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Google Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3


Call Quality

Google Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Google Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Callers immediately preferred the Nexus 5 over the Galaxy Note 3, complaining that the Note 3 was very hollow and that they had to concentrate on the conversation to understand us. They said that one or two word answers, as well as the beginning or end of sentences would frequently be garbled or get cut off. The Nexus 5 was not perfect, with some slight muffling being the biggest complaint, but callers said we were very clear and that they had no problem understanding everything we said. On our end it was a dead heat between the two phones, as callers sounded clear, natural and had plenty of volume.


One of the biggest complaints about the Nexus 4 was the less than stellar battery life, and people were disappointed to learn that the Nexus 5 would only have a slightly larger battery at 2300mAh. We are happy to report that for most users that will be enough to get you through a typical day, but heavy users may be looking for a charger late in the afternoon. While the battery on the Nexus 5 is good enough, it is by no means a standout.

Samsung has taken advantage of the Galaxy Note 3’s extra large form factor and stuffed a 3200mAh battery in there, which is user replaceable. If you can run through that battery in a normal day then our hats off to you, because we could easily go through a day of heavy use with plenty of juice left.

Battery life

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
6h 8 min (Average)
Google Nexus 5
4h 50 min (Poor)
View all


It is always hard to pick a winner in these comparisons because each user has different opinions and requirements for a phone. Both Samsung and LG have brought excellent devices to the table, and in reality the Note 3 and Nexus 5 compete in slightly different segments. Still, they represent the top end of what Android has to offer and many users will find themselves choosing between the two. If you’re looking for a super-sized screen and lots of software features (some of them gimmicks) the Galaxy Note 3 is your device, but if you’re looking for the latest and greatest pure Android OS has to offer in a more svelte package then the Nexus 5 is the choice.

Both devices are wicked fast due to the Snapdragon 800 processor, both displays are beautiful and both camera can handle most of what you throw at them. In the end it may come down to price for many users, and what Google has done with the Nexus pricing is simply untouchable.

Samsung Note 3:
Build number: JSS15J.N900PVPUBMJ4
Android 4.3
Google Nexus 5:
Build number: KRT16M
Android 4.4


  • Options

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 08:42 3

1. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Nexus 5 for the looks and one-handed usage.

Note 3 for battery life and being a bit more future proof.

Both devices for rooting and installing a custom rom. :)

Edit: I would have gone with the Note 3. It may look ugly compared to the N5, but it's got 3gigs of Ram, a removable battery and a microSD card.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 08:56 3

3. mturby (unregistered)

wrong choice. on nexus 5 u wont have any issues at all regarding ram. on note 3, it is the waayy too big and it will NOT receive the future android updates unlike the nexus 5. r u quitting android 5, 5.5 or 6 if any? no way

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 09:02 7

5. ilia1986 (unregistered)

First of all - Extra ram is always good. Remember when the GS3 i9305 launched and people were like "2GB of Ram that's crazy! No app needs that!"? I remember. Look where we are now.

Second of all you kinda missed my point - if you want to make the most of your android device you will root your phone and install a custom rom at some point because even Nexus phones are not immune from clogged Android-version-update arteries (see Galaxy Nexus). Custom roms are. And always will be.

Thus - I prefer to sacrifice a bit of prettiness and one-handed operation comfort in the favor of better specs, a micsoSD card and a larger, removable battery.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 10:51 2

16. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10456; Member since: 14 May 2012)

+1 for you, especially with the 2GB example.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 17:22 2

40. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Google gurantees updates for 18 months. Your lucky if your android phone is still getting updates after 3-4 months. They dropped the Galaxy Nexus because the cpu company that makes it left the phone business.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 11:50 1

22. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1214; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

im still trying to figure where do u see beauty in the nexus 5, note 3 looks much better in my opinion, the nexus 5 top and bottom bezel doesnt even match and just looks odd to me, and the backsize the note 3 looks more premium.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 12:03 1

25. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Well the N5 looks more premium a bit. Especially the all-glass front. But that's just my perspective. :)

posted on 19 Nov 2013, 03:32

62. tuney (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)

Is it just me but I find the Note 3 much more aesthetic looking than the N5. At least in the pictures on the first page of this article. I actually purchased an N5 but I do not find it particularly beautiful-- it's very simplistic/drab looking in my opinion. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I was a bit surprised you'd go as far as calling the Note 3 "ugly" next to the N5.

I couldn't afford the Note 3 so I am happy with my N5.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 08:44

2. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 2275; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)

Ehh.... Note 3 if anything....

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 08:56 2

4. mturby (unregistered)

wrong choice. on nexus 5 u wont have any issues at all regarding ram. on note 3, it is the waayy too big and it will NOT receive the future android updates unlike the nexus 5. r u quitting android 5, 5.5 or 6 if any? no way

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 09:05

6. ilia1986 (unregistered)

See my reply to your reply to my post.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 09:17 2

9. silencer271 (Posts: 254; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)

Wrong choice for you . For him good choice. I prefer the bigger screen and its not way to big for some of us use to big things. Most people dont care about future updates most just want a device that is for them.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 10:54 3

17. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10456; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Someone's preference is wrong? Way to not come off as an ass.

Note 3 > Nexus 5 simply because of the larger screen, two day battery life and the S-Pen for me. Friday is going to be a great day for me. Black 32GB Note 3 + 64GB Class 10 SD card + another 50GB of storage for two years of Dropbox for free? Hell yeah!

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 13:23

31. pulkit.tyagi (banned) (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)

and i prefer nexus because of the simple fact that it is fast (wicked fast) in day to day use and i will not have to worry about updates(wokeup in the morning and my nexus 4 notified me that 4.3 was ready for download).
But different people want different things from their devices.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 17:29

41. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

What will you use the 64GB for you can't store apps on it.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 22:42 1

47. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10456; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Lots of music, movies, videos, etc.

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 14:22

64. newphone (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Nov 2013)

PapaSmurf: Can you root the Note 3 and still get all of the cool S-Pen functionality or is most of that built into the TouchWiz?

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 22:58

66. choetechnology (Posts: 8; Member since: 11 Nov 2013)

Yes Please follow some step to root the Note 3 :

Step 1: Download the root package for your variant of Galaxy Note 3 from here. You will also need Odin3 software application, which you can get from here.

Step 2: Extract the package to get to the .tar.md5 file, and save it to a convenient/easily-accessible location on your PC.

Step 3: Reboot your device into Download Mode by pressing and holding Volume Down and Home keys whilst powering on the phone.

Step 4: Launch Odin3 on your PC and connect your Note 3 using USB cable. Wait for Odin to detect the phone (you should see a COM value in the first box, and an Added message in the box below).

Step 5: Click on PDA and select the extracted .tar.md5 file for your device. Make sure Repartition is not checked, and Auto-Reboot is checked (basically, nothing except Auto-Reboot should be checked).

Step 6: Click the Start button and wait for Odin3 to finish flashing the PDA. The phone will reboot as the process completes.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 12:18 1

27. rd_nest (Posts: 1593; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

You are posting same thing every time.
Reported for spamming. Don't be a troll.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 09:11 4

8. gidjmc (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Nov 2013)

So frustrated with the battery of nexus 4. For me definitely the note 3

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 09:33

10. N-fanboy (Posts: 543; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)

Looks: Note 3 (but for its back)
Camera: Note 3
Battery:Note 3
Durability: Note 3
UI: N5
Screen: N5

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 10:57 5

18. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10456; Member since: 14 May 2012)

For me?

Looks: Note 3
Camera: Note 3
Battery: This is obvious
Durability: Note 3 all the way
UI: Nexus 5
Screen: Note 3 - AMOLED is beautiful

As for UI, if I wanted stock 4.4, I can always root, so I'm not worried about that. Note 3 still remains the champion after another flagship has been released.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 11:31 1

20. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10456; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Downloading 4.4 on my S3 right now. ;)

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 11:37

21. HouTexan (Posts: 439; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)

Smurf, I want to root my phone, but don't have much knowledge on it. How beneficial is it?

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 22:45

48. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10456; Member since: 14 May 2012)

If you don't have much knowledge with it, I would hold off doing anything before you damage your phone. Visit XDA, read articles and how it's from different websites, learn some definitions, and know the risks of rooting before you pull the trigger.

Once you know what you're doing, it's fun. :)

posted on 16 Nov 2013, 11:10

58. WallStreetWolf (Posts: 289; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)

CyanogenMod one click installer. All you need is the companion app in the Play Store and a Windows machine. You will have a couple quarks like restarting the downloader, but I have to tell you, I am thoroughly impressed with the results. Stock Android on my HTC One and very happy with it. I am tech savvy in other areas, but I don't care to spend a lot of time rooting my phone and installing new firmware. CyanogenMod has made it easy at least.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 12:10

26. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Which rom? :)

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 02:05

53. Pazookie (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Nov 2013)

Personally for a stalk Android feel I like cynogen mod
I put it in my s3 a couple months back and I got better battery life and my phone was a lot faster. Not I think I am going to upgrade to the note 3 tho because if all the features and specs... I mean come on who can argue the specs are amazing!

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 17:08

55. Pazookie (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Nov 2013)

voice input fail...

posted on 25 Nov 2013, 21:55

70. ssmaximuss (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)

sure the specs are nice but give it a another year and it will be obsolete with the future phones that will come... and then you're paying $699 for that.. something that will be obsolete soon enough? have fun :)

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 09:37

11. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Minimum brightness doesn't matter because you can use screen filter to make it super dark.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 09:51 5

12. dcrethers (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

There is no way in The nexus camera outperforms the note 3. My note 2 took better images than the nexus 5. Cmon phonearena

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 13:25

32. pulkit.tyagi (banned) (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)

they have sample images , go look !

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 10:08 2

13. CannabisHighway (Posts: 18; Member since: 07 Oct 2013)

Why even compare these two phones? They're in totally different ball parks. Note 3 for me.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 10:19 4

14. papss (unregistered)

Note 3 all the way.. i truly hate stocks generic looks. Everything looks very bland. Also battery is huge to me.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 10:20

15. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

It's incredibly how good the Nexus 5 is in low light. Kinda makes up for coming in 2nd in daylight, although that's mainly due to some color issues under the current firmware, Phonearena posted some superb N5 shots, particularly impressively beating out every other tested device in low amount of red clipping (rose shots).

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 11:18 1

19. Commentator (Posts: 3684; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

I went hands on with both at the local Sprint store the other day. I absolutely fell in love with the Nexus 5's look and feel, something I can't say for the Note 3.

I love the Nexus' almost-absurdly simplistic design, it's about the cleanest design out there. PhoneArena might consider it boring, "cookie-cutter," and uninspired, but I see it as almost a trademark in itself. I'll be getting one within the next few days, my problem is whether to get black or white: black feels better in the hand, but white looks better to the eye. I wish they made the white one out of the same material they made the black one.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 14:20 1

34. Magenta (Posts: 17; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

I have the white version...covered in a case. If you need a case, it doesn't matter much IMO but the front speaker grill has a white-tinted color. I went with white because it looks better and I really need a case to protect the baby in pristine condition.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 11:56 1

23. BigBoss10 (Posts: 273; Member since: 31 Aug 2012)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - 10/10
Nexus 5 - 8/10

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 11:57

24. jellmoo (Posts: 1586; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

What you need to ask yourself:

Do you see yourself enjoying a device as large as the Note 3? Are you willing to sacrifice comfortable one handed use and possibly pocketatbility for having a large screen and increased productivity?

If yes, are you willing to pay somewhere in the area of $700-800 for the device, or pay between $200-300 and be on a two year contract?

If yes to all of the above, get yourself a Note 3.

If you answered no to any of the above, you may be better suited to the Nexus 5.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 22:42 2

46. BigBoss10 (Posts: 273; Member since: 31 Aug 2012)

I already owned the Note 3 and all I can say about this device it freggin so cool and run like a beast and by comparing the Note 3 to the Nexus 5 well the Nexus 5 is just like a little baby to it lol....

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 12:38

28. choetechnology (Posts: 8; Member since: 11 Nov 2013)

Both are support fpr wireless technology which help to get fast charging any where. Google Nexus and Note 3 both are competitor and want to compete but according to trend Samasung Galxay Note 3 most popular in market.

And we produce lots of accessories for wireless iphone like "QI Wireless Charger, Charging Pads, Receiver on best price which you can't aspect with quality of product and using these devices you can handle you phone with easily and safely.

Please see you offer and more details at here choetech.com

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 13:09

29. lifeyourlive (Posts: 126; Member since: 23 Aug 2013)

Among these 2 devices i'd choose oppo N1
Battery: bigger than both
Display: bigger than both
Software: official cyanogenmod (will be)
Everything else is the same or compareable... So easy to choose :)

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 13:22 1

30. KingDingaLing (Posts: 324; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)

I don't see what the hype for the N5 is all about. Besides coming out of the box with 4.4, it has nothing that beats the Note 3. I would rather have a Note 2, an iPhone 5s, G2, N1, or Note 3 (which i have). Nexus 5 looks like the turd I dropped this morning.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 14:01 1

33. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1032; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)

Ive seen both phones in person last week and the only reason that Id choose the Note 3 is because Im a big guy therefore I need a big phone.....however, the Nexus 5 is the best Nexus phone since its first release. You cant go wrong with either phone tho

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 14:47

36. danwatson (Posts: 117; Member since: 03 Jan 2012)

For me, I'm so frustrated at battery life of my GS3 I have no choice but to go with the G2 or Note 3. Although I prefer the size of the G2, the Note 3 looks better, will be more future proof, and has some extra options like the pen. Plus Samsung is much more popular so more accessories can be found. It will also play nice with Samsung TVs and other devices.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 15:38 1

37. jpd514 (Posts: 57; Member since: 08 Nov 2013)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with his stylus is so pleasant to use that I would say that it is the most interesting smartphone since the invention of the smartphone by Nokia. The size of the phone is never a problem with the stylus or the resizable display and there is a beginner mode that will accommodate all new users. You will never regret to by one.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 16:49 1

39. scsa852k (Posts: 329; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)

Note 3 is a bit more powerful in terms of specs, and much longer lasting battery is something other smarphone owners could envy.

But, camera wise, despite having higher megapixel, Note 3 comes short in actual images that it takes compared to Nexus 5's 8 MP camera with OIS.

Another downside for note 3 would be loaded carrier and manufacturer's bloatwares that eat up a chunk of memories that you can't delete unless you root and flash custom ROMS.

Android Kitkit 4.4 is smooth and lag free and feels faster than any of the Android devices I've ever used.

So, does having SD card slot, 1GB higher RAM and stronger & removable battery really worth $350 more?

The question is yours to answer.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 17:54

42. ntsiotinos (Posts: 16; Member since: 18 Nov 2011)

I've always loved stylus input since the old Windows CE and Windows Mobile days. It is much more accurate for data input and productivity. I've just got the Note 3 and I cannot believe the handwriting recognition - I can actually be as productive on this device (for some things) as on my laptop. Hats off to Samsung for a brilliant effort.

I cannot go back to just finger input!

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 19:38 1

43. Andrewtst (Posts: 631; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

All the way NOTE 3. ;)

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 20:15 1

44. noteseries (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Oct 2013)

note3 all the way

bigger battery, replaceable, just buy an extra battery kit, than u ll never run out of juice, power bank its not a solution, thx sammy

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 21:26 1

45. taikucing (unregistered)

If Note 3 has android 4.4 & no bloatwares, it will be perfect.

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 03:33

49. gallitoking (Posts: 4718; Member since: 17 May 2011)

Kit Kat out of the box..... Nexus it is

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 08:23

51. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10456; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Or Note 3 and root....?

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 13:22

52. gallitoking (Posts: 4718; Member since: 17 May 2011)

too big for me... and do not like Touchwiz but both are great devices but for me.. the nexus wins... Pure Android is what I like

posted on 25 Nov 2013, 21:51

69. ssmaximuss (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)

It's funny how in this smal thread that Note3 and root are popping up several times together... why struggle with a $699 device to just make it seem pure when $349-399 gives you this out of the box?

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 09:58 2

54. ramtripper (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Nov 2013)

You've got to be kidding me. This review was so f'ing biased Brian K.... your hatred for Note 3 is evident on just the first page. Then, no matter how well it performs - benchmarks, photo, screen quality - you just say yea its good.. but Nexus 5 is just.. well, you know, BETTER.

Just look at the zoomed in photo of the girl's hair. Yeah it's LOWER quality. Maybe it's because you zoomed in MORE?? Did you see the UI comparison?? Look at that RETARDED colorful background he used for the Note 3 where you can't see the icons. LOL such manipulative BS. I don't know how any of you trust any of his reviews.

Note 3 OBVIOUSLY beat out Nexus 5. If you don't like the size.. fine, go to the Nexus. Otherwise, get the Note 3 and don't listen to this dweeb.

posted on 14 Nov 2013, 21:36

56. galaxy4 (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Nov 2013)

iphone is for gay people

posted on 16 Nov 2013, 04:19

57. gabriel2 (Posts: 22; Member since: 27 Sep 2013)

u nid to watch the video they uploaded on youtube this guyz here are so baised even went ahead to say that the N5 take better photo....

posted on 18 Nov 2013, 23:56

60. choetechnology (Posts: 8; Member since: 11 Nov 2013)

yes i appreciated with you


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