Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review – with instant Screen-off note taking

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is the latest addition in the Galaxy Note Series. The Note 5 got a design makeover and the S-Pen comes with some really cool features that you wished its predecessors had. Galaxy Note 5 price starts from ₹53,900.

Galaxy Note 5 unboxing
Inside the box you will find the Note 5, user guide, warranty card, fast travel charger (9V ~ 1.67A), data cable, premium quality earphone with earphone plug caps, S-Pen tips with remover and SIM tray ejector pin.

Design and Display
When you are holding the Note 5 and if you had a look at the Galaxy S6 Edge plus before, you will find that the design is somewhat the same. Though the S6 Edge Plus is slimmer but the curvy body is almost similar on the Note 5. However there is a big different i.e on S6 Edge Plus the screen (curved screen) is on the curvy side whereas on the Note 5 it is the back panel.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review and unboxing

Note 5 is using a metal frame, build quality and finishing is very good. Weight with battery is 170 grams and dimensions are 76.15 x 153.11 x 7.60mm. The curvy rear side has got a glass layer (scratch resistant), it looks and feels good but could get a bit slippery at times.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 back panel

Power button is on the right side, volume rocker is on the left, SIM tray on the top and audio jack, micro USB port, speaker out vent and S-Pen slot is at the bottom.

The S- Pen got a slight makeover, it comes with click mechanism. Click the flat part and it will eject a little bit then pull out the S-Pen from the S-Pen slot. Since the S-Pen’s flat end is almost in line with the curvy body, if you try inserting the flat end into the S-Pen slot it will go inside and could damage the slot. When putting the Pen back into the slot the tip should enter first.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review

This handset sports a 5.7 inch super AMOLED screen supporting Quad HD (2560 x 1440) resolution. Screen comes with Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Viewing angles, colour reproduction and touch response are great.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 5.7 inch quad HD super AMOLED screen

This is a single SIM handset, you need a nano SIM and there is no micro SD card slot.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 nano SIM tray

Native video calling is supported, there is LED notification, dual mics for noise cancellation and this handset comes  loaded with accelerometer, light, proximity, finger print scanner (360 Touch ID based), barometer, gyro, hall and magnetic sensors.

Memory, Storage and OS
The Note 5 is packed with 4GB RAM and optional 32/64GB storage. I got the 32GB version for the review. On the first boot you will get around 23GB free internal storage space and 1.5GB free RAM. OTG is supported.

Performance
This handset houses the Samsung Exynos Octa Core processor 14nm 7420 chipset clocked at 2.1GHz coupled with Mali T-760 GPU. Performance is very smooth, lag free and temperature is well under control. Max battery temperature I encountered was 36 degrees.

Benchmark

Benchmark App Score
Quadrant 34246
Antutu (64 bit) 1st – 67315 , 2nd – 65999
Nenamark 2 59.7fps
Multi touch 10 point

Gaming
The hardware is very powerful and you will not face any issues playing high end games. I tried Asphalt 8 and it played really well (check the video review).

Camera
The Note 5 comes with 16MP primary camera with 4K recording capabilities and 5MP camera on the front with wide selfie option. The camera quality is excellent and it also comes with auto HDR, pro mode and newly added live broadcast and video collage. Check the video review to get an idea about the camera features.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 16MP primary camera

The camera can also capture RAW images i.e. it will store uncompressed RAW file (DNG format) and the usual JPG file. But to use RAW mode you need to set the camera to PRO mode.

You can check the sample images / video at the end of this review.

Others
No issues found, sound is loud and clear, in-call sound is also very good. 4G worked, and so did Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. There is built in NFC with pay support.

The best thing to happen on the Note 5 is the ability to use the S-Pen to write on the black screen without having to switch on the screen. Yes, when you want to note down something urgently and the phone is in standby mode, simply remove the S-Pen and start writing on the black screen you can even save it.

The Note 5 also comes with Air Command that can be customized – you can add app of your choice. (check video review to see it in action). Another best thing is that you can write on PDF. Say for example you get a PDF file and you need to sign it and send back, you normally would take a printout, sign, scan and send back. But with the Note 5 you can simple do away with the print / scan, just use the write screen option sign it, save and send.

There is heart rate sensor on the back and like the other premium galaxy smartphones this one also comes with S-Health app that will keep track of your fitness activities, you don’t really need a fitness band.

Battery
The Note 5 houses a 3000 mAh non-removable battery with fast charging capabilities. Battery backup is decent you can expect about 4 to 6 hours of continuous usage (moderate to heavy). The battery can be fully charged in 120 minutes using wireless charger and about 90 minutes using the wall charge. I got a comfortable 1 day+ battery backup with moderate usage (Wi-Fi / 4G on).

Performance Time Battery drop % Battery Max Temp
Benchmark 13 Minutes 5% 34 degree
Gaming (Asphalt 8) 22 Minutes 7% 35 degree
4K movie play with full brightness + Wi-Fi on 25 minutes 7% 35 degree
Wall Charge (on standby) 1 hour 13 minutes 21% to 100% 34 degree

Verdict
A powerful and elegant looking smartphone with lots of exciting and useful features. Overall it is an excellent package, unique and does come for a price.

If you can afford it, go for it, if you cannot, you wished you could!

Rating [4.5 out of 5] – cannot use decimals in the rating box below.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (in Gold, Black and Silver colour options) is priced at ₹53,900 for the 32GB version and ₹59,900 for the 64GB version.

Image gallery


Rear Camera Sample


Front Camera sample

RAW sample (30MB)
right click this link and save it.

Galaxy Note 5 video review

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