- Jamison Cush , Brighthand
The Samsung Galaxy Note5 looks great and excels at just about everything it does. It has the most polished and well-implemented S Pen features of any Note to date. Power users will love it, even if it’s too pricey at launch.
- news.com.au team , news.com.au
The Note 5 is a worthy and exceptionally attractive smartphone upgrade.
- Bright and sharp display
- Snappy performance during all tasks
- Premium build and appearance
- Excellent picture quality in almost all lighting situations
- Non-removable battery
- S Pen novelty wears off after a week
- No SD slot
While other phone manufacturers have turned their nose up at the stylus, Samsung has fully embraced it with their Note5 smartphone. Of course, Samsung knows a thing or two about a stylus smartphone as all their Note models ship with one. Besides this addition, reviewers consider the Note5 the least distinctive in terms of overall design. In fact, many find it practically identical to the Galaxy S6 as it has completely straights sides, flat face and slightly curved rear. At 6 x 3 x 0.3 inches, it definitely is a large device. Still, experts explain it had an overall slim feeling to it thanks in part to a thinner middle and thicker top and bottom edges. In a departure from its older models, Samsung decked out the Note 5 with metal edges and a glass back. Sadly, experts did notice the glass back attracted fingerprints, but add the issue is easily remedied with a quick wipe.
The reason for the Note5's large size is due to the 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display. With a resolution of 1,440 pixels, it offers an incredibly sharp 518 pixels per inch. As expected, reviewers had zero issues with fuzziness or pixelization. As an AMOLED screen, it offered critics crisp whites, deep blacks and vibrant albeit oversaturated colors. They also praise its overall brightness with Engadget stating, "…the screen is an absolute champ under the sweltering summer sun…I had no problem thumbing through…various photo sets."
To keep the Note5 humming along it is equipped with 4GB of RAM and eight cores: 4 are clocked at 2.1GHz and the other 4 at 1.5GHz. As with other octo-core processors, all eight do not run at the same time. Instead, the more powerful processors only kick in when you use more intensive apps. Reviewers didn't notice any hiccups or lag during basic or advanced tasks and they describe overall performance as "zippy" and "snappy." Despite the Quad HD display and octo-core processor, experts were able to squeeze around 15 hours during their battery draining tests. Of course, this number can change depending on how it is used as things like gaming and connecting to 4G tend to eat up a lot of juice. When you eventually do need a recharge, the Note5 offers two ways to charge – via the standard microUSB or wirelessly through Qi. Unfortunately, the battery is not removable, which turned off some critics. The biggest drawback of the device for many experts is its limited space. It only comes in 32GB or 64GB models with no microSD slot.
The 16MP main camera provided critics with excellent pictures in most lighting situations. Under good lighting, they were able to capture crisp images and fairly accurate color thanks to its fast focus and sensor. Digital Trends did notice oversaturation occasionally, but adds that, "it doesn't happen often…" Under low light situations, experts found the Note5 to beat out even the iPhone 6 providing very little digital noise and plenty of detail.
The most unique part of the Note5 is the S Pen stylus. For ease of access and use, there's a dedicated chute for the pen and instead of pulling it out you simply need to press the end of the stylus to pop it out. For the most part, the stylus acts pretty much the same as previous models with a couple exceptions. One new feature is the addition of the "screen memo off" setting. This allows you to write directly on the screen when your screen is in "off" mode and any notes taken this will are saved in the S Notes app. Once again, you can also write directly on the screen and save the images you create as PNG files. Unfortunately, experts discovered they could not send these via text and instead had to go through several steps in order to SMS their images to friends. While they note it is fun to use the S Pen, they eventually stopped using it after the novelty wore off.
While the Note5 might not be reinventing the wheel, critics believe it is a solid offering for those looking to upgrade. Tech Radar states, "…the Note 5 is still worth the upgrade. The S Pen-compatible phablet is mightier, and is the one Google Nexus and iPhone 6 Plus need to beat." CNET adds, "The Note5 is a terrific device with strengths in its stylus capabilities and flashy design."
Reviews (8.5/10 Avg. rating)
The S Pen is still mightier than the edge
Might just be Samsung's best smartphone yet
Last year Samsung clearly suffered something of a crisis of confidence. While we liked both the Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy Note 4, they felt like uninspired sequels to more innovative products. Though the Note 4 showed some flashes of Samsung’s future direction, this year’s crop—from the S6 to the S6 Edge to the Note 5 and S6 Edge+—is something special.
Though the loss of removable battery and expandable storage is regrettable—especially given the Note 5’s paltry internal storage options—it’s a worthwhile trade-off given the aesthetic... Full review
Beautiful screen, excellent performance
While the stylus was a nice touch, in our experience you see a lot of people with Note handsets and rarely are they wielding it. The big draw of the Note-series then was its big screen and not it's name-giving pen. That said, it's a pity that Samsung aren't bringing this model to the UK yet, as not everyone is keen on the curved edge display of the Galaxy S6 Edge+.
At this stage, it's hard to score a phone that currently doesn't have a UK price, or indeed a solid UK release date. However, when the Note 5 has so much in common with the Galaxy S6 Edge+, which I think is much more c... Full review
One of the best smartphones of 2015
A worthy option
I really think highly of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 in more areas than not. I admire its beauty and think it has incredible hardware specs that set the bar for other manufacturers. Its camera, S-Pen and display are second to none. But Touchwiz and Samsung’s poor record of updating software make me hesitate in recommending this phone to the average consumer. Yet, most will probably prefer the new design over having a removable battery and expandable memory.
For die-hard Note fans, I can see most of them sticking with their Note 4 in hopes Samsung will get back to its utilitarian... Full review
Biggest and beefiest Samsung phone yet
So, what do we think of the Galaxy Note 5? We’re very fond of just about every aspect of the Galaxy Note 5, from its curved and sleek design to its vibrant display and high-resolution camera. It can handle almost anything you can throw at it thanks to its CPU, GPU and 4GB of RAM and we experienced no lag during our testing. The only bad point is that the Note 5 would sometimes falsely detect the S Pen detaching – and to point out such a minor fault says a lot about the quality of the handset. With this being said, we’re both surprised and sad that the Galaxy Note 5 won&rsq... Full review
For those who must jot down everything
The best got even better
The fall season is dominated by Apple introducing the new iPhone and its larger companion. This year is different as Samsung hosted an Unpacked event a few weeks before Apple’s newest handsets were made public, and then released the Galaxy Note 5 right around the same time that the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus hit the market. So Samsung is now going against Apple at a time when Tim Cook & Co. are not accustomed to fierce competition early on. Samsung has executed in many areas with the Galaxy Note 5. The design and build quality are first-class and every component is as high-end a... Full review
Best in class performance
Classing it up
The 32GB version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 retails for Rs 53,900, which makes it better value compared to its curved-screen sibling. Plus, you get the useful stylus which will add more value to your life as compared to a curved screen. The Galaxy Note 5 is a very good iterative upgrade over previous Galaxy Note models, and if you're in the market for a phone with a stylus, this is your best bet. However, should you ditch your Note 4 for the Note 5? Certainly not. Samsung has made some very good improvements such as the stronger aluminium body, more powerful processor, improved S Pen feat... Full review
Nice phone but...
Manuals / User Guides
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