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Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 quick look (MWC 2014)

Two of the best smartphones from Samsung are compared in this quick look of the Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3.
February 24, 2014
MWC 2014 Coverage brought to you by: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus for Android.

The Galaxy Note 3 is one of the best smartphones of 2013, bringing together everything you’d ever need in a handheld device, backed by one of the (then) most powerful processing packages around. The latest Samsung flagship, the Galaxy S5, aims to take things to a whole other level. How do the two compare? We’ll find out in our quick look at the Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3!

Samsung galaxy s5 vs galaxy note 3 aa 10

A lot of the design elements across both Samsung devices remain quite similar, with the Galaxy Note 3 featuring a slightly more rectangular design. You get the same chrome ring around the side of the smartphones, and the same button layout on the front, with the difference being the integrated fingerprint scanner with the physical home button of the Galaxy S5.

The bigger 5.1-inch display and associated increase in dimensions bring the size of the Galaxy S5 a little closer to the Note 3, especially in terms of thickness and weight, but the Galaxy Note 3 is still a significantly larger device.

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The Galaxy Note 3 was the first device with which Samsung decided to move away from a glossy plastic feel, choosing a faux leather back cover instead. The trend continues with the Galaxy S5, with Samsung favoring a soft-touch plastic back, with a feel quite similar to the first Nexus 7.

The other minor difference in design aesthetics is the inclusion of a plastic flap to cover the microUSB port of the Galaxy S5, that helps to serve its IP67 dust and water resistance rating.

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You get the same 1080p Super AMOLED display with both smartphones, with the difference in display size – 5.1-inch for the Samsung Galaxy S5 and 5.7-inch for the Galaxy Note 3 – bringing in a difference in pixel density, at 432 ppi and 386 ppi respectively. You get vibrant colors, lush blacks, great viewing angles, and everything we’ve come to expect from these smartphone displays.

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The Galaxy S5 features the current best in processing packages, boasting a 2.5GHz  Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, but it’s not that much higher than the Note 3’s 2.3 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU. The Galaxy Note 3 is extremely snappy and smooth, and the Galaxy S5 is only going to be better.

Slightly disappointing is the 2 GB of RAM on the Galaxy S5. It should be more than enough to handle all your multi-tasking needs, with the Galaxy Note 3 featuring 3 GB RAM, it does feel like a step back.

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The key difference in the hardware between both these smartphones is with regards to the camera. The 16 MP ISOCELL camera can take pictures with less noise, even in low light conditions, and also features 4K video recording, which is limited to 5 minutes of video, because of the large size of these recordings.

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You also get a swipe-type integrated fingerprint scanner with the Galaxy S5, which requires you to slide your finger from the top to the bottom of the physical home button to unlock your device. The Galaxy S5 also comes with LTE Cat. 3 2X2 MIMO for faster transfers.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 features a smaller 2,800 mAh battery compared to the 3,200 mAh capacity of the Galaxy Note 3 battery. Of course, the Galaxy Note 3 requires a larger capacity to power the much larger display. Overall, Battery life of both devices should be similar, if not a little better for the Galaxy S5.

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Samsung changed some aspects of TouchWiz, with redesigned toggles in the notifications dropdown, with the Settings also being re-done with round icons. Multi-tasking is also re-designed and easier, helped with the replacement of the capacitive Menu button with a Recent Apps button. You also get Kids Mode, that turns the smartphone into a device for kids where you can choose what apps are accessible, and requires a PIN to get out of.

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The Camera app on the Galaxy S5 has also been given a big update, with a big focus around the large plethora of settings now available for it, and offers quite a lot more than the already feature-packed camera of the Galaxy Note 3.

The Galaxy Note 3 of course runs the older TouchWiz UI, with a lot of elements of it being retained in the Galaxy S5, except for the additional S-Pen functionality and associated apps and features.

Samsung Galaxy S5Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy S5
5.1-inch Super AMOLED, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 432 ppi
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
5.7-inch Super AMOLED, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 386 ppi
Samsung Galaxy S5
2.5 Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Adreno 330 GPU or 2.1Ghz Octa-core Exynos, unspecified GPU in Exynos SoC
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
2.3 Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Adreno 330 GPU
Samsung Galaxy S5
2 GB
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
3 GB
Samsung Galaxy S5
16 MP rear LED flash, 2.1 MP front
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
13 MP rear LED flash, 2 MP front
Samsung Galaxy S5
2,800 mAh
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
3,200 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S5
16/32 GB, expandable
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
16/32/64 GB, expandable
Samsung Galaxy S5
3G, LTE Cat. 3 2X2 MIMO
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
3G, 4G LTE (region dependent)
Samsung Galaxy S5
GPS, GLONASS, microUSB 3.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
GPS, GLONASS, microUSB 3.0, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
Samsung Galaxy S5
Android 4.4 Kitkat
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (upgradable to Android 4.4 KItkat)
Samsung Galaxy S5
142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm,
145 grams
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm, 168 grams

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is still an absolute powerhouse, and if you’re looking for a device with a large display, the Note 3 is still a great choice, but if the latest and greatest from Samsung is what interests you, with its slightly updated processing package and amazing camera, the Galaxy S5 is the better option.