What to do.. Nexus 5 vs S4 vs Note 3

radeon962

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
1,253
Had been using a Nexus 5 since release but always had the itch to try out a Note 3 as I had a Note 2 a few phones back.

My wife got an S4 Black Friday and promptly dropped it within two weeks. She used it with a broken screen after that until I surprised her with a Nexus 5 for Christmas.

Figured since we got the S4 for free Black Friday, I would send it into Samsung for repairs to keep the warranty in place as well as avoiding the other headaches I read about when people replaced them on their own. Just got it back, so now I have (2) Nexus 5's, a Galaxy S4 and a Note 3.

Wife will probably go back to the S4 as it does have a better camera and battery life. She is indifferent on pretty much anything else as I set up her phone and she just uses it.

I love my Nexus 5 on the other hand and had not thought of replacing it until the S5 came out, but found a great deal on a Note 3 so I picked it up. It was rooted with SafeStrap, but have just been using it Stock TW and with the hardware on the Note 3 I really don't see a need to run a custom ROM as everything just works.

Really any of these phones are great devices with their strong suits.

I love the bigger screen on the Note 3 but the Nexus is quicker. Large size in the hands is not bad and the extra real estate is nice. Screen resolution is a little crisper on the Nexus due to the smaller size. I run the Note 3 in Movie Mode so the screen colors are not as cartoon looking, and the screen really looks great.

Battery life is no contest as the Note 3 really has no match. TW works just fine on the Note 3, not so much on the S4. Not bad, but Nexus 5 is much quicker than S4. Stock on the Nexus 5 is great for me and getting quick updates is a big bonus but realistically there is not that much that changed between 4.3 and 4.4.

In the end, the better battery life and camera's on the Samsung phones will probably win out.


 

limitedaccess

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 10, 2010
Messages
7,594
The Note 3 should only be slower than the Nexus 5 due to software differences, basically Touch Wiz vs stock android. The underlying hardware is actually slightly better.

I have the Nexus 5 but if price weren't a consideration (I buy outright, no subsidy) I'd actually have gone with the Note 3. If the Note 3 had OIS for the camera (and to some extent a different design) I'd have actually strongly considered just paying the extra amount, which are really the two advantages the Nexus 5 has over the Note 3.

Then again I'm in the category of screen size as long as it is still "pocketable" and you can hold it with one hand.
 

radeon962

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
1,253
No problem fitting the Note 3 in my jeans or dress pants. I don't wear skinny jeans. I'm comparing stock TW to stock KitKat. Note 3 is no slouch but not Nexus 5 quick and yes I also believe it is only due to the software and extra bloat on TW. Definitely not slow and TW on the Note is very useable.
 

Trimlock

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
15,228
I don't think the note 3 is slow at all. I would vote note 3 honestly if you don't mind the size.
 

King Icewind

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 17, 2008
Messages
5,444
Note 3 got Kit Kat rolled out in Poland and Russia, so I think it's fair to say we will have it soon. Just something to consider. Also I hear the S5 is coming out within a month or so (?). Sell them all and get that if the 2560x1440 screen and other rumors are true. :p
 

Skripka

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
10,792
Fuck TouchWiz.

Stock Android is far better. I say this as a former TWiz dev tester, and a fan of OmniROM on the Note2.
 

///AMG

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
3,570
Note 3 if you dont mind the size. Otherwise the two phones I would get would be the LG G2 because of battery life or the Z1 because IMHO its the best overall device. I will probably end up the the successor to the Z1 when it comes out.
 

radeon962

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
1,253
I don't think the note 3 is slow at all. I would vote note 3 honestly if you don't mind the size.

I didn't say the Note 3 was slow, it's just not as quick as the Nexus 5.

I have been using the Note 3 exclusively as my daily phone for the last few days and I am really impressed with it, even running stock TW. I turned off all of the "S" features as I don't use any of the air commands and I still find things that it does that are very useful.

The multi-window operation is surprisingly useful. I don't use the stylus much, but the kids love that part of it.

Size wise, it's no issue as once you use it for a day or so and go back to a 5" phone, you really miss the large screen.
 

Pringle

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Messages
3,648
Have a Nexus 5. love it to death. Personally, I'm not a fan of huge phones, this fit the bill.
 

biggles

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
2,079
Despite the fact that Samsung phones are top sellers I tell everyone I know to avoid them. I've owned 2 different models and had lots of problems. Wife had 2 HTC phones and both worked great. User reviews are in line with this as well. Nexus 5 FTW.

I wonder if Samsung will dump Touchwiz at some point. The vast majority don't like it.
 

///AMG

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
3,570
Despite the fact that Samsung phones are top sellers I tell everyone I know to avoid them. I've owned 2 different models and had lots of problems. Wife had 2 HTC phones and both worked great. User reviews are in line with this as well. Nexus 5 FTW.

I wonder if Samsung will dump Touchwiz at some point. The vast majority don't like it.

Lol, I have been different. I have owned the HTC Touch, Touch Pro, Touch Pro 2, HD2, G1, nexus one, EVO, thunderbolt. The only one that didnt turn into a pile of crap was the nexus one. I take meticulous care of my phones. I have owned the Samsung Galaxy, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Nexus, S4, Note 2 and Note 3. The Galaxy nexus and the first galaxy were the only ones I had a lot of problems with. Now Motorola was just bad, owned the Droid X, Droid 2 global, Atrix and the X and all of them had to be replaced under warranty for one reason or another.

So far with android the best phone that can be used stock has been the Note 3 for me.
 

radeon962

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
1,253
I've not had issues with the previous Samsung phones I have had (S2, Note 2, S3, S4 and now Note 3). Granted the longest I had any of them was the S2 for about 12 months. I tried custom ROM's and for the most part, stock although slower was the most stable.

Stock TW on the Note 3 is far from slow. The hardware on the Note 3 has no issues running stock TW and it just works better than any of the custom ROM's out there. The Note 3 I picked up was rooted and has SafeStrap installed, so I can flash custom ROM's and select to run them and not touch the stock TW. It's like being able to dual boot on a PC. Pretty slick, but I have not found a need to run anything but stock on the Note 3.

I'm not a fan of TW by any means, but it just works on the Note 3. Kind of like Sense just worked well on the HTC One. I'm also to the point where I just want the phone to work rather than always messing around with the phone trying this or that. Once I set it up the way I want it, I just use it.
 

marshac

American Hero
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Messages
2,543
I own both the N3 and Nex5. The note is huge- I have big hands, but this thing is borderline ridiculous. I've yet to find any use for the S pen, and the only real bright spot is the battery life. Reception between the two on TMo tilts towards the Nexus IMO. I bought a 6400mAh battery for my N3, and on a test run it went for two days with tons left over... The ability to slap on a monster battery and power through a 36hr shift is the only reason I'm keeping the note.
 

CHANG3D

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
4,925
My Nexus 5 got a few dead pixels. I did a little bit more research and found that it is not uncommon. This is the first phone I got with dead pixels. First time I noticed was maybe a month ago. I think I'm going to call Google in a little bit.
 

Zorachus

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
Messages
9,348
If battery life is #1 concerns, the list would be;

- Note 3
- LG G2
- S4
- HTC One & Nexus 5 tied.

Great battery life, and still good size with fast performance = LG G2 ( with CM11 ROM, the G2 is even faster, and then is more like a Nexus phone )

Best performance, and best battery life = Note 3

To me the Note 3 and G2 with a custom AOSP ROM are the two best Android phones out now.
 

Trimlock

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
15,228
Despite the fact that Samsung phones are top sellers I tell everyone I know to avoid them. I've owned 2 different models and had lots of problems. Wife had 2 HTC phones and both worked great. User reviews are in line with this as well. Nexus 5 FTW.

I wonder if Samsung will dump Touchwiz at some point. The vast majority don't like it.

Huh?
 

biggles

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
2,079
I'll do a survey on Android interfaces to verify what I said about Touchwiz.

Survey categories would include: Samsung Touchwiz, HTC Sense, pure Android.

Should I add any others? I would have put in Motorola Motoblur but with the Moto X I hear it is almost same as pure Android experience. I could also put in LG but not many people have used them (I love my LG G2, though).
 

Trimlock

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
15,228
Well you said the vast majority, how are you going to post a poll targeting the vast majority?
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
766
The majority don't know what TouchWiz is. The [H] may, but we're not a majority.

I just got a new job and am looking at moving over to a place that isn't Verizon friendly. I'll get data, but it'd be 3G rather than 4G. I have a few months left on the contract, and may look at getting out of it for a move to AT&T, or I may just tough it out if they want to bitch about an ETF (I don't think they would due to it being one of the big white spots they show on national TV).

I'm kind of torn between the Nexus 5 and Note 3. My wife will likely insist on an iPhone 5s, so I'll be stuck with a contract instead of a cheaper rate. I'm not entirely sure which way I'll go, but I will be paying attention to this thread.
 

radeon962

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
1,253
You almost have to use both of them for about a week to see which you prefer. They both do certain things very well. If you are going to be on a contract, then Note 3 is a no-brainer. If off contract, Nexus 5.

To me it comes down to screen size and battery. Note 3 wins in both categories, so it does appear that I'll be sticking with the Note 3 until the S5 is released.

I prefer the screen on the Nexus 5, but love the larger screen on the Note 3. Battery life is no contest. Nexus 5 is around 4 hours screen on time, depending on what you are doing as if I just watch movies, then it can go quite a bit longer. If I am browsing the web and doing normal phone stuff, 4 hours is about tops.

Note 3 battery I'm really not sure how long it will last as I charge it every night (habit). On a weekend with nothing going on and trying to use it heavy, I was over 6 hours screen on time when I went to bed with 10% or so still left.

I do notice that Google Now and GPS will chew through either battery very quickly if left on.

Other big improvement for battery life has been a switch to Next Browser rather than Chrome. I love Chrome but it just eats the battery. Next Browser provides pretty much the same experience, but is much easier on battery life.
 

noacess

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
137
I actually have this very same problem. I was a Note 3 owner (on Verizon) and while I loved the phone the thing I hated most about it was the locked bootloader. Safestrap is a really good, but I still can't flash custom kernels which means CyanogenMod and AOKP isn't available.

Recently, I switched to Straight Talk so I have the opportunity to get a different phone. On one hand I could get an unlocked Note 3 which has all the benefits everyone else has mentioned with the added ability to flash anything since the bootloader isn't locked.

On the other hand, the N5 would be cheaper and the software will be updated more quickly (and likely longer). I can't decide if thats a moot point or not with an unlocked bootloader. Once Samsung stops releasing software/sources for newer version of Android, it becomes much more difficult to rom makers to build their roms. From my experience they're way more unstable if there isn't a stock rom available to reverse engineer for a given version of Android.

Decisions, decisions.
 

Skripka

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
10,792
I actually have this very same problem. I was a Note 3 owner (on Verizon) and while I loved the phone the thing I hated most about it was the locked bootloader. Safestrap is a really good, but I still can't flash custom kernels which means CyanogenMod and AOKP isn't available.

Recently, I switched to Straight Talk so I have the opportunity to get a different phone. On one hand I could get an unlocked Note 3 which has all the benefits everyone else has mentioned with the added ability to flash anything since the bootloader isn't locked.

On the other hand, the N5 would be cheaper and the software will be updated more quickly (and likely longer). I can't decide if thats a moot point or not with an unlocked bootloader. Once Samsung stops releasing software/sources for newer version of Android, it becomes much more difficult to rom makers to build their roms. From my experience they're way more unstable if there isn't a stock rom available to reverse engineer for a given version of Android.

Decisions, decisions.

After my Note2....I'm about ready to move to LG and try of G2 or a Flex...or whatever follows in a year and my next upgrade

Samsung not giving any official updates for over a year and 3 full versions of Android for my Note2 really soured me. That as well as the Knox bullshit. Sadly it looks like the Sammy Note XDA dev forums are far more active than the LG G2/Flex boards.
 

Enilder

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
237
I am just going to iterate what others said. Note 3 if the size doesn't bother you. Although I prefer having a bigger screen, it's not comfortable holding Note 3, which is the reason why I got S4. Personally, if Verizon offered Nexus, I'd picked that up over S4.
 

didactandnarpet

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
133
I briefly switched from my Note 3 to an HTC One. It lasted maybe two weeks. I missed the screen size way to much. I live in NYC and spend a lot of time commuting on the subway. I watch a lot of movies on my phone and also play a lot of games. So for me having the larger screen is a must. Also the Amoled is just a much better display in my opinion. Those blacks are so deep. If you plan on using your phone at all like I do, then the Note 3 is the only way to go.
 

Canon

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Messages
2,578
I upgraded from a Note 2 to a Note 3 and I love the note 3. Great screen, seems fast enough to me (a lot of the lag and stuttering in Google Chrome I saw on the Note 2 is gone), the screen is just that much better, it feels more secure in my hands. The camera seems quite good to me. In some ways I prefer it to the iPhone 5s as it seems to produce sharper pics.

Everyone still makes comments about how big my phone is but I love it :).
 

Trimlock

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
15,228
I upgraded from a Note 2 to a Note 3 and I love the note 3. Great screen, seems fast enough to me (a lot of the lag and stuttering in Google Chrome I saw on the Note 2 is gone), the screen is just that much better, it feels more secure in my hands. The camera seems quite good to me. In some ways I prefer it to the iPhone 5s as it seems to produce sharper pics.

Everyone still makes comments about how big my phone is but I love it :).

I believe the fix with Google Chrome and the Note 2 came with the 4.3 upgrade. My friend is still rocking it and said it works fine now.

I'd still use Dolphin HD over chrome though.
 

radeon962

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
1,253
I believe the fix with Google Chrome and the Note 2 came with the 4.3 upgrade. My friend is still rocking it and said it works fine now.

I'd still use Dolphin HD over chrome though.

I used Dolphin a while back, then Chrome once they made some improvements but now use Next Browser. Seems to be the best of both and battery useage is much less than either.
 
Top