I have always considered the Samsung Galaxy Note series the most productive of all Android phones, thanks to its impressive stylus and the bunch of apps that make it work. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, the Korean tech giant seems to be trying to make the phone more mass by improving the style quotient. But does this work?
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is actually an upgrade of the Note 4 and does not bring in a lot of features that are really news. There are design changes, the most significant of which is the fact that this now comes with a non-removable battery. A corollary of this change is the lack of a SD card slot in the phone. Also the phone is now slimmer at 7.6mm and hence has a smaller battery.
Specs: 5.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen (1440x2560p, ~518 ppi) | Exynos 7420 (Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57) | 4GB RAM | 32GB storage | 16 MP rear camera + 5MP front camera | Android 5.1.1 | 4G LTE | Wireless charging (Qi/PMA)
Price: Rs 53,900
Watch video review of the Note 5 below: (App users click here for video)
What is good?
Of course, the stylus is the best thing about the Note 5 and it has just got better in comparison to the last edition. To start, there the S-Pen now comes with a ball-point pen like clicker on top which adds no particular value but is still good to have.
The new feature I love is the ability to take notes on the lock screen. This is a good feature to have, especially for the compulsive note takers who will ultimately end up buying this phone. Plus, you can now take the screenshot of an entire webpage and annotate. The handwriting to text abilities of the Note 5 are unrivalled and a pleasure to use. I get the feeling it is faster for you to jot down a reply and convert it to text than actually typing the same.
The Note 5 is among the most powerful smartphones around and you will not have any issues using this phone for anything from recording 4K video to multi-tasking. In fact, given the large screen and the cool split screen software this is one of the best phones for people who like to work on two things at the same time. The phone also stays relatively cool most of the times and the only notable heating issue was when using the camera.
The camera on the Note 5 is stellar and comparable to the superb clicker on the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+. Samsung seems to be really topping the game on Android cameras, at least in its high end phones. The camera offers great detail and works wonderfully in low light conditions too. And since the S-Pen lets you do a lot of creative stuff with the camera, we think the clicker rises to the occasion.
The fast charging ability of the new Samsung smartphones really takes care of one of the major pain points smartphone users have had recently. The Note 5 can charge to about 50 per cent in under 30 minutes and that is a boon however you look at it. I could not test the wireless charger, but I am sure that will be one of the sought-after features of this phone.
What is not good?
Yes, the Note 5 is slimmer that its predecessors. But as a result the battery is also smaller at 3000 mAh instead of the 3220 mAh in the Note 4. I feel it also lasts a few hours lesser than before, thus diminishing one of the USPs of this range. It is still a good battery and last well over 12 hours, but a lot of Note users before used to go gaga over how the phone could last a full day and those stories might come to an end with this phone. But then, to put things in perspective, this phone comes with wireless charging.
The phone has a tendency to just go blink once in a while. It is not a crash or even a case of the phone hanging because of some heavy apps. It is almost like the phone going into a hibernate-like mode, out of which it takes some effort to wake up. It comes back to life if you keep the power button pressed for a bit long.
Should you buy?
Buy this phone if you like working on the move and really need a stylus. For those who don’t need a stylus the Note 5 does not offer any particular advantage over the S6 series. This phone is for the compulsive note takers and doodlers. They will adore this phone.