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Opinion

From the Galaxy Note 3 to the Galaxy Note 5: Five Good Changes

The Galaxy Note 5 is now available, even in the coveted Gold Platinum color option, so it’s likely that fellow Note 3 users are contemplating an upgrade from their now two-year-old smartphone. We’ve heard a lot about what Note 4 users think about the Note 5, but we haven’t heard as much from Note 3 users who are more than happy to jump to Samsung’s latest. I am one of those individuals who finally upgraded from a Galaxy Note 3 to the new Galaxy Note 5 two months ago. I was more than ready to upgrade my Note 3, and I am more than pleased with the new Galaxy Note 5. Samsung has made some excellent changes that are designed to give you the best mobile experience money can buy.

To that end, I want to detail five good changes to expect for former Note 3 users who are now picking up Samsung’s latest and greatest. Whether or not you want these new surprises is, as always, up to you, but you can’t say Samsung hasn’t made some major changes worth upgrading for.

The plastic has gone, the glass and aluminum have come

The Galaxy Note 3 features a plastic leather or “pleather” back cover that has a nice feel to it. I was completely satisfied with the feel of the back cover of the Galaxy Note 3. In its place in the Galaxy Note 5 is a Gorilla Glass 4 panel on the back with an aluminum frame that binds the back glass cover to another Gorilla Glass 4 panel on the front. It’s bold, risky, and vulnerable, but it’s also sexy.

As with 99% of smartphones on the market, you’ll likely want a smartphone case and screen protector to preserve your investment – whether the smartphone has glass panels, plastic panels, or neither. So, don’t worry about drops and impact once you get a case and screen protector on it. Some may want to showcase their phones without a protective case, but cases can also be useful for increased battery life. With that said, don’t assume using a case for the Galaxy Note 5 is a bad thing. It just may help improve some areas of the experience about which you or those you know have been critical.

Home Button Brings Security

E.T. always phoned home in the sci-fi movie from my childhood days, but the home button is appropriately named in the smartphone experience: whenever you get stuck out in the large world of mobile web browsers, apps, and webpages, you can always find your way home.

In the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung has taken the home button of the Galaxy Note 3 (designed for getting “home” if you get lost) and embedded a fingerprint sensor into the same button. Note 4 users have already experienced the difference, but Note 3 users have not – which makes the Galaxy Note 5 the first experience with Samsung’s biometric security for many consumers. I’ve been testing out the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy Note 5 for the last several days, and it is truly reliable. I’ve found myself using it more than I’ve ever used any fingerprint sensor. Yes, you still have to ensure that your thumb or finger goes over the entire home button to have a near effortless experience, but it is more than sufficient to engage Note 3 users. Many Note 3 users will experience fingerprint sensors for the first time with the Galaxy Note 5 – which means that the Note 5 will set the standard for your expectations of fingerprint sensors in the future. Samsung hasn’t disappointed in this regard.

Removing the S Pen Gets Easier

Remember the claw approach with getting the S Pen of the Galaxy Note 3 out of its slot? Well, the Galaxy Note 5 solves that problem with a push-to-eject button at the top of the S Pen (the top of the S Pen goes to the bottom of the slot, for those who may fall victim to Pengate). You can now push the “clicky” top of the S Pen when you want to remove it, and push the same top portion back in when you want to return it.

Go ahead and click the push button on the S Pen. We can’t blame you if it becomes your new addiction (or if you fall in the other camp and start hating the fact that you need to do extra work to remove the S Pen).

Cameras

Samsung’s cameras in its high-end smartphones have never disappointed, and the same is true for this year’s Galaxy Note 5. If you’ve held on to a Galaxy Note 3 for the last two years, prepare to get a kick out of your smartphone cameras in the Note 5.

The Note 5 holds its own in every scene of every photo you’ll ever take. Fast-tracking autofocus keeps subjects in the scene no matter what they’re doing. Yes, it’s faster than anything you experienced with your cameras in the Note 3 – and it’ll make you wonder why you didn’t upgrade sooner. The up-close, 5MP selfie photos and 16MP back photos will be “just what the photographer ordered.”

The display has a new trick

What have you been able to do when your Note display was turned off? Not much, to be honest. With the Galaxy Note 5, however, your display will literally perform a trick right in front of your eyes. You can take your S Pen and jot down notes while the screen is off, thanks to Samsung’s all-new Off Screen Memo feature.

Now, your friends may be able to do some impressive things with their smartphones, but can they do that? Nope – and, should you want to hold on to your Note 3 a little longer or even go for a Note 4, the new Off Screen Memo will make you toss out the old for good.

Conclusion

These are five good changes in the Galaxy Note 5 that you have yet to experience if you’re a Note 3 customer. Now’s the time to make that upgrade, embrace the new, and toss out the old. Again, this was written to show Galaxy Note 3 users what they can expect to see in the new Note 5, though our Note 4 users may not celebrate the new smartphone as much.

It’s been said that “three time’s a charm,” but I have an idea that this fifth time (Galaxy Note 5) is even more charming than the “third” (Galaxy Note 3). Write in and let us know what color and storage model of the Note 5 you purchased, and whether or not you picked up additional Samsung accessories (fast wireless charging pad, keyboard cover, adaptive fast charging chargers, etc.) as well.

22 Comments

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jai1980
jai1980

Helo in note 3 gallery hangs too much it dosent open in normal way it takes atleast 30 seconds to open plz help

jai1980
jai1980

Helo there is there any chances that note 3 will get 5.1 or marshmallow bcoz lollipop is running on my note 3
Is very laggy and drains lots of battery plz let me know.
Thanks
Jai

r1998
r1998

Galaxy note 3 SM-N900 and SM-N9005 really needs android marshmallow update, android 5.0 is so buggy and has lot of problems !
Samsung please provide android marshmallow update to galaxy note 3

rainerm
rainerm

I am SO glad I saved €300 by buying a Note 4 rather than a Note 5 (assuming I would have managed to import one to Germany :)). I enjoy my 128GB SD card on a daily base. The need to change the battery arised only once so far but knowing i CAN change it anytime is critical to me. I would NEVER suggest someone I like to buy any smartphone without an SD card slot. Beside this imo mostly size and speed matters, the material is probably ranked 4, together with the price. Wouldn’t that be worth a poll… Read more »

gyrex
gyrex

Missing micro SD slot and removable battery, no thanks!

naranova7
naranova7

How can glass and metal be the first good thing that happened, while they are actually the worst thing that happened? Let’s not forget they sacrificed our freedom to access the battery, for the favor of a better design which was not a necessity comparing to the battery access. That one is a disadvantage.
The screen off memo is an acceptable innovation that came with the note 5, however even that doesn’t have to be exclusive to the 5th note because that’s a feature every other note can have.

marius3000
marius3000

No IR blaster, no SDcard, no removable battery. Thank you but not for me. Now I using Note 3. Just wait for Note 6. But if it dont have SDcard slot and IR – good by Samsung.

ThaiM
ThaiM

Nobody likes or wants a downgrade of a Note 5. Nobody. Not you, not me, not even anyone that works at Samsung. Not even if it came free in a cereal box. The only way it’d move inventory is if it came free with a Note 4 and people might use it as a spare toy and keep it in their trunk or glove box.

gill android
gill android

I have a Note II running Marshmallow 6.0.1. Will definitely wait for Note 6.

losteagle
losteagle

Only the great camera it’s the Note 5 interesting features that I like really ! The missing IR blaster, microSD Slot and removable battery are for my usage more important.
I’ll wait Note 6, otherwise I’ll look elsewhere …

KYS2012
KYS2012

Except for the camera capability, the others do not impress me enough. The bad moves still have a negative effect on my next Note purchase, namely removing the IR blaster and crippling the Do Not Disturb feature to merely silence the phone instead of call blocking.

Sonnysan
Sonnysan

I upgraded to the note 5 but kept my note 3 and use them at the same time. The note 3 in my opinion was the best upgrade in the Samsung note series so far and I have owned them all with the exception of the note 4. The note 5 is a good phone and I really like the dual sim capability but I am glad I still have my note 3 for its expandable storage, removable battery and IR blaster. I hope, as most contributors here, that Samsung does something to really bring the note 6 back to… Read more »

eklavyaverma
eklavyaverma

Some Note 3 users haven’t seen 5.0 yet. And 5.1 is a dream so distant that I’ve given up all hope for my Note 3. The only option now is to root my phone and install a Note 5 rom! It also makes me wonder how long the Note 5 will be supported. It launched on Lollipop, so Marshmallow, yes. Android N… a year after it is released. Then the two year period will be up, and Samsung will stop caring as always.

DW2015
DW2015

Still not convinced…
I run Norma V20 rom in my Note 3 and waiting to see Note 6.

masterross
masterross

Same here.
But on DarkLord N5 port!

BonezOz
BonezOz

I love my Note 3, the only thing it’s missing is an upgrade to Android 5.1.1 (or preferably 6.0), but that’s neither hear nor there when compared to what I would lose if I moved to a Note 5, my MicroSD slot. I know that there are 64GB versions of the Note 5 available, and that would be tempting if I didn’t already have a 64GB SD card in my Note 3 that is filled to the brim with music, pictures, home movies, etc… I’m looking forward to seeing what the Note 6 brings to the table and then may… Read more »

r1998
r1998

yes Galaxy note 3 really needs android marshmallow update

Hadyslb
Hadyslb

Well the Sd card slot, the IR Blaster, the air browse feature and the USB 3.0 on my note 3 are the main things keeping me from upgrading. Waiting for the note 6 and hoping that at least it will have an SD card slot.

berkay2000
berkay2000

I have Note 3 but I’m waiting for Note 6

aroutis
aroutis

I might consider a change if note 5 was available in Europe. But it is not.

TurkishStyle
TurkishStyle

Changes from Note 3 to Note 5: Lots of feauture removed (IR PORT, ton of software) Non removable battery and sd card. So I guess if i upgrade than i will upgrade to Note 6 if its better…

eHoolie
eHoolie

I have the Note 3 currently, and its still a great device. I find that the Note 5 is not much of an upgrade personally. So I’ll wait for the Note 6.
Hopfully it will have a bit larger battery (non-removable ok), and a SD card slot this time around.