Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Samsung Galaxy Note – Whatphone’s comparison

Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Samsung Galaxy Note – Introduction. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the latest iteration of the Google phone. Although manufactured by Samsung, for Google, and released around the turn of 2011 in to 2012, the Nexus and the Note are very different products.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Samsung Galaxy Note – Overview

First among the most noticeable differences, is the size of each of the two devices. The Note has a much bigger screen, and, as a result, chassis. The Note stands out as a truly differentiated device in a market with a lot of similarity.

Size wise, the Note is 1cm shorter than the Nexus and 1.5cm thinner. They’re within 2mm of each other’s depth – hardly discernible. The Note is a standard rectangle but the Nexus seems like it has a slight curve effect to the glass on the front pane which makes it feel more comfortable holding it to your ear.

The Nexus is a no nonsense product with a screen size, operating system and footprint ( physical dimensions ) which put it up against the best in the mainstream : HTC 1X and Samsung Galaxy S3. Still, we’re not comparing those here. We’re looking at the Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Samsung Galaxy Note, so let’s get stuck in.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Samsung Galaxy Note – Key device specification comparison : What’s different

  • Screen.
    This is the most obvious place to start. The Note has an enormous, engaging,  5.3 Inch 1280 x 800 high definition Super AMOLED screen. It’s the feature that defines the device. I could sit and stare at it for hours. The size of the screen allows for a 5 x 5 matrix of icons on each homepage which, once you get used to it, helps navigation. The Nexus has a 4.65 inch screen – also Super AMOLED. With 720 x 1280 high definition. I find that despite the commonalities in technology used to provide these screens ( with both being Super AMOLED ) the Note’s screen is brighter and has richer colors. Perhaps is the Samsung settings or the slightly increased number of pixels on the Note.
  • Processor :
    The Note has a 1.4GHz Dual Core processor. The Nexus 1.2 GHz Dual Core. However, if anything it’s the Note which is slightly slower, just here and there, when scrolling around a web page or moving from the icons. It’s not a deal breaker and it’s not every time. I suspect that the Touchwiz overlay takes up some processing cycles that the Nexus using the standard User Interface which comes with the Nexus, doesn’t have to worry about. They’re both fast devices even although neither has quad core.
  • Memory :
    Both the Galaxy Note and the Nexus come with 16 GB installed. You can take the back off both but only the Note accepts an extra SD card if you’d like to install one.
  • Camera :
    The Note takes better pictures. The Note I have does not have the improved burst shooting capabilities that the Samsung Galaxy S3 does in the TouchWiz software but the 8MP camera does take better shots than the Nexus’.
  • Battery life :
    Despite being a significantly bigger device with a much larger screen, the battery in the Note lasts much longer than the Nexus. With the Samsung Nexus, I found that to load it heavily with a variety of usage every day, I needed to adjust it somehow. I ended up installing a battery control application which helped. The Note was pretty much OK for a full day’s use. When I did get close to empty, having forgotten to charge it for example, I made sure I kept back up charging cables at work and other places. In a nutshell, the battery on the Nexus is a bit disappointing. On the Note, it’s fine.
  • Weight :
    The Nexus is 135 grams. The Note 178g. I actually don’t think it’s the weight of the Note that will put you off it. The practical difference of 30 grams is negligibly – it’s the difference between a light and a heavy T-Shirt. If you’re going to be psyched out by the Note, it’s the dimensions that’ll do it.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Samsung Galaxy Note – Technical Specification Comparison – What’s the same ?

Almost all the other features are the same :

  • Video :
    Both take 1080 pixel – 30 FPS ( Frames Per Second ) video. I found the results better on the Galaxy Note.
  • They’re both 3G
  • They both take full sized SIM cards

Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Samsung Galaxy Note – other influences

  • The Nexus was the first device to run Android ICS – Ice Cream Sandwich. This was a big deal at the time ! The Nexus is,as I’ve said, a no nonsense product and the latest Android Operating System without any of the ‘bloatware’ that some consider is installed on top, will be a major selling point for some purists.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Samsung Galaxy Note – summing up

I’m going for the note. The screen is so awesome and the compromise on performance so negligible that I’m prepared to overcome the mental hurdle of the size of the device. I know, having used it for a while, that you quickly get used to having a mobile phone this big.

The 16 GB of memory on the Nexus is so small and limiting that I’d rather not live with it. And I’m not a purist ( as you’ll be able to tell ) who needs the latest version of Android to feel complete.

Of course, since we already have these devices in the office, I don’t need to compare the pricing. The Nexus is, at the time of writing, significantly less expensive than the Note.

If price is an issue to you – and if you’re a normal person then of course it is ! Then why not sign up to the Whatphone email ? Free of charge, for a month, we will send you the very best price plan deal, comparing the Note, the Nexus and all of the devices in our top 7 Smartphones. After a month, we’ll delete you from our database.

Interested in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus?

View pricing, deals and phone info here

Interested in the Samsung Galaxy Note?

View pricing, deals and phone info here

Jul ’12

Written by:
Kurt Hands

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.