Choosing Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Note 2 & Jelly Bean factor

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.


36 thoughts on “Choosing Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy Note 2 & Jelly Bean factor”

  1. anonymous says:

    How can you compare the Galaxy S3 to a phone that is not yet released? Sorry but this article is pointless.

    1. Note Lover says:

      It’s always good to have an open mind of possible phones coming out. Sure, it is mostly speculation, but so what?  It’s gives people an idea of what could possibly be available so that they can make an informed decision.  I read just about everything and have learned a lot, considering about a year ago, I knew nothing about Smartphones. It’s the articles and forums where I’ve learned the most and have made my decision based on those articles and visiting stores for hands on.  I’ve wanted the Note since I first read about it and nothing’s changed, I will still be getting it when it comes to TMO.  So what if the Note 2 is coming out?  We won’t see it until next year, then I will probably get it on another line that’s due for an upgrade.  Not everyone has to have the biggest and best (including myself), I look for, and research a phone that best fits my needs as I’m sure other people do also. 

  2. Jonathan a. p. espiritu says:

    I was thinking of getting the Samsung Galaxy note before (not NOTE 2) my friend told me that the galaxy S3 has a quad core (as you’ve said) but there was a review about galaxy note saying (GALAXY NOTE IS A HYBRID BETWEEN A TABLET AND A SMART PHONE), as as far as the new galaxy note 2., I really don’t know what is the difference between the old android and the android jelly bean., and how this upgrade would be useful.

    1. NOt 2 vs S3 says:

      Ummm… well you are right Jelly Bean is an incremental upgrade from ICS, hence the transition from 4.0 to 4.1 instead of 4.0 to 5.0. But there are differences: e.g improvement on the already fantastic notifications, Project Butter which makes everything so much smoother like animation transitions and Google Now which is an info system like SIRI and S-Voice but more for info rather than using it for phone processes (e.g. calling, opening apps, txt) and other smaller improvements. In the end we are not even sure if it is going to get JellyBean but if you want the bigger Screen Realestate you pick the Note 2. If you can wait then best bet is to wait for Note 2 to come out and compare to see which one is better for you
             -Hope this helped

  3. Steve T says:

    I got the S3 and the system is so fluid and so many features i really don’t see how jellybean is going to make much difference, S3 is best phone on the market so far. People who go for the note 2 should choose purely on screen size as the S3 certainly isn’t lacking anything

  4. Jonastelsop says:

    With the current information about the note II it seems the main factor will be the screen size. Of course I would prefer jellybean to ICS bit not on an oversized phone or undersized tablet.

  5. John says:

    iPhone 5 vs Samsung Note 2

    Smaller screen, less RAM, less cores, slower cores, no pressure sensitive stylus, no microSD support, non-removable battery and none of the S-features like Smart-stay, Direct Call, Smart Alert, S-beam, S-memo, Formula Match, etc.

    I Fail to see anything revolutionary in the iPhone 5.

    At best, the iPhone 5 will just be ordinary with the current rumoured specs.

    The Apple team got to really pull up their socks and come up with something truly extraordinary if they want to make a dent to the sales volume of the Note 2 this coming end of the year holiday season.

    Otherwise iPhone will quickly become irrelevant in the smartphone market place.

    This is clear as Apple have to rely more and more on injunctions, not innovations, to compete with the likes of Galaxy S3, Tab and the Note 2.

    If the injunctions fails to stop the sales, Apple can always borrow Elop from Microsoft and send him to Seoul to be the next Samsung CEO.

    Maybe, just maybe the Koreans won’t notice where he’s been and done…he he he !

    1. YourMom says:

      You’ve only read spec on both and you’re making stupid set in stone predictions. You fail to see anything revolutionary in the Iphone 5?? You haven’t seen one at all, that why you fail.
      Dent into the sales of the Note 2? The orig note still only has 7 million buys to date. Yes I believe the Note 2 will sell better but you’re making way too many assumptions and treating them as fact. The fact is apple has huge brand loyalty and that won’t change any time soon, barring the iPhone 5 absolutely flopping.


  6. John says:

    Samsung Note 2 with the Exynos 50250 quad cores…that’s where the excitement will be this fall.

    ICan’t wait…

  7. Keith says:

    The problem isn’t the delayed updates. What is discouraging is the lack of communication about the status of updates. The first smart phone maker that truly interacts with there customers on a real time basis will probably see a greater success then they could have imagined.  Simple application ideas, bug reports, and status reports tell users that they are valued by device developers.  No one likes to feel objectified and that is the way every major manufacturer and cell phone carrier makes their customers feel.  it is like we are treated like we have no choice… one day that will change.  I just hope it is sooner than later.

    1. Amp says:

      Not to rain on your parade, but that’s one advantage of the apple ecosystem. I recently switched to a galaxy note from an iPhone and love it, but the lack of timely updates sucks. I wish google would tighten the rope on the manufacturers and carriers a bit regarding device updates, but that’s th price you pay for open.

  8. Michael Aston says:

    I believe the 3 III will be updated sooner as Samsung have made a great effort to , make it uniform across the carriers… of course XDA will be well up to speed too.

  9. Techrenn says:

    not long got my hands on my note figured i’d upgrade to the note 2 straight away gaming on the note is so much fun hoping they can continue aswell hopefully better on the note2

  10. Goldie says:

    I was just about to buy galaxy s3. Now i think i better wait for the Note2 with biger screen, with more memory, more better pixles and faster speed. It is true what they say ”Good things comes for those who wait” 

    1. William says:

      then you should wait for galaxy note III, or maybe IV, wait V is more likely to be superior. 

  11. Peter Tysoe says:

    Sorry, I don’t agree that this comparison is ‘pointless’; I’d been thinking along exactly the same lines myself. My current contract on my S2 will expire soon and I had been considering an early upgrade to an S3, but then the rumours about the Note 2 started, and now I think I’ll hold out for the Note 2. The specs seem fairly solid already. Same capabilities as the S3 but a bigger screen, bigger battery, S-Pen and (probably) Jelly Bean ‘out of the box’: makes it a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned!

  12. peter whiteman says:

    I’ve had my Galaxy Note since xmas i’m kinda shocked  they’re increasing display size on it’s successor.

  13. Joe says:

    I’m new to the android market (An Iphone convert) but just got the galaxy note and have been impressed with the device less the seri withdrawals, so to hear about jelly bean makes it a game changer. It would be good if they could pick up the pace. On getting the updates out. Only which I had known about the note ll a week ago

  14. Shawn says:

    Thank  you for this article…. I was just in the Tmobile store yesterday looking at the S3 and almost bought one to upgrade my current Galaxy.   I’ll do anything to avoid having to go through the “wait and see OS upgrade”, so I’ll wait for the Note 2.

  15. Dom says:

    Snap. I just got a Note?! Im already in love with it and to think an Note II is the way. Should have done more research even though I healed out for a while. But a 5.5 screen is pushing ‘pocket’ size. Just to ask, is NFC technology hardware or software?

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  17. Sounds great except the Pentile screen….step up your game Samsung.

    Note 2 is what the disappointing s3 should have been in the first place. 

  18. Blah says:

    Ah Geez,  was just going to pick up a S3 but looking side by side I liked the note better.  I asked the guy about the possibility of a note 2 but he figured next year.  I think I could hang on until september for a note 2.  

  19. JoJo Gunn says:

    i would like to believe the Galaxy Note 2 will compete against iPhone 5 with Google OS Jellybean, 12mp rear camera, snapdragon 2.0 mhz processor,etc. all the latest to compete against a 3D camera/video phone from iPhone

  20. hoodslide says:

    Definitely waiting.  Perfect sized screen for reading programming pdf books, esp with ezpdf reader which shaves the margins on the fly.  Tablets are nice, but I can’t see carrying one with me at all times.  Saw a rumor about the screen resolution being 1680×1050.  Wow.  Bonus: can’t wait to ditch tmobile!

  21. Michael Brown says:

    Really love the big display, the Galaxy note 2 ia  MOST. i HOPE t-MOBILE GETS IT, B UT i HAVE TO HAVE IT, NO MATTER WHO CARRY IT.

  22. Obed Castaneda says:

    i have a galaxy note and its huge alrdy. note 2 is even bigger? wow. im going to need a side buckled case for it because it will no longer fit on my pockets.

    i will wait for it no matter what carrier.

    ** i just hope the specs are quite significant from the note. it’s pointless to boost it up just a little bit on the note2. e.g. processors,camara, ram, screen resolution, etc.
    And like many,
    i hope that the note 2 will come out surprisingly more powerful that they make iphone 5 look like an atari.

  23. BTownBiz says:

    “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.” 

    its all about teh bezel..if they can fit more screen wit less bezel then that equals bigger screen without having to make teh phone wider..ppl also think using a S pen (stylus) is outdated or wahtever because Jobs declared them dead..these ppl obviously havent play “Draw Something” ..i dont have “fat” fingers but still its a pain in teh butt using your finger tip for things like that & many others that require a precise touch..i have teh AT&T version of teh SGS2 (exynos version) & i love it..been a Galaxy S’er since teh Captivate & would go wit teh S3 as soon as contractually possible BUT i do like teh bigger screen of teh Note2 for web browsing, vids, books & pretty much everything other than making phone calls..teh S pen would come in handy (Draw Something remember ;P)..if it comes out with as good or better specs as the S3 (im talking cpu, RAM, screen res, camera & OS..amongst other little things),..i could see myself jumping the Galaxy S ship & picking up a Galaxy Note 2..thats teh only phone i could see getting me to actually not get a SGS3 (just not an iphone guy..hate itunes & ALL that comes wit it wit a passion!!!)

  24. Ultimatenaji says:

    NOTE 2:

    – Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
    – Quad Core Exynos Processor
    – 5.5″ Super Amoled HD Screen, without affecting size of phone.
    – 3000 mah battery.
    – Flagship Device.
    – .. and many more cool accessories.