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Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note II

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Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note II
Call quality

Ironically, the Galaxy Note II proved to be the better phone of the two as its earpiece emits much clearer sound, while the microphone is also better. Call quality is one of the very few weaknesses of the Galaxy S4, and this definitely shows when we're comparing it to the Note II. We're also more pleased with the loudspeaker of the Galaxy Note II, which is more powerful and has a fuller sound than that of the GS4.

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 II
6h 16 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy S4
4h 59 min (Poor)
View all


At the end of the day, though, there can be no doubt about it – the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the better smartphone of the two, as Samsung has enhanced a number of key areas like the screen quality, the camera, the processor and the whole user/software experience. The Galaxy Note II is definitely not far behind in any category, and it has advantages of its own, like the bigger screen and the S Pen, but if those aren't super-important for you, we'd recommend that you get the lovely Galaxy S4.

However, if you are currently sporting a Note II and are thinking about upgrading to the GS4, we can't really say that it's going to be worth the effort, except if you are tired with the enormous size of the Note II and want to switch to something much more convenient.

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note II:


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posted on 11 Apr 2013, 05:12 14

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. [+]

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 05:35 9

6. hateftotti (Posts: 146; 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

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 11:16 4

18. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5908; 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.

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 18:34

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.

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 19:14 1

25. ckoch125 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

it's not verizon, it is all the US carriers getting the snapdragon chip s4

posted on 18 Apr 2013, 18:09

34. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1008; 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

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 05:17 4

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

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 05:18 1

3. _Bone_ (Posts: 2137; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

C'mon Ray!

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?

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 05:26 5

4. tryingHARD (Posts: 64; Member since: 31 Dec 2012)

i have enough plastic at home. so annoying! please stop this garbage!

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 12:40 1

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.

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 10:11

29. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)

Trying hard

posted on 12 May 2013, 17:21

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

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 05:28 2

5. darkkjedii (Posts: 12317; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Nice devices, selling my note and copping an s4.

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 05:48 2

9. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3013; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

Keep the Note man, :D
Apart from the build quality, they both look yummy...

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 06:44 2

12. darkkjedii (Posts: 12317; 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.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 05:41 1

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

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 05:35 11

7. FlushGordon (unregistered)

A Note ONLY replaces a Note....period

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 10:47 4

16. SleepingOz (unregistered)

So true! Once you've used a NOTE, there's no going back!

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 18:35

23. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)

I used a note, you can't use it with one hand so pass.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 08:07 2

47. tfreakburg (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)

small hands?

posted on 12 May 2013, 17:25

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

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 05:46 3

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.

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 05:58 2

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..

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 10:56 6

17. SleepingOz (unregistered)

Premium "feel in hands" doesn't mean premium quality, you know..
iPhone and HTC One are clear examples! =]

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 14:39

26. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 885; 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]".

posted on 19 Apr 2013, 09:09

35. rbbnice07 (Posts: 15; Member since: 02 Feb 2013)

So..... All tier one smartphones are the same?...... Hahahahaha oh. Okay.

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 07:32 3

13. darkkjedii (Posts: 12317; 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.

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 07:54

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....

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 10:46 3

15. SleepingOz (unregistered)

I'll keep my GNOTE II, which is still a beast!
GNOTE III may be.. =)

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 15:23 2

20. Larry_ThaGr81 (Posts: 294; 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.

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 15:43 1

21. GrosseFatigue (Posts: 90; 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.

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 19:13 2

24. ckoch125 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

Man the note makes the s4 look tiny

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 16:24 1

27. lozanojc (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Apr 2013)

Hi, which has a better signal ??

posted on 14 Apr 2013, 15:47 1

30. seier (Posts: 3; 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.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 19:58 2

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.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 00:04 3

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.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 08:02 2

33. recond9 (Posts: 49; Member since: 11 Jan 2013)

Both great devices,with different form factors and different sale targets.Comparing them is kind of useless.

posted on 19 Apr 2013, 19:17

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.

posted on 20 Apr 2013, 10:06

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..

posted on 21 Apr 2013, 02:29

39. Damitel (Posts: 65; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)

Both are good but will still chose note 2 because of the stylus.

posted on 21 Apr 2013, 17:54

40. soldier1969 (Posts: 11; 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.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 05:49

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

posted on 22 Apr 2013, 06:38

41. Damitel (Posts: 65; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)

I totally agree, only a note replaces a note. Note 3 will set a competition of its own.

posted on 23 Apr 2013, 19:10

42. k1ng617 (Posts: 263; 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!

posted on 25 Apr 2013, 06:33

43. trawiarz (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)

w w w . cdn.gsmarena.com/vv/reviewsimg/htc-one-vs-galaxy-s​4/crops/fov-video-2 . jpg

posted on 25 Apr 2013, 06:34

44. trawiarz (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)

w w w . gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s4-review-914p9 . php

completely different camera review

posted on 28 Apr 2013, 17:03

45. GrosseFatigue (Posts: 90; 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.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 00:25

46. GrosseFatigue (Posts: 90; 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.

posted on 01 May 2013, 01:00 1

48. bvalde09 (Posts: 172; 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

posted on 07 May 2013, 00:06

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

posted on 07 May 2013, 08:53 1

50. jpswain48 (Posts: 2; Member since: 01 May 2013)

There are 2 types of phones....the Galaxy Note and everything else.

posted on 08 May 2013, 06:43

51. GrosseFatigue (Posts: 90; 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.

posted on 09 May 2013, 08:20

52. jpswain48 (Posts: 2; 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.

posted on 11 May 2013, 16:21

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.

posted on 11 May 2013, 18:10

54. samowal (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 May 2013)

It's the best Samsung Galaxy S4 Its attractive form With great features


posted on 22 May 2013, 07:48

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.

posted on 23 Jul 2013, 07:39

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.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 20:00

62. Omars (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Feb 2014)

I love the big screen and good camera, So note2 or s4????????

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