Interface and Functionality

Although the core user experience is essentially the same, the Galaxy S7 edge has the cool Edge UX, while the Note 5 is better suited to multitasking.

Both phablets run the latest version of Android, which is 6.0.1 Marshmallow at the time of writing. It is topped off with Samsung's familiar TouchWiz user interface. At this point in its evolution, TouchWiz feels coherent enough from a design and functionality standpoint. No, it's not as optimized and fluent as it needs to be, but the two high-end models we're looking at definitely have the hardware muscle to showcase TouchWiz in its best light.

The menus are straightforward and graphically clean, which helps with getting around the overwhelming number of options. Although the core user experience is essentially the same on the S7 edge and the Note 5, the latter is better suited to multitasking with its slightly larger display and the extended functionality allowed by the S-Pen, which is very convenient for juggling information between apps.


Still, the S7 edge is able to hold its own in productivity terms, as Samsung hasn't stripped side-by-side multitasking off the operating system. It also comes with its own special edge UX. The edge panel houses convenient shortcuts and offers the macro feature, which lets you automate functions such as opening the camera and then switching to the front-facing camera to snap a selfie. The edge panel might be a novelty to some, but those that actually use it will find it convenient.


Processor and Memory

Both phablets are speed demons, but the Galaxy S7 edge is graced by the latest achievements in mobile computing, while the Note 5 uses Samsung's best technology from last year.

Although both are very capable hand-held computers, the Galaxy S7 edge is graced by the latest achievements in mobile computing, while the Galaxy Note 5 uses Samsung's best technology from last year. In America, the GS7 edge is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, which boasts four custom 64-bit CPU cores, a powerful Adreno 530 GPU, and fast, power-efficient LPDDR4 RAM. Outside the U.S., some variants will run on Samsung's own Exynos 8990 chipset, which has performance parity with Qualcomm's and should be up to 30% faster than the Exynos 7420 chip in the Galaxy Note 5.

That aside, both devices have 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM each, along with at least 32GB of crazy-fast UFS flash storage. However, the Galaxy S7 edge's memory can be expanded with a microSD card, while the Galaxy Note 5 doesn't have this option. Either way, most users won't notice a major difference in how the smartphones handle, because they are both very fast, even if TouchWiz can be prone to lag and stutter.

In performance benchmarks, the Galaxy S7 edge racked up 128,191 points in the AnTuTu system test, which is in line with other Snapdragon 820-powered smartphones like the LG G5 and Xiaomi Mi 5. It produced a hearty 52 frames per second in the T-Rex HD test, and an okay 28 frames in the intense Manhattan on-screen test. Comparatively, the Galaxy Note 5 scored 67,207 points in AnTuTu and managed 37 frames per second in the GFXBench test, along with 15 frames per second in the Manhattan test. Clearly, the newer hardware gives the Galaxy S7 edge a considerable performance... edge, although both smartphones are still very fast in everyday use and have no problems playing the latest 3D games.

Of note to mobile gamers, which are probably eyeing Samsung's handsets for their beautiful displays and sheer horsepower, is that the Galaxy S7 edge supports the Vulkan advanced graphics API, which lets game developers tap into the raw potential of the device's hardware for visceral effects and faster performance. Speaking of games, the new Game Lounge app on the GS7 edge unlocks some cool options for gamers, such as gameplay footage recording, easy notifications dismissing while gaming, and additional performance optimizations. It's too early to tell how these fare, but it's good to know Samsung still takes the gaming crowd seriously.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 128191
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 67207
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 3198
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 2532
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 4840
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 5476
Sunspider Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 612.3
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 677.7
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 52
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 37
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 28
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 15
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 1761
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 1765
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 2318
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 1431
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 5433
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 4717

Internet and Connectivity

You won’t be disappointed by either of the smartphones' fast and smooth response.

Both the Galaxy S7 edge and the Galaxy Note 5 are ideal for surfing the web, because they have big and vibrant displays, powerful hardware, and support for modern LTE connectivity standards. You won't have to scroll, pinch, and zoom web pages as much, seeing that their displays are able to show more content at once than smaller screen devices. Even if you still have to do that, you won’t be disappointed by either of the smartphones' fast and smooth response. We ought to mention that the Galaxy Note 5's S-Pen can mimic a cursor as it hovers over the display, which proves to be a useful tool for precisely selecting content or tapping cramped links.



The phablets support 4G LTE connectivity with most bands in existence and peak downlink speeds of up to 600Mbps. There's also dual-channel Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 with support for the low energy profile, and positioning via the GPS, Glonass, and Beidou systems.

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43 Comments

1. jackto

Posts: 19; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

NOTE 5: better battery life for now: bigger screen s pen S7 EDGE micro sd waterproof my opinion : the winner is note 5 (for a student like me s pen is a big deal) if only note 5 was waterproof and has micro sd

5. redmd

Posts: 1917; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I think that's where the Note 6 comes in.

11. Landon

Posts: 1242; Member since: May 07, 2015

The Note 6 will definitely have a micro sd slot but I doubt it will be waterproof. I'm guessing the S Pen slot has something to do with why they haven't waterproofed the Note series since they would have to seal that area. I hope I'm wrong, though!

2. Totse2k15

Posts: 477; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

S7 Edge for me. Gotta have my microSD card.

3. wando77

Posts: 1167; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Phonearena is the ONLY site that FAILS to mention the autotbrightness in comparisons. It is an intelligent feature that stops you smashing you're battery to bits but is there when you NEED it. The phones in this comparison go above 800 nits so you need to mention that

7. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Yeah, no.

10. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Except that you do. I would rather believe testing methods of displaymate then your's. I mean the difference is humongous. Displaymate says its 855 nits and you say its 493 nits. Its obvious that your testing methodology is flawed and we all know Samsung's display get brighter in auto-brightness which you can't do manually. Even your battery tests for S7/Edge are way-off then your competitors. Not just one, more or less all the reputed sites are saying S7 Edge's battery is excellent. Its not a bad idea to listen to your viewers once in a while.

12. TechPhone

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 10, 2016

I use my S7 (Edge) for games like Candy Crush (all of them), Hearthstone, Instagram, Facebook, Internet, Snapchat, Tumblr, and i use google music driving home from work and it's paired with an Android watch and this phone has lasted me 24 hours and it barely went down to 34%. I don't think your "test" are valid in real world situations. When I read your comments on how awful the battery is according to PA...i can't help but laugh because i know its bull crap.

13. kevin91202

Posts: 642; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

Yeah, yes. As a representative of PA, you should try not come off as a jackass with your terse reponses.

33. MrVang3034

Posts: 9; Member since: May 12, 2016

I usually turn off that auto brightness on my phone because that usually drains my batter fast the brighter the screen the more power it uses. I prefer to adjust the brightness myself.

4. miki69

Posts: 15; Member since: Mar 01, 2012

To be honest I not convinced S7 is much better (if any) than Note 5 (I have S6 edge) in camera department. I was expecting more especially after those bold claims 95% more light bla bla... Judging those photos you really need to stretch to see difference, if any. Some parts of S7 pictures have better focus, but upon closer inspection I see Note 5 has better focus on some other parts of same picture. As a personal preference, I like 16:9 aspect better. Would like to see comparison 16MP 16:9 S6 vs 9.1MP 16:9 S7 before make final decision. Cheers,

20. yogihoy

Posts: 17; Member since: Feb 17, 2015

If the camera pics are as go..im ok with that...at least they arent worse..it means its worth upgrading for all the other features....i have a note 4...

31. MrVang3034

Posts: 9; Member since: May 12, 2016

You must've got a defective phone if you think the note 5 has a better camera than the S7. Because the S7 that my wife has now the picture quality especially the front takes an incredibly crsytal clear picture even in a cloudy sky environment. And the focus was much faster and better when you move a lot or hand is shaking it was able to get crystal clear image without that blurriness

6. thegeneral7010

Posts: 437; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

Its a true loss for ppl who bought s6 and note 5 is the abscence if microSD card slot in my opinion samsung could have included it in note5 but they thought they can introduce it as a new feature in s7 just to increase its sales thats a shame.

16. TrevorB1

Posts: 64; Member since: Dec 30, 2015

Eh, its still a great phone. To me, it was worth the sacrifice of the microSD card slot. Great phone, and does what I need it to. Though this new update for Marshmallow takes up quite a bit of storage. Good thing I store most of my stuff online in my drive.

8. thegeneral7010

Posts: 437; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

Photos of s7 have regained the extra sharpness that was found in note 4 photos, it made photos even better.

9. miki69

Posts: 15; Member since: Mar 01, 2012

Yes, but at what cost? Just check S7 photo no. 7 (sunset in front of KIA saloon). Look at the sky around Kia sign - totally destroyed by harsh post-processing in S7, more pleasing with Note 5. Sometimes extra/unnatural sharpness isn't a plus (although I do understand some people prefer this). Cheers,

14. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

"Although it lacks groundbreaking features, such as the iPhone 6s' 3D Touch interface..." Slobbin the iPhone knob.

30. MrVang3034

Posts: 9; Member since: May 12, 2016

seriously no offense to iphone fans out there but there's really nothing ground breaking about the iphone 6s 3D touch interface. My sister has one and I didn't find anything awe about it other than the screen feels like you can poke a hole through it when you press against the touch screen. I'm not so sure about that 3D touch thing. i mean don't you need a 3D glass to be able to see that 3D touch interface feature.

15. Volklskier

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 10, 2016

I thought my Samsung Galaxy 4S was the greatest phone out there, until I got the Note5. I'm not really what one would call a 'Power User', but with this phone YOU don't have to be. It does so many things for you automatically, that it makes you look like a Power User. The stylus alone makes this phone superior to any other phone out there. Although in the past I've not really used the camera on my cell phone much, but this phone takes such fantastic photos, I now find myself using it A LOT! I've never seen ANY camera take such excellent photos in very low light! Every time I take a picture in low light and show it to others, they cannot believe how great these pictures come out. Everyone comments on them; especially after they look at the photos they took using their phone of the same thing, at the same time I did. Absolutely NO COMPARISON. And the speed that this phone works at is fantastic. Although a 64GB model can be bought, 32GB is plenty enough for me, so I don't really care about not having the ability to insert an SD card; and I've owned at least 10 different phones over the years (Nokia, LG, Motorola, & Samsung) and I've NEVER, ever replaced a battery, so I don't care about not having a removable one either. There is a way to do a 'hard reboot' if you ever need to. This phone is THE phone to have!

29. MrVang3034

Posts: 9; Member since: May 12, 2016

I believe the Note 5 was a knockoff dumb down version of the note 4 without the expandable storage. in my opinion I really think the Note 4 was the best overall note series.

17. KimGriff

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 21, 2015

I can't believe the decision to Putilise these Two devices side by side. What about putting the S7 edge against the S6 edge + (something similar), to see what the differences were?

28. MrVang3034

Posts: 9; Member since: May 12, 2016

The S7 is waterproof tightly sealed from the inside so no worried about it being dropped into the water :) and better front and back camera.

18. KimGriff

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 21, 2015

(Put these Two devices...) sorry about that!

19. yogihoy

Posts: 17; Member since: Feb 17, 2015

I have no issues with the photo comparisions you have posted..they look great..my isdue is your site!!! Scrolling through the pics was a lengthy process and in the end i gave up....fhats with the ulta invasive ads... they wouldnt allow the pics to be seen. I had to forward and back numerous times for each pic...

21. theo14461 unregistered

S7 Edge is better, come on!

27. MrVang3034

Posts: 9; Member since: May 12, 2016

One thing I didn't like about the S7 edge is that it creates too much glare in direct sunlight giving the facts that that whole front is made of glass and not only that I was worried about the front getting cracked if it falls down and hit an uneven ground surface. Which is why i chose the S7 instead for my wife.

22. TrevorB1

Posts: 64; Member since: Dec 30, 2015

SGN5 still looks more sexy compared to the S7 Edge. If only they kept the same color schemes. Performance wise, yeah, the S7 will beat the Note 5. I'm still happy with my Note 5, mainly because of the big screen and S pen. Although I do wish it still had the P68 certification, IR Blaster and Storage Expansion :P Can't wait to see what the Note 6 has in store for us. Bring it home Samsung!

23. Mohammed_Hasan

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 21, 2016

I'm really happy with my Note 5. My opinion is note 5 is the best because of S pen is a big deal and screen size is standard for operate no need to buy any tab. Although I do wish it still had the P68 certification, IR Blaster and Storage Expansion. Thanks to Samsung.

26. MrVang3034

Posts: 9; Member since: May 12, 2016

I didn't find the note 5 worth upgrading to from my note 4 since since samsung got rid of the micro sd card on that and on the S6 So i skipped those two model. Those two model phone was a big let down by samsung for all of us that love that expandable storage features.

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