Samsung Galaxy Note 2 VS Galaxy Nexus

August 29, 2012
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It’s been four long months since what’s undoubtedly become the best Android smartphone was introduced to the world, the Samsung Galaxy S3. The phone easily slays the competition as it racks up mega sales, helped by the puny offerings that the competitors can muster up. What little competition it has is about to change with the arrival of the Galaxy Note 2 – its biggest rival in every sense of the word.

The Galaxy Nexus, meanwhile, is last year’s top device. But like a good wine, Google’s flagship phone has actually gotten better with age. The secret to its great performance, despite the seemingly lackluster hardware, is the continuous software support from Google, which consistently puts the Galaxy Nexus ahead of others.

So what do you get when you pit Android’s latest and shiniest phablet with the older but reliable defender of the Nexus series? There will be no holds barred: welcome to Galaxy Note 2 VS Galaxy Nexus.

Design

You don’t get to be called as a phablet for nothing. The Galaxy Note 2’s dimensions (80 x 151.1 x 9.4 mm) can be quite intimidating for some. The Galaxy Nexus, of course, is a little bit easier on the hand and wrist with its 135.5 x 67.9 x 8.9 mm body. Should we talk of the weights? Holding the Galaxy Note 2 (180 grams) for a long period of time, compared to the Galaxy Nexus (135 grams), can probably causes more stress to your joints at first – but hey, our body is great at adapting to a new environment.

Winner: Galaxy Nexus. We’re looking at this one from the practical side of things. We just find the Nexus to be a little more comfortable to use than its bigger foe.

Display

Starting with the Galaxy Nexus and its familiar face: the phone boasts a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD display with 316 ppi pixel density. Meanwhile, the newcomer Galaxy Note 2 comes with a show stopping 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD display with 267 ppi pixel density. Apart from the size advantage, both phones feature similar PenTile display and have the same 1280 x 720 resolution. This makes it easier to decide.

There’s no beating around the bush, the public demands bigger displays and this is definitely one area that the Galaxy Note 2 excels.

Winner: Galaxy Note 2. Who wouldn’t love that extra screen real estate to watch those funny cat videos on YouTube and HD videos?

Hardware

Fearing for the fate of Galaxy Nexus in this round? Don’t be. While the Galaxy Nexus only employs a dual-core 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4460 processor alongside its PowerVR SGX540 GPU, the phone can run most things that you throw in its direction well enough. Unfortunately, when faced with the beast that is Galaxy Note 2’s quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos processor – well, this is where thing gets a little bit awkward. Coupled with a generous 2GB of RAM, double that of the Galaxy Nexus, the Galaxy Note 2 is setting a new bar of high performance device.

Galaxy Note 2 vs Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Nexus

But how does the rest of the specs hold up? We’ll go through them quickly.

  • Internal Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB (Galaxy Note 2) – 16GB, 32GB (Galaxy Nexus)
  • Expandable storage (microSD card): up to 64GB (Galaxy Note 2) – none (Galaxy Nexus)
  • Camera: 8MP rear & 2MP front (Galaxy Note 2) – 5MP rear & 1.3MP front (Galaxy Nexus)
  • Battery: 3,100mAh removable (Galaxy Note 2) – 1,750mAh removable (Galaxy Nexus)

Storage-wise, Google’s decision not to ship its Nexus series with a microSD card slot may prove to be the downfall of the Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy Note 2 also comes with a higher capacity model.

As for the camera, much has been said about the poor performance of the Nexus when taking pictures in low-light condition, and nothing has really changed. The Note 2 uses the same superior camera sensor found on the Galaxy S3, and is considered to be the better shooter.

While the Galaxy Note 2 comes with a bigger battery, note that it has to accommodate a quad-core processor and a much bigger screen – so the advantage may not be as clear cut in real life.

Winner: Galaxy Note 2. We all saw this coming didn’t we? Let’s not forget about the S Pen as well, as one of the Note 2’s strongest and unique features.

Spot the Galaxy Note 2! (the left one, obviously)

Software

The Galaxy Nexus was the first one in the Google block to sport Ice Cream Sandwich and now Jelly Bean, but will this put the phone ahead from the Galaxy Note 2? The bad news is (for the Nexus) the wonder phablet is running the same jelly goodness out of the box.

Winner: Tie. We cherish the Galaxy Nexus for its hackability. But at the same time, we have to give some props for Galaxy Note 2 for coming out with Android’s latest and greatest software iteration. We’re pretty sure the premium suite found on the latter will come handy for many.

Hands-on video

Overall

It looks like the fight hasn’t been as one sided as we thought it would be. In the end, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is the one to beat, though it will ultimately depend on your needs and wants. If you crave for the huge display and raw power that the quad-core Exynos can provide, as well as a side of doodling and note-taking using the S Pen, then by all means jump on the Galaxy Note 2 train.

Let’s hear it from you now. Let us know what you think of the two great devices in the comments below!

Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bűvész-Bence/100003548748181 Bűvész Bence

    I’d like to see a Note 2 vs. Galaxy S3 comparison (mainly visual… I already know the specs). :-)

    • Zeyad Hesham

      Same here!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bűvész-Bence/100003548748181 Bűvész Bence

      Ohh, I’ve just seen the photo in this article with the Note 2 & S3 side by side. I’ll stick with the S3, but Note 2 is very cooool. :-)

  • Robert

    Man I wish this would come out in the us and with either snapdragon s4 pro or same exynos somehow even though I think it doesn’t support lte.

  • satsmine2k4

    Note 2 vs lg optimus g would be comparison… G Nex is a great device yet it’s like an year old now, so the comparison makes little sense…

  • KianKok

    Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 already outdated because its using old quadcore CPU. We should welcome the new boss, the LG Optimus G.

  • Steffanie Liebman

    I think your comparison was spot on! I have a G-nex now & can’t wait for the Note 2 b/c of the bigger screen and the s-pen apps… Bigger is always better now that we all do everything on the internet now… & the precise cut & paste you can do, with all of the personalization/editing if offers just put in on a whole new level! I love my nexus, but of course want to do all of the new tricks on the Note 2! :-)

  • anonymous

    “both phones feature similar PenTile display and have the same 1280 x 720 resolution”
    WRONG! Note 2 has a full RGB display, though not arranged in the traditional manner.

  • beto_nl

    You should be comparing the Note II vs the Nexus 4, and not vs that outdated version…c’mon.