Samsung makes so many mobile devices, it's easy to lose track. But if you're looking for the company's two biggest and best flagships, then you'll want to track down the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3. How does Samsung's new top-tier smartphone compare to its primo phablet? Join Gizmag, as we compare the features and specs of the GS5 and Note 3.


The lines between phablet and smartphone are getting blurrier. The 5.1-in Galaxy S5 would have been considered a monstrosity just a few years ago. In fact, its screen is 89 percent as big as the original Galaxy Note's – and many pundits mocked its huge screen as a ridiculous novelty when it launched in late 2011.

The Note 3 is still bigger, but maybe not by as much as you'd expect. It's six percent longer and eight percent wider than the GS5.


The Galaxy S5 is actually a little heavier than the Galaxy S4, but the Note 3 is still 16 percent heavier than the new flagship.


Samsung is on quite the pleather kick of late. The big difference here? The Note 3 has faux stitching to go along with its faux leather, while the GS5's pleather has dimples.


Several colors to choose from with both devices. Samsung also added new Merlot Red and Rose Gold options to the Note 3, but on most carriers you'll just see the three standard black, white, and pink hues.


The Galaxy S5 gives you 80 percent as much screen real estate as the Note 3. Both devices have 1080p displays, which means the GS5's screen packs those pixels in a little tighter.


Samsung's S Pen stylus is a core piece of the Galaxy Note puzzle. The pen gives you some extra precision when navigating the Note's big honkin' screen. It also lets you activate Air Command, a pop-up set of shortcuts for Note features like Pen Window, Action Memo, and S Finder.

Fingerprint scanner

One of the GS5's big new features is its fingerprint scanner. Like the iPhone 5s' Touch ID, it lets you unlock your passcode-protected phone with your unique print (only here it requires a swipe, rather than just a quick press). You can also use the GS5's scanner to authorize PayPal transactions.

Heart rate sensor

If health-monitoring sensors are going to be the next big thing in mobile, why should Samsung miss out on the fun? No worries there, as the GS5 has a heart rate sensor that sits underneath its rear camera.


Too early to jump to conclusions about the GS5's battery life, but its 2,800mAh battery shouldn't hurt its chances.


The GS5's rear camera has a higher resolution than the Note 3's.

4K video recording

Both devices have 4K video recording feathers in their caps.

Slow-motion video

Like the Note 3, the GS5 lets you record slow-motion video at 120 fps.

Samsung Gear compatibility

If you own anything other than a Samsung phone, you won't get much out of the company's three new wearables. But both of these flagships play nicely with the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit.


An IR blaster, good for transforming your phone into a TV remote control, lives inside each of these devices.


Performance isn't a concern with the Note 3, and it shouldn't be with the GS5 either. The Snapdragon 800 is a beast, and the 801 is slightly faster.

As you'll usually find with recent Samsung flagships, the non-LTE versions of these phones ship with octa-core Samsung Exynos processors in place of Qualcomm's.


The Note 3 does give you an extra GB of RAM over its little bro.


More storage for Note owners as well, though both phones let you expand its base storage with a microSD card.


Both phones run KitKat, though the Note 3's Android 4.4 update might not have rolled out to your carrier just yet.

Release cycle

The Note 3 has been around for a hair under six months. The GS5 launches globally in April.


The GS5 typically runs about US$650 off-contract, or $200 on-contract in the US. The Note 3's standard price is $50 higher, at least without a contract.

For more on Samsung's newest flagship, you can read our full review of the Galaxy S5. And if you're considering a few other phones, you can check out our 2014 Smartphone Comparison Guide.

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