Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note II
At first glance, the software that's on both devices may seem identical, but it's actually slightly more refined on the Galaxy S4, which has the very latest TouchWiz Nature UX version. It also has the latest Android version, 4.2.2, which is yet to grace the jumbo screen of the Note II, which is currently rocking 4.1.2.
The latest TouchWiz UI adds a bunch of interesting features, and while not all of them will prove to be that useful, we're certain that users will appreciate at least some of them. Some of the new goodies include a host of camera modes like Drama Shot, Cinema Shot and Sound and Shot, as well as some other stuff like Air View, Air Gesture and Smart Rotation. If you'd like to learn more about all the new TouchWiz features, just check out our Samsung Galaxy S4 Review!
Internet and Connectivity
Well, the Galaxy S4 has a higher resolution, which helps it when browsing, but there's a bit more benefit in the extra screen size of the Galaxy Note II, which will make everything bigger and thus easier to see and more enjoyable. Its inferior resolution is noticeable, but it's not really that bad. Not to mention that watching online (and offline video will also be better on the Note II.
Both handsets are LTE-enabled, though the Galaxy S4 has a slightly faster HSPA+ radio for those moments when LTE is not available. It can theoretically achieve HSPA+ download speeds of 42.2 Mbit/s, while the Note II is capped at 21.1 Mbit/s. There's also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 on both, but only the Galaxy S4 sports an IR blaster.
Processor and Memory
While the Note II is equipped with the trusty Exynos 4412, the Galaxy S4 comes with the newer Snapdragon 600, or in some other markets, with the amazing Exynos 5 Octa. We definitely do not notice any difference in the performance of the two devices, though benchmark results show that the GS4 has a significant advantage as far as processing power goes. If anything, the 3D games of the future will surely run better on the GS4, thanks to its newer CPU and GPU.
In terms of storage space, both handsets are identical as they come in 16, 32 and 64 GB flavors, and they also sport a microSD card slot.
Higher is better
Higher is better
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps)
Higher is better
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Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
1. thethird (Posts: 72; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)
I love my Note 2! Samsung will still update to the Note 2 and get those S4 features. Note 3 wil replace my Note 2. Yahoo. [+]
6. hateftotti (Posts: 194; Member since: 03 May 2011)
Today I had chance to work with S4.
It is faster and lighter than my Note II but consider this the screen size is small against Note II.
So as you said I would go for Note III because of bigger display and the advantage of S-pen with all decent features of S4
18. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Plus, if you wait for the Note III, you will get the Exynos octacore chipset, which U.S. GS IV owners will miss out on. Good things come to those who are patient.
I am passing on the GS IV, but will pre-order the Note III as soon as VZW opens pre-orders for it.
22. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)
Lol VZW, stupid CDMA stopping all their customers from using the octa version of the s4.
25. ckoch125 (Posts: 192; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
it's not verizon, it is all the US carriers getting the snapdragon chip s4
34. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1031; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)
I like this article because the S4 and Note2 are that far apart from each other. im surpried that the call quality is better with the Note2 vs. the S4. The fact that the Note3 will have the functionality of the Note2 and the features of the S4 will be something im looking forward when i upgrade out of my blue S3
2. eliasafram7 (Posts: 83; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)
i have note 2 and im so happy with it after 5 months of use it still so great and i would never trade for any smartphone even the S4 but im waiting till the upcoming note 3
3. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
I was eagerly waiting for an AirView comparison in terms of functionality and accuracy, and considering the S4 has super sensitive screen with milk bottle control, why not check the SPens and other pens usability, accuracy, drawing capabilities on the S4.
I just wanna know how accurate sylus input is. Can you make a drawing comparison?
4. tryingHARD (Posts: 64; Member since: 31 Dec 2012)
i have enough plastic at home. so annoying! please stop this garbage!
19. asteala8 (Posts: 17; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)
At least it has power. All of your "premium" phones have the strength of Lil Kim up in North Korea. Pathetic.
55. heldown (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 Feb 2013)
its better plastic than a metal brick that need a plastic case to protect a cheap metal phone , that s the reason why apple ladies use a plastic case
5. darkkjedii (Posts: 19744; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Nice devices, selling my note and copping an s4.
9. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3607; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Keep the Note man, :D
Apart from the build quality, they both look yummy...
12. darkkjedii (Posts: 19744; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
To be honest I'd like to, but I don't need three phones and I think the s4's size will be more to no liking. Plus the extra horse power, 1080p, and new camera really intrigue me.
58. jbreault (Posts: 25; Member since: 04 Mar 2012)
they say ones you go big you'll never go back to a small phone again and now that i have a note 2 it would be hard go back to little phone so bring on the note 3
7. FlushGordon (unregistered)
A Note ONLY replaces a Note....period
16. SleepingOz (unregistered)
So true! Once you've used a NOTE, there's no going back!
23. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)
I used a note, you can't use it with one hand so pass.
56. heldown (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 Feb 2013)
sure if you have small hands you re either a lady a girly then cupertino is your answer
8. Note2waitingonNote3 (banned) (Posts: 87; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)
Not to worry the Galaxy Note 2 is the GOLD STANDARD of technology today. The device every manufacturer is trying to catch up to and copy for that matter. It's the ultimate all purpose productivity device ever made since the inception of android. The ONLY thing that will ever compare is the Galaxy Note 3 in September 2013. When the Galaxy Note 3 launches that will be a day one purchase for me. I will gladly pass on the Galaxy S4 going backwards in screen size will never happen in my world. That 6.3 inch breakable display at 1080p of the Galaxy Note 3 will be industry leading rest assured on that.
10. tryingHARD (Posts: 64; Member since: 31 Dec 2012)
gold standard? which one? gold standard for plastic phones maybe.. hahahaha! but for premium quality one? the lowest element possible..
17. SleepingOz (unregistered)
Premium "feel in hands" doesn't mean premium quality, you know..
iPhone and HTC One are clear examples! =]
26. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 1116; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
And why is that ?
It is obvious you are a huge Samsung fanboy just by looking at the comments section of this website, every flagship phone has premium quality, i don't get the sudden hate for the HTC One nor the hate for the iPhone 5 as it is an excelent smartphone, but this is from a unbiased point of view. I don't really see the need for people saying "[Insert favorite brand here] is better / does this better than [insert a phone that is not from your favorite brand]".
35. rbbnice07 (Posts: 22; Member since: 02 Feb 2013)
So..... All tier one smartphones are the same?...... Hahahahaha oh. Okay.
13. darkkjedii (Posts: 19744; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
It's not a question of the standard, it's a matter of what people want. Not everyone wants a phone that large, not everyone wants android or iOS, or wp8 etc. your screen name suggests a fascination with Sammy, and the note phones, but you only really speak for you. I have the note 2 and love it, but I speak for myself...and me myself will be selling my note 2 this wknd to my nephew. He's been begging for it, I'll then put the difference with it and buy the s4 at retail. Remember these devices are only the gold standard to those that want them.
14. rwitt1 (Posts: 7; Member since: 25 Apr 2012)
A smartphone should work well as a phone. I was looking to get this phone but will not due to the fact I use the phone for business. Sorry Samsung huge fail....
15. SleepingOz (unregistered)
I'll keep my GNOTE II, which is still a beast!
GNOTE III may be.. =)
20. Larry_ThaGr81 (Posts: 438; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I'm definitely not even considering the S4. I will most likely pass on the Note III as well because the time frame is way too short for any major advancements to be made on the Note III.
21. GrosseFatigue (Posts: 138; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
There is no turning back once you are used to a screen the size and the quality of a Note II. I read the newspapers in the train. I don't need a tablet. I am waiting for the Note III. As I said before we will make fewer and fewer phone calls in the future. It will be all text and email and surfing the net and reading the news. The larger the screen the better and I don't see the advantage of a tablet with something like a Note II or III.
30. seier (Posts: 4; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)
There three blatant oversights in this review, number one the battery life on the Note II is better thans to it's girth. Number two writing off screen SIZE as the only factor in movies and games and discarding resolution is ridiculous. Moreover if the 3D speed is roughly 1.5 times as fast, but all the games play at twice the resoution, then the game performance would be slower. I can't believe none of this was covered. Although, from the specs, it looks like we don't have quoted value for talk time yet. They could have given us some fuzzy numbers though.
31. NewLife2011 (Posts: 8; Member since: 03 Jan 2012)
Having owned it for a few months now I am loving the Note II. It is such a well-rounded device and with that great battery life I have yet to find myself saying "My phone went dead.", something I hear all too often. I am in no hurry to see what the next big thing is. I really can't see replacing this phone for at least another year. I will likely pass on the Note III as I'm not interested in going any bigger. Well see once I actually get one in my hands though. I also had no intention of buying a Note II and it has turned out to be one of the best electronics purchases I've ever made.
32. X55526622233 (Posts: 17; Member since: 14 Apr 2013)
galaxy note 2 is the giant form of galaxy s3
galaxy note 3 will possibly the giant form of galaxy s4.
33. recond9 (Posts: 50; Member since: 11 Jan 2013)
Both great devices,with different form factors and different sale targets.Comparing them is kind of useless.
37. kissily (Posts: 53; Member since: 09 Oct 2012)
Will certainly go for the GS4. Considering all the features packed within it's the best. 5inches screen is large enough for me.
38. Jcdz100 (Posts: 16; Member since: 14 Apr 2013)
Beasts on action.. Probably sammy targets two market segments with s-line & note-line.. It is quite hard to think note 2 owners will turn to S4.. But both are terrific..
39. Damitel (Posts: 66; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
Both are good but will still chose note 2 because of the stylus.
40. soldier1969 (Posts: 20; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
Note 3 ftw. Will blow away the S4 in a few months. People with the S4 will hate on it I'm sure.
59. jbreault (Posts: 25; Member since: 04 Mar 2012)
note 3 will not blow away s4 more people like the size of phone but don't get me wrong a lot of people love the note 2 i have one and love it best phone i have ever had
41. Damitel (Posts: 66; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
I totally agree, only a note replaces a note. Note 3 will set a competition of its own.
42. k1ng617 (Posts: 264; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)
That is truly disappointing to hear (no pun intended) that the GS4 doesn't make good calls and has a weaker speakerphone. My main reason for dropping my first Galaxy Note was because it sucked as a phone. GN2 to the GN3!
43. trawiarz (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)
w w w . cdn.gsmarena.com/vv/reviewsimg/htc-one-vs-galaxy-s4/crops/fov-video-2 . jpg
44. trawiarz (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)
w w w . gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s4-review-914p9 . php
completely different camera review
45. GrosseFatigue (Posts: 138; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
I saw an S4 at an ATT store and there is no way I would go back to a smaller screen. I'll update my Note II to a Note III.
46. GrosseFatigue (Posts: 138; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
It is telling that the Note series is doing well despite all those reviews that are emphasizing that it is too big and impractical to use. Actually it is perfect for surfing, watching videos and almost everything. I am not sure how much bigger it can be, 6" 6"3 maybe like the III coming up this fall and at some point it may become too big but right now I know of no one who, playing with an S4, would go back to a smaller screen or switch to an iPhone. Those large screens are really addictive for those who don't want a tablet and a cell phone.
48. bvalde09 (Posts: 181; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
I think the article should have pointed out battery life. Im gonna be honest Smartphone users around the world always complain poor battery life on smartphones (HTC IPHONE MOTOROLA . I was one of them. Note 2 battery is outstanding just for the battery life will keep the Note 2. Waiting for the Note 3
49. kevikevdottcome (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 May 2013)
Need accessories for your note 2, s4, s3, iPhone, ipad etc? Check out kevikevdotcom for all your needs
50. jpswain48 (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 May 2013)
There are 2 types of phones....the Galaxy Note and everything else.
51. GrosseFatigue (Posts: 138; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
For those who think the III will be too big they can always buy the S5 witch will be likely the size of a Note II next year. The funny thing is that when you get use to a big screen you cant go down.
52. jpswain48 (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 May 2013)
The S4 has the current hype, but given a choice of the Note 2 VERSUS S4, the Note 2 is the better value. T MOBILE has them priced the same.
53. soban1997 (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 May 2013)
The things is, yah the s4 is great and all but its not really an improvement over the GN2. Like fot yhe air view thing. In the note 2 It will act like a cursor so it will do drop down menus all that. But in the gs4 it acts like a zoom. Battery is better on GN2 andd the speed of the browser, according to benchmarks such as sunspider is the same. Speed difference between GN2 and S4 is in reality not noticable at all. Even the RAM for the most part is the same.
54. samowal (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 May 2013)
It's the best Samsung Galaxy S4 Its attractive form With great features
57. almariokenneth (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)
I love the Note 2 because it's big but simple. Unlike the GS4 that is a super high-tech phone.
60. StevenTm (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)
You didn't mention battery life, which is much higher with the Note 2 and could be a massive sticking point for a lot of people.
62. Omars (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Feb 2014)
I love the big screen and good camera, So note2 or s4????????