8 things the Galaxy Note5 does better than the Note 4... and 5 things that it does worse


One can say that Samsung surprised us at least twice this year – first, when it launched the incredibly shiny Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge – both built around an entirely different philosophy than their predecessors; and second, when it launched the Galaxy Note5 as a region-limited device, while the S6 edge+ is basically available everywhere. What makes this even more painful for fans of Sammy's phablet line is that this year's Note5 has also been revamped – donning the Gorilla Glass 4 slabs on both its front and back, as well as a very snappy reiteration of the TouchWiz user interface.

Now, we've talked about upgrading from the Note 4 to the Note5, based on specs and capabilities. We've also done a lot of various comparisons between these phones and their contemporary rivals. But now that we've had some time to live with the Note5, we feel like we can draw an even clearer picture of how the actual user experience has changed from the Note 4. Both the goods and the bads, of course. What we find irritating here is that a lot of the software features look like they could've easily been added to the year-old phablets via an update, yet Samsung seems determined to give the best experience only to the users that have their latest handsets.

So, if you are on the edge (see what we did there?) of ordering a Note5, or just curious on how the two phablets compare when it comes to actual daily usage – check out our points below!


Of course, it's not all bunnies and flowers. Admittedly, the gripes we've had with the Note5 thus far are fairly limited, some are even nitpicky. Yet, we can't help but feel that it does some very specific things worse than the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge. Check them out below!

Related phones

Galaxy Note 5
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh(22h 3G talk time)
Galaxy Note 4
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 3.7 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3220 mAh(20h 3G talk time)

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32 Comments

1. Landon

Posts: 1247; Member since: May 07, 2015

6. Removable Battery 7. IR Blaster

3. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

8. Expandable storage.

9. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

Not usually one to criticize, but this article is awful. Nearly all reasons why one is better than the other are debatable. And if they really can't be fair and come up with the same amount of reasons the note 4 beats the note 5, then someone needs to be fired. How in the hell do you guys criticize the note 5 for not having a removable battery and microSD and not list it here as a pro for the Note 4? Lol

12. Landon

Posts: 1247; Member since: May 07, 2015

I can't believe I forgot to include expandable storage (I think I'm still ecstatic over our Royals win). Oh well, at least we listed them and the crappy writer at PA never did. Commenters FTW! Oh, and another thing the Note 5 does better is the fingerprint scanner. Let's go Paul K!

4. finestgq1

Posts: 35; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

8. MicroSD slot

6. Noonting

Posts: 135; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

8. MicroSD Slot

14. adecvat

Posts: 654; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

9. Glove screen mode

2. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Not available in Europe No 128GB version Even 64GB version is hard to obtain in some region

31. thesims2customs

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Even in Indonesia I can't get a basic S6 with 64 GB -_-

5. Limbopope

Posts: 63; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

8. Expandable storage

7. lpratas

Posts: 398; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

The One + One, the One + 2 and the Xiaomi's also don't have expandable storage and the people buy them.

11. jellmoo

Posts: 2656; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

The price difference might have something to do with it.

8. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

IMO N4 looks better and more classy than 5, looks more like business phone and that's what it mainly is. And like a lot of people said before - expandable storage, just that one flaw makes me like N4 more

10. Techist

Posts: 311; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Having neither microSD expansion or a 128GB option basically made the Note 5 a dud for me. And now that I have 3 extra batteries (along with 2 battery chargers) for my Note 4, with one or another of them being available to me almost anywhere I am, battery life concerns are a complete non-issue, making a removable battery even more satisfying to me. Samsung did a fantastic job with the Note 4.

13. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1360; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Wait- The new S pen is awesome in how you click it out but it is seen as a co because you miss how you use to have to grab and pull it out? The glass design is fantastic ( Because PA always pushed Glass and Metal as premium materials) but the old faux leather back ( Which PA called cheap looking compared to the back of the iPhone 5 and 6 ) is now better looking and a benefit? Can we have some consistency here

32. imnotascammer

Posts: 160; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

You aint gettin that here bud.

15. Mxyzptlk unregistered

The Note 4 is just an overall better phone than the Note5.

19. corvette72778

Posts: 166; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Agree!

16. zinger69

Posts: 86; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Also the stylus on the Note 4 won't brick the phone if you put it in the wrong way.

18. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

As I recalled, everyone including writers complained about the Paux leather and wanted something more premium along the lines of the iPhone. Now that is what you have and now you want the Faux Leather back? On the black phone the faux back was nice and soft and felt nice and had texture and a software grip. But the white which I had for the Note 4, it was harder and I ended up going on eBay and buying the black back. I just didn't want a black phone. I think on of the reason I dumped the Note 5 is because the white one was just ugly and I liked my wife's black one better, but I decided I preferred the S6 Edge+ and exchanged for that instead. I do miss my pen on the go. The translucent calendar? Hard to read on light color backgrounds. But yes the new one looks bad. But I dont use a calendar widget so that sounds like a more personal dislike vs one device simply did it better. One-Handed mode would have been nice to have on the S6 Edge+, but I did try it on the Note 5 while I had it. Though I noticed you counted choose the window size, it was fine. My main complaint with the S6 Edge+/Note 5 is even though Samsung had to drop microSD card support with the internal slot, do to it not working with eMMC; they should have double the Note and S6 Edge+ and sold them as 64GB/128GB models and eliminated the 32GB. But most of the mentioned items sound liek personal pet-peeves vs one doing it better But I do 100% agree the Note 4 would be awesome with the new S6/Note 5 UI/UX.

20. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

I preferred the one-handed mode of the Note 4, for me it's easier to drop the phone clicking the menu button three times than sliding the thumb on the edge of the screen. Besides I want to be able to resize the screen and move it around as I please. I also liked that when this mode is active the background turned black (battery saving) and now it remains lit.

21. yemkoid

Posts: 41; Member since: Aug 17, 2015

Number 2 still baffles me a lot till now... Why is camera 2 api missing on Note 4 even after 5.1.1 update?

22. Cyberthing

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 18, 2014

I'm not going to go into every point that I disagree with in this article - I just can't be bothered but I will mention that I prefer one handed mode launch on the note 4. It makes me wonder how samsung is going to implement 'now on tap' with all the home button input launches they have going on. Triple press for OHM, double press for camera launch , I can't remember what it is for s voice because I disabled it, and hold down for Google now.

23. SVSteward

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 15, 2015

Note 4 Edge is great. Expandable storage. Extra battery if I'm away from a charger. The day is about half over and I'm down to 23%... and counting.

24. SVSteward

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 15, 2015

Note 4 Edge. Expandable storage. Extra battery if I'm away from a charger. Durable for my uses.

25. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Note Edge, not Note 4 Edge

26. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Note Edge, not Note 4 Edge

27. Kattz

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 07, 2015

Much more expensive and less features. A lot more fragile. Not even a 64 GB option with Bell Mobility. Sales are way down this year and they don't know why. Epic FAIL.

28. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Also Note 4 with a plastic back could take falls better. Glass is premium looking but not as durable. Person at work has a crack phone already. Saw another review where camera lens were crack. Samsung does have some premium phones with metal backs but decided not to use them on their flagships.

29. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

They should have went all out with at least a non removable leather back. They should have also has a 128gb option. This is the reason I didn't buy one.

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