Samsung truly defined in the market of what a phablet should be and with the launch of the fifth generation of its note series it has again thrown caution to the wind. The Galaxy Note 5, which was launched by Samsung earlier, is a remarkable device. Now Samsung has introduced another variant the Galaxy Note 5 Duos. As the name suggests, this will be a dual-sim model and while many expected that it might include a micro SD slot, which was missing in the Note 5 that does not seem to be the case. Except the dual sim capabilities all other features remain the same.
Impressive Solid Design with Glass Metal Body
The Galaxy Note 5 carries the similar design as was seen in the Galaxy S6 & S6 plus. So, you get a Corning Gorilla Glass protection on the front and the back. This new design scheme finally provides the Note series the premium look to match its price tag. On the front, you get the 5MP camera, in-call speakers and a few sensors. Below the 5.7 inch screen, you have the physical home button, which also doubles up as fingerprint scanner, and on its either side are two capacitive touch buttons that are iconic to Samsung handsets.
The volume buttons and power key are located on the left and right side of the device respectively. On the bottom, you have the audio jack, micro USB cable, the speaker grill and the S-Pen. The mechanism of pulling out the S-Pen has also changed this time, you have to now push it in to pop out the S-pen. On the top, you get the SIM card slot, which includes a tray for both the cards.
The phone accepts nano SIM cards. On the back, you get the 16MP camera, dual LED flash, and a heart rate monitor along with the Samsung logo and the duos logo since this is a dual SIM phone. The back is also curved towards the edge in order to provide a better grip.
The new Note 5 at 171 Grams is actually lighter as well as compact (153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm) when compared to its predecessor the Note 4.
The new S-pen also introduces some new features this time. The air command menu that appears when you pull out the pen has gotten a new layout and you can also add two apps of your choosing in the menu this time. The S-note app also offers better response and quickly turns your writing into pixels for further commands. You can also take quick notes when the screen is turned off and it will take you directly to S-note app with your written down note when you press the power button.
Large Super AMOLED 2K Display
The 5.7 inch Super AMOLED QHD display has a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels with a pixel density of 518 PPI. The Note series of smartphone from Samsung are the flagships for the company and hence have always boosted of excellent displays and the Note 5 is no different. The screen give you almost infinite contrast level, excellent colours, high brightness and great viewing angles. In fact, this is the brightest Super AMOLED display that we have seen till now from Samsung. You can choose colour temperature, contrast and saturation presets from the Screen Mode options base upon your liking. The screen is so bright that you would have no problems reading from the phone even under direct sunlight.
Super Sonic Performance
The Note 5 is powered by an Exynos 7420 chipset with 1.5 GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU, 2.1 GHz quad-core Cortex-A57 CPU, Mali-T760MP8 GPU, and 4GB of RAM. The processor is identical to what we have seen in the Galaxy S6 family albeit an increase in RAM. This is hands down one of the most powerful devices in the market today. You can expect it to be at the top of most benchmark scores. The handset can handle any task you throw at it and wouldn’t flinch.
Fixed Memory Options
The phone is available in two storage options viz. 32GB and 64GB, but there is no option to expand the storage using micro-SD cards as was available in the previous Galaxy Note 4.
Modified User Interface
The Galaxy Note 5 runs on the Android Lollipop 5.1 with the company’s latest TouchWiz UI on top. This easily is the best variation of the TouchWiz UI that we have seen from the Korean manufacturer. This version feels really responsive and closer to the stock Android. The software also has various shortcuts, such as double-tapping on the home button quickly launches the camera app.
The Galaxy Note 5 offers the support for themes, which can be downloaded from the galaxy app store, thus you can change your wallpapers, icons, core apps such contact and dialer as well as the notification area. You also have the multi-window layout that has been seen previously in Galaxy Smartphones.
4K Video Recording from Rear Camera
The primary camera can also record 4K videos. Most of the presets available for images can be used for videos as well, including the pro mode. But you have to apply these before you start recording as you can’t make changes once the recording begins. The front camera can also capture QHD videos at 30fps.
16MP Primary Camera with Sony Lens
The Note5 uses a 16MP Sony IMX240 sensor with f/1.9 aperture along with dual LED Flash. This is the same lens that we saw in the S6 & S6 edge. It is one of the best lens in the market and captures stunning images as had been seen in the S6 & S6 edge. The camera UI is pretty simple and similar to what we had seen on previous Galaxy Flagships. There is a pro mode that allows you to manually adjust the exposure, ISO and white balance as well as control manual focus. There are vast presets for colour adjustment. A new live broadcast mode has been introduced that allows you to stream directly to YouTube via the camera app.
120 Degree Wide Lens in Selfie Camera
On the front, the Galaxy Note 5 is equipped with a 5MP camera with similar f/1.9 aperture and offers various colour filters and HDR mode. The camera has a 120̊ wide angle that can enable you to easily capture group Selfies because who doesn’t like to fit in the entire group. You can also click selfies by taping the heart rate monitor on the back
Massive Battery Fuel with Dual Power Saving Mode
The Galaxy Note 5 comes with a 3000mAh non-removable battery that is smaller than last year’s 3200mAh battery as we had seen on the Galaxy Note 4. But surprisingly the smaller battery delivers almost similar performance as its predecessor. Coupled with that is the fast charging capabilities. Samsung’s quick charge can top up the battery in 90 minutes from empty. The device also has two power saving modes-Power saving and Ultra Power Saving. The latter can last you hours even on single digit battery percentage.
- Huge Display
- Robust configuration and solid built
- Awesome camera
- Micro SD card support is not present
- High price tag
- No FM
Overall this is a well-designed and powerful device. It has set the margin high as to what a flagship phablet should look and perform like. Though we would have liked to see a micro-SD slot availability or at least a 128GB version to compensate for the same. And, while the non-removable battery might seem as bit of disappointment, but we feel it’s a fair trade-off for the all metal and glass body. There isn’t much you can complain about with this device it’s a top of the line flagship. We rate PICK for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Duos.