Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Review

Samsung has changed its flagship DNA since the introduction of the Galaxy S6. This is also evident with the new Galaxy Note 5 — premium materials, solid unibody construction and a gorgeous design that is so unlike the Samsung of old.

Of course, there were compromises made, some of them might even alienate long-time Note users but Samsung hopes the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

Design and Construction

Samsung has a simple but equally complicated task with the new Note 5. A powerful hardware, large screen, stylus pen and interface that maximizes the ability to draw and take notes.

That has been a signature that Samsung tries to improve with each iteration of the Note series. Taking cue from the huge, mostly positive reception of the Galaxy S6, Samsung thought the same formula should work with the Galaxy Note 5.

Hence, they engineered a single, solid unibody design completely out of metal alloy and covered it with tough Gorilla Glass 4 both at the back and the front.

While maintaining the same large 5.7-inch display, Samsung shaved off significant amount of excess fat to produce a slim and smaller form factor. That means it is slimmer, shorter and narrower yet offers the same display size.

The Note 5 sheds off any remaining polycarbonate and faux-leather that we saw from the Note 4 and used an all-metal body with a Gorilla Glass 4 outer layer both at the front and back panel.

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The power button is found on the right side while the volume controls are on the left. Up top is where you can find access to the SIM card tray that pops when you poke the pinhole. The SIM card tray can carry two nano-SIM cards for the Duos variant of the Note 5.

At the bottom end is the 3.5mm audio port, the micro-USB charging port and the S Pen. Unlike previous designs where you normally to pry out the stylus, the Note 5 has a spring mechanism that easily pops out the stylus in a single press on the head.

The front panel is flat with slightly rounded corners where the surface is completely covered in tough Gorilla Glass that is somewhat beveled along the edges.

At the back is the 16-megapixel camera that slightly protrudes from the flat surface along with the dual-tone, dual-LED flashes. The Duos label indicates the device is dual-SIM which is the official release in the Philippines (this is also true with the Galaxy S6 Edge+).

To make the profile more comfortable to the hands, the back panel has been redesigned to have a more curved or tapered edges allowing for a better grip.

In many ways, the only difference between the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is the exterior design and the S Pen. There are also a few specific UI implementation that are found in the Note 5 only.

While the unibody design allows for a thinner and lighter profile, it also means that Samsung has to do away with the removable back cover which have been traditionally one of the more practical advantages of the Galaxy Note family. Likewise, the battery capacity has been reduced compared to the Note 4. However, Samsung claims the actual battery performance should be equal or better than that of the previous generation as they moved on to the 14nm technology which is more power efficient as we’ve experienced in the Galaxy S6.

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Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He is one of the pioneers of blogging in the country and considered by many as the Father of Tech Blogging in the Philippines. He is also a technology consultant, a tech columnist with several national publications, resource speaker and mentor/advisor to several start-up companies.

9 Responses

  1. Avatar for Joe Dashiel Joe Dashiel says:

    This is a good phone. Got the phone from Smart. My only concern is that it has a very weak signal reception. Laging user busy kapag tinatawagan number ko saka laging lare dating ng mga messages

    • Avatar for Harvey Harvey says:

      Joe, anong version ng Note5 ung sayo? ung akin ksi Globe LTE prepaid ung gamit ko, ang hina ng signal nya, tpos minsan may notification ng “Message not sent” tuwing nagsesend ako ng message. then ang hina nya pumickup ng LTE signal.

  2. Avatar for victor victor says:

    I was so excited when my wife availed a globe plan samsung galaxy note5 for me.
    But after 8 days of using the phone, that excitement turned into a BIG disappointment.
    I was so disappointed because i believed those reviews that NOTE5 is one of the best smart phones.
    It was the worst phone I ever had.

    At first, akala ko normal lang na uminit ang Note5 while watching youtube videos… So, I ignored it..
    It came to a point na hindi mo na mahawakan ang phone dahil sa sobrang init… and the battery was discharging so fast…

    Sad fact: My wife reported on the 8th day. They said the battery is overheating. It was sad because replacement is just within 7 days.

    Sa mga bibili ng Note5, pag-isipan natin… or pag bumili tayo at naramdaman nyong uminit… Report nyo agad..

    How i wish iphone 6 na lang kinuha ko like my wife. Not a Samsung Galaxy Bulok5.

  3. Avatar for Welsh Welsh says:

    Napansin ko lang…. All samsung Note family are usually named with Note then a space before the number.
    But this new Note model its called as “NOTE5” and not “NOTE 5”..

    baka mag palabas pa si samsung ng isa pang note 5 with an external memory naman.. hehe

    wishful thinking lang…. hahaha

  4. Avatar for Geoff Geoff says:

    Protecting the back panel with Gorilla Glass is a good move. My Note 3’s faux leather back is now covered in scratches and marks :(

  5. Avatar for ocommon ocommon says:

    Goodluck sa maintenance lalo na pag nagloloko na ang battery at puno na ang storage.

  6. Avatar for Jolo Jolo says:

    Dual micro sim? Really? not nano?

    • Basa:
      The SIM card tray can carry two nano-SIM cards for the Duos variant of the Note 5. – See more at:

    • Avatar for Jolo Jolo says:

      Mr Joseph Torres, Micro sim kasi ang nakalagay sa review nila nung una kaya ko tinanong. Sept 29 ko nabasa.

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