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

Scene 1: Which photo do you like best?

Photo A (iPhone 6 Plus)
Photo B (Mi Note Pro)
Photo C (Note 4)
Photo D (Note5)

Scene 2: Hobbymasters

Scene 2: Which photo do you like best?

Photo E (Note5)
Photo F (Mi Note Pro)
Photo G (iPhone 6 Plus)
Photo H (Note 4)

Scene 3: 16 Moore St

Scene 3: Which photo do you like best?

Photo I (Note 4)
Photo J (Mi Note Pro)
Photo K (iPhone 6 Plus)
Photo L (Note5)

Scene 4: A waving banner

Scene 4: Which photo do you like best?

Photo M (Note5)
Photo N (Mi Note Pro)
Photo O (Note 4)
Photo P (iPhone 6 Plus)

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



1. mawhob2222

Posts: 219; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Note 4 is still better than Note5

7. htainlintha

Posts: 73; Member since: Mar 20, 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.

18. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 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.

39. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 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.

63. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 969; Member since: Feb 02, 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.

103. cybertec69

Posts: 32; Member since: Aug 17, 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".

108. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 969; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

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

27. tango_charlie

Posts: 347; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Longer battery live? GSMarena says something different.

104. cybertec69

Posts: 32; Member since: Aug 17, 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.

64. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 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!

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.

98. RoarLions

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 04, 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.

105. cybertec69

Posts: 32; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Is that why the Note 5 still lags, please.

102. darth8ball

Posts: 520; Member since: Aug 02, 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

21. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 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.

28. Macready

Posts: 1829; Member since: Dec 08, 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.

50. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 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.

106. cybertec69

Posts: 32; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

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

107. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 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.

2. Saioofi

Posts: 347; Member since: May 23, 2014

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

5. htainlintha

Posts: 73; Member since: Mar 20, 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 :)

6. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 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.

8. Nathillien unregistered

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

14. TSMan2

Posts: 363; Member since: Aug 20, 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?

10. htainlintha

Posts: 73; Member since: Mar 20, 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

20. mistercarter

Posts: 360; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

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

36. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 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.

11. TSMan2

Posts: 363; Member since: Aug 20, 2015

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

38. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

In what way, by looking like last years model?

53. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

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

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