The Samsung Galaxy Note and its S Pen have turned out to be interesting gadgets. The stylus provided allows the user to jot down notes, make sketches and surf the Internet far easier than was originally thought possible. In addition, the weight of the gadget makes for a larger screen, allowing the user to do more and view more, with less need to scroll.
On the other hand, the iPhone 4S boasts of features that include a dual-core processor, the iSight camera, the Retina Display and, of course, the popular voice-activated personal assistant Siri (in its beta version).
Here a rundown of how the smartphones stack up:
The Galaxy Note weighs 178g and has dimensions of 146.85 x 82.95 x 9.65mm. The iPhone 4S weighs 140g with dimensions of 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm.
The Samsung Galaxy Note flaunts a gorgeous-looking 5.3-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels at 285 pixels per inch (ppi). It also has the advanced Corning Gorilla Glass feature to avoid damage to the screen and includes the TouchWiz 4.0 User Interface (UI), which features visual enhancements.
In comparison, the iPhone 4S touts a LED-backlit IPS TFT capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 960 x 640 pixels. The 3.5-inch device also comes with Corning Gorilla Glass and an oleophobic coating which rejects skin oils.
The Galaxy Note is powered by a 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor and Exynos 4210 chipset with 1GB of RAM. It contains the ARM Mali-400 MP GPU which offers a complete graphics acceleration platform and can handle both the graphics system and maximise battery life.
In contrast, Apple's smartphone is powered by a 1 GHz Cortex-A9 dual-core CPU and the A5 chipset with 512 MB RAM. The chipset delivers up to seven times faster graphics handling and is believed to offer gaming enthusiasts a very rich experience, supported by a PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU.
Both smartphones boast an eight-megapixel rear-facing camera with a resolution of 3264x2448 pixels. The Galaxy Note features AutoFocus, Macro, Face Detection and LED flash, as well as several shooting modes like Single Shot, Smile Shot and Panorama. It can record video at 1080p and has a two megapixel front-facing camera.
Apple's smartphone has an iSight camera which features AutoFocus, Tap-to-Focus, LED flash, video stabilisation and photo and video geo-tagging. It offers only a VGA front-facing camera.
The Galaxy Note runs on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system. However, it can be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The iPhone 4S runs on iOS 5. However, the company has released iOS 5.1, an upgraded version now available to all iPhone 4S owners. The upgrade is expected to have fixed several prior issues including battery bugs and loss of audio quality.
Samsung's smartphone includes Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n with Wi-Fi direct and Wi-Fi hotspot. It supports Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP and EDR technology. The iPhone 4S contains Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with Wi-Fi hotspot. It offers advanced Bluetooth 4.0 version with A2DP.
The Galaxy Note has 16GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot for additional memory of 32GB. The iPhone 4S has internal storage options of 16/32/64GB and does not support a microSD card.
The Galaxy Note comes with a Li-Ion 2500mAh standard battery which allows for stand-by time of up to 960 hours on 2G and 820 hours on 3G networks. It provides talk time of up to 26 hours 10 minutes on 2G as well as 13 hours 30 minutes on 3G networks.
In contrast, the iPhone 4S comes with a Li-Ion 1432mAh standard battery which allows for stand-by time of up to 200 hours on 2G and 3G networks. It offers talk time of up to 14 hours on 2G and eight hours on 3G networks.