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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review

Back

The Galaxy Note 5 is packed with the highest-end specs on the market. It performs well, but just like every Samsung device it has its hiccups. It’s sad to see the removable battery and expandable storage go, but the performance and build quality almost make up for it.

Overall Score Excellent – 8.9

Design – 9.1

Display – 9.4

Performance – 9.1

Battery – 8.0 

Pros :

  • QHD Display
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Fastest Camera with f 1.9
  • Wireless and Quick Charging
  • Finger Print Scanner
  • S – Pen
  • VDIS

Cons :

  • No External memory support
  • Non-replaceable battery
  • No IR Port
  • No Dust proof
  • Low quality sound

Key Specs – Model N 920 

  • 5.7″ QHD SAMOLED Display ( 2560 * 1440 ) ~ 518 ppi
  • 64-bit Exynos 7420 chipset with 14nm architecture; octa-core CPU (quad 2.1GHz & quad 1.5GHz), Mali-T760MP8 GPU
  • 4 GB LP DDR4 RAM / Two Variants of memory 32 GB & 64 GB
  • Android 5.1.1 with TouchViz UX
  • 16 MP f/1.9 and 5 MP f/1.9 – Pro Mode and RAW Shoot
  • 3000 mAh non-removable Li-Ion battery
  • Wireless & Quick Charge
  • S – Pen
  • Price in India – 32 GB @ 52,990

Retail Box Contents

  • One Galaxy Note 5
  • One head set
  • One Wall Charger
  • One microUSB Cable
  • Replacement Tip for S Pen
  • Sim Ejector Tool
  • User Guide
  • Warranty Card

Design

Note 5 is 7.6 mm besides being such a big display and massive battery and weighing only 171 gms. Note 5 is build from 7000 Series aluminum, which is much more resilient than regular aluminum and secured with Corning Gorilla Glass 4.

Samsung managed to reduce the screen to body ratio as well as reduced the weight in Note 5 as compared to Note 4, which makes it far easier to hold the hand in one hand.

The back of the Note 5 holds a camera in center with the flash and heart rate monitor on the right of camera. In Note 4, the flash and heart rate monitor was found below the camera. An interesting thing about the back of the device is that it curves down towards the chassis, almost like the S6 edge+ cured display . This makes the device extremely easy to hold in palm.

Keys and Slots

The top holds the SIM card slot and microphone, power button can be found on the right side of the device whereas the volume buttons are on the left. On the Note 5 the volume buttons are two separate buttons instead of one rocker found on the Note 4. The charging port can be found on the bottom next to the re-located speaker and re-located headphone jack. On the Note 4 the headphone jack was on top of the device and the speaker was on the back. The S-Pen stays put, but this time uses a push-to-eject mechanism for releasing the pen from its hold.

Galaxy Note 5 is available in Black Sapphire, White Pearl, Gold Platinum and Silver Titanium.

 Display

Samsung has been an undisputed leader in Display whether in terms of differentiated displays or in terms of design like Curve / bend displays. Note 5 is no different , Amazing 5.7″ Super AMOLED QHD display ( please do not confuse with qHD ) with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution which means a pixel density of 518 ppi.

QHD : 2560 * 1440

qHD : 960 * 540

Note 5 Display LUX readings :

  • 524 LUX and 640 LUX as against 832 LUX in S6 Edge plus
  • Under sunlight – 757 LUX as compared to iphone 6 plus – 605 / Note 4 – 672 / Edge plus – 832

Note 5 is equipped with Color Modes like :

  • Adaptive Display (sets up colors depending on the app you have open)
  • AMOLED Cinema ( Bright Colors )
  • AMOLED Photo ( Dim mode )
  • Basic ( Dim mode )
High-Definition
Name x (px) y (px) x:y x×y (Mpx)
nHD 640 360 16:9 0.230
qHD 960 540 16:9 0.518
HD 1280 720 16:9 0.922
HD+ 1600 900 16:9 1.440
AHD 1960 1000 49:25 1.960
FHD 1920 1080 16:9 2.074
QHD 2560 1440 16:9 3.686
WQXGA+ 3200 1800 16:9 5.760
UHD 3840 2160 16:9 8.294
UHD+ 5120 2880 16:9 14.746
FUHD 7680 4320 16:9 33.178
QUHD 15360 8640 16:9 132.71

Performance

Note 5 is equipped with Exynos 7420 processor coupled with the 4 GB RAM, Best available in the Industry right now. Multi-tasking and browsing was too good at Note 5. On Antutu Note 5 scored an impressive score of 66880.

Antutu score – 66880 / 67213 ( test was done 5 times ) with an average score of 67000

 

 

Camera

This is the part, I really love to talk about. Impressive 16 MP Rear camera. Most of the pictures taken were crisp as ever and look amazing when blown up on a Big monitor. The camera is only a double press of the home button away, which launches under .7 seconds.

At close ups, most of the cameras are excellent and with distant images, most of the smartphones loose out on details. Even tried few images in night with Optical Zoom and it came out to be well specially moon.

What Photo enthusiasts will love is the professional mode in camera. Camera UI is impressive and very easy to use.

The camera UI got effects on the left side (each with two sub options), plus extra downloadable effects available, HDR (On, Off, Auto), Timer and Flash (On, Off, Auto). You can also set up the resolution to 16 megapixels in 16:9, 12 megapixels in 4:3 and 8.9 megapixels in 1:1. Settings include video resolution (UHD, Quad HD, Full HD 60 FPS, Full HD 30 FPS), tracking autofocus, video stabilization, grid, location, review pictures, Quick Launch, Save as RAW and Voice Control, as well as volume key associated features.

Capture Modes include ( more modes can be downloaded ) :

  • Auto
  • Pro *
  • Selective Focus
  • Panorama
  • Video Collage
  • Live Broadcast
  • Slow Motion
  • Fast Motion
  • Virtual Shot

* Metering, Exposure, Shutter Speed (1/24.000 seconds to 10 seconds), ISO (up to 800), white balance (with a Kelvin degree slider included) and Focus (from macro to landscape)

Selfie Camera – 5 MP

The front camera offers a Beauty option, with the ability to modify face shape, make the face slimmer, enlarge the eyes and change skin tone. Finally, the front camera can be triggered by gestures or touching the pulse sensor and it can also take Quad HD videos.

Read more about camera features

Note5-Camera

 Battery

Though Samsung reduced the battery size to 3000 mAh as against 3200 mAh in Note 4. Worth mentioning that Note 5 supports quick and wireless charging.

Battery test results with different modes like Gaming, Video Streaming, Calls and Net surfing gives Note 5 an average battery life of 5 hours ~ 7 hours 50 minutes depending on the usage pattern of individuals.  For example, On HD Video playback loop battery can last as long as 11 hours ( wifi on and brightness set to almost 50 % )

The battery can be fully charged within 90 minutes on wall charger.

Note 5 is equipped with Ultra Power saving mode ( most of the samsung mobiles are now equipped with Ultra saving mode including J5 ) which will turn on a gray scale UI andyou can use basic apps meant for communication. Mobile data is also turned off.

S-Pen features

Air Command

Write in Screen off mode

Scroll Capture

Overall Summary

The Note 5 has seen an upgrade in every category from design, to performance, to even software. The issues with Samsung’s TouchWiz are far outweighed by the ability for the Exynos 7420 processor to power through.

Non-removable battery may be some dis-advantage for few, but with quick charge, the issue can be ignored. The main issue is the missing external storage as with 32 GB you get only 25 GB of user space.

On other fronts, for sure Note 5 is an extra ordinary device specially with S-Pen features.

 

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