Samsung Galaxy S7 edge vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5
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.
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.