By I-Hsien Sherwood | ( | First Posted: Nov 24, 2012 01:57 PM EST

Models pose with Samsung Electronics' new Galaxy Note 2 in Seoul September 26, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)

Cyber Monday is a great time to pick up a new smartphone, so let's compare the two juggernauts on the stage right now: the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

First off, the Note II is big--very big. Apple advertises the iPhone 5 as tall, since it has the same width as the iPhone 4, but it's longer. The Galaxy Note II is more than an inch longer than the iPhone 5, is wider by 7/8 of an inch, and has a 5.55 inch screen, over an inch bigger than the iPhone 5. However, the Note II is also a bit thicker, and its size can make it unwieldy for smaller hands, particularly when used as a phone.

Critics Reviews

CNET gives both phones a 4 out of 5, but the edge goes to the iPhone 5. The Note II has issues with the stylus and its sheer size can be a problem in transit or when juggling tasks.

This wrtier already has problems holding onto his Galaxy S III, the Note II's smaller sibling, and he doesn't have small hands.

However, the Note II is incredibly fast, with a quad-core processor to the iPhone 5's dual-core.

PC Magazine actually gives the Note II a small lead, 4.5 out of 5 to the iPhone 5's  4 out of 5, citing its speed, display and features.

But PC World and MacWorld give the phones the exact opposite ratings, with the Note II's size being the deciding factor.

Consumer, Fans Opinions

However, user reviews skew toward the Note II. CNET users give the iPhone 5 only 3.5 stars, while the Note II currently stands at over 4.5. But the iPhone 5 has five times as many reviews, so early adopters may be more enamored of the Note II.

At Amazon, the user ratings look similar. The Note II averages just under 5 stars with users, while the iPhone 5 is hovering around 4 stars. But maybe people just have higher standards for Apple products.

The feature set for both phones is very comparable.

Displays are big and beautiful, and each one sports an 8 megapixel camera and 1080 video.

At 32 GB, the internal storage of the Note II is twice that of the iPhone 5, and the Note II can handle an SD card for up to another 64 GB of memory.

And with a bigger battery, comes longer life. The Note II has a mind-numbing 35 hours of talk time, compared to the iPhone 5's 8 hours. Yes, you can talk on the phone with the Note II for a straight day and a half before recharging. Just make sure to pick up a Bluetooth headpiece, because you'll look stupid holding the Note II against your ear.

And if you're on T-Mobile, you'll have to go with the Note II, as the iPhone 5 isn't available on that carrier.

So if screen real estate and a fancy pen is what you want, pick up the Note II. If you want a reliable, familiar, top-of-the-line phone, go with the iPhone 5.

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