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Apple iPhone 5s vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3


Apple iPhone 5s vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Timing is everything in the industry! One moment, one smartphone is being praised with acclaim, and the next, another newer smartphone is taking the spotlight – seemingly taking away the fanfare surrounding the previous one. Well folks, that’s exactly what’s going on in the space right now, as the iPhone 5s arrived on the scene a week ago, only to be challenged by the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 this week. Heading into that crucial holiday time frame, there’s no arguing that these two are vying for business from consumers, so let’s dissect them both to find out how they perform against one another.

Apple iPhone 5s vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Apple iPhone 5s vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Honestly, there’s nothing really new with the designs of both, as the iPhone 5s recycles the design of its predecessor – while the Note 3 receives a subtle redesign with its faux-leather rear casing. Regardless of that, it’s the iPhone 5s that continues to have the premium attachment with its design, which is mainly attributed to its sturdier brushed aluminum casing. Although Samsung mixes it up with a new textured rear casing, accented by the stitched pattern around the sides, the Note 3 is still a plastic device at heart, which doesn’t have the same luxury feel as the iPhone 5s. And when it comes to size, there’s no arguing that the iPhone 5s is considerably more form fitting in the hand and less taxing in the pockets than the ginormous Note 3.

Diving deeper into their arsenal, we really need to point out the Note 3’s extensive offerings – it’s just packed to the roof with so many goodies. Specifically, it features an IR blaster that turns it into a universal remote, the S Pen stylus for precise interaction with the Note 3, and a removable rear cover that grants us access to its battery and microSD card slot. There are still many other small details too, like its microUSB 3.0 port that exemplifies its features set. In contrast, the most noteworthy thing coming along with the iPhone 5s is its new biometric Touch ID finger print sensor, which is accurate and provides us with yet another security option.

Apple iPhone 5s
4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches
123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
3.95 oz (112 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

Samsung Galaxy Note 3
5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 inches
151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm
5.93 oz (168 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

Apple iPhone 5s vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Going off their size, it’s a battle between big and small in the comparison again, as the Note 3’s 5.7” display easily dwarfs the iPhone 5s’ 4” display. Heck, the entire body of the iPhone 5s can fit within the Note 3’s display by itself! To be exact, it’s a 4-inch 640 x 1136 Retina Display on the iPhone 5s, and a significantly larger 5.7-inch 1080 x 1920 (1080p) Super AMOLED screen in the Note 3. Naturally, the detail superiority goes to the Note 3, but it’s only evident when we look at the two very closely – just because our eyes can’t tell the difference from a normal distance.

Each has their strengths and weakness, naturally, but when it comes to outdoor visibility, it’s the iPhone 5s that continues to be the winner. And when it comes to colors, the iPhone 5s’ display produces the more realistic colors – whereas it’s over saturated on the Note 3 in the default mode. Putting these two side-by-side in a store, though, we certainly feel that the Note 3 would get more looks due to its iridescent glow and sharp looks.

Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that there’s more tech involved with the Note 3’s display. In fact, it’s able to track our finger, or the S Pen, while we’re hovering it over the display. It definitely has some benefits, like in the web browser, where the S Pen is able to mimic the function of a mouse cursor.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPhone 5s 587
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 360
View all

Apple iPhone 5s 360-Degrees View

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 360-Degrees View

  • Options

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 06:36 30

1. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 2286; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)

Really phonearena.. iphone 5s? LoL smh.....

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 07:00 34

8. ABDULGHAFOOR (Posts: 104; Member since: 04 May 2012)

"TouchWiz continues to look cartoony by comparison" lolz iphonearena

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 08:34 32

44. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 1524; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)

Yeah man.... And they even changed the wallpaper into some kind of stupid cartoonish painting thingy to make their Statement believable and true.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 10:09 6

57. ABDULGHAFOOR (Posts: 104; Member since: 04 May 2012)

hahahhahha agree

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 01:37

85. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

You fool that is the official wallpaper of the note 3
It's too childish

posted on 12 Jan 2014, 07:21

187. andrewoid92 (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Jan 2014)

Lol my thoughts exactly..

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 09:35 24

53. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)

"iOS 7 is simply more precise and pays more attention to the smallest of details, while TouchWiz continues to look cartoony by comparison."

this one made me laugh

early today PA posted a article about how buggy and unfinished ios7 is...and now they are saying that ios7 pays more attention to small details....

yeah...touchwiz is cartoonish...but compared ios 7 it looks good....ios7 looks like it's made for teen girls...

posted on 05 Oct 2013, 00:56 1

106. moroninc (Posts: 193; Member since: 14 Jul 2012)

Phonearena shouldnt be allowed to review iPhones... too much of a bias going on there... Pound for Pound a complete mismatch The Note 3 is also quite easy to use but not for your average grandpa (you got your iPhone for that) its unfair to be comparing to iPhone which is such a small phone that desperately needs a redesign. A marketing gimmick is what the iPhone is...

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 14:31

142. PhoneCritic (Posts: 923; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

I agree 100% John V's reviews are no longer valid. not because I favor Samsung over Apple but because the Reviews are inconsistent. PA has been reporting on the ugliness of iOS7 and in this review John v states

"iOS 7 is simply more precise and pays more attention to the smallest of details, while TouchWiz continues to look cartoony by comparison."

Overlapping and inconsistent text formats PA has been reporting all day and John V makes this statement. this is the third drop of the ball by John and to me his reviews are invalid because they contradict the reporting here ( PA is speaking out of both sides of its mouth).

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 14:40 17

67. Rkiller (Posts: 6; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)

Lol i had enough of IPHONEARENA, stating the iphone as 'premium' because after one month your aluminium crap get brushed on the face and then it looks so premium lol Puke review again. Comparing a phablet and a small ass iphone and says the iphone fits more comfortably lol Hello noobs, as if you didn't know the Note 3 is a phablet. Instead of your puke review you should have stated that the Note 3 is an amazing job by samsung for making a bigger screen and keeping the size of the phablet unlike the SAME crap for the iphone!! And noobs when comparing screen, you must state also when watching videos on the smartphones. Because there is a BIG difference in details when watching full HD or HD videos on a bigger screen like 4.7> than the small ass screen of iphone. Concerning IOS 7, its a good job to begin with by apple but its still far away from Android. Congrats again Iphonearena for showing us your stupidity :D

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 01:39 1

86. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

Lol the plastic is too cheap
Samsung letters written on the back remove after 6 months

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 02:40 2

91. Rkiller (Posts: 6; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)

yes agree but dont say the iphone is great in terms of quality. And atleast samsung change the back cover. Now time will tell which is better. Am not a samsung fan. But you can see this review is biased. There are other reviews by Iphonearena itself where it critises the Ios7. I dont say the iphone 5S is not a good phone but am bored with the same thing each year. If you consider fingerprint scanner as useful you can buy it.

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 04:56 5

93. deewinc (Posts: 392; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

2yrz and they haven't scratched even an inch on my SII. Probably you have a hand with the grip of a sand paper.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 13:17 1

124. GoogleSafariFox (banned) (Posts: 100; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

No, big deal with plastic. Only Lame a$$ iFans like you hates it. And those Letters on the back of each Sammy's latest flagship phones doesn't fade. LOL. But that Aluminum gets fade after one month of use. LOL!! Truth hurts iSheeeep!

posted on 18 Oct 2013, 09:15

154. 123Andy (Posts: 7; Member since: 25 Jun 2013)

I thought it was a weird comparison to make, but they are both around $800!!!!

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 19:22

102. Andy777 (Posts: 4; Member since: 04 Oct 2013)

You say that after a month aluminum scratch. But after a fall of Note 3 that cheap plastic and fake leather breaks, is a phablet should have more speed all phones, the iPhone 5S exceeded the speed. There is this garbage you say, overcame the S4 and Note 3 and Note uses this trick to change their outcome. IF the Note 3 is better should have better camera, better screen resolution HTC One has more pixels and the Sony Z1 beats on camera, and also not much unlike the Note 2, where this evolution, and your criticisms iOS 7, but samsung does not have its own OS, Android uses, as does other brands of phones, and android has many malwares that the President of the USA said that if they could improve on that, I wonder in what sense it is better Note only different is bigger screen but does not have the best resolution of the cell, ok have a pen but you say is a phablet and you can open two windows the only difference, and if you want bigger screen for that is what made Apple the iPad, but good Samsung is so good it is at number 8 of the top brands, I forget that Apple is in first place and sold 9 million iPhones in 3 days when Samsung takes more than 3 months.

posted on 05 Oct 2013, 11:54 2

112. Rkiller (Posts: 6; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)

Dude why are talking about HTC and Sony z1? Its a comparison between note 3 and isame here. And when did i criticize the IOS7. I mentioned its a good job by apple. But it still lacks easiness of Android. Samsung and others do not have their own OS but thhey use better OS than apple. I TOTALLY AGREE with you that Android has malwares. Thats why apple is able to sell more iphones in America. And my son leather breaks? lol Did you miss that part when i said the Note 3 is a phablet comparing with isame? Concerning display resolution dude note 3 may not be the best but it is way better than the iphone :) Oh you mean you put the apple ipad in your pocket and use it as a phone? > what i am trying to say is ATLEAST Samsung did a good job by putting a bigger display, in the same compact body. Unlike your isame :) thats called an EFFORT. And let me correct you Apple is not in the first place because of iphone only. Dont try to be an inoob. I dont have any problem with apple. I have used an iphone 4S and was satisfied that time. But i do not agree with this totally biased comparison. You can see John trying to hide the disadvantages of isame here infront of the note 3. Dont talk nonsense, i am here for innovation and good product whether it is apple or samsung or others.

posted on 05 Nov 2013, 13:38

174. machello (Posts: 35; Member since: 03 May 2013)

R U from Russia, or what??????

posted on 05 Oct 2013, 22:11

113. w84u2cy (unregistered)

Fanboy alert...Fanboy alert! BEEEP....BEEP...BEEP!

I made an account just to type that...

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 14:46 13

69. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

Hi guys Johnnnnnnnnnnnn VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV from iPhonearena and I am going to compare The Beast (Note 3) with Toy (iPhone 5same).

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 19:28

103. Andy777 (Posts: 4; Member since: 04 Oct 2013)

But in the benchmarks, the iPhone 5S already surpassed in speed and performance are in some youtube videos and think that the Note 3 is a samsung phablet and tricks used to manipulate the results but the iphone win.

posted on 05 Oct 2013, 01:02 2

107. moroninc (Posts: 193; Member since: 14 Jul 2012)

seriously ?? Youtube on iphone 5s?! maybe if you squint! .. Who looks at benchmarks before buying a phone?? Apple never did it, They dont need to do it. not like my grandpa would want to know how fast the iphone runs.. kekeke it just works yeh

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 01:48 1

89. MobileKicker (Posts: 212; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

Now android fools will say that
The call quality of the note3 is better 3 vs 2
The stupid amoled display in front of the legend retina display
The pixels... Retina has 3 sub pixels in a pixel 326 by 3
The fingerprint scanner vs the s pen
EarPods vs quadbeats
A dual core 64 bit processor is better than octa core processor
The iOS 7's 3d icons appearance
Dual led flashlight vs 1

Now tell who's the winner

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 14:21 6

97. bbblader (Posts: 590; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)

every pixel on anything with pixels has 3 subpixels you retard :D
what is so legendary with a retina display?how legendary old of a gimmick it is?

posted on 04 Oct 2013, 19:31

104. Andy777 (Posts: 4; Member since: 04 Oct 2013)

But in Pixels beats the HTC One to Note 3. And that the Note 3 is a phablet.

posted on 14 Oct 2013, 02:05

146. himynameismiika (Posts: 13; Member since: 14 Oct 2013)

hahaha, this made me laugh so hard I made an account just to comment. Stupid Amoled display vs retina? Come on! Note 3 has a 1080p display vs iPhone 640p, that's not even hd. ok, iphones retina display has a pixel density of 326, that's good, but the Note has a pixel density of 386 and a 1,7 inches bigger screen. Fingerprint scanner is cool, can't argue with that, but the S Pen is really good too. iPhone 5s has a Dual-core 1,3 Ghz processor... man, Note 3 has a gigantic 2,3 GHz Quad Core or an 1,9 Quad Core and a 1,3 Quad Core. The iPhone has a good camera, yes, but if you say that the camera is better just cause of a flash, man you're cheap... GET YOUR FACT STRAIGHT!!!

posted on 14 Oct 2013, 05:04

147. himynameismiika (Posts: 13; Member since: 14 Oct 2013)

If the Note 3 screen would be as small as the iPhone 5s screen (4 inches), the pixel density would be 550 dpi, when the iPhone 5s would only have 228 at a size of the Note 3 (5,7 inches) so you can tell me witch one has the betetr screen... So don't you argue with facts you don't know ANYTHING of. You might think I am a Android fan, but the reason I am saying this is 'cause you argue without knowing a crap of what you are talking about.

posted on 09 Nov 2013, 00:56

181. maxtremors (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)

Your comparison is completely irrelevant, and total nonsense. That a given resolution would have a higher or lower ppi at different screen sizes is obvious, but you get no meaningful information from the comparison you mentioned.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 06:38 34

2. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)

Wow, really? iPhone 5s looks like a toy next to the Note 3.

posted on 03 Oct 2013, 07:54 4

32. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)

Assassin compared to a tank. Both are deadly when used right my friend.

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