Samsung Note 5 Review


Over the years, Samsung has gradually changed the design of its Galaxy Note series, which is now evident on its oversized Galaxy Note 5. Now, the device offers less android bloatware, a better hardware design, and the ever-popular S Pen to complete the wonderful phablet, though some people would see the non-removable battery and the loss of the SD card slot as big drawbacks to the phone. In a nutshell, the Note 5 is more convenient Android phone to use and hold unlike its predecessors, thanks to its new design.

Note 5 specs

Operating SystemAndroid 5.1.1 Lollipop / TouchWiz
Display5.7-inch QHD (2560×1440 / 518 ppi) Super AMOLED
ProcessorExynos 7420 octa-core (2.1GHz quad + 1.5GHz quad) 64bit / 14nm
Storage32 or 64GB / UFS 2.0 Non-expandable
Rear Camera16MP / f/1.9 / OIS / phase detection auto focus 4K video / slow motion video
Front Camera5MP / f/1.9
NetworkLTE cat.9 (network bands vary by market)
Connectivity802.11ac Wifi / 2.4/5GHz / MIMO (2×2) / 620Mbps Bluetooth v4.2 LE / ANT+ NFC & Location / (GPS/ Glonass/Beidou)
SensorsAccelerometer / Proximity / RGB Light / Geo-magnetic / Gyro / Fingerprint / Barometer / Hall / HRM
ChargingMicro USB 2.0 / Adaptive Fast Charging Qi wireless / Powermat wireless / fast wireless charging
Battery3000 mAh Non-removable
Dimensions153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm
Colorsblack sapphire / white pearl / gold platinum

Design and hardware

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Design

A large screen paired with a stylus pen has been the signature feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note series, but Samsung doesn’t want to stop there. They want you to love the Galaxy Note even more with its new look – the metal and glass curves design. Because of the positive feedback on the Galaxy S6’s design, Samsung carried the design over into the Galaxy Note 5.

In the front panel of the phone, you can find the camera and other sensors near the speaker grills, while on the bottom of the front panel you can find the home button which now offers a one-touch fingerprint sensor alongside with a pair of capacitive buttons.

At the back panel, you can find the protruding 16-megapixel camera alongside with the dual-LED flashes. The power button of the phone can be found on the right side and the volume rockers on the left side. The SIM card tray can be found at the up top of the phone.

At the bottom end, you can find the 3.55mm audio port, micro-USB port, microphone, and speaker grills.

Overall, a better hardware, big screen, easy grip and hold, stylus pen, and a platform that maximizes the capability of drawing and taking notes – these are the features of the new Galaxy Note.

Display and multimedia

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Display

The display of Note 4 was really great. Note 4 offers a 5.7-inch QHD display which won over the consumers, but Note 5’s display is much better because of the Samsung’s automatic sunlight mode. With the help of this mode, you can have a better viewing angle and crisper details even when you’re in direct sunlight.

The speaker, however, has not changed. The speaker of Note 5 is almost the same as the speaker of Galaxy S6, but still offers a loud and crisp sound.


Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Camera

Note 5’s camera is the same with the sensor they used in Galaxy S6. The camera performance of the Note 5 is amazingly good and produces high-quality images.

It also offers voice control commands for capturing photo or recording videos. Video recording can shoot 1080p resolution at 60fps setting. Also, the camera sensors are good in low-light areas.

Software and performance

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Software

Note 5 runs very fast and sharp on the Android 5.1 Lollipop. Samsung still uses the TouchWiz launcher, but they did make a couple of changes. Samsung changed the stock icons with rounded squares with more colourful and flat looks. Also, Samsung removed most of the Android “bloatware” that you encountered with Samsung’s older models.

Also, because of its processor and RAM, it performs much better than any of its predecessors. Because of its RAM capacity, Note 5 can run multiple applications and games.


Samsung Galaxy Note S Pen

As was said above, Note 5 is a refinement of its predecessors. Samsung keeps on improving S Pen for a better experience when drawing or taking notes.

S Pen can let you draw or write notes even if the screen is off. Note 5 can detect if you removed S Pen from its place and immediately launches the Action Memo app.

Call quality and data speeds

Because of the active noise-cancelling microphone, call quality is excellent. The calls made were crisp and clear on both ends. The data speeds are capable of running up to LTE connectivity.

Battery life

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Battery Life

Even before the launch of Note 5, some of the fans of the Note 4 were saying that the Note 5’s battery life was a let-down because of the non-removable battery.

Note 5’s battery has been reduced to 3,000mAh, a 220mAh difference from Note 4, but its battery life is still decent. Note 5 also offers wireless charging using their Qi Wireless charging.

Our verdict: Should you buy Note 5?

Galaxy Note 5 is really a gorgeous phone that packs a punch. An Android phone that can multi-task and is very responsive. Samsung learned a lot of things from the past, that’s why they trimmed the body of the phone to use it conveniently, powered it up with better hardware, refined the apps, installed the latest Android version, etc.

That being said, Galaxy Note 5 is one of the best phones in the market today. If you have the money, then go grab it.

The good

  • Great new design
  • Easier to hold than previous Notes
  • Fantastic camera, even in low light
  • Refined S Pen experience

The bad

  • Underwhelming speaker
  • Glass back still somewhat slippery
  • Expensive
  • May cause Galaxy S buyers’ remorse

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