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Spec Comparison: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Galaxy S3 vs. Galaxy Note 2

 GALAXY S 4 Product Image (10)

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 now official, we felt it was necessary to compare the device to the two previously released Samsung flagships, the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. There is no better way to see how something has evolved from a spec standpoint then by laying them out side-by-side in a couple of columns.

What do you guys think, big enough jump from one phone to another? 

 SGS4 specs vs Galaxy

  • Jonathan Sutherland

    I hope you guys realize that this phone will have a 1080×1920 display just like the htc droid DNA that I am writing this review with

  • John L

    Question: Which U.S. carrier, scheduled to receive this device will add the most bloatware? My money’s on red..Big Red aka Verizon Wireless.

  • galaxys

    I’m pretty sure I can push my i9300 to 1.9ghz being a quad core.. the galaxy series is sweet since I had N still have the vibrant N s2 but most features r just gimmicks like most have mentioned. Tho i would get the s4 just to add it my collection and it has the octa core.. the only part that really appeals to me. Other than that if u got a quad core s3 like I do… I’m positive that the s4 won’t be a great improvement as a dd. Just my 2 cents

  • thedonxr

    hope they come out with a color called pink mist

  • Christopher Theofilaktos

    My S3 only has 1gb of ram.

  • Jason Sandry

    Why didn’t you guys show the Wi-Fi capabilities of each phone? The S4 supports AC which I don’t think any other device out does. And the S4 does have wireless charging it was on display at the event. You guys must have not been their.

  • Jason Sandry

    Why no mention of the wifi? The S4 is capable of AC wifi.

  • http://twitter.com/ISO1600 Eric Lamont

    Nope. Not worth selling my precious Note 2. The only thing that even remotely catches my eye on the S 4 is the full 1080p screen. But seriously, what a joke. My 5.5″ screen at 720p looks unreal. I cant see pixels further than about 3″ from the screen and who uses a phone like that? I’d rather have 720p and better battery life, snappier performance, and movie files that dont have to be 5-6GB each.

  • chris125

    If htc doesn’t let Verizon completely cripple the one or whatever it will be called, they may have a good chance to win back some users. Will see what the one variant on Verizon turns out to be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Castillo/1229289330 David Castillo

    So samsung still biting off of Apple selling the same(Almost)phone but better specs coming from an android guy

  • Kevin Olson

    Not impressed…

    Is it still a PenTile display?

  • jnt

    Nice bump for us tech geeks, but I really don’t see a huge difference in the actual experience for the every day user.

  • acyd

    Metal. If you were only made of metal.

  • Trevor

    What would be better the 1.9 quad or the 1.6 octa core?

  • http://twitter.com/strifejester Justin Ellenbecker

    I bet it still has horrible radios and the worst reception of any phone in the USA

  • http://twitter.com/SeanMRowe Sean Rowe

    I am interested, but I need one thing. Unlocked bootloader… SGS3 has custom ROMs right? Any limitations to what you can do with SGS3?

  • Trevor

    Should i upgrade from an s3, Just got a verizon refurb replacement this week hmmm

  • N8shon

    Don’t forget the IR blaster!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Kursave/837394382 Daniel Kursave

    very happy with my decision to get a note 2 a month ago. While i like some of the specs on the s4, i think the extra 21% area is nice, plus my hands are f$%^ing huge so the note rocks.

  • Philip A. Kaiser

    While I appreciate that they want to make the phone thinner, they should have left that alone. Now, anyone moving from a 3 to a 4 is going to have to buy new cases because they will be loose. I wonder about the various docks as well. …

  • 80am

    the GS3 to the GS4 is not a big enough change to make me switch to the GS4 from the 3. I think Im going to switch to iphone 5 to get change……wait, that was stupid me talking. GS4 is great! ha Getting mine on Verizon and keeping that unlimited!

    • Master O’Disaster

      80am – “GS4 is great! ha Getting mine on Verizon and keeping that unlimited”?

      How are you keeping unlimited if you “upgrade”?

      • tommariner

        Master, I believe the unlimited is on the voice and data plan, not the equipment. I can save some serious bucks by switching to a different plan in Verizon, but just like the idea of the “unlimited”.

        • Master O’Disaster

          My understanding is that if you “upgrade” on VZW (ie, purchase a subsidized SGS4 for $300 + 2 year contract instead of list price), you will lose your grandfathered unlimited data plan and be forced into the new “Share Everything” plan, which is more expensive for less service. The only way to keep VZW unlimited data is to purchase a new phone at list price. :-(

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kirk-Ngo/1362282755 shamatuu

    Finally a phone that has a 2600 battery life with 1080pscreen. I knew Samsung would do it.

  • EvanTheGamer

    The Samsung Galaxy S4 wins yet again by a landslide!

  • achaff86

    I can’t upgrade until december… I’m now debating between the note II and the SG4 hopefully the gs4 is out by december

    • Geoff Johnson

      By December there will be the Note 3 and a million other devices. The GS4 is coming out in April.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Foosa-Noble/100001939436588 Foosa Noble

    Yea well ………My note II is ………..bigger…..

  • KOBALT

    Great specs. Wish my Note 2 had them. Im overclocked and scaled @ 1.8, but love that PPI

  • Knlegend1

    I’m not bashing but this is not a substantial upgrade. Don’t give me that crap about the software because I believe the S3 can handle any and all the new software. A little more time this one needed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/LoganQBerry Logan Berry

      I like how you went Yoda on us there at the end.

    • hashtagtroll

      #theforceisstrongwithyou

    • http://www.facebook.com/aliff.alfiry Aliff Alfiry

      Except for those that requires sensor such as that S-Health and Air View

  • Jorge Hurtado

    You forgot to include bootloader status on the comparison sheet.

    • Trevor

      Thats for the carrier to choose

  • dannyWHITE

    This does have wireless charging

  • Austin Warren

    I have a feeling everyone here can’t afford it and is just jealous so they feel the need to bash it when it’s clear who the winner is. If HTC has any better features, i’d buy that. Too bad they didn’t.

    • Commander

      Not really. It’s simply nothing special over the other phones like the Nexus 4 or Droid DNA. It’ll be eclipsed by all other phones after it (including, most likely, the Nexus 5 in November).

      Also, everyone here isn’t on the Samsung Is Lord and Savior train so, there’s that too.

      • Austin Warren

        I’m not on that train. I just can easily see it’s the best phone out there right now. Theres proof of that also.

        • Commander

          No, it really isn’t “the best phone”. That’s such an extremely subjective term, it’s not even funny.

          Some people say the Nexus 4 is the best, it’s not.
          Some people say the Droid DNA is the best, it’s not.
          Some people say the iPhone 5 is the best, it’s not.

          This sure as hell isn’t the best when the OS is Android + gimmicks that you can get in other apps for 100% free.

          Also, if they really wanted to emulate Apple, they’d introduce that OS to their Galaxy S II, Note, Galaxy S III, and Note II. But they won’t. They’ just want you to spend more.

          • Austin Warren

            You missed the point. Again.

          • Commander

            Hon, there IS no point. You can’t claim your opinion as a stone-cold fact.

            Try again and maybe I won’t pity you. Again.

          • Commander

            Then again, maybe you’re a bought troll from Samsung.

            …Jeremy, is that you?

    • Rodeojones000

      You, sir, have outdone yourself. Calling people who might not have the funds to purchase something jealous is quite classy of you.

      For the record, just because you CAN afford to buy something doesn’t mean you SHOULD buy something. For what these devices cost some of us prefer a little more than a slight (yes, slight) upgrade from the previous model. Identical RAM, 100mhz increase in processing speed, 0.2″ size increase, as well as moderate bumps in camera and battery are nothing more than that – slight. I’m glad you’re a fan of this phone and I hope you enjoy it. But it’s time to stop attacking every comment that says something slightly negative about it as if what you have to say is fact.

      • http://www.facebook.com/aliff.alfiry Aliff Alfiry

        Errr no not really, even with a pre-production model, the S4 already have 26k in AnTuTu while my Note II gets 20k with custom kernel and ROM.

        • Rodeojones000

          Don’t tell me you’re one of those guys who posts about benchmark scores as if they actually mean something.

    • Bill

      I love the design and can’t wait to finally upgrade since I’ve been waiting since December, but please don’t bash others. This phone is amazing and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

      • Rodeojones000

        “…but please don’t bash others.”

        Clearly, this is your first encounter with Mr. Warren.

        • Bill

          Clearly nobody knows hot to get along on these sites. I have a 3 year old phone and I am very excited to get the Galaxy S4. Coming on this site and reading comments is depressing lol

          • Rodeojones000

            Well, for you the upgrade is surely deserved. Out of curiosity, what phone are you switching from?

          • Bill

            Don’t laugh….Samsung Intensity II. I can’t wait to upgrade haha

  • termiNader

    Samsung made the decision for me… X-Phone it is.

  • Tyler

    WOW the dimension are smaller then the S3 with a larger screen. I’m curious to see which processor we will get in the US and whether the quad-core is a Samsung chip or a Snapdragon. Also i think it would be worth mentioning that the S4 has DDR3 ram where i believe the S3 has DDR2.

    • Bill

      They said DDR3

  • tonkotsu

    looks like i’m replacing my note 2!

    this will easily allow for 5200mah extended batteries in no time!

    • Dave

      With all due respect, and no insult intended, if you have a GN2 and battery life is an issue, you might want to put the phone down for a few minutes every day. LoL

      • tonkotsu

        haha noo, i switched from a htc one x to a note 2

        i don’t need the pen and a family member has been eyeing the note 2 (due to the battery life and pen) so the S4 is a decent excuse for me to upgrade as the battery and screen are big enough.

        speaking of which, the USA versions of the s3 had “ok” battery life.

        once you use the note 2, its really hard to go back to a phone that needs to be charged daily (or more often)

        i wanted to get an extended battery for the note 2 (for travel purposes) but it ended up being way too big. an S4 with an extended battery shouldn’t be too bad, esp samsung ends up coming out with one like they did for the s3

        • KOBALT

          I have the Mugen batt in my N2 and can’t kill my battery if I tried. It’s only 100mAh bigger, but still. I go to bed after full use with 35% +/-

  • skinja99

    Can you talk about the screen technology?

    And maybe to a comparison to the screen tech in the HTC One?

    Thanks

    • Tyler Vogt

      The One will have a higher pixel density because of the smaller screen size, but when the ppi is this high you’d have to get it under a microscope to tell a difference really. As for screen tech the S4 is HD Super Amoled (No +, I wonder what happened to the + tech?) and the HTC One is LCD3 I believe. Comparing the Amoled on my S3 to my HTC Dna, the LCD3 is much better. That is my personal opinion but it’s had to argue the better brightness and color rendition.

      • Dave

        Droid Charge was the last SuperAmoledPlus screen…..

        • Tyler Vogt

          I’m fairly sure the Galaxy SII for T-Mobile had it later on. We still sell it at Target Mobile haha. I was just curious because the + tech didn’t have the pentile matrix and used the regular RGB matrix that more people seemed to enjoy. I guess I’m just rambling though seeing as you’d never noticed a difference with 441ppi

          • Dave

            I think I remember seeing an article that said HD and SA+ would be hard to pull off together.

  • staticx57

    I just might have to keep my Gnex just a little bit longer. I want to know what the new nexus is since this phone didnt blow me away.

  • http://twitter.com/davidbavin David Bavin

    Nothing really amazing for me to upgrade from my Note II…

    • Geoff Johnson

      I would hope not, considering the Note 2 just came out the end of last year

    • http://www.facebook.com/gwwampler Gregory William Wampler

      It isn’t really meant for Note owners. That’s where the Note III will come in… Why do people seem to think that these are all part of the same line of products and markets? The Note line is the Phablet line and the S line is the phone line…

      • http://twitter.com/davidbavin David Bavin

        I wasn’t looking for updated S Note or S Pen or anything that is Note related, I was looking for something extremely innovative and new to the device market.

        • Alexander Ramos

          And isn’t the S4?
          I have a S3 and Note II and in software and feature is evident the S4 is a big step forward than the other two.
          About S-Pen I think it is very clear it is a Note feature and not a Galaxy S, those are two different kind of phones and users.
          Now en everywhere look like the innovation is just a metal body.

          • http://twitter.com/davidbavin David Bavin

            How is it a big step forward? No it isn’t.

      • ImmaDroid

        If the Note is a Phablet, then what is the S4? they are only .3″-.5″ apart in screen size, which isn’t much to define a different category

      • Indydi

        Not part of the same line, but for many people like myself, either phone would work. Can’t wait for detailed comparisons between the two.

    • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

      As a GSIII owner, I’m actually kind of happy to see the improvements, but don’t feel terribly compelled to upgrade, which is kind of a relief. I hate to say it, but the one thing I’m probably most envious of is the IR emitter.
      In any case, I’m looking forward to the Note 3 and the next Note 10.

  • Xtgirl

    Do you think the camera features wil come to the s3. Amazon is running a sweet deal on it now…and if most of this is software perhaps the s3 will get it too??

    • Shane Belanger

      if you rom, it definitely 110% will, if not i’m not sure.

      • Xtgirl

        I might just buy an s3 off craigslist when people start unloading it for the s4 so I can keep my unlimited plan. The camera specs and software is very intriguing but I always end up being disappointed with picture quality on phones regardless…having the the dual camera thing and erasing people from your photo is something I’m intrigued by…if a rooted s3 will get that then I’d much rather keep the unlimited plan.

  • Tyler Vogt

    I’m really surprised that Samsung didn’t show their own version of Photosphere tonight. It would be a shame if they left it out.

  • Jaron1226

    How the heck did I fall to sleep and miss the entire event though?

    • Diablo81588

      Be glad you did.

    • Indydi

      You missed a lot of really bad acting. If you have a spare 1.5 hours, you can see the entire thing on Samsung’s channel on YouTube.

      • Jaron1226

        Well yeah I got a chance to look at the video like an hr later. The whole Broadway musical crap was a bit extra and not called for. I mean the audience really wasn’t impressed at all by it. No one really laughed at the jokes, bad punchlines, etc. I was like you gotta be kidding me. All in all I do love the phone itself. There are a bunch of new features that interest me. I’m mostly interested in the hands free stuff. Mainly because I’m a bit lazy at times lol. Maybe when it’s finally released I’ll be able to afford to get it at full retail value on Verizon.

  • nextstepbasketball

    If I had an S3 I may want to upgrade but I have a Note 2. My Note 2 has about the same processor, same RAM, bigger screen, and bigger battery. Only upgrades would be camera and more storage. No thank you. Not much of an upgrade for the huge production they put on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tylerjehills Tyler James Edward Hills

      Not quite the same processor but I get your point. No reason to “upgrade” from a Note 2 to the S4

      • hkklife

        More storage. I am still absolutely mystified that Samsung shipped nothing but 16Gb Note 2’s outside of their home market.

      • http://www.facebook.com/adesario Andrea Ahern DeSario

        Yes -I was worried about this – I upgraded about 3 weeks ago to the Note 2 not wanting to wait for the s4… no regrets here… love my note 2

    • Benito Wood

      its supposed to be an upgrade from the s3, not the note 2. sooo….

      • nextstepbasketball

        They’re not just selling to S3 owners. If it’s gonna sell how they want it to sell, it needs to be an upgrade to whatever phone you have in your pocket.

        • Benito Wood

          It is an upgrade, mostly from a software standpoint though. There honestly isn’t much to put on the high end phones at this point in the tech world. 1080p screen, the (possible) octa processor, and more storage are what were missing and samsung covered that.

          Since you’re a note 2 owner, what were you looking for out of this release?

    • http://www.facebook.com/adesario Andrea Ahern DeSario

      I agree – very happy with my note 2 that I have had for 3 weeks. Was afraid I would regret not waiting but I don’t.

    • Joe

      Umm, the screen is a lot different. 200-some PPI vs. 400-some. I guess it feels better to rationalize if other people validate it?

  • wm snyder

    really….wow

  • Trevor

    I think this phone will be too thin to be comfortable. I actually thought the S3 was too thin. I really like the thickness of the GNex with OEM extended battery. Nexus 4 isn’t bad either (but the glass back is scary). I’m just not a fan of too thin.

    • shawn

      this is why you are of the minority…..

      • Dave

        This dang Ferrari is too fast, I don’t think I can keep it…LoL

    • jaybar

      bwahaha

    • tonkotsu

      “this is too good!”

  • sammy ajuwon

    the spec sheet doesn’t do justice to the amount of ridiculous features the s4 has

    • Joe

      Yeah if you like dealing with Touch Wiz :/

      • tonkotsu

        or you can just root it or put a launcher over it…… since u kno… you have an android..?

        • Guest

          Aaaandd there go all the S features.

          EDIT: Disregard, thought you said ROM it.

          • tonkotsu

            launcher..

          • tonkotsu

            besides, all those extra features will suck that battery dry in no time. i think i’d rather tap then press back than hover over a pic and wait for it to preview.. sometimes its just faster that way

          • http://www.facebook.com/gwwampler Gregory William Wampler

            And you still can. The beauty of it is you can easily select the options and features you want…

          • the_real_patrick_bateman

            I wouldn’t hesitate to put Cyanogenmod on it. I’m pretty sure the marketing department is in charge of making up new features at Samsung. It’s not as if most people use these features.. they’re only good for making impressive looking TV ads.

        • https://www.facebook.com/aaron.williams.125 Champion1229

          Can’t you do a custom launcher without rooting?

      • Geoff Johnson

        Not necessarily, things like having IR, thermometer, and humidity sensors, 802.11ac, display that can be used with gloves, global LTE, etc

      • S2556

        It comes with an unlocked boot loader so when KLP comes out you don’t have to wait on samsung. Or put on AOKP or something right away. Because this is such a major device you get tons of support in comparison to other phones (not including nexus devices)

        • Robbie Campbell

          Come on, man, you know Verizon will lock that bootloader down tighter than fort knox.

      • john fragoulias

        Who says you have to use TouchWiz, I use Nova Launcher on my S3, this is not Apple we are talking about here, where you are stuck with the same boring tiles. That is why people love Android, customization.

  • Azn_Android

    I’m glad they actually made the phone smaller but increased the screen size and battery. Kudos to Samsung on that.

    • MentatYP

      Agreed. Slightly smaller surface (about the same size in actual use) but bigger screen, thinner but almost 25% more battery capacity than S3–pretty impressive. Hopefully the new processor is more efficient too which combined with the battery capacity bump could result in a really nice improvement in battery life. All the other stuff is nice, but what I really want is a phone that can go 3 days of heavy use before charging. The S4 won’t be that phone but every bit of improvement is welcome.

  • GreeKNastY

    no nexus no care.

    • STFU

      God almighty you nexus snobs are effing tiresome and nauseating. Go fondle your precious.

      • GreeKNastY

        so says the idiot with a razr on android 4.0. or do you have a S3 on 4.1.1?

        • KOBALT

          No. Note 2 on Jelly Beans ROM B.11. How them updates on your GNex coming?

          • GreeKNastY

            great..thanks for asking been on jbsourcery 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 for a couple weeks now without a hitch

          • KOBALT

            LOL. It’s about damn time. Good for you. Seems your Nexus was on the back burner for awhile. Don’t have that issue with my N2. Enjoy your mediocre, outdated spec’d phone.

          • GreeKNastY

            bout damn time?? i was on 4.2.1 for 3 months. what were you on back in january?

          • KOBALT

            I was on your mother. She looks good on my 5.5″ display

          • GreeKNastY

            ha. good one pal. grow up.

          • KOBALT

            I appreciate you acknowledging that we’re pals. We should go get a beer then.

          • KOBALT

            It said yo mama

          • Dave

            I can nearly tolerate iFans easier than them now.

        • Commander

          The funny part is that everyone replying is using some kiddy hackROM from XDA when Nexus devices get their official updates right when Google says it.

          This kind of stuff is just GIVING the Apple/Windows Phone/Blackberry fanboys ammunition. It’s seriously sad and pathetic that we have to rely on some hackjob from XDA instead of an OFFICIAL update from the manufacturers of most Android phones.

          And people wonder why our competitors claim fragmentation.

          At least you’re smart.

          • GreeKNastY

            they can hate all they want if im buying an android phone it will be a nexus or nothing. i dont care how big and bright your screen is if you dont have the software to back it up your phones worth nothing.

          • GreeKNastY

            oh and that whole gnex/vzw is bullshit…those buying nexus without knowing what it is shouldnt be buying it..i didnt buy it and hoped vzw to push updates i bought it to unlock it root it and get official google updates and flash em when i want how i want

    • Daeshaun Griffiths

      Touchwiz vs Stock is rapidly turning into ios vs android

      Android is android, ur still free.

    • Trevor

      Have an s3 and gnexus on verizon. S3 destroys it. Rooted on 4.2.2 wow extra step to unlock the bootloader ahhhhhah so difficult

      • GreeKNastY

        good for you.

        • Trevor

          I know 1% is the good Iife can get whatever i want

    • Rodeojones000

      I love the Nexus, but I wouldn’t go that far. I’d consider any phone so long as it has what I’m looking for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jose.salas.982 Jose Salas

    Galaxy S3S !!!

    • Joe

      LOL So true

    • adbFreedom

      Except its a bigger display, faster processor, lighter phone, better camera, better battery, new version of the OS, and other software enhancements. Completely unlike what Apple’s 4s was to the 4. I think they did everything they should have except get rid of the home button

      • http://fandroidspin.com/ Larinx

        So you’re saying the 4s didn’t have a faster processor, wasn’t lighter, didn’t have a better camera, a new version of the OS and no other software enhancements? Or are you just apologizing for Samsung?

        • https://www.facebook.com/aaron.williams.125 Champion1229

          He is saying the leap between the S4 and S3 was extraordinary compared to what Apple did between the 4 and 4s. With Apple the software updates were released around the same time so they were running the same software, the same display, the same amount of ram and since the software was the same the software powered features were the same between the 4 and 4S.

        • adbFreedom

          I am saying this would compare to what the iPhone 5 was to the iPhone 4. And to change the phone design completely would hurt what they spent 400 million dollars last year to accomplish, which is brand recognition with the Galaxy series.

          • http://fandroidspin.com/ Larinx

            But Apple should change the phone design completely? Because it’s the “same old phone”? After all they “only” sold 48M last qtr. Clearly, there’s no brand recognition there. Got it.

          • adbFreedom

            Lol Did I hurt you feelings?I never even said there was anything wrong with apple or the 4s, just simply pointing out that this is different than the 4s release was to the 4. Sounds like you were really offended … Sorry about that

          • http://fandroidspin.com/ Larinx

            Yeah you hurt my feelings.

            :|

        • RAZR_FANN

          The 4S was heavier than the 4. Regardless, Samsung actually changed a little bit cosmetically, at least moreso compared to Apple.

    • Alexander Ramos

      A S3 in a Metal Body = S4…

  • http://www.facebook.com/thewanderingjew Jason Mitchell Erbesfield
  • chris125

    Like how they could keep same size as s3 with the larger screen

    • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

      If the spec above is correct, it’s actually smaller than the S3 and lighter.

      • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

        That is pretty huge. …big deal huge, I mean!

      • artsr2002

        And with a bigger battery to boot!

    • http://twitter.com/belogical2 Be Logical

      pretty amazing, that was my biggest concern coming form the GNEX. that was all i needed to hear, I am buying!!!

    • Big_Apple_Jan

      Take a ruler to your S3 or S4. They could have easily put a 5.5″ screen in that same case.

      • chris125

        I know but the bezels are decreasing so this is a step in the right direction.

    • Travis Shepherd

      they shrunk the bezel, made the screen more “edge-to-edge”

  • Mel

    The S3 has a microSD card too.

  • Keyan X

    Black Mist and White Frost are the color names

    • Trevor

      Haha, it’s so stupid. Why can’t they just say black…and white?

      • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

        That’s marketing. As silly as they sound, you are now talking about it.

      • Benito Wood

        but its misty.. and frosty..

      • tonkotsu

        because they have a marketing team that isn’t run by you.. lol

        • wolfedude88

          Go frost yourself!!! ;-)

          • michael arazan

            Black Mist and White frost sound like porn names

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Foosa-Noble/100001939436588 Foosa Noble

      What no Red mist? hummmmm?

      • Robbie Campbell

        The guy that wrote Kick @$$ wouldn’t license the rights, lol.