Call Quality

The Samsung 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.

We have put the Note 4 through its paces in our own battery life test where we set the display of all participating devices to a brightness of 200 nits (typical for comfortable indoor viewing), and run a custom script mimicking real-life non-stop use. The Note 4 scored among the best with a battery life of 8 hours and 43 minutes, more than the already very good Galaxy S5's 7 hours and 38 minutes. In reality, this should allow you to not worry about heavily using your Note 4 and still getting through a day of work/play. Go for a more moderate use, and the Note 4 could even last you in the proximity of two days off the charger.

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.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
8h 43 min (Good)
Samsung Galaxy S5
7h 38 min (Average)

minutes Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy S5


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.



11. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

The Note 4 is kinda like what the S5 should have been, but heck I'll just take both.

12. Carlitos

Posts: 706; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

When you think about it, and put some real thought into it, the Note 4, shouldn't have been what the Galaxy s5 is or was. And the simple answer to that is they are two completely different lines that appeal to two complete different groups of people. One group for the S line, which offers great camera. Great Display, far above average battery and easier to carry and use more on a social daily basis. The Note line is everything the S line was, but simply with beefier specs, and a ton more productivity options, which take completely and absolute advantage of the extra screen. The reason why Samsung is the undisputed King in the phablet market space. And will be for the several years to come, simply because no one else understands that you dont simply increase screen size and not add functionality.

17. snowgator

Posts: 3629; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I think it is kinda dead set obvious at this point: The Note series is Samsung's flagship line. The Galaxy S series is most likely their best seller still, but the Note series is the Big Boned Phone everyone else is trying to catch. They are putting their best efforts into that line, and the S5 VS. Note 4 is not really that close these days.

8. Dude2014

Posts: 448; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

I never like Samsung phone! However Galaxy S5 changed my mind. I really like real time HDR mode in latest ISOCELL camera since I can't find the same HDR image quality in any smartphones (Nexus 5 and Butterfly has the closest quality but still no match for ISOCELL. Now Note 4 brings next level HDR with its OIS. But hey .. I'm gonna wait for GS6 and hopefully I will buy it as my first Samsung phone ever.

9. Dude2014

Posts: 448; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

*Butterfly 2

7. SayMobile

Posts: 157; Member since: Jan 29, 2014

Army of Two

6. Tobruk

Posts: 10; Member since: May 14, 2011

I kinda compare these two phones to the different classes of star ships in the Imperial Starfleet of the Star Wars universe. The Galaxy S5 reminds me of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer. While, the Note 4 reminds me of the Super Star Destroyer Executor which is the personal flagship of the Lord Darth Vader, the premier command ship of the Imperial Navy.

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 31796; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Lmao dude do you have a girlfriend?

15. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

Hoping he's single?

5. snowgator

Posts: 3629; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I actually would lean to the S5 due to it's more "real life" durability. Other than that- and of course size preference- there is zero reason to not get the Note 4. A better device in every way.

4. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

This is like Goku vs Goku :D

16. luzan

Posts: 6; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

Goku reguler vs Goku super saiyan :P

3. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Waiting for gigaraga's Words Of Samsung Praises.

10. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Best phone of H1 vs. Best phone of H2. Here, your wait is over.

2. hellonerds

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

Gs5 good for like active outdoor using.. note 4 for casual using.. cant wait to get my note 4 my note 3 will go to my mom using a gs3... big upgrade lol

1. maherk

Posts: 7084; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Note 4, here I come.

13. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless