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Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Note : Specs Comparison

(Check our review of the Galaxy S3)

The Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note were the topdogs when released by Samsung in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Although some years have passed now, they still offer great value for money for those looking for a cheap and reliable smartphone. Although both phones are very similar, there are some fundamental differences.


Launched in October 2011, the Samsung Galaxy Note was one of the most powerful phones available, sporting a 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos processor. Barely nine months later and the Galaxy S3 has taken the same Cortex A9 base and doubled the core-count to four, while losing nothing in the clock-rate department - this new quad-core variant has the same 1.4GHz as the Note.

Both use a Mali-400MP GPU although the Galaxy S3 is expected to perform better in benchmarks compared its older brother.


The Samsung Galaxy Note is one of the largest handsets on the market at 146.9 x 83 x 9.7 mm. The Galaxy S3 is substantially smaller in every dimension (136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm), and naturally tips the scales at a relatively lithe 133g compared to a hefty 178g for the Note.


The Galaxy Note makes the most of its larger size by sporting a higher-capacity battery: 2500mAh compared to 2100mAh Galaxy S3. As you would expect, the Note has a much greater 3G talktime as a result: a mighty 810 minutes (13.5 hours!) compared to 620 minutes for the Galaxy S3.


A big chassis calls for a big screen and the 5.3in display on the Note is a whopper, beating even the S3's substantial 4.8in screen and positively dwarfing the iPhone 4S at 3.5in diagonally.

When the Note launched the headline spec was the 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution screen, putting it on par with most tablets. In 2012 the Galaxy S3 (and others) have almost caught up, with near-megapixel resolutions of 1,280 x 720 - the same as an HD Ready TV.

Both use the same Super AMOLED capacitive technology with Corning Gorilla Glass.


Both have eight megapixel cameras that can record 1080p Full HD video. Both models also have Full HD front-facing cameras for video chat. In addition to the the bog standard geotagging, touch focus, smile and face detection features, the Galaxy S3 has the added ability to record HD video and images simultaneously.


The newer Galaxy S3 has the upper hand when it comes to connectivity. Both offer micro USB ports, DLNA, Wi-Fi, GLONASS and A-GPS, while the S3 also sports Wi-FI Direct, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.


The Galaxy Note is showing its age slightly, running the previous generation Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, though Android 4 IceCream Sandwich (ICS) has been promised soon. The Galaxy S3 runs ICS right out of the box. Both models feature Samsung's TouchWiz UI.


Both superphones lead the market with 1GB RAM - excellent for multitasking. The Note is available in 16GB and 32GB versions, while the S3 adds a 64GB variant to that list. Both feature microSD slots that allow a further 64GB if you wish. The Galaxy S3 takes potential storage even further by adding a two-year license for 50GB Dropbox cloud storage, which the Note doesn't have.

Other features

The Galaxy S3 can only accommodate microSIM cards, possibly as a way to ease the way for users wanting to move away from the iPhone 4. The Note's party trick is called the S Pen Stylus, allowing it to be used like a tablet.


The S3 can now be purchased for around £180 while the Note can be had for around £215.

You can view our previous face off between the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Nexus.

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.