Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3 specs comparison

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THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 is edging into 'phablet' territory with its 5.1in HD 1080p display, but it still can't compete with its bigger brother, the Galaxy Note 3, for size, as the latter has a larger 5.7in screen.

Samsung Galaxy S5 with Android 4.4 Kitkat vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Here we compare the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy Note 3 head to head on paper to find out whether size really does matter or the Galaxy S5 comes out on top.

Design, measurements and weight
Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 151x79x8.3mm, 168g
Samsung Galaxy S5: 142x73x8.1mm, 145g

It probably won't surprise anyone that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the larger of the two smartphones. It's taller, wider and thicker than the Galaxy S5, measuring 151x79x8.3mm compared to 142x73x8.1mm. It's also 23g heavier too, tipping the scales at 168g versus 145g The larger size means that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 can be hard to use with one hand, although that's often the price you pay with a large-screened phablet device.

Samsung Galaxy S5 with Android 4.4 Kitkat in gold

The two Samsung smartphones are dissimilar in look and feel, too. Last year's Galaxy Note 3 has Samsung's now signature leather effect rear and is edged in faux-aluminium. The Galaxy S5, on the other hand, has a predominantly plastic casing, with its rear featuring a perforated design that makes it sit more comfortably in the hand than last year's Galaxy S4.

The Galaxy S5, unlike the Galaxy Note 3, has IP67 certification, making it the first Samsung Galaxy S smartphone to be water and dust resistant, with the firm clearly upping its game to compete with Sony's Xperia Z2 smartphone. It's also the first of the firm's smartphones to have a heart rate monitor, meaning it could be worth the early upgrade for fitness fanatics, and it's the first to feature a fingerprint scanner.

That said, the Galaxy Note 3 does have a stylus, while the Galaxy S5 arrives lacking support for Samsung's S Pen.

The Galaxy Note 3 launched in three flavours, black, white and pink. The Galaxy S5, on the other hand, will be available in black, white, blue and gold when it is released on 11 April.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 5.7in 1920x1080 resolution Super AMOLED display, 386ppi
Samsung Galaxy S5: 5.1in 1920x1080 resolution Super AMOLED display, 432ppi

The Galaxy Note 3 with its 5.7in screen beats the Galaxy S5 on size, but Samsung's latest flagship smartphone comes out on top in display quality.

With the Galaxy S5's 5.1in display touting the same Full HD 1080p resolution as the Note 3's 5.7in screen, it probably won't come as a surprise that it offers sharper resolution. The Galaxy S5 has a pixel density of 431ppi, while the Note 3 has a pixel density of 386ppi.

However, the human eye likely won't notice much if any pixellation on the Galaxy Note 3 screen, so it's still the better choice for those in the market for a large-screen smartphone.

Next: Performance, operating system.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM
Samsung Galaxy S5: Quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM

In terms of processing power, it's likely that the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3 will be fairly evenly matched. The Galaxy S5 has a nippier Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a chip that was unveiled at this year's MWC and offers improved performance compared to the previous Qualcomm 800 processor found in the Galaxy Note 3.

However, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has 3GB of RAM compared to the Galaxy S5's 2GB.

Operating system
Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, custom user interface
Samsung Galaxy S5: Android 4.4 Kitkat, custom user interface

The Galaxy S5 arrives running the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, Android 4.4 Kitkat. As a year-old handset, the Galaxy Note 3 comes with Google's Android 4.3 Jelly Bean release, although it has - this week, in fact - been upgraded to Android 4.4 Kitkat.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

The Galaxy S5 also sports a newer version of Samsung's custom user interface. This clearly has taken tips from Apple's iOS 7 mobile operating system, boasting a more colourful, stripped-down design that removes a lot of the textures seen on the previous version, with the user interface on the Galaxy S4 often seeming overbearing. As well as making the Galaxy S5 easier to customise than its predecessor, this should also ensure that it will receive software updates faster.

While the Galaxy S5 boasts a lot of the same software features as the Galaxy Note 3, including S Voice and Smart Screen eye tracking, it also introduces some new ones. These include S Health 3.0, which pairs with the heart rate monitor to offer features such as exercise tracking and a pedometer, and Samsung's Magazine feature, a personalised news feed accessible by swiping left on the handset's homescreen.

However, thanks to its included stylus, the Galaxy Note 3 might manage to win over business people and those who like to doodle on the go, supporting split-screen multitasking and touting S Pen support apps such as S Note.

Next: Camera, battery and storage.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 13MP rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash and 4K video recording, 2MP front-facing camera
Samsung Galaxy S5: 16MP rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash and 4K video recording, 2.2MP front-facing camera

Beyond its lack of dedicated shutter key, the 13MP camera on the Galaxy Note 3 received few complaints.

Samsung Galaxy S5 is available in white black gold and blue

However, the Galaxy S5 improves on the phablet's 13MP sensor with a 16MP rear-facing camera that has the ability to shoot 4K resolution video, much like that on the Galaxy Note 3. It also has a larger 0.28in sensor with an increased 1.241µm pixel size, which means that the Galaxy S5 camera will let more light into photos, making for more natural and colourful images.

There hasn't been much of an improvement in the front-facing camera, with the Galaxy S5's 2MP camera having been bumped to 2.2MP on the Galaxy S5.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 3,200mAh battery with 21 hours of quoted talk time
Samsung Galaxy S5: 2,800mAh battery with 21 hours of quoted talk time

Although the Galaxy Note 3 has the largest battery of the two at 3,200mAh compared to 2,800mAh, its battery life is evenly matched with that of the Galaxy S5. That's according to Samsung, which claims that both the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5 offer 21 hours of constant talk time while hooked up to a 3G connection.

However, the Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a new battery saving mode, which means that once battery life sinks below 10 percent the phone can still make it through another 24 hours.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, expandable via a microSD card of up to 64GB
Samsung Galaxy S5: 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, expandable via a microSD card of up to 128GB

The Galaxy Note 3 offers more storage options than the newer Galaxy S5, as the handset is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage models, compared to 16GB and 32GB in the later model.

However, those who opt for a Galaxy S5 likely won't find themselves running out of storage, as the handset can support microSD cards up to 128GB in size, compared to the 64GB handled by the Galaxy Note 3. µ

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