Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 5, two months later

We love the Galaxy Note 5. We think it’s the most complete flagship Samsung has ever made, despite the fact that it takes away a couple of staple Note features. SamMobile’s review of the Note 5 came out back in October, and it has been around two months since I’ve been using it as a primary smartphone.

How has it held up after all this time of regular all-day usage? Well, it’s held up very nicely. Okay, so there’s a large crack at the top right of my phone, thanks to a drop that saw it fall flat on its face, but thankfully the drop didn’t do any damage to the display itself. Speaking of the display, the 5.7-inch Super AMOLED unit on the Note 5 is simply great. Everything on the screen looks stunning, even on the Basic display mode setting that makes colors more accurate but doesn’t add that horrible yellow tinge that previous iterations of Samsung’s Super AMOLED display would do.

Performance has been one of the worst issues with Samsung’s software, and even with the optimized TouchWiz, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge slowed down after a couple of months of use. Whether it’s the 4GB of RAM or further optimization on Samsung’s part, the Galaxy Note 5 is still very smooth and fast. I rarely see a stutter or hiccup in regular usage, and apps continue to fire up quickly. Apps in the background still don’t seem to be able to stay in memory as long as one would like because of whatever changes Samsung has made to Android’s RAM management, but it’s not as bad as it was on the S6 and S6 edge.

The biggest indication of the multitasking improvements due to more RAM is the fact that third-party keyboard apps don’t take time to show up, which was a very irritating issue on the original S6 lineup. Also gone is the lockscreen lag that we talked about a couple of weeks ago. The latest update to hit the device seems to have fixed it, and compared to the Galaxy Note 4, the Note 5 is miles ahead as far as overall performance is concerned.

note-5-review-two-months-2

The camera is another aspect that has continued to impress. Good lighting conditions or not, the Galaxy Note 5 takes great pictures, and it takes them extremely quickly no matter how light or dark it might get. Seriously, the near-instant shutter speed in even the darkest conditions is one of the reasons I love this camera. The app itself hasn’t slowed down noticeably; it usually starts up quickly when the home button is double-pressed, though the launch can sometimes be slow when the screen is off.

What about battery life? Um, let’s just say it gets the job done but is nowhere near as good as the Note 4 or any previous Galaxy Note flagship. Battery life has improved over the weeks, partly due to Samsung’s new app optimization feature. This is the same as the Auto stop battery feature we saw on the S6 and basically starts stopping apps from running in the background all the time. It can be a problem when apps that should never shut down are killed (Android Wear being a good example), but you can disable the “optimization” for individual apps (from the Settings » Battery menu, under App optimization).

As for that S Pen, there hasn’t been much surprise. It continues to be a nice alternative to regular touch input. I don’t use it much except for copying text and typing faster, and it’s a tool that is there for those who need it but just gets out of the way for those who don’t. The push-to-eject mechanism is still an unnecessary extra step in access to the stylus, but with practice I can get it out faster than I could when I started using the phone.

The Galaxy Note 5 is just great. It’s not a good device for those who need a lot of physical storage on their smartphone (unless you get the 64GB variant), and it’s not for anyone looking for epic battery life. But for just about anything else, the Note 5 has it all. Great display, fast performance, an amazing camera, and a stylus that lets you get really productive if you need to. The best thing has been the fact that it hasn’t slowed down with continued usage over two months, and if the Galaxy Note 5 is available in your country, it’s a great purchase if you are looking for a large-screen flagship.

What do you think of the Galaxy Note 5? Do you like it, or do you think you made a mistake spending your money buying one? Share your experience in the comments below!

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omegajb
1 year 6 months ago

Performance on my Note 5 has been great, no lag with Touch Wiz and the Camera is great.
My only issue is the battery life. Coming from the Note 4 the stock battery seemed to last much longer and I really miss not having removable battery.

russpenn27
1 year 6 months ago

For people complaining about storage, use a (Micro SD Card reader) as for battery life, the note 5 is a beast!

ManOfSteele
1 year 6 months ago

Lol.

o0MHJ0o
1 year 6 months ago

Hang on? The lock screen lag got fixed!? Mines worse than ever! I’m on an unlocked version of the phone too… Mind, mine is the edge+ because I can’t get the Note 5 but this seriously needs fixing! Really am losing faith in Samsung, if they don’t fix it before the year is up its probably the last product I buy of there’s. Especially now they’re making all there accessories available to everyone.

Omaha4K
1 year 6 months ago

Great article- all the major points covered. As far as those kids who can’t live with less than 2 billion gigs of storage, perhaps you should either transfer more of your phone content to your tablet or PC. Otherwise, get a life that involves far less time being babysat by your phone, and a lot more living in real time.
.
I started out with my 1st phone being a Motorola “brick” style squawk box. It weight 180 pounds and made me look like Dr. Dork. Not to mention, it I paid $70 a month for 70 minutes!
.
If you have a Trac phone, be happy. I personally love my Note 5 and couldn’t be more satisfied. IMO.

Omaha4K
1 year 6 months ago

.. it’s sad that the only fault you could find, is that the stylus takes too long to eject from the phone??? what are you, 10? or just British?

ThaiM
1 year 6 months ago

Stopped reading after “We think it’s the most complete flagship Samsung has ever made,…”

How blatantly wrong that is on so many levels.

Karlos Somoza
1 year 6 months ago

If you stop reading at this point, then you will not understand WHY the author says this phone is what he says. (sorry my English is not good)

Omaha4K
1 year 6 months ago

.. in your opinion. When you can afford to purchase this phone and actually use it, then come back and give an educated “opinion”. Until then, get back to your drive-thru window. Thanks.

rbaucom
1 year 6 months ago

Hi Hijeet, can you please post screenshots of: “optimization” for individual apps (from the Settings » Battery menu, under App optimization).”? I do not see this on my stock not rooted note 5 64gb N920P on Sprint running AOK3. Did you have a case and a screen protector on you phone when it failed? An interesting fact on camera speed. My note 3 had a horrible lag on opening the camera application and on focusing. I put the note 5 ported rom on it. Wow the camera application opens just as fast and MOST of the auto focus problems of selecting anything close up went away. So the hardware was good, the software was clunky. Loving the note 5. But I do miss having extra batteries and knowing that I don’t ever need to search for a power outlet.

jpkelly05
1 year 6 months ago

I have a Note 4. I would like to see an article comparing the Note 4 & 5 after your 2 month use. I don’t think it is fair to compare it to Galaxy S6 as it is similar tech and a different animal completely.

I am on the fence for upgrading for the big two reason’s: battery and Micro SD card. I have filled the Note 4′s onboard memory and it slugs the UI drastically. How would the Note5 handle this with no Micro SD card?

One way to test that would be to take many high quality video’s.

Thanks in advance.

ArchangelRenzoku
1 year 6 months ago

I have the note 4 also. Wouldnt dream of giving it up for the 5. But would like an article showing people why. 5.1.1 for the N4 fixed pretty much everything in my opinion that was separating the two in terms of performance. But I don’t have a N5 to compare it too. Wipe the phones completely, don’t put an SD card in the N4 and do the same exact thing on both phones for 2 months… hell, a week!.. and I feel like the Note 4 would still come out on top.

catze86
1 year 6 months ago

Still cant beat my Note Edge.

ijazali
1 year 6 months ago

because you cant buy note 5, LOL

ijazali
1 year 6 months ago

What about samsung galaxy s6 edge plus ? both have got same specifications

waseem jaas
1 year 6 months ago

I have the galaxy s6 and the software is still as smooth as when i got it maybe a hick up now and then but its not something that bothers me

Nine54
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah, I have not had any of the issues he noted with the S6 except for the aggressive RAM management, which has been well-publicized.

galaxysss
1 year 6 months ago

i have this phablet and this is realy perfect

What date comes Android 6 updates for this phone?

ProdByEchelon
1 year 6 months ago

Weird. My Note 4 had horrible battery life. My Note5 is way better. My mom also complains about the battery life of her Note 4 too. It was one of the reasons I upgraded early to the Note5.

adsusanto
1 year 6 months ago

Really love my note 5. Don’t really care about limited storage since I have over 100gb of google cloud storage where I store most pictures and videos. Only this that disappoint me is the lost of infra red since I can’t use it as a remote control now and the placement of the speakers. When playing games or watching movies in full screen sometime you can accidently block the speakers. Hopefully we will see the android 6 update soon…that would be awesome.

Bw99
1 year 6 months ago

Still no Europe

n900mixalot
1 year 6 months ago

This “comment awaiting moderation” thing … are you guys censoring comments on here? Hiding the negative ones? Hmmmm …

1 year 6 months ago

No we aren’t there are a lot of people posting When update G900H posts in unrelated articles. So much we could not track them all. And a lot of swearing too, so we decided to moderate the comments.

n900mixalot
1 year 6 months ago

Sounds good.

Wilksie
1 year 6 months ago

It’s the best thing you ever did here. Conversations flow naturally and stay on topic to the relevant story. I now visit the site more and join in more comments as previously I used the site less due to people being inconsiderate in the comments.

I was tired of reading a great story and upon scrolling down to join in the conversation seeing “When will my S3 get lollipop?” and “Samsung sucks!” comments on a story about a Note 5 feature etc.

10/10 for moderating them. This site is now a pleasure to read.

alastairgreen_Nexus
1 year 6 months ago

Finally, SamMobile has a comment moderation system in order to prevent trolls to post some insults that are vulgar and distasteful!

n900mixalot
1 year 6 months ago

It’s okay. I bought one for 400 used. I don’t find it to be that much better than my Edge and switch back and forth because the size of the Edge (a little bigger) works better for my hands. The screen and camera are great, yes. But the physical design leaves something to be desired.

It’s a great phone. But I’m not as impressed as I was when I got my first Note, or even when I went from Note2 to Note4 and Note Edge. It is just a slight improvement on the productivity end and doesn’t feel like a real significant step forward. Everything it does the Note4 and Note Edge can do too. And at a better price. But …

It’s a good phone. It still runs laps around its competition. It is fast. But iterative.

moogaloo
1 year 6 months ago

Nice to read a positive Note 5 article article on here that still acknowledges that the direction that the Note 5 has gone in is not for everyone in respect to SD Card, Removable battery etc (of which I am one). For us it was not that the Note 5 is terrible for everyone, but just that those features where essential for us and we didn’t appreciate being constantly told we where being silly and cloud storage and portable charging/wireless charging/quick charging solved these issues for us. Well done Endgadget :-)

moogaloo
1 year 6 months ago

Whoops meant samobile of course, sorry!

mardetanha
1 year 6 months ago

I’m very happy with my note 5.Great display, fast performance.I’m just waiting to Samsung pay lunch in my country and after that I will root my phone

marija
1 year 6 months ago

Do you get paid well to spit on Note 4 and rise Note 5 towards heaven and even more, like it has invented heaven indeed? Just 3 months ago you were the first angry one about N5 not getting SD support and removeable battery, angry about such a “monsterous hardware” device like Note 4 does not get software support. Now that same N4 is the “most laggy device” from which N5 is miles away.
It really is hilarious to read reviews like this, all the objectivity fails deep under water for everyone who followed your previous articles. Really small amount of objectivity can be found in here and you risk your articles not to be believed ever again after this kind of biased and one sided reviews. And by the way, my Note 4 fell 4 times flat on the ground and never got a screen crack… your precious N5 is broken but “its nothing”? Said enough about your ignorance. I would be mad if i owned a broken 800 device.

mcalvo@outlook.com
1 year 6 months ago

For me, without irblaster and sdcard is useless.

Graveheart
1 year 6 months ago

I don’t know what you say, but my S6 Edge hasn’t slowed down. Maybe some stutters here and there from time to time, but it’s still super fast. Note 5 is a great device, just too big for my taste.

herpherpherp
1 year 6 months ago

A third “please buy this phone” post on Sammobile. You would think a fan site would be capable of being critical while still being fans of them.
Sammobile, you’re turning into how I expect Apple fans to behave. Blinders on, full steam ahead.

pulsar180
1 year 6 months ago

How is battery life with basic mode? And what brightness level?

vampireilyas
1 year 6 months ago

respect for Note 5 its a best phone till date from Samsung

 
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