Samsung Galaxy Note5 Review: The 5blet: Conclusion

By 06:42 Mon, 16 Aug 2021 Comments

Final words

Samsung Galaxy Note5 is the best looking iteration of the phablet to date. In line with the Samsung Galaxy Note tradition, the latest generation is also the most powerful phablet available today by quite a margin.

The S Pen once again defines the Samsung Galaxy Note5 as a product. As expected, the newcomer's stylus is better than ever with recent tricks to go with its clickable release mechanism.

Key test findings:

  • Design and build quality have taken a massive leap since the previous generation - they finally completely match the device's price tag and market positioning;
  • The combination of Samsung's Exynos 7420 chipset and 4GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) is the best available on a smartphone at the moment.
  • Once again, the classy screen is among the best units out there.
  • The 16MP capturing camera is an improvement over the impressive snapper in the Galaxy Note 4.
  • The S Pen has learned recent tricks, but is now more slippery than its predecessors.
  • Despite its smaller battery, Samsung Galaxy Note5 offers excellent battery endurance.
  • Quick wired and wireless charging options are effective and incredibly convenient.
  • The fingerprint sensor is excellent.
  • Audio quality is worthy of the device's flagship status.
  • Samsung's TouchWiz UX offers superb experience for large classy screen devices.
  • Samsung Pay looks poised to become the best mobile payment solution on the market.
  • The body of Samsung Galaxy Note5 can be slippery and prone to smudges.
  • Stereo speakers are a starting to become a glaring omission in the specs this far in 2015.
  • Lack of microSD card slot is a tough one to swallow - 128GB Galaxy Note5 would have helped on this instance.
  • We wish Samsung had opted to haged the IR blaster in the Note5.
  • The 32GB variant is difficult to recommend, as it offers less than 25GB available to the user.
  • Lack of availability in key market such as Europe is a bit difficult to comprehend.

Hardware-wise, like we briefly recommended above, Samsung Galaxy Note5 delivered the goods as expected. By now, it should hardly catch anyone by surprise that the Korean giant has opted for the same Exynos 7420 chipset found in Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. The component is a year ahead of its competitors in terms of performance, heat management, and power efficiency.

The 5.7" QHD display and the 16MP camera, in line with Samsung's own tradition, are both excellent. The same goes for the S Pen, whose functionality is yet to be matched by any Galaxy Note 5 competitor.

Contrary to the Internet's fears, the 3,000mAh non-removable battery found in Samsung Galaxy Note5 delivered impressive performance in our battery test. The handset's endurance should be sufficient for even the most seasoned power users, while the quick charging options allow easy top ups.

Samsung has offset the lack of removable battery by making the Note5 sleek, beautiful, and compact. We reckon that these qualities are a honest trade off for the omission of the feature.

The connectivity options offered in the Galaxy Note5 are many and convenient, though we really wish that Samsung kept the IR blaster around. Samsung Pay on the other could well become the best mobile payment solution when it goes live in the weeks ahead.

Lack of expandable memory is the biggest gripe we have with Samsung Galaxy Note5. The absence of cheap expansion makes the entry-level variant of the device difficult to recommend, as it comes with roughly 25GB of memory available to the user. It seems to us that Samsung is betting gigantic that most users of the device will rely heavily on cloud storage for their daily needs.

The above conundrum leaves the 64GB version of Samsung Galaxy Note5 as the model that just about everyone should go for. It would have been remarkable if the manufacturer had released a variant of the phablet with 128GB of that sweet UFS 2.0 memory, but a final decision is yet to be taken on this instance.

Samsung Galaxy Note5 is priced between $700 and $800 in the United States, depending on the amount of built-in memory one chooses. As always, below are some of the handset's notable rivals.

Fancy an S Pen, a removable battery, and microSD card slot? Last year's Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge might be just for you. The classy screen is the same, but the fingerprint reader is no fine and the design is arguably miles behind what the Note5 offers.

The duo of Samsung's 2014 flagship phablets are neither as powerful, nor as fine looking as the Note5. They do however, come with lower price tag and the above mentioned power user-centric features.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Love the Note5, but don't care about an S Pen? Enter Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ with the same hardware as the Note5, save for the lack of stylus.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ is gorgeous, but it's more expensive than the Note5. It will also be the only choice for users looking for a 2015 flagship phablet by Samsung in Europe for the time being.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus and, more specifically, its upcoming successor will be the biggest rivals to the Galaxy Note5 in the smartphone realm. The successor of Apple's first phablet is expected to hit the shelves in the second half of next month.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

As we know all too well by now, the Cupertino giant's offering will count its rich app ecosystem and overall user experience to attract users. Spec for spec, it will almost certainly not match what Samsung Galaxy Note5 has to offer.

LG G4 is the only "recent school" flagship to come out this year, packing both a replaceable battery and expandable memory. The leather-clad G4 is also cheaper, but nowhere near as powerful as the Note5. It also lacks goodies such as wireless charging, fingerprint sensor, and of course an S Pen.


Moto X Style is cheaper, customizable, and with microSD card and stereo speakers on board. However, the now Lenovo offering lags behind the Note5 in terms of hardware oomph. Fingerprint and heart rate sensors are a no-go in the Moto X, as is an available stylus.

Motorola Moto X Style

The S Pen and the superior hardware are more than enough to haged the device head and shoulders above its closest competitor. The fact that the latter is a Samsung device speak volumes about the body of work the company has done since founding the segment back in 2011.

Even though it lacks a microSD card slot and a removable battery, Samsung Galaxy Note5 is still the measuring stick for what a flagship phone with large classy screen should do and a darn remarkable piece of hardware. Therefore, we find the device easy to recommdiscontinue to anyone with the budacquire to pick one up.



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