Today sees the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini at an event in Germany. This “smaller” handset from Samsung comes with a 4 inch screen, which is similar in size to the iPhone 5. But while it is similar in size it is certainly not similar in terms of power. To find a comparable phone from Samsung you will need to look to its larger siblings, the Galaxy S3 or Galaxy Note 2.
The iPhone 5 is the largest phone that has been released by Apple and the Galaxy Note 2 is one of Samsung’s largest phones, yet there is still a big difference between the two handsets in terms of size. The iPhone 5 is larger than earlier iPhones but with a 4 inch widescreen display it is still much smaller than many other handsets available today. The Note 2, on the other hand, is smaller than the original Note but still very large with its 5.5 inch display. Many people have been put off by the Note’s larger screen but it has its advantages for things like web browsing and drawing, something that the Note excels at thanks to its S Pen stylus.
The two screens do not just differ in size. Apple has used an LED backlit IPS screen with in-cell LCD panels while Samsung has opted for its Super AMOLED screen technology that has been used on most of its earlier Galaxy phones. Because of this, the Note 2 provides much more vivid colours but the iPhone’s pixels seem to float on top of the screen rather than slightly behind it.
On paper the Galaxy Note 2 has a larger resolution at 720 x 1280 (compared to the iPhone’s 640 x 1136), but due to the differences in screen sizes the iPhone provides a sharper image with its “Retina” 326 ppi compared to the Note’s 267 ppi. Both still provide exceptional quality and they are two of the finest phone screens currently on the market.
The in-cell panels used for the iPhone 5 are a new technology and apparently the difficulty in producing these screens in large volumes has been responsible for the stock shortages of Apple’s latest phone. Because it is a new technology it is also largely untested in real-world conditions, and there are more than a few iPhone 5 owners who have reported problems with their screens. These problems include flickering displays and a strange bubble effect that occurs when the screen is touched. These problems affect a small number of customers and most iPhone 5 owners have not reported any problems at all, but it is something worth bearing in mind when considering the new iPhone.
The size of the two devices may be the most obvious difference between them, but the Note 2 is also unique for coming with a stylus, called the S Pen. The S Pen can be used for handwriting recognition as well as drawing, and the Note 2 comes with many apps designed for drawing and animation. S Memo is an app that is only available on the Note and Note 2, which allows you to quickly take down notes, ranging from meeting minutes to general ideas. These can be supported with images and sounds that can be pasted into your notes to make them more interesting.
The iPhone 5 includes Facebook integration, Siri, and a new Maps app that has been designed by Apple. This Maps app has received a lot of criticism for errors contained within it, although Apple is working hard at rectifying these problems. Google Maps is available through Safari, and Google Maps is the standard map app included on the Galaxy Note 2.
The iPhone 5 is a more “normal” sized phone while for a lot of people the Galaxy Note 2 will simply be too large. But the choice between the latest iPhone and the Galaxy Note 2 is not just a question of screen size. The inclusion of the S Pen stylus makes the Note 2 much more suitable for things like drawing, and for creative individuals is a much more worthwhile device than Apple’s latest phone.