gs3 vs note 2

Apple’s has just launched its sixth-generation smartphone, the iPhone 5. This is great news whether you’re an Apple fan or not. If you’re an Apple fanboy (or fangirl), then you can have yet another shiny iDevice to line up for come release date. But if you’re into all things Android, then the exciting news is that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is likewise just around the block. Additionally, Apple launches usually lead to price reductions in competing product lines.

Fans may be hotly anticipating the Galaxy Note 2, especially with the special features it offers over and above a regular smartphone. The “phablet” not only trumps the Samsung Galaxy S3 in terms of performance benchmarks. It’s actually considered a bigger, better smartphone than the flagship S3. It even ships with Jelly Bean, whereas you still have to wait for the much-anticipated Galaxy S3 update.

But — and here’s a big but — not everyone might want to go for a Galaxy Note 2, notwithstanding the performance advantages. Here are a few reasons.

Availability and Price

The Samsung Galaxy S III is already shipping, and is available across different markets. If you need a smartphone right now, then you can satisfy your craving. $99.99 gets you an on-contract 16GB Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3 from Amazon Wireless. $549.99 gets you the phone contract-free from the same network.

If you want the Galaxy Note 2, then you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to sink your hands into one. And you’ll have to spend $800-ish for a Note 2 when it ships. And that’s if you’re in the UK. American buyers might have to wait until year-end.

Form Factor

Let’s face it. Bigger does not always mean better. There’s a reason Apple designed its iPhone (up until the iPhone 4S) with 3.5 inch screens. The thumb can only go so far. And not everyone wants to go two-handed when using their smartphone. Sure, the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a relatively large screen, too — at 4.8 inches — but it may be deemed more usable for folks who want better portability.

Think about it: bigger phones will require bigger pockets. If all phones were sized like the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2, everyone would have to get cargo pants soon!

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Community Support and Custom ROMs

Here’s probably the clincher for hardcore Android fans. The Galaxy S3 has a wider user base than the Note will probably ever have, due to its status as a flagship device. As such, you’ll be assured of faster software updates, both official and unofficial. We already have a handful of third-party custom ROMs, which include updates to Jelly Bean.

This means that you won’t get bored with the multitude of custom ROM releases for the Galaxy S3. The Note 2, meanwhile, is likely to get a relatively smaller user-based, which means a smaller enthusiast community, too.

And so we pass on the question to you, dear readers. Would you go for the Samsung Galaxy S3 now, or would you wait for the Note 2 to be released? Or are you perhaps planning to get an iPhone 5 instead? (Shame on you for crossing over to the dark side!)