Samsung is in an interesting position with its mobile range at present, with arguably the flagship device produced by the Korean Corporation being overshadowed by a more recent release.
The Galaxy Note 4 was released during the latter part of 2014, and is the most up to date smartphone in the Samsung armory. Yet traditionally the Galaxy S6 has been the standout smartphone for the consumer electronics giant.
Thus, any potential Samsung customer is faced with an interesting conundrum when purchasing a Samsung Mobile; which of the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 is the better device for them? Here is the ValueWalk guide to these two premium smartphones.
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Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. Galaxy Note 4
Design and build
This is one of the obvious areas for comparison and contrast, with the Galaxy Note 4 being significantly larger in size than its Galaxy S5 cousin. This would be one of the major selling points of the Galaxy S5 to be noted immediately, the fact that it is more mobile and easier to cope with for people with smaller hands.
With a 5.7-inch screen the Note 4 certainly qualifies as being a phablet; it measures 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm and weighs 176g. Samsung’s 5.1-inch screened Galaxy S5 is much smaller, measuring 142 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, and it weighs just 145g. The Galaxy S range will always score well in terms of convenience and compactness.
However, it wasn’t quite so favorably received in terms of its build quality and appearance, with the plasticky feel of the device not winning favor with the critical community. Galaxy Note 4 has been significantly improved over the appearance of the Galaxy S5, and also comes complete with Samsung’s S Pen and related functionality built in.
The Galaxy Note 4 is probably a step forward over the Galaxy S5, but the large and relatively unwieldy size will not appeal to everyone.
The phablet-sized Galaxy Note 4 is very much designed to make the viewing of photographs and videos easier, and delivers an excellent experience in this respect. The resolution of the device is also superior to the Galaxy S5, with the smaller smartphone boasting a full HD resolution compared to the whopping 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and 515ppi density of the Galaxy Note 4.
Even with a relatively small screen size such as this, quad HD does make a significant difference to the clarity of images produced. And although Samsung has included Super AMOLED display technology in the Galaxy S5, in reality the Note 4 is certainly is superior in this department.
Processor and performance
Both of these devices are at the top of their particular class in terms of performance, but how do they compare to one another?
The quad-core 2.7 GHz Snapdragon 805 Krait 450 processor makes the Galaxy Note 4 one of the most powerful phablets on the market. Samsung has always specialised in cramming its devices full of powerful specifications, and the Galaxy Note 4 is no exception to this rule.
However, although the Galaxy S5 doesn’t quite match up to the Galaxy Note 4 in terms of processing quotient, the 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 graphics capabilities which Samsung has armed it with are more than respectable.
It is also worth bearing in mind that the Galaxy Note 4 is dealing with a larger screen, and having to shift weightier and more detailed graphics around it. Nonetheless, the Galaxy Note 4 is certainly a faster device than the Galaxy S5, even if its phablet status means that the gap between the two is not as large as the figures related might suggest.
Both of these mobiles can be boosted up to 128GB via micro-SD, so there isn’t anything to choose between them in this department. It will be interesting to see how, and indeed whether, Samsung responds to rumours of a 256GB iPhone when it releases is 2015 model of the Galaxy S series.
Again, both handsets are pretty similar here. Both feature 4G technology, with dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-F, and both have NFC functionality at the heart of their portfolio of features. Both are also armed with download boosting capabilities, and there are certainly no problems for either device with regards to connectivity and Internet capabilities.
Samsung has particularly focused on providing the best quality camera possible in mobile devices in recent years, and the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 both continued this trend. The rear-facing cameras contained in both devices are extremely similar in both quality and specs, with 16-megapixel snappers being at the heart of both handsets. Other features included dual-LED flash and autofocus, and the ability to capture UHD video at 30fps, full-HD at 60fps and HD at 120fps.
Both handsets maintained the reputation that Samsung has for really accommodating keen photograph takers with its mobile devices.
One of the major plus points of the Galaxy Note 4 over the Galaxy S5 is that it has a significantly more powerful and longer lasting battery. The 2800 mAh battery in the Galaxy S5 is certainly adequate, but it is to some extent dwarfed by the 3220 mAh cell included in the Galaxy Note 4. Samsung has also included extra power saving functionality in the phablet-sized device, and the Galaxy Note 4 certainly offers a longer life cycle per charge.
One might have noticed that the Galaxy Note 4 scores significantly better than the Galaxy S5 in most categories. However, there is a reason for this. The Galaxy Note 4 is around 50 percent more expensive than the Galaxy S5 in the United States, whether you purchase the device outright or on a contract basis.
Naturally this has pushed a lot of consumers towards the Galaxy S5, but if you want the extra quality and specifications of the Galaxy Note 4 then many reviewers have indicated that they consider the additional price to be worthwhile. The larger size of the Galaxy Note 4 doesn’t appeal to everyone, however, in both aesthetic and practical terms, and thus this should be taken into consideration as well.