Samsung Galaxy Note Review: Head-To-Head With The Galaxy Nexus And Streak 5

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If last week’s showdown between the Droid 4, Droid 3, and iPhone 4S didn’t get your blood pumping, prepare yourself for the heavyweight round. We’ve got the hotly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note going up against the Dell Streak and the beastly Galaxy Nexus.

Obviously the Streak is a somewhat older device, but it’s very similar in size to the Note which should give former Streak owners a good idea of what to expect out of the Note. Meanwhile, the GalNex is yet another huge screen that Note enthusiasts are probably considering, as well.

Onward!

The Streak is just a hair thicker than the Note, at 10mm compared to the Note’s 9.7mm waist line, and sports a smaller 5-inch screen. The Streak can also be used with a capacitive stylus, though it really can’t compete with the pressure-sensitive Wacom-style S Pen. And to be quite honest, the Streak can’t compare with the Note in terms of performance either.

That’s not to say the Streak is a bad phone, but it’s simply too outdated to show any real competition in the spec department. For example, the 5-inch Streak display only has a resolution of 480×800 while the Note boasts a 1280×800 resolution on a 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED screen. The Note is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor whereas the Streak runs on a 1GHz single-core processor.

So again, the Streak is duking it out based on size similarities rather than performance, but the Galaxy Nexus is a different story.

Anyone who’s interested in the Galaxy Note is down for a giant screen, which means the Ice Cream Sandwich-flavored Galaxy Nexus is probably in the running too. Obviously the G-Nex doesn’t have a special stylus like the Note, but it does have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich which could be way more valuable than an S Pen, especially for you die-hard phandroids. (Who knows when ICS will come to the Note?)

The Nexus is a bit smaller than the Note (but what isn’t?), measuring 8.9mm thick and boasting a 4.65-inch 720p display. That means pixel density on the GalNex is far greater than that of the Note — a difference of 316ppi vs. 285ppi. The Note has a better spec’d camera at 8-megapixels vs. 5-megapixels but that’s not the best determiner of quality. To be honest, neither camera is all that inspiring but the fact that the GalNex camera allows for so many extra cool features (like facial unlock and Google Hangouts) perhaps gives it a leg up.

At the same price, I’d have to say the value return is likely better on the Nexus unless your profession really calls for that S Pen functionality. As I mentioned in our initial impressions video, the Note’s S Pen only seems worthwhile in a few very specific circumstances. It’s fun and all that jazz, but doesn’t bring with it the same varied functionality as ICS.