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Galaxy S5 vs. Galaxy Note 3: Spec Showdown

Mobile World Congress 2014 is over, but as the next incarnation of the company’s flagship smartphone, the S5 touts all the hallmarks of its predecessor, while adding several other welcoming features in hopes of edging out the competition. Though exterior construction of the S5 is nearly the same as the S4 — aside from the water-resistant encasing and increased display size — the next smartphone in the Galaxy lineup touts an improved processor and camera in addition to an equipped fingerprint sensor and heart rate monitor. Being that the S5 isn’t Samsung’s only smartphone of merit though, how does it stack up against the Galaxy Note 3 phablet? Check our brief spec showdown below for a quick, side-by-side comparison of the two mobile devices.

Also, check out our likeminded Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4, or our Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5S comparison to see how Samsung’s new offering stacks up against its predecessor and Apple’s flagship smartphone. 

Galaxy S5

Samgung Galaxy S5

Galaxy Note 3

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Size 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1 (mm) 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 (mm)
Weight 145g 168g
Screen 5.1-inch Super AMOLED 5.7-inch Super AMOLED
Resolution 1080×1920 pixels 1080×1920 pixels
OS Android 4.4.2 with Samsung UI Android 4.4.2 (TouchWiz UI)
Storage 16/32GB 32GB
SD Card Slot Yes Yes
Processor Quad-core Snapdragon 801 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
RAM 2GB 3GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, NFC Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+, NFC
Camera Front 2.1MP, Rear 16MP Front 2MP, Rear 13MP
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0
Motion Processor Heart Rate Monitor None
Fingerprint sensor Yes No
Water Resistant Yes, IP67 rated No
Battery 2800mAh 3200mAh
Charger USB 3.0 USB 3.0
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Ave. Price $N/A $200+
Availability April on AT&T, Sprint AT&T, Sprint, T-Mob, Verizon, U.S. Cell
DT Review MWC 2014 Hands On 4.5 out of 5

Power and productivity

Outfitted with a a quad-core, 2.5GHz processor, the Samsung Galaxy S5 trumps both its predecessor and the Galaxy Note 3 in terms of sheer processing power. The Note 3 already offers incredibly smooth and sleek performance, and likewise, we expect the next incarnation of Samsung’s flagship processor to be even quicker. However, the two devices are nearly identical when it comes to other various, internal components. Both contain a SD card slot for additional memory — though Samsung offers a 16GB model of the S5 — along with the same connectivity options (i.e. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, NFC). Still, the S5 boasts a heart-rate monitor and fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device and verifying online purchases, along with a slightly smaller battery and less RAM than that lining the Note 3.

Design

Aside from sheer processing power, the biggest difference between the S5 and the Note 3 lies within the design. Although they both sport a rounded, rectangular exterior, the 5.7-inch display adorning the Note 3 easily trumps that of the S5, even though Samsung increased display size between the S4 and S5. The display resolution is identical on both devices (1080×1920 pixels), but the Note 3 lacks the aforementioned fingerprint scanner built into the home button, along with the S5’s water-resistant treatment that allows the device to be submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. Also, as expected, the Note 3 is heavier than the S5, weighing in at a hefty 168 grams opposed to the S5’s 145 grams. Both devices showcase AMOLED displays, rendering both brighter and ensuring increased color accuracy.

Camera

We all know Samsung places strong emphasis in the camera department, whether talking about tablets or smartphones. Equipped with a 2.1MP front-facing camera and 16MP rear-facing camera, the S5’s camera functionality quickly outshines the Note 3’s less pixel capacity, albeit rather slightly. However, the S5′s capabilities also rely more on the rear-facing camera’s ability to capture 4K video, along with the advanced auto-focus features used in capturing crisp action shots in vivid detail. The Note 3 can capture 4K video at 30 frames per second, and rather well, but there’s no denying the S5 camera will only expand upon the company’s previous offerings.

Conclusion

Directly comparing the S5 and Note 3 side by side is a somewhat flawed process. Although both phones are phenomenal, the Note 3 is designed more as phablet than anything else — meaning it’s essentially a small tablet with calling capabilities. However, that said, the S5 is a welcomed improvement in nearly every facet over the Note 3. The speedy processor and improved camera give it the upper hand, as does the fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor, water-resistant exterior, and several other features. Still, nothing compares to the Note 3’s behemoth display.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has been confirmed by AT&T and Sprint. It will be available on the Sprint network in April 2014.

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