Samsung's new Galaxy Note 4 is set to be one of the best business phones around. It packs a stylus, a new, super-fast processor, and one of the best displays you'll find on a mobile device. Plus, you get a slew of handy software features, including a suite of security apps and the best multitasking support on any smartphone. But all that doesn't come cheap. The Galaxy Note 4 will be one of the most expensive smartphones on the market when it launches in early October.
That's why the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a good alternative for business users. Sure, it has a smaller display and lacks a stylus. But it's a more affordable flagship smartphone that includes most of the features that make the Note 4 such a great business device. So which phone is better for work? Read on for a feature-for-feature matchup between the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy S5.
Galaxy S5: The Galaxy S5's 5.1-inch display isn't nearly as big as the Note 4's screen, but it's still pretty substantial. It's even bigger than the 5-inch display on last year's Galaxy S4, and that's a big plus for business users, since a bit of extra screen space can go a long way toward improving productivity. The Galaxy S5's display is also extremely bright and sharp, making it one of the best screens you'll find on any mobile device.
Note 4: The centerpiece of any Note phone is its large screen, and the Note 4 is no exception. The device sports a huge 5.7-inch, quad HD display that's even sharper than the smaller Galaxy S5 screen. But the screen is pretty hard to reach across when you’re holding the device in one hand. The upside is that the large display gives you tons of room to work on, with plenty of space to view or edit documents right on your smartphone.
Winner: Galaxy Note 4
The Galaxy Note 4's display is bigger, sharper and brighter than the S5's excellent screen, though it may be just too big for some users.
Galaxy S5: The all-plastic Galaxy S5 lacks some of the premium appeal of other flagship smartphones – including the Galaxy Note 4. Unlike that phone, which sports a sturdy metal frame, the Galaxy S5 features a relatively cheap-feeling faux metal trim around the edges, which is made from shiny, coated plastic. The back of the device sports a dimpled, textured back that makes it easier to grip than its predecessor, the Galaxy S4. Another highlight is the Galaxy S5's waterproof design; it can be dunked underwater and remain functional, thanks to flaps that cover its external ports when they're not in use.
Note 4: In terms of design, the Note 4 is an obvious improvement over the previous Galaxy smartphones, including the Galaxy S5. Samsung added a sturdy metal frame, and did away with the faux-leather stitching that appeared on the Galaxy Note 3's plastic back, giving the Note 4 a simpler and more streamlined appearance. The included S Pen stylus slides into a slot at the bottom of the phone. Unlike the S5, the Note 4 isn't waterproof, however.
Winner: Galaxy Note 4
The Note 4 sets a new design standard for Samsung's flagship smartphones, thanks to the inclusion of real metal.
The Galaxy S5 is packed with productivity-boosting features, but the real highlight is its multitasking functionality. It supports Samsung's Multi-Window feature, which lets you run two apps on-screen at once in a split-screen view. That opens up tons of multitasking possibilities, like using the calculator app or checking a fact on the Web while composing an email.
Note 4: Features such as Multi Window are also supported on the Note 4, and work even better, thanks to the phone's large screen. The device also adds a slew of note-taking apps to the mix. Just pull the included S Pen stylus from its slot and press the single button on its side to access the Action menu, which lets you jump to one of four different pen input applications: Action Memo, a typical notes app with built-in handwriting recognition; Screen Write, which lets you snap a screenshot and annotate it; Pen Window, which lets you draw a window and run a floating app inside it; and Smart Select, which lets you save on-screen selections by circling them.
Winner: Galaxy Note 4
The Note 4 matches the Galaxy S5 feature for feature, but its stylus and built-in note-taking apps give it the edge.
Galaxy S5: Thanks to the fingerprint scanner embedded in the Galaxy S5's home button, you can forget about password-protected lock screens. Instead, just slide your finger over the button to easily unlock your device. And you can use the scanner to access Private Mode, a special folder where you can store your most sensitive work files. The feature is a big perk for business users who store and access sensitive work data on their smartphone.
Support for Knox, a security suite developed by Samsung, is another perk for business users. Knox lets you run productivity apps under a secure profile that's separate from the rest of your smartphone, ensuring that private data stays private. It also includes secure versions of numerous apps, including a more secure email client, address book, calendar, notebook and Web browser.
The Note 4 includes all the same security features as the Galaxy S5, with a few additions. Like the S5, it supports Knox, and includes a fingerprint scanner so you can quickly unlock the device or access Private Mode. And the Note 4's scanner will include a few new features. For example, it can remember login credentials for specific websites, to log you in to your accounts with a finger swipe. You will also be able to assign individual fingertips to launch specific apps when scanned.
Winner: Note 4
The Note 4 includes every security feature you'll find on the S5, with a few notable improvements.
Galaxy S5: If you want a speedy work phone, you can't go wrong with the Galaxy S5. It packs a powerful quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB of RAM, so it delivers smooth performance and snappy multitasking. Other hardware highlights include up to 32GB of onboard storage, a microSD card slot to expand the storage, and a high-capacity 2,800 mAh battery so you can keep working through the end of the day.
Note 4: The Note 4 is even more powerful than the Galaxy S5. It includes a quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor so it can handle even more demanding multitasking. For everyday tasks like managing your email inbox or browsing the Web, you aren't likely to notice a huge difference between the two phones, however. Other highlights include 32GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot and a beefy 3,220 mAh battery that's likely to deliver even better longevity.
Winner: Galaxy Note 4
The Galaxy Note 4 improves upon the S5's performance in almost every way, with a faster processor, more memory and a bigger battery.
Galaxy S5: The Galaxy S5 is a premium smartphone at a premium price. You can pick it up from major carriers, including AT&T and Verizon, for $199 when you sign up for a new two-year contract. That puts it on a par with competing flagship phones like the iPhone 6, which also costs $199 with a two-year contract.
Note 4: The Galaxy Note 4 is one of the priciest smartphones around. It's $299 with a two-year contract. That's the same price as Apple's new iPhone 6 Plus, a large 5.5-inch phone that's bigger than the standard iPhone 6.
Winner: Galaxy S5
The Galaxy S5 isn't cheap, but it's the more affordable smartphone in this matchup.
Samsung's two flagship phones have a lot in common – the differences are really in the details. Both devices deliver more than enough power for daily business tasks, with great security features to boot. The Note 4 is a good pick for users who want a bigger display to work on, and value the versatility of the included stylus. The Galaxy S5, meanwhile, is a better option for business users who want a flagship phone at a more affordable price, as well as anyone who can't handle the Note 4's extra bulk.
Originally published on Business News Daily.