Samsung Galaxy Note II vs Galaxy S III

The Galaxy Note single-member phone family just expanded with its second member, the Note II, bringing many improvements over its predecessor. These include a larger and brighter screen in a more compact body, much more ergonomic S Pen stylus, which has learned new tricks, and a beefy quad-core processor plus 2GB of RAM.

Is the Note II a strong enough package, however, to warrant your attention, if you are eyeing a regular high-end smartphone with “just” 4.8” screen, like the Galaxy S III? Read on our comparison to try and answer this question...


There is some truth to the notion that the Note II is simply an oversized Galaxy S III in terms of its design heritage. It uses the same polycarbonate plastic, and especially the white versions seem very much alike, save for the size. There are subtle differences, though, with the Note II being much less rounded at the corners, and its bezel underneath the display being much thinner than what we see in the Galaxy S III, making way for the huge 5.5” screen.

We’d take the slim and rounded S III chassis before the more rectangular faux-metal rim body of the Note II, though, and still it is much better than the dorky body we have with the original Note.

The Note II weighs about two ounces more, naturally, but nothing deal-breaking in that respect, since the Galaxy S III is already pretty light for a 4.8-incher. Both handsets follow the new Samsung mantra for narrower and taller bodies, easing one-handed operation, but the Galaxy S III is much more comfortable to handle in your palm, of course.


The 5.5” 16:9 HD Super AMOLED screen on the Galaxy Note II is better than the 4.8-incher on the S III in every category imaginable but pixel density. Considering we have three subpixels per pixel now with the Note II, 30% more than we have with PenTile on the Galaxy S III, even that paper advantage is dubious when you look at the screens

The Note II’s screen is much brighter than what could easily be the dimmest AMOLED screen of Samsung on the Galaxy s III, making it much better for use outside under direct sunlight. Moreover, the typical coldness of Super AMOLED colors is almost gone now, and the blueish tint when displaying white is down to a minimum, whereas it is very visible on the Galaxy S III.

In all honesty, the Note II has the best screen Samsung has produced to date, considering AMOLED’s other virtues, like very high contrast and wide viewing angles, and the larger size compared to the Galaxy S III makes it that much more appealing for media consumptions and web browsing on the go.



1. champ_vl

Posts: 44; Member since: Aug 31, 2012

Galaxy Note 2 the best !!

35. Jelly_Bean

Posts: 109; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

sorry The Beast brother.....!!!!!!!!

43. ElizabethSophie

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 07, 2012

I really didn't want to see this fight until the Galaxy Note got ICS with Premium Suite. Samsung IMOP got the best phones out right now. GS3 simple has the best features on any phone that's out today.If any one still using Samsung Galaxy S II then i would suggest to upgrade it with SGS3 .The SGS2 is selling for $232.25 according to this price report .

2. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012


3. AppleHateBoy unregistered

We want PHOLED!!!!

4. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2364; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Two beast , went at it :-) ,, I think the note is better ,,

5. Even4steven

Posts: 45; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

I already have the S3, so I am not really in the market for a new phone. However, I must admit that the Note 2 is a super desirable phone, and has certainly changed my expectations about what a phone can be, as well as what I might want out of my next phone.

6. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

If every, everything on the Note II beats S III, then why, 9.3 for S III and 9.0 for the Note III, PA? Considering size shouldn't be considered as 'con' since it's targetted at specific people.

8. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Note II, sorry

9. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

because ratings also consider the time it is released. you can't rate the Galaxy S III the same way if it was released next year.

7. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

okay, the Galaxy Note II impressed me. the last two pieces of the war are Nexus and Lumia 920.

14. redmd

Posts: 1961; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

screen size + processing power + battery life = my next phone.

10. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

PA, the S III' display is far from being the dimmest Samsung amoled - that title goes to the Galaxy Nexus - it has 247 cd/m2 brightness, while the S III manages 330

12. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Im waiting for the next nexus range.

13. Nocturne

Posts: 24; Member since: May 21, 2012

LOVE the last line of this comparison!

17. vinaka

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Can any body tell Note2 is using Synaptics technology for the screen like Nokia 920.. because it responds to s-pen as well as fingers.. can we use it with gloves on etc?

19. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Guess not. Nokia's device will be the very first one to introduce such tech in smartphone universe. S-pen is designed to operate on normal capacitive touch.

20. platformwars

Posts: 86; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

Note II is amazing.. but the size is the deal breaker for me.. if we had a stylus on a SIII then it would have been amazing.. maybe samsung should introduce something like the NOTE Mini with a 4.3 - 4.8" Screen size and the monster specs.. Also, I would love it if HTC had innovated something like this as im not a fan of Samsungs plastic body... I purchased Desire HD over SII at the time i was buying mainly because of the feel in the hand as it was my first experience with an Android and didnt know specs matter so much.. I was pretty much a Blackberry Boy before this...

21. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Its hilarious to see the amount of thumbs Down here for the comments above which are not in any way controversial or worthy of thumbs down

23. g2a5b0e unregistered

I agree. The people on this site are just ridiculous.

24. SleepingOz unregistered

Lots of Samsung haters here, from both Apple and Nokia camp.. Anyways, GNOTE II is gonna be my next baby!

29. Nookie4u

Posts: 133; Member since: Aug 13, 2012

well I see quite a lot of thumbs down on positive articles of Apple and Nokia too. Guess every camp's spreadin the hate?

25. g2a5b0e unregistered

It would seem to me that the Note II is clearly the winner here. It does everything the S3 does & more.The only reason to get an S3 over the Note II would be if you think the latter is too big.

26. g2a5b0e unregistered

I guess price is another consideration for now. The S3 can be found very cheap on contract now if you know where to look.

27. x88yunkw

Posts: 134; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Wonder why so many downward thumb here? Eventually both r android n samsung. Buy both if cant decide.

28. Nookie4u

Posts: 133; Member since: Aug 13, 2012

this is a great comparison, thanks. Now this got me dreaming about Note 2.

30. Miquel_1987

Posts: 21; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

Well since i don't call that much the note II is something i could use. i am more a media type. Music-movies-fotos-internet. yeah i can see myself with this BEAST :)

31. mathur.shubham1

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

S3 sporting 2 gigs RAM?? not at my place

33. Miquel_1987

Posts: 21; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

37. mathur.shubham1

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

thanks for info.......still NOTE II kicks its ass.....

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless