Which would you choose, the Galaxy Note II or Nexus 4?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: November 22, 2012

Last night on Twitter, I asked a pretty simple question: The Samsung Galaxy Note II or LG Nexus 4? I assumed out of the gate that the answers would be varied, and that was right on. I was tossed each phone’s name pretty quickly, but while I was seeing a healthy dose of both handsets, there was one that started to pull ahead. Am I surprised by the phone that did start to garner a bit more attention from the crowd? I can’t say that I am, but I think the reason probably has nothing to do with the phone.

The Nexus 4 grabbed a bit more of the popular vote, it would seem, based on that very, very minimal survey.

Now, to be clear, I didn’t tell everyone to give me a reason why they chose the phone they did, because for most people that would be hard to describe in 140 characters or less. So, with that in mind, I was just bombarded with the title, and that’s it. So, after a bit of time, the Nexus 4 pulled away, and kept that lead up until the time of this writing.

Before we get into it, let’s go over the details. First, the Nexus 4. It features a 4.7-inch True HD IPS display, made from Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2. It comes in two varieties: 8GB and 16GB, and both models feature 2GB of RAM. Inside, you’ll find a 1.5GHz quad-core processor from Qualcomm. There’s an 8MP rear-facing camera, and on the front a 1.3MP shooter. The battery comes in at 2,100mAh. The Nexus 4 is running Android 4.2.

As for the competition, the Galaxy Note II, this beast of a device features a 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display, also made from Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2. As far as memory goes, the AT&T version of the Galaxy Note II features up to 16GB of internal memory, but offers a microSD card slot, which you can shove a 64GB card into if you really wanted. It, too, offers up 2GB of RAM. There’s an 8MP camera on the back; a 1.9MP front-facing shooter. Inside, there’s an Exynos quad-core processor clocked in at 1.6GHz. The battery? A ridiculous 3,100mAh. Out of the box, the Galaxy Note II is running Android 4.1.

So, for the similarities we see, there are also a plethora of differences, and in many ways the differences are the biggest point of interest. The Nexus 4’s 4.7-inch display seems “normal” compared to the Galaxy Note II’s massive 5.5-inch display. Memory wise, the Nexus 4’s top-end 16GB option doesn’t seem like it’s enough, while the Galaxy Note II offers up 16GB to start, along with microSD card support. As far as software versions go, the Galaxy Note II is behind just a bit with its Android 4.1, and the Nexus 4’s Android 4.2. But, some would argue the differences are minimal at this point (though, I’m sure Galaxy Note II owners who care about updates would still love to get updated).

As I was saying earlier, while I think the features of both devices speak volumes for selecting that particular device, I’m not sure there’s any one thing that makes it stand out all that far from the other. Unless you love huge displays, and a 4.7-inch screen isn’t big enough for you. In that case, the option is pretty clear.

I think it mostly comes down to the price tag, to be honest. Right now, you can pick up the AT&T Galaxy Note II for $299.99 on a new, two-year contract. Out of contract, the device will run you $649.99. Compare that to the Nexus 4’s starting $300 price tag for the 8GB model, and the $349 point for the 16GB version, that is clearly a huge gap. Yes, the Galaxy Note II is the same price as the 8GB Nexus 4, but the latter doesn’t come with a contract, so if you don’t want to sign a new deal to get the cheaper price tag with the Galaxy Note II, you’re out of luck.

Yes, I think pricing plays the biggest role in the reasons people chose the Nexus 4, but it could also come down to the Nexus brand as well. A ridiculously cheap, out-of-contract Nexus device? Seems like a no-brainer, right? Never-you-mind that the Nexus 4 doesn’t have LTE, and the Galaxy Note II does. If you don’t live in an LTE-covered area, that feature doesn’t matter to you anyway.

But, now that I’ve heard from Twitter, I want to hear from you, Dear Reader. I want you to tell me which device you’d choose, either the LG Nexus 4 or Samsung’s Galaxy Note II. But, most importantly, I want you to tell me why you’d choose one over the other. And, sure, you can tell me that you’d choose both, but show your work. Tell me why you’d need to carry both. One for work, maybe? Let me know!