Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
Galaxy Note 4 is a very good performer when it comes to call quality. Voices in the earpiece sound very clear and loud enough for the most part, but if we had to pick the nits we’d say that volume could have been a notch louder in the earpiece. On the other end of the line, voice quality is clear and volume is sufficient.
The Galaxy S5 in comparison performs good, but not great in terms of call quality. It’s sufficiently loud in the earpiece, but it lacks in clarity as voices sound a bit muffled. On the other end, volume is again sufficient, but voices do sound sharper than we’re used to hearing, with a boost to the higher frequencies.
The Galaxy Note 4’s large size allows for a larger than average battery size, and we have a 3220mAh battery pack included. In comparison, the Galaxy S5 features a 2800mAh battery. When it comes to actual battery longevity, though, the Note 4 faces a tougher challenge as its Quad HD display is both larger and driving significantly more pixels than the S5. Our initial impressions are that the Note 4 manages to last through a full day without much effort, and it’s generally as long-lasting as its predecessor.
Starting with the Galaxy S5, Samsung is bundling its higher-end phones with a few unique battery conservation modes that allow you to squeeze the most of your battery. The Ultra Power Saving Mode (UPSM) in particular turns your display into greyscale, limits processor performance, and kills all but essential tasks. You can still browse the web, but access to the camera and other apps is limited. The feature is present on both the Note 4 and the Galaxy S5, and allows your phone to survive tens of hours even when you enable it with just 5% of juice left on the phone.
In addition, both the Note 4 and S5 come with fast charging, so you can quickly replenish your phone’s battery. The Note 4 goes from a dead battery to 50% charge in just 30 minutes.
Finally, both devices feature user-removable batteries, which is a nice feature for travelers and others who go for days without access to the electrical grid and can pack an additional battery and swap it when the first one dies.
The Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 are devices of different size and there’s no going around that: the phablet-sized Note 4 is not among the thinnest devices out there and its heft is felt at that large size. In return, it will reward you with one of the best Android experiences out there starting with the brilliant, 5.7-inch Quad HD display, the latest Snapdragon 805 system chip that scores at the top of the Android ranks, and an improved camera with optical stabilization.
The Galaxy S5, on the other hand, comes with an important advantage - it won’t drill a hole in your pocket. We’re speaking literally and figuratively - literally, because of its more manageable dimensions, and figuratively because of its reduced price. The full off-contract price of the S5 stands at around $520 (480 euro), while the Note 4 starting full price is a much tougher to swallow $800 (800 euro). The Galaxy S5 is also protected from the elements, something that could be important to many. On the flipside of things, you have to make a couple of noticeable trade-off with the S5 - the comparatively lackluster display comes first and foremost, the slightly sub-par camera second, and the slight performance delta last. Decisions, decisions.