Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3: Samsung's flagships in a comparison

Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Note 3: Samsung's flagships in a comparison

The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3 are in Samsung’s league of high end smartphones. Though they come from the same manufacturer, they both stem from different families of Android devices, the smartphone and the phablet. There are of course many similarities between the two in addition to some key differences, so let’s take a closer look at the Samsung devices in a direct comparison.

androidpit galaxy s5 note 3
 © NextPit

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is currently being sold for 699.99 USD while for around 540 USD, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 could be yours. The exact pricing of course depends on your country of residence and mobile provider. In today’s quick comparison, we’ll focus on aspects we consider the most important: software, extras and camera.

Software and extras

Both devices run the latest version of Android, namely 4.4.2 KitKat. Despite this fact, this is actually where you will find the main differences between the two. The Note 3 comes equipped with the celebrated S Pen, which is complemented by a lot of new software features. It’s easy to attest to the fact that the phablet is more geared toward productivity. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S5 focuses more particularly on health and fitness applications, and comes with a heart-rate sensor, a rare smartphone feature. Not only that, the Samsung Galaxy S5 includes a fingerprint sensor, though it’s not the first of its kind in this aspect.

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The Note 3 comes with a stylus, while the S5 has a fingerprint scanner and heart-rate monitor. © NextPit


After using either device, a remarkable difference was noticed in regards to the camera. Next to the 16 MP sensor on the Galaxy S5, the 13 MP on the Note 3 isn’t that far behind. A common misconception should be cleared up here though: in reality the number of megapixels doesn’t make a camera better than another, like in the case of the HTC One (M8) with its 5 MP; the results are still great thanks to the UltraPixel technology. In this comparison though, the S5 offers a couple of advantages that the Note 3 doesn’t, seeing as more features and camera technology were developed since the phablet appeared on the market last September at the IFA in Berlin. For one, the autofocus is a lot faster on the S5, taking only 0.3 seconds to focus and shoot. The S5 also has HDR mode with real-time preview, which the Note 3 doesn’t, and Selective Focus for cool blurred out effects among other features. The Note 3 also lets you lock the focus on an object, but the newer Samsung’s feature is a lot more intuitive. The Note 3’s software allows you to add shortcuts to the viewfinder image, which the S5 can do as well. Both the S5 and the Note 3 come with 4K video capture.

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Both cameras have a bunch of features, but the S5 has more megapixels. © NextPit

To know more, you can read more about the best camera features for the Galaxy S5.

Tech Specs

  Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy Note 3
OS Android 4.4.2 Android 4.4.2
Display  Super AMOLED, 5.1-inch, 1920x1080 pixels, 432 ppi Super AMOLED, 5.7-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 386 ppi 
Procesador Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2.3 GHz
Internal storage 16 / 32  GB + microSD 32 / 64 GB + microSD
Battery 2,800 mAh 3,200 mAh
Connectivity HSPA, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac VHT80, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB 3.0 HSPA+, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB 3.0
Camera 16 MP / 2.0 MP 13 MP / 2.0 MP
Dimensions 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm
Weight 145 grams 168 grams
Price 699.99 USD on Amazon 590 USD on Amazon


When looking at the price differences between the two Samsungs, your first thought might be "who needs a Galaxy S5?" I think the third generation of the Samsung Note has raised the bar quite high and is without a doubt a great device. From a personal point of view, the size is too big for an everyday smartphone and the display of the S5 is more up my alley. The Note 3 might almost be more worth your while, because it offers a built-in S Pen, a bigger screen and a lot of productivity nice features, all for less money. The S5 has slightly more performing hardware, a better camera and some extra fitness features, in addition to a heart-rate monitor and fingerprint scanner. In the end, you can make the decision a lot easier if you are torn between the two by asking yourself what you do the most with your smartphone.

Where do your preferences lie? Is the Galaxy S5 a better choice or would you consider a Note 3?

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