iPhone 5S vs. Galaxy Note 4

The Galaxy Note 4 has just arrived from Samsung last week and it has left many impressed. Still there are people who argue for the iPhone 5S when it comes to a debate about which phone is better. On the premise that a customer needs to review all their options, there come associations which might seem unfair. 

Nonetheless, the iPhone 5S and Galaxy Note 4 are two flagships that have impressed and continue to impress many. The iPhone 5S has been released in September, 2013 so the Galaxy Note 4 comes as an anniversary present, a little cheeky gift from Samsung. No matter which side you’re on, you can’t deny that the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge are top-of-the-line devices, and so is the iPhone 5S.


Let’s just get OS out of the way in the process of comparing the iPhone 5S with the Galaxy Note 4. You can be and Android or an Apple fan, each to their preferences and opinions about performance and appearance of the OS on these devices. Some argue that iOS 7 is optimized in a way that it helps your battery live longer and your phone work faster. Others beg to differ. When it comes to the Galaxy Note 4 and Android KitKat, fans will appreciate the wide variety of apps, games and features they have access to, not to mention Material Design.

Let’s just say that OS is to everybody’s preference. We’ll try to focus on raw specs and performance reviews to see which phone is better for each of you. Some of you will go for the smaller, maneuverable and lighter phones, the iPhone 5S turning your head faster than the Galaxy Note 4. If you enjoy a 5.7 display which you can use for serious multi-tasking purposes from movie watching to scribbling notes on a Super AMOLED 1440*2560 resolution, 515 ppi screen, you might gravitate towards the Galaxy Note 4. The Galaxy Note Edge is for those of you who envision your phone as a high-tech communications’ device, with a secondary edge-screen – hanging off the edge. 

The iPhone 5S rocks a 4.0 inch display for those of us who don’t need a phablet for a phone and prefer a device that will fit our pocket easier and perform all the things we would want an IPS 640*1136 326 ppi screen to display. The iPhone 5S and Galaxy Note 4 both are premium design with metal frames and Corning Gorilla Glass protection. Since we’ve no choice than to talk about features at some point, let’s start with the fingerprint sensor: present both on the iPhone 5S and Galaxy Note 4. The Note 4 has NFC built in, while that trait will only be present in the iPhone 5S’ successor, the iPhone 6.

Since the Galaxy Note 4 is a newly announced device, it’s only natural that developers got their hand on innovative stuff, which compared to what Apple had at hand in September 2013 when the iPhone 5s was released, is a step ahead. Not necessarily to the detriment of the iPhone 5S. Even though the Galaxy Note 4 sports a 16 MP rear camera fit with optical image stabilization, geotagging, HDR, panorama, Dual Shot, simultaneous picture and video shooting and can record 4k, you might not need all that horsepower. If you’re looking for something that has a powerful CPU which can manage to do all you need it to without bloatware and clutter, the iPhone 5S’ camera might not bother you with its 8 MP rear shooter which lacks OIS and 4k recording, but it can do the rest. Selfie-cams on the two flagships are 3.7 MP on the Galaxy Note 4 and 1.2 MP on the iPhone 5s, so if you’re keen on selfies, the correct choice would be the Galaxy Note 4. Don’t forget that there are phones out there with front cameras designed specifically for selfies, like the Lumia 730, HTC One M8 or the Oppo Find 7 .

In the raw specs field, the iPhone 5S runs on iOS 7 (upgradable to iOS 8) and a dual-core 1.3 GHZ  Cyclone (ARM v8-based) CPU and PowerVR G6430 GPU.  The iPhone’s setup has been receiving both positive and negative reviews, some saying that it runs faster and smoother than other Android devices, others are saying that they are troubled by bugs and software issues. In any case, the juice is provided by a  Li-Po 1560 mAh battery that Apple has just offered to change if in trouble. The Galaxy Note 4 runs a Snapdragon 805 or Exynos 5433 clocked at Quad-core 2.7 GHz Krait 450 and a Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 & 1.9GHz quad-core Cortex-A57.

It seems like an unfair comparison, but if you’re in a rut and these are the options you’ve come down to because you prefer some things on both flagships we’re comparing, it seems appropriate. The Galaxy Note 4 is a younger device that will take some time to land in your hands, but the iPhone 5S is readily available and it will probably accomplish most of the stuff you need. If you’re a stylus-fan, though, you should go for the Galaxy Note 4 with its optimized sensors and S Pens. The Galaxy Note 4 has a microSD slot if 64 GB internal memory isn’t expandable.

In terms of support, both iOS and Android are about to upgrade, Android from KitKat to Android L (Lemon Meringue Pie, Lollipop) and iOS from 7 to 8. Both upgraded operating systems are widely anticipated, so whether you choose Apple’s or Samsung’s flagships, you’ll have upgradability and extensive support for your software. But you also have the iPhone 6 coming up, Apple bringing forth a 5.5 iPhone 6 model that will surely impress. If you’re not in a hurry and have the cash at hand, you might be wiser to wait and see what Apple is planning.

We should talk about price, though. The iPhone 5s sets you back $200 with a two-year contract and for $800 retail. The Galaxy Note 4 will probably price like the Galaxy Note 3 did when it launched, $750. So, we have a winner. Since the Galaxy Note 4 trumps the iPhone 5S in all but the logo, we can safely say that either you wait for the iPhone 6 or wait a little bit less for the Galaxy Note 3, or rush into it and spend a hefty sum on a phone that has been out-specced. Even though the iPhone 5S is an impressive flagship that can be the perfect sidekick, it might not come alone. Since I assume you’ve heard about the iWatch coming out, you probably know that the timepiece will presumably be pairable to your iPhone 5S.

The smart thing to do now, is to just wait for the holiday season. There are dozens of phones being launched, from the Xperia Z3 to the HTC One E8, LG G3, Galaxy S5, Motorola Moto X to Chinese flagships that are more promising than ever, like the Xiaomi Mi4, Hiawei Ascend Mate 7 and Meizu MX4. I personally recommend you reviewing every single option you have, because you should always aim for the phone that is just right.

Apple is planning the release of the iPhone 6 in two variants, a 4.7 inch and a 5.5 inch phablet, making its way into multiple market segments. Everybody is talking about the September 9 event in Cupertino, California, not just because the iPhone 6 is going to be launched, but because of other Apple products like the iWatch and iPad Air 2. If you’re on the hunt for a phone, you should exercise patience and manage with something random until sweeps begin, because you’ll have the opportunity to choose from the many premium devices that will be on sale, saving you some cash.

If you’re not a patient man, you should keep on pondering on whether the iPhone 5S is the one that fits you or the Galaxy Note 4. It depends on your needs and we always need to consider this when talking about new releases. Whose needs did the company have in mind when designing a device? In any case, comparing the iPhone 5S with the Galaxy Note 4 is not an easy task, because they are actually in widely different classes. Nonetheless, each encompasses a proportion of consumers that were looking for the exact thing the flagships were designed for.