Best daily deals

Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S5 quick look

We do a comparison between the two Samsung flagships, and all they have to offer. Here's a quick look a the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S5!
September 3, 2014

Samsung‘s second flagship release of the year has now officially been unveiled, and even though both devices cater to different segments of the consumer market, I’m sure you’re curious to see how they compare. A more comprehensive comparison will be on its way soon, but until then, here’s a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S5!

samsung galaxy note 4 vs galaxy s5 quick look aa (2 of 7)

While the design language of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 isn’t a complete departure from the Galaxy S5, the one major difference is the fact that the Note 4 now features a metal frame, following in the footsteps of the Galaxy Alpha. The dimpled and perforated design of the back cover of the Galaxy S5 wasn’t particularly well received, so consumers may be glad that the Galaxy Note 4 continues to use a faux leather design, which looks a little different, and doesn’t have the fake stitching, that we saw with the Galaxy Note 3.

samsung galaxy note 4 ui aa 14

One front side, you find the same signature look, with the physical home button flanked by capacitive back and recent apps keys. Both smartphones also come with a fingerprint scanner integrated into the home button. What is different here is what Samsung refers to as 2.5D glass, which means that the edges of the glass on the Galaxy Note 4 have a slight curvature, that actually looks very appealing.

The Galaxy Note 4 is obviously the bigger device of the two, so if you’re looking for more screen real estate, and don’t mind the larger size and the slightly more difficult handling experience, the Note 4 should definitely be the preferred choice.

samsung galaxy note 4 vs galaxy s5 quick look aa (3 of 7)

Samsung’s display technology prowess is in full show here, with both devices featuring beautiful, crisp AMOLED displays, with vivid colors, deep contrasts, and excellent viewing angles.

Of course, Samsung has kicked things up a notch with the Galaxy Note 4, which comes with a large 5.7-inch screen with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 515 ppi. On the other hand, the 5.1-inch display of the Galaxy S5 comes with a 1080p resolution, with a pixel density of 432 ppi.

samsung galaxy note 4 vs galaxy s5 quick look aa (6 of 7)

The difference between the two is noticeable when taking a closer look, But the display of the Galaxy S5 is still a fantastic performer. What is really comes down to is the size, and whether you’re looking for a more compact device, and prefer the larger screen real estate that the Galaxy Note 4 offers.

samsung galaxy note 4 vs galaxy s5 quick look aa (4 of 7)

The Galaxy Note 4  will come in two versions, with one powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, clocked at 2.5 GHz, and backed by the new generation Adreno 420 GPU,  while the other variant, which will be available in select markets,  boasts a Samsung Exynos Octa-core processor, which uses ARM’s new A53 and A57 cores in a big.LITTLE architecture. This architecture should bring better performance with the release of Android L later this year. You also get 3 GB of RAM, which should make multi-tasking and general use very smooth.

The Galaxy S5 has two variants as well, one with the tried and tested quad-core Snapdragon 801, at 2.5 Ghz and the Adreno 330 GPU, with the other featuring the octa-core Exynos 5422, with both offering 2 GB of RAM.

samsung galaxy note 4 vs galaxy s5 quick look aa (1 of 7)

There are absolutely no issues with the performance of the Galaxy S5 and instances of lag are rare and far between, even with the feature-heavy TouchWiz UI. The overall better processing package of the Galaxy Note 4 should make things even better though, even if it has to power a larger display with a higher resolution.

samsung galaxy note 4 s pen stylus 3

As far as storage is concerned, the Galaxy Note 4 offers 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB versions, while the Galaxy S5 comes with 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage. Both devices also offer microSD expansion up to 128 GB. Both smartphones are Samsung flagships, so there’s no shortage of connectivity options and sensors, and also come with a fingerprint scanner integrated into the physical home button, and a heart rate monitor. What makes the Galaxy Note 4 stand out is the inclusion of the S-Pen stylus, that has also been improved, and host of new and improved software features to go along with it. The Galaxy Note 4 unfortunately does not come with dust and water resistance features of the Galaxy S5 though.

samsung galaxy note 4 battery sd card aa 2

The 2,800 mAh unit of the Galaxy S5 does a good job, especially with the power saving features baked in. But the larger battery of the Galaxy Note 4 also features a fast charging technology, that lets you charge your device to 50% in just 30 minutes.

samsung galaxy note 4 vs galaxy s5 quick look aa (5 of 7)

Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy Note 4 feature 16 MP rear shooters, but the Note 4 also comes with optical image stabilization, which will allow for better videos, clearer pictures, and better shots in low light, and should do a better job than than the software-based Smart Stabilization found on the Galaxy S5.

The Galaxy Note 4 also features a better 3.7 MP front-facing camera, with a 90 degree viewing angle, f 1.9 aperture for better low light performance, and a couple of modes and features that should make all you selfie lovers out there very happy.

samsung galaxy note 4 vs galaxy s5 quick look aa (7 of 7)

The software experience is essentially the same across the board with the latest version of the TouchWiz UI, with the addition of a few new features on the Galaxy Note 4, along with the stylus-specific applications. Some of these features will likely make its way back to the Galaxy S5, so you won’t be missing out on much.

samsung galaxy note 4 frost white aa b 6

Of course, the Note 4 differentiates itself through the S Pen and S Note features, which Samsung improved across the board. You can also take better advantage of that large screen thanks to the improved multi-window and convenient access to floating window mode. There are even a couple of new widgets to easily access the Smart suite of apps, and other smaller improvements throughout the UI.

Samsung Galaxy S5Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy S5
Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2.5 GHz Krait 400 / Adreno 330
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Snapdragon 805, Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 450 / Adreno 420
CPU/GPU (Select markets)
Samsung Galaxy S5
Exynos 5 Octa 5422, Octa-core 4 X 1.9 GHz Cortex-A15 + 4 X 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 / Mali T628n
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Exynos 5 Octa
Samsung Galaxy S5
5.1-inch, 1920 x 1080, 432 ppi
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
5.7-inch, 2560 x 1440, 515 ppi
Samsung Galaxy S5
2 GB
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
3 GB
Samsung Galaxy S5
16/32 GB, microSD up to 128 GB
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
16/32/64 GB,nmicroSD up to 128GB
Samsung Galaxy S5
2,800 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
3,200 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S5
16 MP/2 MP, BSI Sensor, Smart Stabilization, LED flash
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
16MP/3.7MP, BSI Sensor, Optical Image Stabilization, LED flash
Samsung Galaxy S5
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS / GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.0 (LE), IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS / GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.0 (LE), IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0
Samsung Galaxy S5
2.5G/3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps), 4G LTE
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
2.5G/3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps), 4G LTE
Samsung Galaxy S5
Android 4.4.2 Kitkat with TouchWiz
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Android 4.4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz
Samsung Galaxy S5
142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm, 145 grams
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm, 176g
Samsung Galaxy S5
Charcoal Black, Copper Gold, Electric Blue, Shimmery White
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Charcoal Black, Blossom Pink, Frost White, and Bronze Gold

So there you have it – a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S5! While the Samsung Galaxy S5 focuses on being an everyman’s phone with features like its IP67 rating for resistance against dust and water, the Galaxy Note 4 may lack this particular feature, but sets itself apart as a tool for business users and creative types that are drawn in by the larger display, the S-Pen, and all the amazing software features that come with it.