Samsung has become one of the leading smartphone makers thanks to a constantly expanding bullpen of excellent Android-based phones. Of its Galaxy series devices, the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been touted as the best because of its excellent hardware capabilities and sleek design. Samsung recently announced the new Galaxy Note 2, though, which is comparable to the Galaxy S3 in several categories.
The Galaxy Note 2 is the follow-up to the surprisingly successful Samsung Galaxy Note, a smartphone-tablet hybrid that was released by the company last year. While some have criticized the phone for looking like a walkie-talkie, many have been impressed with the gigantic screen real estate that is unmatched by any other phone on the market. Though the original Galaxy Note had a huge screen, the Galaxy Note 2 expands the screen size even more. There's still an ongoing debate about whether the expanded screen size was necessary or not.
The Samsung Galaxy S3, meanwhile, remains the company's most popular mobile device for a slew of reasons, but mainly because it is one of few Android devices that can compete with the iPhone 5 in terms of design and hardware. The Galaxy S3 packs a mean punch when it comes to processing power, and the sleek casing offers a more balanced look than the awkward size of the Galaxy Note 2.
Here's how the Galaxy Note 2 compares to the Galaxy S3:
Operating System: The Galaxy Note 2 is preinstalled with the latest version of Android (Android 4.1 Jelly Bean). Android 4.1 Jelly Bean brings in a slew of new features that allow users to control the device more easily than ever. One of the most touted features is the operating system's updated Notifications Center, which now allows users to preview email and text messages prior to launching either application. It also keep users up-to-date about the latest happenings thanks to Google Now. Google Now provides users with information about some of the most regularly searched topics including sports scores, traffic information, weather and more.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but carriers have been rolling out upgrades over the last several weeks. Even without the update, the Galaxy S3 has an extremely powerful operating system that's only slightly outdated when it comes out of the box. The Galaxy S3 should be able to support major updates for quite some time given the popularity of the device.
Winner: Tie (both run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean)
Performance: The Galaxy Note 2 runs on a Exynos 4412 Quad processor that has a quad-core CPU running at 1.6 GHz. The powerful processor is backed by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal hardware. The storage on the phone can be expanded up to 64GB using the microSD card on the outside of the device. The Galaxy Note 2 also features a patented "S Pen" stylus that allows it to perform certain writing and note-taking functions that no other phone in the world can. The Galaxy Note 2 reportedly has 6.66 hours of talk time on its 3100 mAh battery.
The Galaxy S3 is known for having a very powerful processor. The Galaxy S3 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM 8960 processor that has a dual-core and is clocked at 1.5GHz. The Galaxy S3 includes 2GB of RAM, which keeps the phone running smoothly regardless of the process it's running. It also comes with 32GB of internal storage. Users can add up to 64GB of storage using the microSD card slot on the phone. The Galaxy S3 reportedly has 15 hours of talk time.
Winner: Galaxy S3 (slightly weaker processor, but comparable in every other way and has a much better battery life)
Display: The Galaxy Note 2 has a gigantic 5.5-inch display that makes every other phone on the market look puny. The display is only 1.5 inches smaller than most low-budget tablets on the market, which is why the phone has such a distinctive look. The Galaxy Note 2 is not your average smartphone in the sense that it is nearly big enough to be considered a tablet. The display shows images at 720 x 1280 resolution. It has 265 pixels per inch on the screen.
The Galaxy S3 has a 4.8-inch screen that's slightly larger than the screens of other leading smartphones such as the iPhone 5. The Galaxy S3 can display images at a 720 x 1280 resolution and packs in 306 pixels per inch, giving it a better display than the Galaxy Note 2.
Winner: Galaxy S3 (720 x 1280 resolution; 306 pixels-per-inch)
Conclusion: Regardless of the price difference, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is still the king of the Galaxy series devices created by Samsung. The smartphone outperforms the Galaxy Note 2 in almost every way, and it even has a better screen than the smartphone-tablet hybrid. There's simply no way around it: The Galaxy S3 is the best Android device on the market.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S3