The hardware inside the Galaxy Note 5 is largely identical to the Galaxy S6, which is why I won’t be spending a whole lot of time on the performance of the Note 5 in this review. However I will quickly go through what the Note 5 packs so you can get an idea of what you’re getting when you purchase this device.
The Note 5 uses Samsung’s Exynos 7 Octa 7420 SoC, the very same 14nm 64-bit chip the company used in the S6. It features an octa-core CPU with four ARM Cortex-A57 CPU cores at 2.1 GHz alongside four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.5 GHz, plus a Mali-T760 MP8 GPU clocked at 772 MHz, and a 64-bit LPDDR4 memory controller providing 24.88 GB/s of bandwidth. In the Note 5 we’re getting 4 GB of RAM, which is a largely unnecessary upgrade on the Galaxy S6’s 3 GB of RAM.
The Note 5 also features Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac support, LTE Category 9, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, GPS+GLONASS+BeiDou, and NFC. Storage is limited to either 32 GB or 64 GB depending on what model you get, as there is no microSD card slot in the Note 5. This is a pretty disappointing downgrade for power users who like the ability to have tons of storage in their device.
Considering the majority of the Note 5’s hardware is identical to the Galaxy S6, we’re seeing nearly identical performance between the two devices. After running our full benchmark suite, of which some results I’ve included above, the Note 5 was under 1% faster than the Galaxy S6. The only major difference I saw was in NAND, where the Note 5 was 24% faster at reading, but a disappointing 31% slower at writing.
Last year’s Galaxy Note 4 came in two models: a widely-released Snapdragon 805 version, and a limited-release Exynos 5433 version. The Note 5 is around 30% faster across the board compared to the Snapdragon Note 4, with significant NAND performance improvements. Compared to the Exynos version, the Note 5 is 16% faster in CPU-limited tests, and 35% faster in GPU-limited tests, which is a handy performance improvement.
As for throttling, we’re seeing similar results to the Galaxy S6, indicating there are no major concerns in this department.