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Samsung's Note5 emerges victorious from our blind comparison, smacks the iPhone 6 Plus on the head

Samsung's Note5 emerges victorious from our blind comparison, smacks the iPhone 6 Plus on the head

Last Thursday, we finally had enough time to sit down and pull some photos taken by the Samsung's new super-phablet, the Note5, and mix them with identical snaps produced by competing devices including the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, the Galaxy Note 4, and even the exotic Xiaomi Mi Note Pro. A true phablet standoff!

Instead of sitting judge ourselves, however, this time around we thought we'd go for one of our popular blind comparisons and see what you thought before weighing in (in a separate piece). So we labeled the images in a way that you wouldn't know which is which (to avoid bias) and arranged them for you to judge them. Well, voting has now been closed, and we're ready to share the results with you, which are unanimous in that Samsung's Note5 produces more compelling images than the iPhone 6 Plus according to you. In fact, the total score it accumulated beats that of the Note 4 and the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro, too. Here's the final split:

1. Samsung Galaxy Note5 — 5,642 votes
2. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 — 4,526 votes
3. Xiaomi Mi Note Pro — 1,359 votes
4. Apple iPhone 6 Plus — 1,020 votes

Scene 1: The back yard


Side-by-side preview. Click on the image to zoom in.

Side-by-side preview. Click on the image to zoom in.


Phonearena polls
sort by
Scene 1: Which photo do you like best?
10.15%
350 votes
(350 votes) Photo A (iPhone 6 Plus)
2.61%
90 votes
(90 votes) Photo B (Mi Note Pro)
10.44%
360 votes
(360 votes) Photo C (Note 4)
76.79%
2647 votes
(2647 votes) Photo D (Note5)

3447 votes


Scene 2: Hobbymasters


Side-by-side preview. Click on the image to zoom in.

Side-by-side preview. Click on the image to zoom in.



Phonearena polls
sort by
Scene 2: Which photo do you like best?
42.58%
1316 votes
(1316 votes) Photo E (Note5)
19.96%
617 votes
(617 votes) Photo F (Mi Note Pro)
6.96%
215 votes
(215 votes) Photo G (iPhone 6 Plus)
30.51%
943 votes
(943 votes) Photo H (Note 4)

3091 votes


Scene 3: 16 Moore St


Side-by-side preview. Click on the image to zoom in.

Side-by-side preview. Click on the image to zoom in.



Phonearena polls
sort by
Scene 3: Which photo do you like best?
66.92%
2057 votes
(2057 votes) Photo I (Note 4)
6.7%
206 votes
(206 votes) Photo J (Mi Note Pro)
2.6%
80 votes
(80 votes) Photo K (iPhone 6 Plus)
23.78%
731 votes
(731 votes) Photo L (Note5)

3074 votes



Scene 4: A waving banner


Side-by-side preview. Click on the image to zoom in.

Side-by-side preview. Click on the image to zoom in.



Phonearena polls
sort by
Scene 4: Which photo do you like best?
32.31%
949 votes
(949 votes) Photo M (Note5)
15.19%
446 votes
(446 votes) Photo N (Mi Note Pro)
39.73%
1167 votes
(1167 votes) Photo O (Note 4)
12.77%
375 votes
(375 votes) Photo P (iPhone 6 Plus)

2937 votes


Stay tuned for part number two of our blind camera comparison series, this time centered on low-light performance. Coming end of week!

100 Comments
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posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:13 13

1. mawhob2222 (Posts: 219; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)


Note 4 is still better than Note5

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:21 19

7. htainlintha (Posts: 41; Member since: 20 Mar 2010)


Well,it depends, cos Note 5 battery last longer,its camera is better than N4 and built in memory always make the phone snappier,and the difference is noticeable so I think Note 5 is better even without the 2 options that are available in Note 4.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:41 8

18. LGisgood (Posts: 833; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


still note4 has better camera

from this comparison note5 only took the overall number of votes because of the big MARGIN on photo 1. and it even beaten by note4 on other photos.

plus note4 has removeable battery and expandable memory.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 10:29 8

39. Ruturaj (Posts: 1329; Member since: 16 Oct 2014)


With manual mode on note5 pictures could have been improved.

Also note 5 has better SOC, DDR4 RAM vs DDR3.

It's not which phone is best for everyone, it's more like best for individual person, I chose note 5 as it suits my need better and bought one.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 13:32 2

63. sgtdisturbed47 (Posts: 551; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


Note 4 doesn't have the better camera if you take into account the manual adjustments and RAW support. RAW is what sets the 2 apart. Better low-light photos is also a plus.

Removable battery was an issue that was solved years ago with external backup battery banks, which can charge the phone more than once and aren't expensive. Expandable storage is nice, but most people would do fine without it. Buy a WD My Cloud and you're set for storage backup.

posted on 25 Aug 2015, 22:09

103. cybertec69 (Posts: 27; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)


You lost all credibility with your battery statement "external backup battery banks", really, LOL. Sorry but a removal battery can not be beat by external battery banks "which I also own", a phone with a removable battery you can have a 100% charged phone in 1 minute, but having abutting attached to it, I still have not come across an external battery back that can chefs a phone to 100% in one minute "the time it takes to pen the back cover, remove the depleted battery and install the fresh battery".

posted on 25 Aug 2015, 23:57

108. sgtdisturbed47 (Posts: 551; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


You're in the minority with the requirement of having to swap batteries. Get over it.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 09:01 1

27. tango_charlie (Posts: 250; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Longer battery live? GSMarena says something different.

posted on 25 Aug 2015, 22:13

104. cybertec69 (Posts: 27; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)


Even if it lasts one hour longer, it means nothing, when you battery is completely drained in your Note 4, all you have to do is pop open the back cover, remove the depleted battery and install a fresh one, and in one minutes time you have a fully charged phone,while with the Note 5 you will be looking for an outlet, or have to attach a power bank "brick" to it to charge it.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 13:41 1

64. marorun (Posts: 3561; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Built in memory always make the phone snappier ( what a joke )

I will ask those simple questions. :

Is the Android system or apps installed by default on SD card? nope thays are in the built in memory you idiot!

How can having no SD make your phone faster if your OS and apps are not on it ? : its wont make a single difference you moronic fool.

So when we dont know what we are talking about we dont talk.

SD card DO NOT MAKE YOUR PHONE SLOWER.

its only give you extra option you fool!

Now using faster onboard memory thats will give you extra speed but having or not an SD card has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 17:22 3

87. AntiFanBoyz (unregistered)


You win stupidest post of the day. Congrats.

Your reasoning amounts to: "SD Card isn't slower if you don't use it, duh!"

Anything you put on the SD Card is going to have read/write speeds slower than if it were on the built-in memory... so, yes, a phone will run "snappier" without the SD Card unless you don't use it, but then what's the point.

My photo gallery opened so slowly from the SD Card in my Note 4, I had to switch it back to the internal memory, and my camera and gallery instantly worked much better.

posted on 25 Aug 2015, 06:26 2

98. RoarLions (Posts: 4; Member since: 04 Sep 2014)


Since you're clearly not familiar with how a phone actually works, I'll explain. The UFS 2 on board memory on the Note5 is about 80 TIMES faster than the fastest sd card and 10 TIMES faster than the Note 4.

When the phone had to reference the sd card (not just use, but reference it) it dramatically slows down the phone. The phone doesn't actually have to be using the sd card, but have the possibility of using the sd card. If you can save a file or send a file from an app then the phone had to look at the sd card. If that's the case, the non sd card phone will ALWAYS be faster. Always.

Since the camera is one of those processes that continually references the sd card, having one in would slow down the phone tremendously while shooting pics.

Now go shooting in RAW/pro mode and those gigantic files to see how an sd card affects the performance.

posted on 25 Aug 2015, 22:15

105. cybertec69 (Posts: 27; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)


Is that why the Note 5 still lags, please.

posted on 25 Aug 2015, 09:06

102. darth8ball (Posts: 520; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


Sammy rules the smartphone arena. put the Note 5 in a time capsule for 3 years and then take it out and label it the iPhone 9 plus and you will understand how far behind Apple actually is

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:43

21. LGisgood (Posts: 833; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


I wonder why PHONEARENA did not do like this ( Put the OVERALL TOTAL VOTES when they put LG G4 vs Samsung S6 camera comparison?

as far i know the G4 got more votes than S6.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 09:15 4

28. Macready (Posts: 951; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)


Maybe because the G4 only scored more overall votes because of 1 low light scene. The rest it was close or no cigar for the G4.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 11:14 4

50. arch_angel (Posts: 1651; Member since: 20 Feb 2015)


The Note 4 Uses Software That Shape The Pictures It Takes Making Them More Artificial. The Note 5 Like The GS6 Did Away With This Software So The Pictures The Note 5 Produce Are A More Accurate/Realistic Representation Of Whatever Is Being Photoed.

posted on 25 Aug 2015, 22:16

106. cybertec69 (Posts: 27; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)


Are you trying to justify your purchase of the overpriced Note 5.

posted on 25 Aug 2015, 23:09

107. arch_angel (Posts: 1651; Member since: 20 Feb 2015)


Not At All I Was Just Explaining Why Pictures Taken With The Note 4 Look So Good.

Btw I Don't Own A Note 5. Phones Under 5.5in Are More My Style.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:14 4

2. Saioofi (Posts: 243; Member since: 23 May 2014)


And the 6S+ will probably beat the Note 5 with its new sensor and 12MP camera

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:19 23

5. htainlintha (Posts: 41; Member since: 20 Mar 2010)


your wish is impossible to come true, but hey,don't give up hope too easily, cos iph6 and iph6+'s cameras are still got beaten by Note 4 :)

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:19 4

6. nctx77 (Posts: 1959; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


Exactly! Every year they start doing all these test against a year old iPhone. We are literally a few weeks away from launch and this dude writes the article as if the 6 plus just came out last week.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:21 36

8. Nathillien (Posts: 210; Member since: 05 Oct 2014)


LOL. Even a year old Note 4 blows away iPhone6 camera - chill.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:32 1

14. TSMan2 (banned) (Posts: 363; Member since: 20 Aug 2015)


But this is an old news. In all serious tests so far Note 4 camera was better than iPhone 6+ . Why are you so exited?

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:22 15

10. htainlintha (Posts: 41; Member since: 20 Mar 2010)


umm....iPhone 6 and 6+'s cameras are complete loser to Note 4 though still @_@ what do you even mean? I am sensing a hardcore fan's desire here ha ha

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:51 1

23. miket1737 (Posts: 2541; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


Note 4 runs worse in low light but is quite a bit bettee in daytime then the 6 plus, pick your preference, either way can't go wrong at all with both cameras as they are both very good

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 10:27 5

37. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


I don't want a very good camera. I can buy a very good camera for less than $100 retail. I want to have the BEST camera I can buy on a smartphone and Apple hasn't had that now for 3 years thanks to them using the same camera since the iPhone 4.

The Galaxy S6's and Note 4/5 don't have "very good" cameras, they have the best camera for phones besides the Lumia's 20/40MP shooters.

I snapped a phone with my employees S6 Edge+ and OMG I almost wet my pants in excitement. The 5MP front camera, took a much better photo than the 8MP shooter on the iPhone 6. That is fact.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 10:49 4

43. miket1737 (Posts: 2541; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


Stop being a fanboy , the 6 Plus and 6 have fantastic cameras And quite competitive the iPhone has pretty much have had the best cameras on a smartphone besides the Lumias up until end of last yr/this year where samsung and LG with their cameras leapfrogged the iPhone 6 camera. I have had and owned both the note 4 and IPHONE 6 plus and currently the s6 now (s6 edge plus next week) and they all have fantastic cameras and in reality i never complained about any of the cameras. Camera isnt the #1 priority for me on a device either but if it has a great camera im sold, the camera for me has to past a certain standard in which the 6 plus, note 4 i had and s6 now all set a pretty high standard for me now since the bars been raised. Other factors play more into my purchase such as design and the support the device will recieve over time and SoC and screen and etc and of course price too but ya. Im gonna get the s6 edge plus because im in love with the design very much

And are you really saying that the 5 megapixel front camera is bettrr then the rear iPhone 6 camera...? LOL thats absolutely just not true at all, if you meant front vs front camera then oh yeah absolutely.

And you cant buy no "very good camera" for $100 dollars new, youd be getting some point and shoot that is cutting corners somewhere

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 11:02 1

47. miket1737 (Posts: 2541; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


*im in love with the s6 edge plus design very much. The stellar screen and SoC and cameras are a great addition and its why im going to be buying it , i really dig the amoled/curved screen combo and the size is memerizingly nice

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 13:45 1

66. marorun (Posts: 3561; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


You are so funny.

LG G4 is overall superior to all Samsung phone.

low light is also better.
Manual control are also better.

but yeah iphone camera is very dated.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 13:44 1

65. marorun (Posts: 3561; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


LG G4 make better overwall picture in all conditions than those two pieces of crap :)

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 14:48

77. maccess (Posts: 742; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


Oh keep crying kiddo.. and tell me how many billion units your m9 have sold?? Lol kiddo..

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 20:30

93. ibend (Posts: 4579; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


why bring up M9? :-/

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:42

20. mistercarter (Posts: 360; Member since: 01 Sep 2011)


and still the 6 Plus shows incredible dynamic range, you can see the blue sky while the others show white/grey sky

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 10:23 7

36. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Here you go with your lame excuses. The Year old Note 4, still beats the year old iPhone 6/6+ shots.

It's not our fault, Apple chose to use 5 year odl cameras. Its not our fault the next iPhone 12Mp cameras were standard on many phones in 2012.

Stop crying. Go tell Apple they need to step up and use the 16MP sensors.

But it doesn't matter right? because you and all the dumb sheep will still keep buying inferior products because you simply are to dumb to know any better.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:22

11. TSMan2 (banned) (Posts: 363; Member since: 20 Aug 2015)


And the design of the new iPhone 6S will be amazing, too.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 10:28 5

38. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


In what way, by looking like last years model?

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 11:39 3

53. natypes (Posts: 1092; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


lol yeah right. Go to 9to5 mac, your ignorance is not tolerated here.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 12:34

58. tedkord (Posts: 11626; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Maybe. But the 6 Plus doesn't beat the Note 4, though both came out at the same time.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:14 1

3. Zack_2014 (Posts: 378; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Note 4 still holds on strong. The Note 5 shouldve won in all situations having the newer sensor and optimization

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:41 1

19. TSMan2 (banned) (Posts: 363; Member since: 20 Aug 2015)


Note 5 actually won in all situation. The problem with this blind tests is that we don't know the real colour or light of the scene.
Blind tests are joke in this situation.
I LOL many times when somebody on the blind test comment "this picture gives more real colours" when he doesn't know what the real colours of the scene are:)
Note 4 has GREAT camera though

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 13:48 2

67. marorun (Posts: 3561; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Solution : use the best DSLR camera available and ask a professional to take the picture with the most accurate colors possible.

Then show the picture and say its come from what ( the best of the best ) Then compare 4 others in a blind test. Thats way you know what are the real colors and can compare.

If they did this the LG G4 would have killed the S6 in last blind test.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 17:35

89. AntiFanBoyz (unregistered)


Professional photographers use DSLRs and our photos usually look nothing like what the "real scene" looked like. The point of photography isn't to make a picture that looks exactly like the human eye. It's to make a compelling photo that usually includes higher contrast, greater saturation and vibrancy, and often a different field of view, focal length, and depth perception than the human eye.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 17:32

88. AntiFanBoyz (unregistered)


Moot point. Practically speaking, unless you sit around by yourself staring at your own pictures, most viewers will not have been there either. So, what matters in the real world is which photo is most pleasant to the majority of viewers, not of the photo is as bland as real colors usually are.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:18 2

4. Wiencon (Posts: 1870; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)


Apple really needs to get its s**t together with next model

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:25 9

12. TSMan2 (banned) (Posts: 363; Member since: 20 Aug 2015)


Yup
But that means that Apple should buy better and newer tech components.
This doesn't fit to the Apples policy of huge profit margins.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:22

9. xdza1979 (Posts: 280; Member since: 08 Aug 2015)


I ain't even mad :)

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:30

13. jeroome86 (Posts: 1124; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


This the year iPhone got beat in the camera test. It was a good run though. They better bring something with the s series.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:35 6

16. HouTexan (Posts: 439; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)


It lost last year and the year before, I believe.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 10:29 7

40. TechieXP1969 (limited) (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


This year only? They've been losing for what is now 3 years in a row.
Apple is only the sales king, not the tech king.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 16:50

86. chenski (Posts: 409; Member since: 22 Mar 2015)


Right, but you realize sales is the parameter that counts

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 17:37 1

90. AntiFanBoyz (unregistered)


Yes, that's why I bought a Toyota Corolla instead of a Mercedes... oh wait, no I didn't, because I don't base what I want and what I consider better on sales... THANK GOD.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:34 9

15. Ordinary (Posts: 2316; Member since: 23 Apr 2015)


Popcorn... checked
Butter... checked
Mad nctx77... checked

Here we go.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:40

17. SirYar (Posts: 351; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


My body is ready.

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:47 3

22. kkmkk (Posts: 481; Member since: 06 May 2013)


the note 4 is a real monster

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:55 1

25. TSMan2 (banned) (Posts: 363; Member since: 20 Aug 2015)


Yes .
But except of swappable battery, SD support, IR functions, Note 5 is better in EVERY single thing.
Even here on camera test, blind test can not be trusted about the actual light or colours of the real scene

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 10:33

42. kkmkk (Posts: 481; Member since: 06 May 2013)


maybe the note 5 is more beautiful to look at and it has more premium materials
but the note 4 is still a great device it has a great camera great display great cpu-gpu and the software issues will be fix in the android 6 update
and now it is much cheaper than the note 5 by 300$ at least

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 11:54

55. j2001m (Posts: 2941; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


Hi
Sorry but when I but my note 4 next to my s6 edge and use it, the note 4 just sucks made, to big and lags like crap over the s6 removing the removing battery and made the size go down big time so it smaller than the iPhone, big move that when it comes with a bigger screen try Samsung design going on there, they gave up sd cards for ufs, they do not work at the same time also why the sd cards did nothing to the speed of the phone the sd card reader damaged the r and w speeds of the had even without the sd card being in the phone, plus ufs is 3x faster making it transfer files from your pc or by wifi 3 x faster, it's just so fast

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 13:50

68. marorun (Posts: 3561; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


you know you can use UFS at same time as an SD...
Its just fully remove the ability to send any app to SD thats all..

But hey you can beleive what Samsung marketing telling ya :)

posted on 24 Aug 2015, 08:53

24. talon95 (Posts: 546; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)


Photo I is blown by a long shot. Anyone voting for it was crazy. Certainly NOT the best of the group.
Note 4 is great but I think the 5 gave slightly better results for metering and accuracy.

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