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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Review

Performance and Benchmarks

Samsung was confident enough to use the same Exynos chip from the Galaxy S6 on the Galaxy Note 5. It is still Samsung’s highest performing chip that’s been used in their flagship devices so we expected the same level of performance, or even significantly better considering the Note 5 comes with 4GB of RAM already.

The Galaxy Note 5 took the highest scores in our standard benchmarks, starting with Antutu at 68,937. It is currently the highest-scoring device we have in our database of around 50 units.

Since the Note 5, S6 Edge+, S6 and S6 Edge all share the same Exynos 7420 chip, their benchmark scores are statistically tied.

Antutu Benchmark: 68,937
Quadrant Standard: 36,256
PCMark: 5,096
Vellamo: 4,998 (Browser), 2,480 (Metal), 2,266 (Multi-core)

The Note 5 handled everything we throw at it and with the generous 4GB of RAM, running multiple apps and games with many more services at the background is not a problem and we have yet to see the device buckle down during our regular use.

Connectivity, Call Quality and Battery Life

Call quality if excellent and benefits from the active noise-canceling microphone. We did not encounter the same weak signal problems when actively using two SIM cards. Sending and receiving SMS were fast and notifications are quick and on cue.

The Note 5 variant that is officially released in the Philippines is the Duos or dual-SIM one. The SIM tray supports two nano-SIM cards and both slots are capable of running up to 4G/LTE connectivity. However, only one SIM card is able to run on the LTE network at a time while other one is reduced to just 2G/EDGE.

The internal battery of the Note 5 has been reduced to just 3,000mAh from a high of 3,200mAh in the older Note 4. We did not expect the battery life to be significantly affected by this considering the more power-efficient Exynos chip and bigger RAM.

Battery life will last about a day and a half while our PCMark Battery test gave it a score of 8 hours and 33 minutes. Our own standard video loop test showed excellent results, running up to 17 hours on a single full charge at 50% brightness, 0% volume and in Airplane Mode.

The handset also supports wireless charging with their Qi or PMA, depending on the market. In the Philippines, the Note 5 supports Qi fast wireless charging which only takes about 2.5 hours from zero to full charge and even faster with the typical cable charger at a full 2 hours.

Just like any metal-clad handset, the Note 5 tends to get warm or hot easily. It’s bearable most of the time but that still depends on one’s tolerance level.


It is without a doubt that the Galaxy Note 5 is the most beautiful phablet Samsung has ever made. They certainly learned a lot from the positive reception of the Galaxy S6. Add to that the massive internal hardware upgrade they made along with some additional engineering feat.

However, those improvements came with a price — a unibody design that made the once removable battery the collateral and the absence of a microSD expansion slot. For some long-time Galaxy Note fans, this could be a deal-breaker (or they can just stick with their old Note 4 which is still very capable). For many others that have not yet been converted, it is a compromise that can be easily shrugged off.

Nevertheless, all things considered, Samsung has made some considerable bet although it is a calculated risk that they’ve learned with the Galaxy S6. Whether it succeeds or not will ultimately be at the hands and wallets of consumers.

But let’s admit it — the Note 5 is gorgeous, powerful and impressive on just so many levels. It is by no means perfect but no other phablet in the market comes close to it.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has been officially released in the Philippines this month with a starting price of Php36,990 (32GB model) or you can get it for Php35,999 from Lazada {see listing here}. It is also available for postpaid plans from Globe and Smart.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 specs:
5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display @ 2560×1440 pixels, 518ppi
Gorilla Glass 4 (front and back)
Samsung Exynos 7420 64-bit octa-core CPU
ARM Cortex A57 2.1GHz quad-core, ARM Cortex A53 1.5GHz quad-core
Mali-T760MP8 Graphics
32, 64 internal storage
Dual-SIM, 4G/LTE Cat. 6 and Cat 9.
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, 2.4GHz & 5.0GHz, MiMo 2×2
Bluetooth 4.2, LE, ANT
16 megapixel rear camera, OIS, dual-LED flash, f1.9
5 megapixel front-facing camera, f1.9
Qi Wireless Charging
3,000mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery
Android 5.1 Lollipop with TouchWiz
153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm (dimensions)
171 grams (weight)

What we liked about it:
* Large, gorgeous display
* Impressive performance
* Great design and build quality
* Generous amount of RAM
* Impressive camera performance and quality
* S Pen adds more features
* Dual-SIM, LTE capability

What we did not like:
* Lower battery capacity
* No micro-SD card for expandable storage

You can also read out Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review.

Pages: 1 2 3

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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9 Responses

  1. Jolo says:

    Dual micro sim? Really? not nano?

  2. ocommon says:

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

  3. 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 :(

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    • 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.

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