Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs iPhone 5 rear

IFA in Berlin, Germany is underway, and Samsung just rolled out the red carpet for what might be the star of the show — the Galaxy Note 3. It’s certainly a very impressive device, but just how well can Apple’s iPhone 5 compete with it? Being a bunch of Android geeks, that might be very easy to answer, but the comparison is actually pretty interesting.

Let’s see what device comes out on top, shall we? In a rush? Jump straight to the video, otherwise, stick with us as we take a closer look at these two devices.

Design and build quality

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs iPhone 5-front

Right out of the gate, these are two very different devices. We have the Note 3 with its massive screen, and then the iPhone 5 with its 4-inch display. Putting the two devices side by side, you can see just how small the iPhone 5 is compared to the Galaxy Note 3.

Smartphone owners have expressed a lack of satisfaction in plastic clad devices, and it seems that Samsung listened, to an extent. Opting for a faux leather type of plastic, the Galaxy Note 3 is very comfortable to hold, and it gives an easier grip. It’s not metal like the iPhone 5, but it certainly is different, not to mention stylish. It also feels quite durable, even more so than that old, glossy plastic.

galaxy s4 vs iphone 5 5 back 2 aa

The iPhone 5 is made out of metal, and it’s very durable as long as the device doesn’t fall on one of its corners. While it’s certainly not a very unique device, the metal material is very comfortable to hold in the hand, and most of all, it’s a pretty slick looking device. However, with 5-inch screens becoming the standard, the iPhone 5’s biggest flaw is that 4-inch display — it’s just too small.

Verdict: The Galaxy Note 3 features a new material that not only feels comfortable in the hand, but durable, too. On the other hand, we have the iPhone 5. Opting for a metal material, it feels easy to grip and is very durable. It’s a tie.


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The Galaxy Note 3 features a 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen capable of 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, rated at a really impressive 386ppi. It has one of the most beautiful and color rich displays you’ll find on the market. Viewing angles are great, and colors really pop, thanks to the high saturation in that Super AMOLED panel.

galaxy s4 vs iphone 5 5 ui 2 aa

Apple’s iPhone 5 sports a 4-inch IPS LCD display capable of 640 x 1,136 resolution, rated at 326ppi. It’s a pretty impressive display — everything is very clear, the colors look nice, and text is sharp. Viewing angles are really good, and as for brightness, well, it’s alright, but it’s nothing to brag about.


Verdict: The iPhone 5 features a nice display, but it’s hard to beat the Note 3’s superior 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen.


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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 features 13-megapixel optics, and it’s essentially the same camera strapped on the back of the Galaxy S4. Picture quality is very good — colors are reproduced fairly accurately, and there’s a lot of detail captured. There’s also a nice level of vibrancy and sharpness to the photos, however, it’s pretty average when it comes to low light shots.

There are a slew of extra scenes and modes in the Note 3, though there isn’t much that’s new. Most of it is various options that can be found in the Galaxy S4’s camera app.

galaxy s4 vs iphone 5 5 camera modes aa

The iPhone 5 has an 8-megapixel rear shooter. Picture quality is actually pretty great — a lot of detail is captured and color reproduction is accurate. Like a lot of smartphones out there, the iPhone 5 isn’t that great with low light shots.

As for software features, well, in this case, you could compare the iPhone 5’s camera app with a Nexus’. There isn’t any extra features like you’d find in Samsung phones, it’s very clean and minimalist in this area. However, you do get a few things, such as HDR, Panorama, and face detection.

Verdict: The Galaxy Note 3 takes the cake here. With 13-megapixel camera optics and a slew of features inside the camera app, the Note 3’s camera package is leagues ahead of the iPhone 5.


samsung galaxy note 3 back cover battery aa 1

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is equipped with a removable 3,200 mAh Li-ion battery. There’s also been quite a few optimizations done, so it’s very likely that the Galaxy Note 3 will last much longer than the iPhone 5, though that all depends on just how much you use the device.

The battery is definitely a shortcoming in the iPhone 5. You get a non-removable Li-po 1,440 mAh unit. It’s not a whole lot compared to what’s been packed into most Android phones, but it’ll get you through the day easily. Just don’t expect to get much more than that out of it.

Verdict: The Galaxy Note 3 comes out on top with a battery that is a little more than double the capacity of the iPhone 5’s battery.


samsung galaxy note 3 air command aa 3

Just like we expected, the Note 3 has a whole arsenal of features in the software department. It has most of the features that can be found on the Galaxy S4, such as S Translator, S Health, Group Play, and etc. It also has additional features specifically for the Note 3, such as Air Command and Pen Window. Despite the amount of features in the Note 3, it still runs very smoothly and quickly.

As you know, the iPhone 5 is running iOS 6, so naturally, there just aren’t as many software features loaded on the iPhone 5 as there is on the Galaxy Note 3. In some respects, this makes the iPhone 5 a whole lot more responsive, as it isn’t bogged down by software features and bloatware that you may or may not use.

Verdict: The Note 3 comes out on top by offering a bevy of useful features while keeping things generally fast.

Hands-on Video

Wrap up

It goes without saying, Samsung’s all new Galaxy Note 3 is leagues ahead of the iPhone 5, but with its massive 5.7-inch screen, the handset definitely isn’t for everyone.

The Galaxy Note 3 is going to “wow” the crowds. Featuring some of the best technology available, consumers are really going to enjoy everything about this device.

Be sure to keep checking with Android Authority, as we’re live at IFA 2013 bringing you all of the latest in the Android world! You can check out all of our IFA 2013 content here.

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