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iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2: spec comparison

Apple
by Will Dalton
, 13 Sep 2012
iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2: spec comparison

Size & Weight

The 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm iPhone 5 may be taller than any of its predecessors, but it will look positively dwarf-like against the jumbo Galaxy Note 2. Samsung’s model measures up at 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4mm, making you far more aware of its pocket-presence than the iPhone. Its 180g weight is 68g more than Apple’s new phone, a gap that could easily have been larger given the size of the Note, so credit to Samsung for keeping such a large device fairly nimble.

Display

With a giant 5.5in screen, the Note 2 plays more heavily on the visual element, even if the iPhone’s new 4in display will be deemed ample by most. The latter’s resolution should appear tighter to the trained eye, with its 1136 x 640 pixels and density of 326 PPI, going against the Note’s 1280 x 720 pixels and 267 PPI. The HD Super AMOLED Plus technology used on the Note’s face has been heralded for its quality, but expect the iPhone 5’s IPS LCD to produce images and words that little bit crisper.

Storage & Memory

Both of these high-spec devices come in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models. But, crucially, for those who want to go to town on the file storage, the Galaxy Note 2 has a microSD card slot unlike the iPhone 5, allowing expansion by a further 64GB for a whopping 128GB in total. Samsung’s oversize phone also has an impressive 2GB of RAM; a stat that hasn’t been confirmed for the iPhone 5. Will it match up to its rival in this department?

Processor

Among the gaps left in Apple’s launch presentation were the real nitty-gritty details of the iPhone 5’s A6 processor. The consensus seems to point to a dual-core engine, which would put it in the shade of the Note 2’s powerful quad-core Exynos 4412, which clocks in a highly commendable 1.6GHz.

Software

Here, we are faced with the crème-de-la-crème in mobile software battling it out for supremacy. The latest iteration of Apple and Android’s market-leading operating systems sees iOS 6 face up to 4.1 Jelly Bean. Both list a wealth of features; both have pulled in strong reviews. Usually, operating systems come down to personal preference, but perhaps Apple’s slightly more extensive app store to Google Play, just gives the iPhone software victory by a whisker.

Camera

We’re splitting hairs in this category. The rear camera on both devices are 8-megapixel affairs, with 3264x2448 pixel resolution, recording video in 1080p at 30 frames per second. But just giving the Galaxy Note 2 the edge is its 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, that will be slightly superior to the iPhone 5’s 1.2-megapixel front cam when it comes to video calls and the like.

Battery

The Note’s huge 3,100mAh battery will have its work cut-out to support the device’s high-end specs, but it appears to have the requisite power to manage. Samsung hasn’t released an estimated 3G talk time for its product, but Apple claims the iPhone 5 will last for eight hours of such usage. It will be interesting to see if this is enough to live with the Note once we put both under review.

Connectivity

With the UK about to be bestowed with high-speed 4G connectivity at last, it is welcome to see two 4G LTE-enabled devices under the spotlight. But, in a factor that could be vital for UK customers, 4G facilitator EE hasn’t announced the Galaxy Note 2 on its initial list of compatible devices for the network, whereas the iPhone 5 will definitely run on the spectrum. Unless Samsung can produce compatible models by the mid-October release, the iPhone 5 has a big opportunity to steal a march on a rival here.

Price

Neither manufacturer has confirmed the full price structure for its product yet, but we do know the 16GB iPhone 5 will retail from a very hefty £529. Rumours suggest the Galaxy Note 2 goes even higher though, with a purported £546 price tag. These devices will certainly give your bank account a hard time if you choose to own one, but with two very impressive spec lists, Apple and Samsung were always likely to push their luck with the prices.

Verdict

If you’re not one for donning skinny jeans and have little else competing for pocket-space, the Galaxy Note 2 could be the phone for you. In terms of all-round performance, it may just shade a win over the iPhone 5, even if Apple has produced an unsurprisingly capable new model. The Note's quad-core processor brings a lot of power, the huge 5.5in display will be great for watching videos, and the stylus pen represents the added innovation on the Note 2 that isn’t so immediately apparent on the iPhone 5. Nevertheless, if you want a smaller, more conventional phone, you may still be heading back to the Apple Store for this latest offering from Cupertino.

For a closer look at both handsets, check out our reviews of the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

Specification Table

 

iPhone 5

Galaxy Note 2

Display

   

Screen size

4in

5.5in

Resolution

1136 x 640 pixels

1280 x 720 pixels

Pixel density

326 PPI

267 PPI

Type

IPS LCD

HD Super AMOLED Plus

Processor and battery

   

Family

Apple A6

Samsung Exynos 4412

Cores

TBC

Quad core

Clock speed

TBC

1.6GHz

Battery

TBC

3100 -mAh

Claimed 3G talk time

8h

TBC

Storage and memory

   

RAM

TBC

2GB

Internal storage

16 / 32 / 64GB

16 / 32 / 64GB

microSD

No

Yes, up to 32GB

Camera

   

Megapixels

8MP

8MP

Resolution

3264 x 2448 pixels

3264x2448 pixels

Video

1080p@30fps

1080p@30fps

Front-facing camera

1.2MP

1.9MP

Wireless

   

Network

4G LTE

4G LTE

Wi-Fi

802.11 a/b/g/n

802.11 a/b/g/n

NFC

No

Yes

Bluetooth

4.0

4.0

Dimensions

   

Size

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm

151 x 80.5 x 9.4mm

Weight

112g

180g

Operating System

iOS 6

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Price

“From £529” – 16GB

£546 - 16GB (unconfirmed)

UK Availability

21 September (pre-order from 14 September)

15th October (unconfirmed)

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