iPhone 5S vs. Galaxy Note 3

Vs Stephen Tenerowicz 15:47, Sep 10 2013

Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 and Apple's iPhone 5S duke it out

Now that Apple's iPhone 5S is official it's time to see if it can live up to its biggest rivals. Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 made its big debut just ahead of Apple's newest iPhone, so it only makes sense to stack the two new devices side by side to see exactly how each measures up. 

While there’s no escaping the fact that the iPhone 5S looks as slick as ever (especially with those splashy new color options including silver, "space grey" and gold), it's what's underneath that really matters. Let's take a look at the phone inside and out to see whether it's truly better than Samsung's Galaxy Note 3. 

Read on for the full comparison.


The design of the Galaxy Note 3 and iPhone 5S are totally different, but I'll start with the 5S. The iPhone 5S is super thin and features the same great design the iPhone 5 had. It's a classic that includes brushed aluminum, a 4-inch display and a new fingerprint sensor on the home button.

The Galaxy Note 3, meanwhile, looks a lot like its predecessors, which is actually a good thing. It's sleek, thin and light in the hand. While it easily stands out for its size alone, the large form factor isn't the only thing that makes the Note 3 pop out from the crowd. The Note 3 also has a faux leather back that adds a nice touch.


Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 includes a 13MP rear-facing camera, 4G LTE, W-Fi, GPS, NFC and comes in either 32GB or 64GB storage options (with the option to expand via microSD). You're also looking at a top-of-the-line processor, the S Pen for stylus interaction and a boatload of other sensors.

The iPhone 5S uses the latest A7 processor and Apple said this is up to 40 times faster than the original iPhone. It also uses an M7 co-processor to deliver better graphics and it has 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth Low Energy and nearly everything you'd expect in a smartphone. The one major thing missing is NFC. 


The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features a larger screen than its 5.5-inch predecessor. Measuring in at 5.7 inches, the Full HD Super AMOLED screen on the third-generation Note offers a stellar video-viewing experience and a ridiculous amount of real estate for achieving those never-ending lists of tasks. 

The iPhone 5S screen is small in comparison to the Note 3's display. It's only four inches after all, which means it is totally dwarfed. In terms of color reproduction, though, the iPhone 5S is a real winner. You get a Retina Display with 326 pixels per inch. 


The iPhone 5S launches with iOS 7 and this includes a radical new version of the software that many of you are familiar with. The iOS 7 platform is still quite easy to use but now it's very colorful, has a lot of new tools for app developers and it includes new features like iTunes Radio. The iOS 7 platform should also have a ton of fun new apps to help you get the most out of your iPhone 5S. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will launch with Android 4.3 and Samsung's custom user interface. Android is a delight to use for calls, texts, apps and Web browsing. Samsung has thrown on some interesting customizations that can really help you take advantage of that S Pen.


The iPhone 5S features a faster, better 8-megapixel camera. As with iPhone cameras in the past, it likely takes great images consistently. The iPhone 5S has larger pixels and a dual-tone flash that could lead to better low-light shooting. 

The Note 3, on the other hand, sports a huge, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. The device snaps great shots, and speaking as someone who has owned the Note 2, the Note 3's camera is even better. In terms of overall image quality at this point it is too hard to tell which one wins, but I'm putting my money on Apple once again.

Final verdict

Obviously we haven't gotten our hands on the new iPhone or Note 3 yet, but I'm calling it a tie! Both devices are great entries in the smartphone market. The true winner here will be up to the consumer.

Disqus - noscript

This article is so Apple biased it's sickening.

"features the same great design the iPhone 5 had"
"meanwhile, looks a lot like its predecessors,"

Meanwhile? Was there a comparison there or just lack of interest once Note 3 was reached?

"40X faster than the original iPhone. Nearly everything you'd expect in a smartphone"

Ok? Who cares about the iPhone 1? The only relevant comparison is the iPhone 5. If you want to be technical I'm sure the Note 3 is 40x faster than the iPhone 1. So what? ...and the Note 3 doesn't have nearly everything you'd expect in a smartphone?

"the iPhone 5S is a real winner."

Compare images when it comes out. There will be little to none difference. Countless articles have attested that even the Kindle Fire HD takes just as good photos as the iPad 4. It goes to show "retina display" is meaningless in the great scheme of what's really happening.

No clear winner? Tie? What you actually compared the specs of both phones? It's a shutout. the Note 3 is more powerful than the majority of laptops on the market. iPhone with a fingerprint sensor? My HP laptop back in 2008 had that and.. it wasn't really even that useful. A friend just rub his finger on it really fast and it opened.

I learned the author is comparing only his anticipation for the Iphone5S vs Galaxy Note 3.

I'd also like to point out that the Note 3 has 368 ppi, that's more than the Iphone and on a bigger screen. So I don't quite understand how iphone wins that category.

The Note 3 actually has higher ppi than the iPhone 5S if that is how he is evaluating that.

368 ppi for the note 3 vs 326 for the iPhone.

This is very biased! If we get into "nerdy" terms the Galaxy note 3 is has a 1080p display with higher ppi. And thats not everything, the new Snapdragon processor is the best in the mobile industry. It has more features which are noticeably better at 1st hand glance.

Now the iPhone 5S is a very good phone, the new Champagne color (yellowish) is stunning! Also the finger print scanner is also the leading feature in all devices. No one should deny that. I am an Android user but we don't always have the best in everything. Other then that the iPhone 5S is not really anything different from last year. The LG G2 & the Note 3 are still more powerful and non laggy android devices.

Next time be less biased and be more professional on your article.

What a horrible thread this writer is a complete moron how did you get this job. Your not even mention how awesome it will be to not enter passwords anymore on the i phone 5s and how much more awesome the note3 is because of its multitasking.

You're toning so hard for the Note 3... It's not even that serious. They're just phones.

yo bro you got a hard on for note 3 damn son

All that reading for a tie. Terrible article.

Really..is anybody really debating whether to get a note 3 or the new iPhone...its simple ..anyone who likes iphones will get the new iphone and thats cool thats there preference... and android lovers who like big screens(like myself)will get the note 3 ..its that simple ..its only human to defend what you like..but everyone buys depending on what cloud there life is on either google drive or the I-cloud

not mentioning the galaxy gear at all that comes with note 3??wtf????

My cloud is on iCloud, and I'm buying the Note 3 when it comes out(6 iPhones later). So, that's not a true statement that folks will buy based on what cloud their life is on.

haha good point.

The writer is a disgrace to ignorance.
Why has he/she/it not been fired already!

Wow really?! The Iphone 5S doesn't even come close to what the Galaxy Note 3 can do. If you are going to compare phones compare them to the same features. For an example in your specs section. You mentioned about the Galaxy Note 3's camera but then don't mention it with the iPhone 5S. Then you mentioned the iPhones 5S A7 processor but don't mention the Snapdragon 800 processor. To top it off you say the Iphone 5S is everything you expect in a phone. The Iphone 5S is no where near what most people expect new and days. That is why their stocks keep going down and people are jumping ship.

The specs section should be... Iphone 5S is 7.6mm thick at 112 grams, screen 4inch 1136 x 640p 326ppi, has an A7 1.5ghz dual core processor, 1G RAM, M7 Video processor (no specs), 8 mega pixel low light sensor with 2 LED flash (one being white and other being yellow), internal storage (16G, 32G, and 64G), no expandable memory, 1440mAh battery (10 hours video, 10 hours talk), 4G LTE, Wifi 802.11n, Blue tooth 4.0, and GPS.
Galaxy Note 3 is 8.3mm thick at 168 grams, screen 5.7inch 1920 x 1080p 386ppi, LTE version has a Snapdragon 800 2.3ghz quad core processor (non LTE has the Exynos 5 Octacore 1.9ghz ARM-Cortex A15 Big Quad core and 1.3ghz ARM-Cortex A7 Little Quad core processor), 3G of RAM, ARM Mali-T628 MP6 @ 600MHz video processor, 13 mega pixel low light LED/IR Combo flash, internal storage (32G and 64G), 64G Max micro SD expandable memory, 3200mAh battery (20 hours video, over 22 hours talk), 4G LTE, Wifi 802.11nac, Blue tooth 4.0, GPS, USB 3.0, true screen multi tasking capabilities, and SPen features.

That is how you do a phone to phone comparison. No just pick and choose what you want to highlight. Do your research. Just like the camera the Iphone 5S borrowed features the Galaxy S3, S4, and Galaxy Note 2 already had. So there for is isn't new or revolutionary like Apple wants you to think. Also there has been finger print unlocks on smartphones before. Granted the technology is not as good as what Apple has but it was also 4 years ago.

SO Just on specs and features alone the Galaxy Note 3 beats the Iphone 5S. Screen color saturation on the Super AMOLED screens can be solved by putting the screen in movie mode. That would give more true color to the Super AMOLED screen. There are some things the Iphone 5S does beat the Note 3 in and that would be true picture color when taking pictures. Also the Optical Image Stabilizer the Iphone 5S has the Note 3 couldn't get enough supply to put in their phones. But even with that, the Note 3 still kicks the Iphone 5S butt.

The Gear watch doesn't "come" with the Note 3, you have to shell out $299 for it.

ARM 64bit give more advantages on graphics and processing performance in apple A7 chip if compare to Snapdragon 800 32bit system

Some cool features about both smartphones are missing from this article:

- Note 3 is capable to shoot 1080p video at 60fps, and 720p at 120fps
(it's unclear what the 5S shoots at since it only shows the "slo-mo" term in the specs)

-Depending on country, some Note 3 may come with 4K video recording capability

- Note 3 has Infra-Red connectivity

- iPhone 5S has M7 motion coprocessor

- Note 3's front-facing camera is 2MP and records 1080p at 30fps

- iPhone 5S front-facing camera is 1.2MP and records 720p at 30fps

In terms of aesthetics, I think both designs failed because they became cheesier than their predecessors, and seems to make HTC One stand out even more as a classy phone. At least, Note 3's geeky specs made up for everything. As for the 5S, I can only say that Apple has lost it's "taste" (refer to Steve Jobs).

Dumbest thing I've ever read. Please explain to us how 64 bit will offer any advantage. I'm curious.

Can't wait to hear this...



note 3 has slightly higher ppi than iphone 5s, this makes this whole article useless because it's either written by a hardcore apple fan or because it's payed (indirectly, ofc) by apple :)

i know, i know!!111oneone

you need 64 bit processors to pass the 3.72 gb of ram limit ... but wait, we all know the iphone5 has only 1 gb of ram, so that ain't the thing... let me see... ah yes! in the next 50 years, all apps will be 64bit and oh wait.. 50 years? yeah... fuck it... iphone sucks hard... and brings crappy "new stuff"... whereas note3 is the sum of all the complaints received by samsung about the note2: drop the cheap looking plastic and make the s-pen have a meaning in the everyday like... the highest specs possible were there anyway, so yea... i'll be paying my $700 to get a unlocked note3 rather than paying $700 for a tiny iphone5s :)

Someone give this man a job as a reviewer, he just pissed on 80% of copy-pasted articles about note3 and iphone5s!! :D

Nice job man!

I own devices on both iCloud and GDrive, but i am really dissapointed by all this hype around iphone, when it's actually a piece of crap in terms of specs inside a beautiful, premium design... a 1.5 dual core with 1gb of ram is impossible to be compared to a 2.3 quad core with 3gb of ram.. period. :)

The colour production is typically better in LCD screens though.

I think it's to early to start predicting the future here, but by all means get whatever you like :)

And to add why is there just a photo for the 5s and not Note 3? Bias alert. Bias alert.

Thank you.

based on comments, note 3 clearly wins... I'll buy it no matter what.. :)

I have the note 2 and I want the note 3 its greats and better sistem than iphone ,the iphone is more the same again and again ...the note 3 its more smart and usable in multitasking .

A tie?
Note 3, all day!
apple is done, they don't know what else to come up with.

This is totally bias review, I wont buy iphone if they stick with current size lcd. It`s too small and I more prefer for more bigger screen.If Apple can bring something bigger as Note 3, definitely I will consider to buy. For now I still stay with my android phone. Currently I am enjoying android on my phone and IOS on my tablet. For your last sentence "but I'm putting my money on Apple once again." proved that you are Apple Fanboy who blindy buy whatever apple give.

It has? The 1gb ram? Well, it just got smaller, because now every pointer will take twice the space they used to.

Hah, I'm a android user, but I have never even tried Google Drive. I store in the Dropbox and transfer with BT Sync, sometimes I even use Skydrive. I think you did mean the ecosystem, and all those apps in the Cloud-Store. Now those are worth something.

paid* but yeah xD

Could not have put it better! I completely agree. The iphone is old news and behind in technology. You Apple fanboys go on talking up your overpriced, weak processored, low RAM'd iphone, because, that is all you have. I will be on my Note 3. This so-called review is biased, there is no comparison.

Bias BS

The iphone 5S also shoots slowmo at 720p 120fps. I've actually been looking for verification of this feature on the Note, because as a guy who loves video, the slowmo feature on the 5S was calling to me. But if the Note can do it, that'll sway me a lot. I'm not particularly brand loyal so it's camera features that'll win me over.
The IR is interesting too

I want the last 3 minutes of my life back after reading this. I think I was just a victim of Google keywords "Galaxy Note 3" returning this article with zero insight, just to give this website advertising dollars. I'd like my cut please.

Althought I'm a Apple fans and has been using since iPhone 3G until iPhone 5, the reason why i keep stick on iPhone partly because I love Apple IOS and iCloud service. This time round I won't go for iPhone 5S. I have sick of it especially its smaller screen size and lousy battery life. I will definitely give a try on Galaxy Note 3. However last thing to give a non bias comments is iPhone 5S new camera features is really amazing on a smart phone. 120fps Burst, True flash..

even tho the galaxy note 3 has more feat. than the iphone 5s, ppl still choose iOS as more of a reliable operating system than andriod. dont get me wrong, the feat. are cool on both phones, but all that stuff really doesnt matter. would u rather have a phone with a million feat. with a crappy OS or a phone with less but still good feat. and have a better OS...? just a thought

Very poorly written review. Not only were you biased but you used extremely poor grammar, along with very weak arguments.

Your rebuttal was amazing. I couldnt have said it better myself.

lcd has more accurate colors but movies look better on amoled

Good job totally missing out the 4K video capability on note 3


P.S. Fail Fail.

120 fps is in 720p. The Note 3 records HD 120fps. More importantly it records Ultra HD at 30fps and Full HD 60fps.

But the 5s does not shoot Ultra HD. The Note 3 does at 30 fps.

I'm aware of that, yes. I was just confirming the iphones 120fps 720p slow motion for the person I was replying to.

I hadn't heard that the Note had it as well until today, which is why I've been looking for confirmation. before that, I was juggling whether I'd rather have 4k or slowmo. But with the Note I don't have to choose, although I'd still like to see it on an official spec sheet.

The galaxy note 3 is definitely filled with lots of features, but i think i'll stick with iphone's ecosystem. I enjoy using an iphone more.

You haven't had to "Enter" a password on Android since its beginning (face recognition, draw lines, etc.). Good thing Apple will have your prints, though.

i mean stephen aticle clearly shows tht he has very little understanding of tech especially there can be no comparison, samsung is mile ahead with its galaxy s4 & note 3 with octacore processor, 13mp camera,spen or note feature. i feel apple is going the nokia way but one thing apple is damn good is in buying all these reviewers.

the difference is that the iphone doesn't require such specs. People always look at processor and ram and base their decision on that.

if you remember, the iphone 5 beat the galaxy s3 on a speed benchmark test with lesser specs than the gs3

Yeah, a 64-bit OS using 1 GB of RAM, please explain that to me? ONe of the major architectural differences between the hardware/os being 64 bit is the ability to have more RAM (IE WIndows XP 32-bit vs XP 64-bit and beyond). Even now there are very few true 64-bit applications for any OS (Windows, Mac OSX, Ubuntu, etc.). Good for apple, but until they stick more than 4 GB of ram into their phones it worthless.

Real gutsy call to pick the tie! not.

Just read the "DESIGN" portion and scrolled down to read coments..because this so called writer is just an Apple fanboy..:/..And you know what? i'm gonna buy NOTE 3 the day it hits the market..:D (Y)

Article was done by Apple Fan anyway

A tie!!? I think an Apple sheep wrote this article.

When talking about the specs it would have bin nice to mention the snappdragon 800 processor and the fact that the note 3 has 3 times the RAM og what the iPhone 5 has. Also the m7 processor do not hjelp delivering better graphics ..... It is a co processor that is fore the senors, gyroscope etc. And to say you are putting your money once again (when was the first Time you did it??) its realy uprofesjonal when you have new er seen a photo taken by the iPhone 5s. Especially when alot off people picked the s4s camera (note3 uses the same) ower the kone iPhone 5 gadd and if tykke new resoults only increases bryter lowe light I would want preffer the one on the note 3 that also feature 4k video+HD recording (sound) and got a new uppgraded flash ås well

And samsung improved their colour reproduction on the s4 and they used adaptive display technology som the screen would adapt to what you looked at. Note 3 uses the same screen and is brighter

yo guys thanks for chiming. My comparisons are very subjective. I'll admit it.

op is an idiot.

specs isn't everything. I'll freely admit I am bias when it comes to comparisons. This isn't a review.

Yes same here, screen size is my concern too.

This isn't a review.

Obviously! You left out a few facts.

ITS A FREAKING PHONE PICK THE ONE YOU LIKE AND MOVE ON. Everybody has different preferences. Neither is better than the other. "What is better for you" is the real question.

Yes, the Galaxy Note 3 has 720p at 120fps slow motion capabilities. I had the website for it but it will not let me post this comment with the website.

Apple Iphone 5S borrowed that slow motion capabilities from Samsung. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (last years model) has the slow motion camera but the 120fps is at 640 x 480p. So of course Samsung is going to improve of that capabilities. The Galaxy S4 has the capabilities too but I'm not sure if it what the Note 2 has or the Note 3 has. My Galaxy Note 2 slow motion does 1/4, 1/2, and 1/8 speeds. It also does fast motion at 2x, 4x, and 8x speeds. So I know the Note 3 does the same thing and has improved on it. They also have more added features to the camera just like what they have on the S4 and probably more. I guess we will have to wait till it hits the market to see exactly what it has.

I believe that Apple is implementing x64 bit architecture now because it plans to unify the iPhone to it's OSX platform hence the "thinking forward" . . . That being said I still think this phone's a POS excuse for an upgrade after 1 year of development I find these improvements absurd. They make several statements in various articles comparing these two phones "iPhone 5s will be cheaper" well they're comparing a 16gb $199.99 price tage to a 32gb $299.99 price tag on the Note 3, if I recall correctly I still paid $299.99 for my 32gb iPhone 2 years ago.

such a stupid article.

iphone never lose. They always win. If iphone is a winner they will shout 'WIN'. If iphone lose out, they will say it's a tie. Apple never lose and never will.

I can't wait for the N3. I personally own the N2 and I love it. My wife has the iphone 5 and always asks to use my phone for everything! And now when I hold the iphone 5 in my hand I wonder why I ever liked it. I used to like the simplicity of IOS, but now its very limited - get a softkey back button already!! Fingerprint unlock seems cool. I'd rather swipe to unlock/purchase vs type in a pin.I am jeolous of that.

I don't usually use the pen much unless I'm using it to point where I'm looking at when 2+ are looking at the screen. I am excited about the additional air command - but hopefully its a feature I end up using unlike the split screen app feature I disabled on the N2.

Screen is so big, I don't have to zoom in as much.The N2 already charges really fast, so with USB 3.0 its going to be ridiculous. My phone already lasts 21 hours on a full charge, so with a bigger battery, forget about it! The only thing I don't like is the $700 no contract price. When they make the iPhone the same size of the N2 and then it'll be a fair fight.

I love how I rather use my N2 for web versus my surface rt and laptop.This has made me seriously consider a chromebook - I think I can live solely off Google soon.

I applaud Apple for providing a low-priced iPhone. Finally they can break into the market that could never afford them. However, I predict this will eat into Apple's elitist image thus lowering the perceived value they have built in the past.

I'd like to see Apple push the envelope on SIRI. I want to have my personal JARVIS like Tony Stark, until that day, Apple needs to make my iPhone almost read my mind. Yes, I'm asking a lot, but if any company will spend money developing this, its's Apple - and for that, I'm pro-competition!

This is ludicrous! There is no room for comparison here. Seems like the author is blowing smoke out of his ass trying to draw similarities between two realms which, although they are considered alike, yet they differ in essence. Apple's iPhone 5s and Samsung galaxy note 3 are two completely different smartphones in terms of technology, quality and performance. However, I believe that the inherently competitive rivalry between the two giants (Apple vs Samsung) is actually beneficial to us consumers because we get to see the best of what they can do in the smart phone industry ....despite the fact that both their prices are ridiculously high

I've always had an iPhone. Both Apple and Samsung offer great smartphones, but each have their strengths; The iPhone has a comfortable form-factor and enjoys a simple and stable operating system. It benefits from a strong app ecosystem, third-party support, world-class customer support, and iOS upgrades that are available to most devices immediately. The Galaxy Note 3 has a larger screen (and smoother/more vivid IMO) for a greater view of content, intuitive stylus, Android's OS customization, removable battery, and upgradable flash storage.

I find the iPhone 5/5S/5C's 4inch screen still too small. When i show photos or web content to friends, it's hard for them to see. I think 4.5-4.7inch is the perfect size for a smartphone, and I was hoping Apple would release a bigger version this year. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I predict iPhone 6 will have a bigger edge to edge screen, but I can't wait that long. I think I'll try the Note 3 this upgrade. I really like the screen size and stylus.

None of you realized how there is only an Iphone 5S picture and no Galaxy Note 3 picture? Completely Iphone biased.

Hi Kevin, thank you for your input on the 5S slo-mo function :) I'm a video producer and yes, the Note 3 grabbed my attention. I'm dying to see what quality of 4K video it delivers.

I'm a video producer as well, and though I don't typically use my phone to shoot videos for clients, I like my own family videos to be good quality. And you never know, if the quality is good enough, I might be willing to stick it on a tripod and grab some b-roll for my stock library if I'm in an interesting place.

At this point for me, the Note is coming up strong on video features, with both 4k and 720p 120fps slowmo, while the iPhone only has 720p 120fps slowmo. But the iPhone has a great still camera, and that's important to me too. I need someone to tell me how the Samsung still camera performs, especially in low light or running children situations. That might be the key to convince me to come over to android in October when my contract is up.

So far the iphone 5 & galaxy S3 are pretty on par when it comes to still, but I prefer S3's flat output. Somehow Apple got everything more saturated, like its displays. And na, definitely no smartphone video for clients XD But I do come across smartphone B-rolls for some documentaries I've worked on, but I have to grade them in a way it looks distinctively different from the rest, because when it goes up as web content, lay audience can hardly tell the difference. These smartphone manufactures are really upping their game.

"In terms of color reproduction, though, the iPhone 5S is a real winner. You get a Retina Display with 326 pixels per inch." The GN3 has apx 386 ppi. I suppose less is more for this guy.
Also, much of the new functionality in iOS has been in Android for years now. And the fingerprint sensor is interesting, but what happens when the NSA wants apple to give them everyone's fingerprints?
One factor he didn't mention is that if I jailbreak my iphone, Apple considers me a criminal. That led me away from Apple 5 years ago.

But don't get me wrong, the iPhone is a very nice starter smartphone. It's so simple, a toddler can use it.

Mr Stephen Tenerowicz - how did you get this job? Did you land it by mistake or pure luck? Did you read the job advertisement wrong? May be you should double-check with your headhunter if you applied for the right job. Better change your profession because your articles are so disgusting and lacking logic. Are you sure nothing is wrong with the logic part of your brain? Are you a devoted Apple fanboy because your nickname is same as that of Steve Jobs?

Really? Do you know how troublesome it gets when someone's ipad/iphone battery dies after only 1 and 2.5 Apple only gives 1 yr warranty and its batteries are non-replaceable. The customer will be suprised why his iphone suddenly died after a SHORT time, and can't even replace bec warranty EXPIRED and new battery is too expensive. if you were that customer, how will u feel? May be you will end up wishing for a phone with replaceable battery or one that comes with a free extra battery :)

If it's not a review, why are you critique-ing a phone or comparing 2 phones and drawing biased conclusions?

slightly? lol its like 60 pixels more per "INCH" on a 5.7 display.


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