Galaxy Note 5 Review: Impressive S Pen

When Galaxy Note 3 was released, it impressed smartphone users with three features: giant screens, superior strength and S Pen. However, two of the above-mentioned points are no longer big advantages of Samsung.

The majority of Android smartphones today have big screens with strong configuration. When the iPhone 6 Plus appears, the phablet has another competitor. The whole world then starts chasing Galaxy Note.


Fierce battle has forced Samsung to change. Galaxy Note 5 was launched to confirm a new job which is to beat every of its opponents. While design and strength are not something they can rely on anymore, its S Pen can’t be overlooked.


Visually, Note 5 is not very impressive if compared to S6 Edge. However, it is a beautiful metal design which is combined with a 5.7-inch screen.

Samsung has shrunk the screen border to form a reasonable size for the gadget which is easy to use with one hand for basic tasks. The dorsal part made of curved glass to the back helps to hold the camera much easier.


Although it still looks nice, fingerprints are found to be engraved on the glass causing bumper case to be a must. This smartphone looks a little bit squarer than the iPhone, thinner and lighter than Note 4. Its design is considered friendly and not very cumbersome.

With metal frame – monolithic glass design, users cannot change the battery or expand its memory with micro SD cards as before, which were two factors Samsung used to focus on in the past – but the Note line is now moving towards difference for loyal customers. Currently, the gadget is constructed with 3 fixed memory versions of 128, 64 and 32 GB.


The quality of the screen of Galaxy Note 5 is outstanding, although this is not really surprising. Samsung has brought 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution into the 5.7-inch size with super AMOLED technology.


On Note 5, the manufacturer has adjusted reasonable color balance and brightness for most users. It is brilliant but not dazzling, and the distance between the screen and the glass is negligible.

With 4 GB of RAM, Note 5 can satisfy every of its users. Despite higher RAM makes operation run faster, many other manufacturers (including Apple) are rather hesitant to upgrade them.


Galaxy Note 5 has 16-MP camera and shares its sensor with S6 but with a few upgrades like manual mode, RAW image capture and anti-shake support for shooting video.


Accordingly, the camera runs faster with more features for beautiful pictures.

The interface of this model still remains simple with bright images and high definition. HDR Auto mode works really well and don’t affect the speed of camera operation. In those conditions that need more light, the gadget will attempt to increase the brightness making its color sometimes fade to yellow.

Users can also align with Manual Mode, while in most cases, just double-click the Home button to open the camera and shoot. New live YouTube features was introduced quite thrilling, although Samsung will need some more improvements over its interface and manipulation.


The gadget has 3,000-mAh battery, which is lower than Note 4. However, it allows users to use continuously for more than 8 hours with web browsing and common tasks.

Samsung clearly has better battery optimization, but actually 3000-mAh is still pretty low for a big-screen smartphone. Samsung has tried to overcome the challenge with fast charging technology and even with wireless charging.

S Pen

The S pen of Galaxy Note 5 tells about the gadget while it became the only remaining feature of the Note. S Pen on Note 5 is still made of plastic, but can be used very easily with just a press, and its tail is also quite interesting as it looks like that of a ballpoint pen.

Those applications supporting S Pen are also very diverse, including those from third-party developers. However, the most important application Google Docs doesn’t seem to be well adapted to Note 5 for marking or commenting.

There are many interesting stylus operations added such as as writing on the lock screen, capturing web page, editing Air Command interface and directly editing PDF.

General review:

Note 5 is a changing effort of Samsung to maintain its firm position in the fierce big-screen smartphone market. Instead of cramming all features and configuration into one design as before, Samsung has perfected what they create.

Samsung sacrifices battery and memory to create a more user-friendly smartphone, and they finally make it: Note 5 is rated as one of the most user-friendly ever. Many people still regret previous versions of Note line, but undeniably, Note 5 is one of the most valuable high-end smartphone currently.


  • Brilliant Screen
  • S Pen is easy to use and versatile
  • Powerful Configuration
  • Excellent Design


  • The battery is not removable
  • There is no memory card slot

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