kong (SmarTone) and in South Korea (SK Telecom and KT)

The Samsung has promised to release an LTE version of the Galaxy Note 2 soon.

Internal Storage, Cameras, and More

  • The Apple iPhone 5 has three variants for on- board storage: 16/32/64 GB
  • Moreover, the iPhone 5 doesn’t have a microSD slot so you can’t expand your storage
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 also has the same onboard storage variants, but they have a microSD slot so you can expand by up to 64 GB
  • Apple claims to have equipped the iPhone 5 with an improved version of the iPhone 4S’s 8 MP iSight camera
  • On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 2 comes with the same camera they use on the Galaxy S3, a 8 MP
  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a standard microUSB port
  • You can use the Apple iPhone 5’s proprietary port for data and charging
  • Galaxy Note 2 has NFC while the iPhone 5 does not

Verdict: With its LTE compatibility with networks the world over, the only thing to complain about now with the iPhone 5 is its lack of an NFC chip and microSD slot.

OS and Ecosystem

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 uses Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • As a result, the Galaxy Note 2 was the first flagship smartphone to use this version of Android which is the latest version available


  • The Galaxy Note 2 uses Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. It also has Smart Action features
  • Also, the Galaxy Note 2 has the S Pen and several new software features to use with it
  • The S Pen has Quick Commands, Air View, PopUp Note, Enhanced Handwriting, Easy Clip, Photo Note and S Note
  • While, the Apple iPhone 5 uses iOS version 6
  • Apple iPhone 5 allows you to download and install apps from the Apple App store which offers more versatile apps than the Google Play store which is on Android devices. The Apple App Store also has more available moves, songs, and books

Verdict: Those whose technical knowledge is limited might want to stick to the iPhone 5. If you want the customization that you can get with Android, then go for the Galaxy Note 2

Prices and Release Dates

  • The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is set to launch in various global markets by October
  • Moreover, the US launch of the Galaxy Note 2 has been placed on late 2012
  • There is no concrete release dates or pricing info for the Galaxy Note 2 yet
  • On the other hand, the Apple iPhone 5 is to be made available for pre-ordering in nine countries starting from September 14.

o US: September 21, priced at $199 for 16 GB, $299 for 32 GB, $399 for 64 GB model.
 All these prices are for on-contract phones
 Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T will be carrying the iPhone 5
o UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore” September 21
 No pricing information for these areas is available yet.

The iPhone 5 is a pretty good smartphone for most smartphone users, however, it is not the best for everyone. If you are not a power user and what you want is a fast and responsive smartphone that is sleek, well-designed and compact, go for the iPhone 5.
On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is the smartphone for those who want the biggest possible display, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and the functionality of the S Pen.

What do you think? Which of these sound like it’s right for you?


About The Author