Skip to main content

iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Smartphone specs 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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


When the 16GB iPhone 5 was first released, it retailed at a fairly £529, and the Galaxy Note 2 is retailed even high still at £546. A few years ago these devices would have certainly given your bank account a hard time if you chose to buy one whilst they were fresh to the market, but now offer very good value for money. The 16GB iPhone 5 can now be found for around £349, and the Galaxy Note 2 for £309.


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
Screen size 4in 5.5in
Resolution 1136 x 640 pixels 1280 x 720 pixels
Pixel density 326 PPI 267 PPI
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
Internal storage 16 / 32 / 64GB 16 / 32 / 64GB
microSD No Yes, up to 32GB
Megapixels 8MP 8MP
Resolution 3264 x 2448 pixels 3264x2448 pixels
Video 1080p@30fps 1080p@30fps
Front-facing camera 1.2MP 1.9MP
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
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 £349 – 16GB £309 - 16GB
UK Availability Available Available