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Review : Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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Review : Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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Samsung’s newest addition to the Note family comes not as much of a surprise. Especially after all the leaks and Samsung setting precedent with its S6 and S6 edge. Samsung has found the right mix of hardware, software, build and design for devices this year.

Does the Note 5 fit right in? Let’s find out.

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Overview

Without changing much, Samsung has made major changes to the handset. The new Note 5 is a positive step ahead for the company, taking in major feedback from its consumers and acting upon it. The Note 5 is priced at Rs. 53,900 for the 32GB version and Rs 59,990 for the 64GB variant. Samsung has used the same design philosophy as seen in the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge along with the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus for the new Note. Bringing in a totally new and young look to the otherwise bold and business handset.

 

Build Quality and Design

Samsung wins this year for good looks, as the company has finally reached a point where its handsets are the most impressive looking mainstream Android devices in the market. The Note 5 is no less, although, personally, we feel the Galaxy S6 edge and edge+ remain at pole position when it comes to looks. The new Galaxy Note 5 comes in a close second, thanks to its extensive use of glass and metal. Gorilla Glass 4 on the back and the front, the rear glass tapers in to the edges, putting the edge display design on the back of the Note 5.

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The new S-pen also has a new design and mechanism, however is riddled with major issues. The build is sold and feel of the handset exceptional, and even though the phone looks fragile it can take a whole lot of beating. The metal alloy frame is solid and protects the Note 5 well and adds to a major premium look and feel, that the predecessors were lacking.

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Hardware

Specification Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Display 5.7 inches, Gorilla Glass 4 Super Amoled
Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels , 518 ppi
Chipset Samsung Exynos 7420
Processor Octa core (2.1GHz Quad + 1.5GHz Quad), 64 bit, 14 nm process
GPU Mali-T760MP8
RAM 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM
Storage 32/64 GB
Expandability N/A
Rear Camera 16 MP, 5312 x 2988 pixels, optical image stabilization, autofocus
Rear Camera Video 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps,
Front Camera 5 MP
Front Camera Video 1080p at 30fps
Battery Non-removable Li-Po 3000 mAh battery
Operating System Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop)
Connectivity SIM: Nano-SIM, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, EDR, LE, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, NFC
Type-C reversible connector
Miscellaneous Fingerprint sensor, S- PEN stylus
Price Rs.53,900 for the 32GB variant; Rs 59,900 for the 64GB variant

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Operating System

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 runs on what is possibly the best version of Samsung’s skin called “TouchWiz”. This version turns out to be the best so far simply because it is the least invasive. We saw the same OS on the S6 edge and edge+. The one on the Note 5 however, is optimized for the new S-Pen.

Although most of the menus are familiar and seen before on Samsung devices, some S-Pen features are new. The ability to take a note while the screen is off is the best of the lot of new improvement. When the screen is off, simply pull out the S-Pen to enable this feature. The colours are inverted, the screen remains dark and the pen line is white.

Other features include the Slick UI elements, use power buttons to increase or decrease screen font size. The S-Pen will give previews, just like before, and now the pop ups are super smooth.

Display and Multimedia

The new display is identical to the previous devices in terms of the resolution however the 5.7 inch size is larger than before and hence reduces the PPI to 518. The screen is bright, all 600 nits, and easily visible outdoors.

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The new set of speakers and microphones make the audio experience really good, the inbuilt speaker is loud and crisp with good amounts of mid tones and whatever bass levels you can achieve from a downward facing speaker on a smartphone. The earphone jack boosts audio well and you well get a lot of volume through earphones, whether included or otherwise.

Since the hardware is top notch, you can expect it to smoothly sail through any media you may throw at it, no lag whatsoever in playback.

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Camera

The camera is magic, is what we felt about the S6 and. the Note 5 is no less. In fact the Note 5 is no more either – the exact same camera, the exact same lens setup, the exact camera software and the exact capability as well. The f1.9 aperture lenses are wide and capture a lot of information in the 16MP and 5MP images on the back and front respectively.

The camera app is impressive too and offers a lot of manual control, the pro mode rules in this department too. You can manually adjust any camera setting before you start to capture, or during your capture. Optical Image Stabalization (OIS) works well too and you will mostly get really good pictures or video. Unless you are trying really hard not to. The problem with the camera is, that it will get confused with colours in low light situations, over saturating the reds and browns.