They're two of the most talked-about smartphones soon-to-be-released: the stlyus-enabled Galaxy Note tablet phone and Google's first Android Ice Cream Sandwich device, the Galaxy Nexus. But which phone is the better choice? We've had the opportunity to play around with both devices (albeit for limited periods of time) and would like to share our impressions on how both devices stack up to eachother. Of course, we'd need to play around a bit more with both devices to reach firm conclusions but here's our preliminary run-down:
Both the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy Nexus rock dual-core CPUs, although the Galaxy Note is technically slightly faster at 1.4GHz vs. the Nexus' 1.2GHz. However, in our experience, the Galaxy Nexus was whip-fast while the Galaxy Note would sometimes lag behind, affirming the fact that numbers aren't everything. WINNER: Galaxy Nexus
The camera on the Galaxy Nexus produces crisp, clear photographs and stunning 1080p video....but so does the Galaxy Note, and the Galaxy Note has the added benefit of pretty outstanding photo and video editing software. With the Galaxy Note, you can literally draw over film frames and intricately edit your film right from the phone. In photo editing mode, you can crop images out of photos, place them on your notepad and draw on them . The process is seamless and natural. While the Galaxy Nexus has a fast shutter speed, the more advanced photo and video editing features make Galaxy Note the clear winner. WINNER: Galaxy Note.
Both devices are thin, sleek and sexy. The Galaxy Nexus features a curved design and is a bit slimmer than the Galaxy Note (8.9mm and 9.7mm for the Nexus and Notre, respectively). I would feel slightly uncomfortable using the Galaxy Note as a phone. However, its larger surface area makes it much easier to take notes, draw or edit photos and videos. As far as ergonomics are concerned, I lean more towards the Galaxy Nexus but I think this category is pretty much a toss-up. WINNER: Tie.
The Galaxy Nexus has a very rich 4.65inch, 720x1280p display which is said to produce crisp, clear images. The Samsung Galaxy Note has a much larger 5.3-inch, 800x1280p display. Both are, of course, capacative touch screens, but the Galaxy Note has the greater benefit of being able to work with a highly-sensitive stylus. While some may prefer having a smaller screen, we think the display on the Galaxy Note provides a richer, more immersive experience. WINNER: Galaxy Note
Big screns have their drawbacks, though, as the Galaxy Note seems to have a far inferior battery life to the Galaxy Nexus, according to our very preliminary tests. Now, granted, we'd really have to play around with both devices for a bit longer to really compare them, but in our short time with Galaxy Note, it seemed to require a lot of charging and, once it was plugged in, seemed to charge slowly. WINNER: Galaxy Nexus.
The Galaxy Note has truly amazing photo and video editing software on-board (not to mention a Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint document editor and the wonderful notepad function) but does how does it stack up to Ice Cream Sandwich? Well, we think ICS is superior for a few reasons: first, it features a completely refreshed app page, lock screen, font and settings panel. Second, it's ultra-fast and third, it's got a few wow-factor features like Face Recognition and Android Beam that blew us away. While it's possible modders will be able to port ICS to the Galaxy Note, don't expect an official update. It's close, but I'm going to have to hand this one to the Galaxy Nexus WINNER: Galaxy Nexus.
Obviously, when judging the Galaxy Note against the Galaxy Nexus, you have to take into account the Galaxy Note's stylus (which is smooth, responsive and totally lovely) and the Galaxy Nexus' barometer (which helps it lock on to GPS signals faster). Both phones have support for NFC and Flash and have active noice cancellation features, but the Galaxy Note also supports TV-out. WINNER: Galaxy Note.
The Galaxy Note has a big, beautiful screen that's great for sketching and watching movies but bad for battery life and taking calls. The Galaxy Nexus is Google's first ICS device and has tons of useful new features. Both phones have NFC, fast processors and stunning camera. Which phone is right for you? Well, it depends. Are you looking for a device you can use to express yourself or a device with the newest Android software? Do you use your phone more for surfing the web and using apps or for taking calls? How do you feel about stylii? These are all important questions to ask. Both phones are incredible but we just can't turn down delicious Ice Cream Sandwich, even for advanced note-taking features. The Galaxy Note also feels too awkward for taking calls and has an inferior battery life. WINNER: Galaxy Nexus
CORRECTION: We've just received word that the Galaxy Note will, in fact, be receiving an Android Ice Cream Update. We'll write another comparison when it does. As of now, we're comparing the devices based on the software with which they ship.