Samsung Galaxy S3 vs. Galaxy Note 2 Review: Which Is The Best Designed Android Smartphone? [DROP TEST VIDEO]


By Jacob Kleinman October 1, 2012 4:44 PM EDT
samsung galaxy s3 vs galaxy note 2 drop test

Which Samsung smartphone should you buy? The Galaxy S3 or the Galaxy Note 2? (Photo: via

Based in South Korea, Samsung has become one of the most popular smartphone developers in the world, thanks to their expansive range of well-designed Android-operating devices. The company's two most talked-about smartphones are currently the Samsung Galaxy S3 (Samsung's answer to the iPhone), and the gigantic Galaxy Note 2. Both smartphones feature impressive design, components and software, but which is the best?

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The Galaxy S3, Samsung's most popular smartphone, was released earlier this summer and is on track to hit 30 million units sold this year, according to recent reports. The Galaxy S3 features a sleek design, powerful processor, and a host of impressive features.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is Samsung's latest "next big thing." It's a followup to the original Galaxy Note, which featured a massive screen and surprised early critics by becoming a cult hit with over 10 million units sold. The Galaxy Note 2 features an even bigger screen, indicating Samsung's willingness to push the limits on smartphone design.

Both smartphones are capable of running the latest Android OS, 4.1 Jelly Bean. However, the Galaxy Note 2 comes pre-packaged with the latest OS, while the Galaxy S3 still comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwhich, but can currently be upgraded on most carriers. Android 4.1 is Google's fastest and sleekest OS yet, and features an updated Notifications Center with email and text message previews, as well as Google Now, a new service providing information on frequently searched topics like traffic, sports and weather.

Before getting into the details, let's check out drop tests for both smartphones to see which device features the more resilient design. For some reason, Android Authority really loves dropping brand new smartphones on the ground to see how tough they are.

Here's the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 drop test:

Here's a drop test featuring both the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5:

As you can see, the Galaxy S3's screen quickly shattered while the Galaxy Note 2's display remained intact. The Galaxy Note 2's battery did fall out during tests, but it looks like this may be a design plus, as it appears to minimize the force exerted on the screen at the moment of impact. Round one goes to the Galaxy Note 2.

Processing Power and Battery Life:

The Galaxy S3 runs on a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM 8960 processor, featuring a dual core. The smartphone comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, with the option to double storage capabilities via the MicroSD card slot. The Galaxy S3 also features a long-lasting battery, which Samsung states will last for 15 hours of phone calls.

The Galaxy Note features a slightly more powerful, Exynos 4412 Quad processor chip, with a quad-core CPU. Like the Galaxy S3 it's got 2GB of RAM, but only 16GB of internal storage, which can expanded to 64GB via the MicroSD card slot. According to Samsung, the Galaxy Note only offers around 6.5 hours of phone calls per charge. Because of the Galaxy Note 2's weaker battery we have to give this round to the Galaxy S3 as well, even though the S3 features a slightly weaker processor.

Screen Size and Display Quality:

The Galaxy S3 features a 4.8-inch screen (diagonally), making it one of the biggest on the market. The S3's display resolution is 720x1280, with 306 pixels per inch (PPI).

The Galaxy Note 2 features a massive 5.5-inch display, making even the Galaxy S3 look puny by comparison. The device's size is closer to that of a small tablet than to your average smartphone, placing the Galaxy Note 2 in the unofficial category of "phablet." The resolution is the same as the S3, at 720x1280, but only displays 265 PPI. You know what they, it's not the size of the smartphone, it's the way you use it.; another point for the Galaxy S3.

Conclusion: Galaxy S3 Wins!

The Galaxy S3 is undeniably Samsung's best smartphone, featuring the most powerful hardware available and the sleekest design. The Galaxy Note series will likely never surpass the Galaxy S series in sales or popularity. Instead, the Galaxy Note 2 will remain a niche product, popular among a smaller subsection of Android users while the Galaxy S3 reigns supreme.

Do you agree or do you think the Galaxy Note 2 is better? Let us know in the comments.

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