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Samsung Galaxy Note5 review

As the fourth successor of the product that defined what a phablet should be, Samsung Galaxy Note5 is arguably the most radical release in the product family to date. The newcomer marks a noteworthy departure (no pun intended) from all of its predecessors in terms of both design and available hardware features.

Samsung Galaxy Note5Top notch specs are always to be expected from a Samsung Galaxy Note and the latest iteration surely delivers on this front. The Galaxy Note5 packs the most powerful chipset in the business, the fastest memory, and one of the best cameras around. The S Pen is here too – clickable and more productive than ever.

Brand new look and premium materials ensure that Samsung Galaxy Note feels as premium as its hardware requires. Take a look at the full list of key features the Note5 has to offer below.

Samsung Galaxy Note5 review Key features

  • 5.7″ QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) Super AMOLED display with 518ppi
  • 64-bit Exynos 7420 chipset with 14nm architecture; octa-core CPU (quad 2.1GHz & quad 1.5GHz), Mali-T760MP8 GPU
  • 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM; 32/64GB of UFS 2.0 flash memory
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with TouchWiz UX
  • 16MP f/1.9 camera with OIS; Auto HDR; 4K video capture; IR white balance detection sensor, Pro mode and RAW shooting
  • 5MP f/1.9 front-facing camera
  • Cat. 9 LTE network support; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz); GPS, GLONASS and Beidou; Bluetooth 4.2; NFC; MST mobile payment support
  • 3,000mAh non-removable battery; Qi (WPC) and PMA wireless charging support
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Heart-rate monitor
  • Redesigned clickable S-Pen
  • Metal chassis; Corning Gorilla Glass 4 front and back
  • Wired and wireless Quick Charging

Samsung Galaxy Note5 review Main disadvantages

  • No microSD card slot; no 128GB built-in memory option
  • The battery is not user-replaceable
  • No IR port
  • No enhanced resistance to liquids or dust
  • No stereo speakers
  • The body of the smartphone is quite slippery without a case
  • Not available in key global markets (at least for the time being)

The combo of a beefy Exynos 7420 chipset, ultra-sharp Super AMOLED display, and speedy memory should hardly catch anyone by surprise. The setup debuted on Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge and is yet to have its performance matched by a rival.

Dropping the memory card slot and the removable battery from the Note5 specs surely raises eyebrows – both hardware features have been a staple for the product family since day one. Samsung appears confident that the bevy of available charging options will keep users happy.

Samsung Galaxy Note5 Samsung Galaxy Note5 Samsung Galaxy Note5 Samsung Galaxy Note5
Samsung Galaxy Note5 official photos

As always, we will kick our Samsung Galaxy Note5 review with an unboxing, followed by an overview of its design and build. Head over to the next page for a closer look at the flagship phablet.

Available versions: SM-N920T (T-Mobile); SM-N920A (AT&T)

Samsung Galaxy Note5 review –

NetworkTechnologyGSM / HSPA / LTE
2G bandsGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G bandsHSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 – N920T, N920A
4G bandsLTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 17(700), 20(800) – N920A
SpeedHSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat6 300/50 Mbps/ LTE Cat9 450/50 Mbps
GPRSYes
EDGEYes
LaunchAnnounced2015, August
StatusAvailable. Released 2015, August
BodyDimensions153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm (6.03 x 3.00 x 0.30 in)
Weight171 g (6.03 oz)
SIMNano-SIM
– Fingerprint sensor (PayPal certified)
– S Pen stylus
DisplayTypeSuper AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size5.7 inches (~75.9% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution1440 x 2560 pixels (~518 ppi pixel density)
MultitouchYes
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 4
PlatformOSAndroid OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop)
ChipsetExynos 7420
CPUQuad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57
GPUMali-T760MP8
MemoryCard slotNo
Internal32/64 GB, 4 GB RAM
CameraPrimary16 MP, 5312 x 2988 pixels, optical image stabilization, autofocus, LED flash,
FeaturesDual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, panorama, HDR
Video[email protected], [email protected], optical stabilization, dual-video rec.,
Secondary5 MP
SoundAlert typesVibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
LoudspeakerYes
3.5mm jackYes
CommsWLANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetoothv4.2, A2DP, EDR, LE
GPSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
NFCYes
RadioTo be confirmed
USBmicroUSB v2.0, USB Host
FeaturesSensorsAccelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2
MessagingSMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM
BrowserHTML5
JavaNo
– Wireless charging (Qi/PMA) – market dependent
– ANT+ support
– S-Voice natural language commands and dictation
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264 player
– MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+/FLAC player
– Photo/video editor
– Document editor
BatteryNon-removable Li-Po 3000 mAh battery
Stand-by
Talk time
MiscColorsBlack Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Silver Titan, White Pearl
SAR US1.53 W/kg (head)     1.28 W/kg (body)
SAR EU0.45 W/kg (head)     0.58 W/kg (body)
Price group9/10

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