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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Review: A beautiful, power user device

By Scorpus
Sep 24, 2015
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  1. The Galaxy Note 5 is Samsung’s latest iteration of their stylus-equipped smartphone, sitting alongside the Galaxy S6 Edge+ in the large-screened market. The Note 5 features an all new body that continues the design language Samsung established in the Galaxy S6, with several other features – including the 16-megapixel camera and Exynos 7420 SoC – also transitioning from the S6 to the Note 5.

    If you loved the metal and glass design of the Galaxy S6, you’ll also love the design Samsung has used for the Note 5. Side by side the two phones look very similar, with a matte-finished metal edge separating two sleek, glossy glass panels on the front and back. Color is embedded into the glass in such a way that light reflects and diffracts in spectacular ways, giving the ‘black sapphire’ model a blue or black hue.

    Naturally the Galaxy Note 5 is a larger handset than the Galaxy S6 by virtue of its larger 5.7-inch display. This does make the phone harder to hold than its smaller brother, but if you’ve used a large-screened device in the past, you’ll know that after a month of use you adapt to what is initially a cumbersome handset.

    Read the complete review.

     
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,154   +1,429

    Take Note 4, and then:

    1. Remove the replaceable battery support
    2. Remove microSD support
    3. Replace the nice-on-touch leather-like back with one slippery and easy-to-crack
    4. Replace the pen with the one that breaks when inserted the wrong way
    5. Replace the battery with a weaker one
    6. Throw in extra $200 to the price

    And voila, you got yourself a Note 5, quite a change, isn't it?

    Samsung has completely lost it. If Note 5 deserves 85, as per TechSpot then Note 4 would deserve 1000, as the absolutely the best phone Samsung ever made, versus Note 5 - a total BS product, and the worst upgrade Samsung ever made.

    And then comes a brilliant marketing decision - not to sell it in Europe. Well done, and good riddance!
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
    veLa, Phr3d and agb81 like this.
  3. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 865   +434

    Have to agree with VitalyT on this one.
     
  4. Brodo Laggins

    Brodo Laggins TS Rookie Posts: 22   +12

    Nice review, but it states what I and quite a few are saying, quote from the review:
    And
    This summed it up really:
    So irritate your Note user base Samsung... and not selling it in the UK..... Samsung if you don't sort the issues out for us loyal users who love the SD card slot amongst other things, in the Note 6 or whatever it may be called in the future, then you are going to lose a lot of loyal customers!!

    With all the above I rest my case...
     
  5. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 1,828   +188

    Well there's a number of reasons why the Note 5 is still a great phone.

    The lack of microSD card slot and removable battery are bad downgrades, but many people never used these features, so the phone is still fine for them.
    The leather on the back of the Note 4 was fake and crappy; the Note 5 has a much nicer design even though it's more slippery
    The pen and its features are better in general, and there's no reason to insert it backwards.
    Battery life is better across the board, which you'd notice if you'd read my review
    And the launch prices are comparable.

    Of course if you want the Note 4 you could just buy one, it'll be cheaper than the Note 5 right now
     
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,154   +1,429

    Not that I don't trust your review, but I probably went through 100 of them, and read numerous opinions from the first-hand users, until I decided that the new one is absolutely not worth buying. And I bought Note 4 just 2 weeks ago.

    I got it with 2 spare batteries, for extra 15 euro each, plus 2x64GB fast MicroSD-s for about 25 euro each, put lots of movies on them, so I can watch them now. Couldn't be happier. I wouldn't be able to get either of these with Note 5.

    Of the 3 batteries that I got, all 3 from different sources: One came with the phone, one spare from Samsung directly, and one Samsung from elsewhere. One of them turned out to be a freak of nature, not sure which one now, but it takes me through 3 full days, and refuses to die even under heavy load.
     
  7. Ultraman1966

    Ultraman1966 TS Enthusiast Posts: 86   +8

    Your battery life tests are invalid as 50% is different for all the phones; very few of them have the same brightness at 50 or even 100% so running the same benchmark at 50% does NOT yield comparable results. Please calibrate the displays to something like 200nits and then run the test.
     
  8. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 1,828   +188

    I'm well aware of this and we're working to produce properly calibrated results. Re-testing a suitable amount of phones while working on new reviews takes a long time, but it will be something to look out for in the future
     
  9. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 1,828   +188

    You're exactly the sort of person who wouldn't be suited to the Note 5, so it's good that you opted for the Note 4, which is also a great phone
     
  10. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 708   +168

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, no SD card slot, no sale.
     
  11. ViejoRoberto

    ViejoRoberto TS Rookie

    Attractive, interesting site, my first time. I've had Notes 2, 3, & 4 and the 4 is leased, the reason for my particular interest in how the 5 stacks up. I split on the storage/battery issues, 1) I keep the phone in frequent contact with my laptop, so the photos get backed up and don't all need to stay on the phone, but 2) I regularly carry a spare battery, and use it. My core comment is this: I'm more interested in what you think about Notes 4 & 5 compared than I am about the 5 and latest iPhone. Of course every new product has the context of its present competition, but those contemplating upgrades really want to zero in on just how the new one compares. One software plus I've heard about the 5 is the ability to capture a scrolling screen instead of just the snapshot. This would be terrific, but not a reason alone to upgrade.
     
  12. Ultraman1966

    Ultraman1966 TS Enthusiast Posts: 86   +8

    I appreciate that, you can always put a disclaimer to say that the newer phones (highlighted) cannot be compared to the older benchmarks. People will understand because you are making a change for the better.
     
  13. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 1,828   +188

    True, but it's unlikely we'll put results from two separate benchmarks on the one graph.

    Anyway, you'll start to see some of the brightness-calibrated results in our next phone review of the Moto X Style. The web browsing tests in particular are significantly more intense than what we've been using in the past, so battery life looks a lot worse in the raw figures
     
  14. Ultraman1966

    Ultraman1966 TS Enthusiast Posts: 86   +8

    I believe I've seen a few sites transition to use to a fairer test scheme so applaud you for your efforts. Honestly though those intense workouts are probably more representative of real life usage times; my Xperia Z3 barely sees 5hrs SoT which is about half of what most battery life tests seem to have observed.
     

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