Undoubtedly the Samsung Galaxy S3 (S III) is the smartphone of the moment. It is already the big hit everyone predicted only weeks after it first released but if you haven’t yet purchased it or you are not completely sold on this flagship phone then you might want to consider another upcoming Samsung handset, the Galaxy Note 2 (Note II). We thought we’d take a look at the Galaxy S3 vs. the Galaxy Note 2 and Jelly Bean, which could be a deciding factor.
The Galaxy S3 has finally reached the US several weeks after its release in other regions such as the UK and the rest of Europe, although delays are being reported because of current stock shortages. This quad-core (dual-core in U.S.) Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich device has already realized massive sales but is there an alternative? In our look at these two significant handsets we must start by pointing out that specs and features for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 have not yet been confirmed and any information we have so far is from leaks and rumors. Nevertheless we felt it important to mention it as a Galaxy S3 alternative.
The first Galaxy Note smartphone has also been a mammoth success even though some felt that its display was simply too big for a phone when it first arrived. A successor to the original Galaxy Note then is also likely to be hugely popular and when we heard the first rumors of the Note 2, a release date of October this year seemed likely. However yesterday we told of a report saying that Samsung wants to bring forward the release of the Galaxy Note 2 to September, in a bid to get it on the shelves before Apple releases its iPhone 5.
As September really isn’t too far away, those who might prefer a device with an even larger display than the Galaxy S3 might want to consider the Note 2 instead. A reminder of some of the specs of the Galaxy S3, (which differ slightly between the international version and the US models) are a 1.4GHz Exynos quad-core processor or 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 dual-core in the US with 4G LTE connectivity (except T-Mobile US). The Galaxy S3 also has a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display with resolution of 1280 x 720 and it comes in 16 or 32GB storage models expandable to 64GB with microSD. It also has 1GB of RAM (2GB in US) an 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capture, 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera and it runs on the currently latest Android OS, 4.0 ICS overlaid with Samsung’s TouchWiz.
While we have little information to go on so far for the Galaxy Note 2 one thing that does seem to be confirmed is a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display, that’s even larger than its predecessor and quite a lot bigger than the already sizeable display on the Galaxy 3. The same sources who ‘confirmed’ the screen size also told how even though the display was bigger the overall width of the Galaxy Note 2 would be slimmer than before and that the Note 2 design was based very much on the design of the Galaxy S3.
Other specs that have been rumored are rather conflicting. We had already heard about the possibility of a quad-core processor and12-megapixel rear camera for the Galaxy Note 2, though later news suggests an ARM-15 dual-core processor, 8-megapixel rear camera and 2GB of RAM. So where does Jelly Bean come into the equation? At Google I/O the next iteration of the Android operating system was unveiled, 4.1 Jelly Bean, set to release in mid-July. The first new device launched with Jelly Bean is due to be the Google Nexus 7 tablet and OTA software updates will come first to the Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Xoom and Nexus S devices. As Jelly Bean arrives in mid-July and the Galaxy Note 2 is not due until around September, we think it’s highly likely that the Note 2 will launch running on it.
Jelly Bean was revealed in a blaze of glory and has been greeted with widespread enthusiasm from those in the know. A host of new features and improvements are coming with it, such as Project Butter, Google Now, expanded Notifications, enhancements to Voice Search, resizable widgets and more and we feel that many people will be keen to try out the new OS. It doesn’t’ seem plausible that Samsung would then bring out the Galaxy Note 2 running an older OS as it could be one of the first devices featuring Jelly Bean on launch, which would certainly be a strong selling point. Therefore if you want to hold off on your purchase of a Galaxy S3 in the hopes of a new phone running Jelly Bean, the Galaxy Note 2 looks set to be in the frame.
We’re pretty sure that the Jelly Bean update will eventually come to the Galaxy S3 but Android OS updates have been notoriously slow to arrive. After all only 7% of Android devices have so far received the previous Android OS, 4.0 ICS so there’s no way of telling how long it will be until the Galaxy S3 is blessed with Jelly Bean. Once again we must caution that details of the Galaxy Note 2 are so far not official and we simply cannot be definite at this stage if it will release with 4.1 Jelly Bean, however it does seem more likely than not. Another factor we cannot verify at this time is what carriers the Galaxy Note 2 will come to.
We’re really interested to hear your views on this. Have you already decided your choice is the Galaxy S3? Maybe hearing about the Galaxy Note 2 and the possibility of Jelly Bean featuring on it has made you think twice? Or maybe you just like the idea of the Note 2 because of its larger display? Let us know with your comments.