Opinion

The Galaxy Note 5 is the most complete Samsung Galaxy flagship ever

I hated the Galaxy Note 4. Hate isn’t the word my colleagues here at SamMobile will use, but none of them were fans of the Note 4 either. The hardware was great, but the laggy software was what ruined the device when it launched, and Samsung’s abysmal software support further sealed the deal in making the Note 4 one of the most disappointing flagship smartphones from the Korean giant.

Great hardware has never been an issue with the Note lineup. The most top-notch hardware on the market has what has always separated the Note series from the rest, and this year, Samsung’s focus on a cleaner and optimized software experience has resulted in the Galaxy Note 5 being the most complete flagship Galaxy phone in my opinion.

Read MoreSamsung Galaxy Note 5 Review: The best phablet flagship your money can buy

There might not be a microSD card slot or a removable battery, but the Note 5 manages to do well in all the important aspects. The display is stunning, the camera is the best there is in the industry, the phone is screaming fast no matter what you throw at it, the design is as premium as it gets, the S Pen can let you be really productive, and battery life is pretty good as well (though not as good as it was on the Note II, or even the Note 3.) But as I mentioned earlier, it’s the software that really helps make the Note 5 be the complete package it is.

Why? Well, because in this day and age, everyone expects their smartphone to be smooth and fast, especially when they pay upwards of $800 for it. It’s not like people didn’t expect that last year, but at the time manufacturers were able to get away with laggy software rather easily, and Google also hadn’t done enough make Android as optimized as it is today (it’s not totally bug-free, but that’s another story.)

But the advent of low-cost smartphones like the Moto G or the OnePlus One, which offered a nice user experience despite their low price tags, has changed the landscape. Samsung knew this, and we saw its first step towards heavy optimization on the software front with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. Things have gotten even better with the Note 5, which looks more and more like it will manage to stay smooth even after a few months of usage, something that wasn’t true for the S6 lineup for many users. Add to that the features of the S Pen, and the Note 5 delivers a software experience that’s worth all the praise it can get.

Once again, the lack of two important features – expandable storage and a removable battery – might have put off some Galaxy Note fans (and also the fact that the Note 5 isn’t available in many markets), but there’s no denying the fact that the Note 5 manages to do all the important things very well. Note devices have always had the best hardware upon launch, and Samsung’s improved TouchWiz UX combines with top-of-the-line specs to make the Note 5 the complete flagship the company has ever made.

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bbeijer
bbeijer

I find it strange that Samsung
* First creates a wonderful phablet, which is addictive
* Then tells consumers in Europe that they can not buy the latest model (Note 5)
Why does Samsung seek to alienate customers who want a Note not a Phone (where Samsung has stiff competition from a host of other phone makers)?
Does not seem logical to me, Samsung.

bunyospityu
bunyospityu

Have a Note 4 (Exynos) and trust me I am no fanboy. I have experienced NO lag since day-1. Not with KitKat, not with 5.0.1, not with 5.1.1. The UI was all smooth, apps open fast. 5.1.1 now keeps more apps – more than the S6/N5 would). I mean, there is just no reason to “upgrade”. Well, you have better specs on paper, sure, but in reality – just go into a store and check it out – the new models don’t offer anything new. Hell they are worse at multitasking with their 4gb of ram, which is a joke.

valthomas
valthomas

its simple, no microsd slot no water resistant no ir blaster no removable battery no bigger battery = NO MAKING MONEY… Next year you gonna do that same SH..IT Still not gonna make money

Titandan
Titandan

Had both the Note 4 and just purchased the Note 5 a couple days ago. Note 5 is more fluid but Note 4 didn’t have too many hiccups either. Lag isn’t that big an issue these days with Samsung (at least the flagships).

Distatyion
Distatyion

What the F*** did I just read ?? Note 5 the Most Complete smartphone ?? No expandable memory , unable to remove the battery and without IR Blaster ?? What?? Note 4 one of the worst ever ?? Lag?? where the f** is lag on note 4?? especially withe the 5.1.1 update!! I just read the absolut worst article about a smartphone ever!! This was certainly a desperate attempt to increase the Note 5 sales, paid by Samsung itself … I’ve never seen so much shit together

devoidx
devoidx

Note 4 with 32Gb and 128gb SDCARD = $740 (outright)

Note 5 with 64Gb (No sdcard, no ir and no removal battery) = $1159 (reduced from $1549 recently)

I upgraded from Note 3 to Note 4. My money. My choice.

Your money. Your choice.

andres ross
andres ross

Note 5 is a beast not missing none of the features they removed…here in the states in cali to be exact TMOBILE JUST RELEASED 140MB DOWNLOADING AS I SPEAK…ALREADY GETTING 6HRS SOT SO NOW WITH THIS NEW UPDATE WILL FARTHER IMPROVE BATTERY LIFE UM ALL FOR IT…

deio
deio

False, it is not the “most complete flagship”, because lacking detachable battery, infrared port, no sd card made a good phone a mediocre one. Not counting the Pen, there are better alternatives now.
Same CPU only Exynos with 2 more clusters for Mali760GPU (8 core versus 6 for Note 4).
Samsung made a good product – > bad. Because of greed. Note 4 users will not upgrade and loose features.
Many people bought Note for features and special specifications, now even Note is a consumable.

masterross
masterross

Lets not forget missing USB 3.0 (or C) and S Beam!
Note 3 users also wont upgrade even if it was available in EU.

moogaloo
moogaloo

Just to add something about this “Cloud Storage” arguement, I use One Drive, Google Drive and Drop Box and as far as I know none of these integrate with the Note as native storage meaning that you need to download each file before using it. for those who have music and video libraries well beyond 64GB “Cloud Storage” just is not there. Even if you use apps that are cloud storage aware (Are there any video / music players that are?) you still can not use it for offline. This is one reason why many past Note 4 fans are… Read more »

djshotty
djshotty

The lack of firmware upgrades to the Note 4 is what stopped me buying a 5, so I’m happily and eagerly awaiting Marshmallow goodness for my SGS6…

moogaloo
moogaloo

I am getting bored of this. If you don’t need storage above 64 GB or IR blaster, replacable battery, than I am sure the new note 5 is great. But for some of us these features are a deal breaker, we genuinely need to go beyond that and cloud storage and other options won’t cut it. Discussion seems to have got personal with people calling others stupid etc, we just have different needs and for some the note line of phones no longer meets them, which is disappointed to those (myself included) that have bought previous note generations. And I… Read more »

losteagle
losteagle

Obviously Note 5 it’s a great phone, that’s sure.
But starting a new article with “..the most complete Samsung Galaxy…” it’s likewise misleading because of an extensive series of missing features : microSD support, no removable battery, no IR Blaster, no MHL support, no UV sensor.
OK my criticism come from a Galaxy Note fan, as you wrote, but I equally find funny that every articles in this blog attempt to prove how spectacular it is a Note 5.
Are you afraid that does will not sell well ?!

Martin R.
Martin R.

Micro SD and removable batteries are things of the past and way overrated. That is why LG struggles even with those features…

masterross
masterross

You serious?
Then why in G2 removable battery and sd slot were missing?
and in G3, G4 guess what? They are back!1

losteagle
losteagle

It’s only my usage, but I want to explain more : today I have a Note 3 with a 64GB Samsung microSD card inside for a total of 32 + 64 = 96GB total available. In my country (Italy) cloud storage it’s expensive and data plan very limited, add also that for a mountain country data connection are not always available or with stable connection. If I bought a Note 5 a possible solution would be to buy on Amazon (because in Europe it’s not still available) an expensive 128GB unit, but simply this doesn’t exist, the maximum storage on… Read more »

n59o
n59o

Ok this is correct, but at the same time the following points are the present, challenge and embarrassments of the news flagships.

1. Wifi bug with battery drain
2. The worst ram management of samsung
3. Samsungs fails software updates

So samsung has a lot to do for being the best in smartphones.

BigBernard
BigBernard

Martin R – You couldn’t be more wrong.

Martin R.
Martin R.

Yeah so why aren’t they selling more devices?

radulescu21
radulescu21

What’s this, a Note 5 commercial? :)) You do know Note 4 now runs 5.1.1 and there is an Exynos verson right? So compare 5.1.1 Exynos vs 5.1.1 Exynos, because in this state the article is pretty irrelevant and looks like Note 5 marketing. Now there are those who argue…”who needs ir blaster, removal battery, bigger battery and more storage??” Ok…who needs a 5.7 screen? who needs qhd resulution? how many really need the S-pen, how many really do multitask on this phone? Let’s all go back to an S3 then. Who needs features? IT DOESEN’T MATTER WHO NEEDS THEM!… Read more »

randyckayy
randyckayy

Ignoring over 500 million Europeans is not a smart move by Samsung. Inciting previous Note users to buy an S6+ Edge is completely foolish.Maybe this is a bigger mistake than the lacking of sd card slot and removable battery

n59o
n59o

Randy, Im owner of s6, s6edge plus & note 5 and the only thing that i can say in my experience, with all those beast smartphones is that ee edge plus is the most stable of 3 of them de note is a beast of bugs as wifi and furius battery drain.

Finally i miss my 2 notes 4 exynos and snapdragon versions.

edan1979
edan1979

Most complete kind of overstatement. But that’s the author opinion. IMHO, The phone works fine. The only thing did not satisfy me is the space. We only got 32 GB here in Malaysia. Some company idiot decide not to bring in 64GB due to poor sales on S6edge. If the company guy read this, “You bring it late you freaking idiot”. Most of us has already bought the 32GB. We don’t have the super duper cheap phone package link with freaking greedy telco here. We bough it out of store, Your own Samsung store/retailer. Not all of us can fork… Read more »

glowman
glowman

Most complete? How? Dropping off some items present from past notes plus the big boo-boo on s-pen design makes it complete? Note 5 is a big mistake samsung has made so far. LG’s V10 even has those that had been dropped off (batt and SD). Go look up “complete” in english dictionary, maybe your native dictionary has a different meaning. Maybe this article was intentionally written to generate more comments. Don’t do that! Do you know you are just insulting your intelligence? If samsung can modify the hardware like a software, I bet they’ll do that.

Titandan
Titandan

My mom got the Note 5 and she loves it. She traded in her Note 4 for it so that’s saying something. Not sure why people are complaining about this article to be honest.

DaveB87
DaveB87

I live in Europe, and was a Note 4 owner, which was the first ever Note I owned, I loved it! everything about the phone, I honestly couldn’t fault it, but the appeal of getting a Note 5 ahead of European release was too much, and so I forked out and got one about 3 weeks ago. All I can say, is my love for the Note range has not diminished any bit. The phone is STUNNING, much prettier than the Note 4, much nicer to look at, the S pen is a delight to use, and the performance of… Read more »

preime101
preime101

Improved software support doesn’t make the phone complete when it is is missing a lot of features that it’s predecessors had. Even the note 3 is more complete than the note 5. That doesn’t change that the phone, seen in isolation, is one of the best phones available today, but it is a long way from complete. The lack of usb c already means it is not fit for future use and limits it’s long term resale value. Eliminating a raft of popular features from its predecessors for the sake of a minor visual improvement is a poor decision that… Read more »

Leni26de
Leni26de

A little bit math
Galaxy Note 4 – (minus) microSD – (minus) removeable Accu – (minus) ……… = (equals) Note 5
so, which one is the most complete Samsung Galaxy flagship ever ?

adrilax
adrilax

Poor RAM management, no 128 gb, no sd card, weak battery life, weak graphics performance, no IR blaster,a lot of lags after installing a lot of apps, no temperture sensor, no humidity sensor, (no costum rom, MIUI, cyanogenmod) fingerprint sensor needs to be even better (like the iphone 6s or better) Smart stay needs to work at night (sensor on lumia for faceunlock)

kronicle
kronicle

The lack of an overly expensive new MicroSDXC slot in a successfully launched Note 5 has sent a clear message to SDA membership to lower their exorbitant license fees and adopt a file system standard, that shouldn’t have died decades ago in M$ licensed FAT32, now being Extended by Ex-Fat even more exorbitant license fees. These are the primary reasons, no manufacturer has adopted new MicroSDXC UHS-II slots with it’s extra row of pins. Even though these new cards and slots are all backwards compatible with old UHS-I memory cards as well as those odd SD cards being able to… Read more »

n900mixalot
n900mixalot

New controllers are coming out that support both. Huawei just released a phone that supports both. High end cameras support SD expansion. So while technically informative, your point is lost.

pratsarolkar
pratsarolkar

I feel that samsung should step up their game and give the new touchwiz ux, atleast for the ex flagship owners like note4 and the s5. The 2014 lineup of samsung, was basically like an unwanted child, ignored and not cared for. And was not really a great improvement compared to their 2013 and 2012 counterparts!

marius3000
marius3000

Sorry for my english. I has Note 1, Note 2, now I write from Note 3. I very long wait for Note 5. But no SD card, no Ir, very smoll memomory – only 64 GB…. Now I starting look at LG…. or will wait for Note 6. I dont understand Samsung….

ThaiM
ThaiM

Wow really? The most “complete”???? They took away all innovative features, sales tanked, nobody wants and this opinion piece is trying to say it’s complete? Okey dokey.

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