- Best in Class Display
- Great Battery life
- Best in Class Camera
- No SD Card Slot
- No Removable Battery like Note 4
- S-pen put back in other way around can break the slot.
With the Galaxy Note 5 Samsung has a revamped design for its Note series with a flat 5.7 inch display on the front and a curved back panel both sides covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The design looks stylish as always but the back is prone to fingerprints and smudges. The home key has a fingerprint sensor built in which is responsive and works very well. The S-Pen needs to be pushed in to release it and also has a tendency to be inserted back in the wrong way. This doesn’t feel much of an issue but makes the process of taking out the pen a bit longer and a little-bit of hindsight while designing might have made it better.
The phone has a 5.7 inch Super AMOLED QuadHD display. The viewing angles are great and the display is bright allowing easy usage in bright conditions. The Note 5 is significantly thinner and lighter than its predecessors even though it still has the same display size. Note 5 display is without a doubt the best display you can get in a mobile device right now at the time of its launch.
The Note 5 boasts of a Quad-core Cortex-A53 1.5 GHz and Quad-core Cortex-A57 2.1 GHz powered by Exynos 7420 chipset and Mali-T760MP8 GPU. The combination of all these provides seamless performance in all conditions and even provides a smooth gaming experience with no lag. The single downward facing speaker provides loud and smooth audio and call quality was clear as well.
As with all Note series the performance is top notch with really no stones left unturned when it comes to hardware department.
The 3000 mAh battery on the Galaxy Note 5 provided sufficiently long periods without charging. The battery life is good with upto 12 hours of continuous video playback. The phone also comes with wireless charging ability and a fast charger which charged the phone from 0 to 50 in 30 minutes and full charge in an hour and a half. The phone has a power saving mode as well which turns the screen monochrome, reduces the brightness and limits the use of battery draining apps and extending the battery life considerably which is great during emergencies when you can't get a charger right away.
The camera on the phone is the same as the Galaxy S6 with 16 megapixels, f1.9 aperture, Optical Image stabilization and a 28mm lens with dual LED flash and heart rate sensor. The images taken from the camera were sharp and had plenty of detail with excellent color and white balance. The camera UI comes with a bunch of camera modes with the option of downloading more if the user wants to. Switching to the gallery was also fast. The phone had the excellent 4K recording quality which has been seen in previous phones of the series as well as in the S series. On the front there’s a 5 megapixels camera with auto HDR. Camera in Note 5 is best in class and argubably the best one in a smart phone.
The Note 5 runs on Android 5.1 Lolipop with Samsung’s new TouchWiz UI. It feels like a deskinned version of the regular UI loaded with a few more features making it lighter and more responsive. The UI supports multi-window to run apps, letting you resize the windows, allows apps to float on screen or minimize them to icons to have them float on screen. It also has the old features such as Do-Not-Disturb and SmartStay. The home button can be double pressed to launch the camera or triple pressed to shrink the display for single handed usage. The phone comes also comes with a few themes with the ability to download more from the theme store, a few of which are similar to the stock OS. On the down side, the Note 5, like the previous S6 and S6 edge has RAM management issues and doesn't hold many apps in memory even with its gigantci 4GB ram.
With any phone of the Note series the biggest feature is the S-Pen. In the Galaxy Note 5 has been provided new functionality. Pulling the S-Pen out activates the air commands. There's support for upto three shortcuts and with the AMOLED screen the user can now scribble on the screen without turning it on. All previous features have been preserved as well. The palm detection is well handled as well despite the small bezel.
The lack of a MicroSD and removable battery might irk some people as well. Overall the phone provides less new features compared to earlier phones in the Note series and seems mostly something most staunch Samsung fans would prefer and all in all its a great sucessor to the Note 4.