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Samsung N920C Factory Unlocked GSM Galaxy Note 5, 32GB - International Version (Black)
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- OS: Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop)
- Display: 5.7 inches (~75.9% screen-to-body ratio) - 1440 x 2560 pixels (~518 ppi pixel density)
- Camera: 16 MP, 5312 x 2988 pixels, optical image stabilization, autofocus, LED flash
- Internal Memory 32GB 4 GB RAMNot compatible with VERIZON, SPRINT, NEXTEL, BOOST, METROPCS, US CELLULAR,VIRGIN, etc or all NON-GSM Carriers
- Video: 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, optical stabilization, dual-video rec.
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From the manufacturer
What is an unlocked phone?
An unlocked phone is a device that is not bound to any carrier or plan. It allows you to choose your phone first and your carrier second. Upon selecting a plan, simply insert the carrier's SIM card into the phone and you're ready to go. If you decide you want to change carriers down the road or want to take an international trip, it's as simple as replacing your existing SIM card with a new SIM and activating your new plan.
What are the benefits of an unlocked phone?
Freedom: Choose the carrier with the best service or price. If you find a better deal later, you have the ability to change to a different carrier.
Travel: Take your phone internationally and use the carrier of your choice. It's as easy as inserting an active SIM card.
Selection: Choose the phone with the features you want, whether or not your carrier sells it, and get more service options without a contract.
How do I set up my unlocked phone?
The first thing you’ll need is a SIM card for your desired carrier. When activated, the SIM card will let your phone connect to your carrier’s network. If you decide to upgrade to a newer unlocked phone in the future, you can easily remove the SIM card from your old phone and put it in your new phone—just make sure you get the right size of SIM card (nano, micro, or standard) for your phone. If you want to use your phone while traveling internationally, you can easily buy a SIM card for a carrier that operates where you’re traveling. As long as it’s activated, you can just swap SIM cards when you arrive at your destination.
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|Camera Description||16 MP||16 MP||16 MP||16 MP||16 MP||16 MP|
|Screen Size||5.7 in||5.7 in||5.7 in||5.7 in||5.7 in||5.7 in|
|Item Dimensions||0.3 x 6.03 x 3 in||0.3 x 6.03 x 3 in||3 x 0.3 x 6.03 in||0.3 x 6.03 x 3 in||0.29 x 2.99 x 6.03 in||0.33 x 6.04 x 3.09 in|
|Item Weight||6.03 ounces||6.03 ounces||6.03 ounces||6.03 ounces||6.03 ounces||6.24 ounces|
|Operating System||Android||Android 5.1 Lollipop||Android||Android||Android||Android|
The Galaxy Note 5 it's still as big but now slimmer, framed by sleek metal and glass. Designed to keep up with your busy life.
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My background: Currently I am a business person and a road warrior that depends heavily on my smart phone. Some years ago I worked in IT and before that in electronics manufacturing. I have a degree in aviation and in management.
As of this first writing, I have owned the phone for over three weeks.
<<EDIT: I am now near two months and I will be posting some updates and fixing some of my typos.>>
1. This Model
3. General Performance
c. Split screen
5. Comparison to Other Phones
6. Comparison to Note 4
7. My Real Rating of 4.5 Stars
1. This Model
This model [N920G] is a generic version of the Note 5. By generic, I mean it is not preloaded with any software from any of the phone carriers. Therefore the only extra software is that which Samsung has put on the phone. Much of that is quite useful. See the software section and S-Pen section for more details.
This phone is available in many markets around the world and is sold by several Samsung authorized US dealers. Unfortunately, even though it is currently sold through such companies as Best Buy and New Egg, Samsung has not updated their database reflecting the fact this model is sold in the USA. As a result, Samsung offers NO DIRECT DOMESTIC WARRANTY on this phone. Best Buy has informed me they warranty the phone directly. I assume New Egg does the same, but you should check with your seller to be sure the phone is covered.
Samsung pay is not supported natively and must be 'sideloaded' by those who know how to do that. It is expected Samsung pay will be available for it around March [according to industry publications]. Hopefully, Samsung will fully support this as a US model by then.
<<Please be careful when sideloading! Unless you get the files from a source you trust the programs can contain malicious code.>>
Though I like the Samsung brand very much, this multi-model fiasco is Mickey Mouse at best and it has strongly tarnished my opinion of Samsung. The reason the Note has so many different models is because Samsung caters to the network providers. It is an old and obsolete business model that must change if Samsung expects to stay competitive.
Several other very nice phones are "world phones" and are not geared toward any particular geographical market nor any particular network. Several have universal coverage around the world, most notably the Nexus 6P available for $450 to $500. That phone may have been my second choice, though there are several nice alternatives now. In the case of the Nexus, the phone has universal coverage and each phone works on both GSM and CDMA networks. It also has the same display as this phone [a Samsung manufactured 4K Super AMOLED], but the camera is not as good and there is no pen. More on this in the phone comparison section.
As the us market continues to abandon carrier based consumer subsidies, world phones will become increasingly common.
Detailed specifications are available on such websites as PhoneArena, for this review I will keep it general.
Unlike most phones, the processor on the Note 5 and Galaxy S6 is designed and manufactured in house, by Samsung itself. This reveals Samsung's technical prowess as most phones manufacturers buy existing processors from companies that specialize in making processors from companies like Qualcom, just as most computer companies buy their processors from Intel or Motorola. Samsung not only made a faster processor than any other company, at this time, but made it run much cooler an duse less battery power as well. Most of the latest high dollar phones use the latest Snapdragon processors with 8 cores. The latest Snapdragon processors have had overheating issues. The Samsung processor [Exynos 7 Octa 7420] has 8 cores [4 at 1.5 GHZ, 4 at 2.5 GHZ]. Not only does the Samsung processor not have the overheating problems of the Snapdragon, it also processes instructions at a much higher rate.
The front camera is 5 megapixels, the rear is 16 megapixels. Both are f1.9.
The battery is 3000 mAh and uses fast charging, both on wired and wireless charging systems.
The display is OLED, 5.7 inches, 1440 x 2560 pixels, 518 pixels per inch
It supports nearly all Bluetooth standards up to 4.0 including the low energy varieties. Bluetooth 4.1 is the only unsupported mode. All WiFi standards are supported including 802.11 a, b, g, n, n 5GHz, ac and includes a hotspot function. Other communication standards supported include MFC, NFC, ANT+, Tethering, Computer sync, OTA sync. Several of these are not included in most smartphones today.
GPS standards supported are quite comprehensive including GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, BeiDou. Again some of these are uncommon.
3. General Performance
In short, the display is unmatched by any phone currently on the market except the Nexus 6P which uses the identical display. I don't know how to express in words how beautiful the display is. It is incredibly bright. I leave the brightness on about 60% most of the time and it is one of the few phones I have ever used where it can be read easily in bright sunlight. The color rendering is nearly perfect. The processor is fast enough that there are virtually no delays. Simply speaking there is a small group of phones that reach this level of display performance: The Note 4 is close, but this display improves on that which was already an industry leader. So today there is the Galaxy S6, S6+, Note 5 and Nexus 6P that are pretty much is a class of their own.
The Camera is top notch. It is not light years ahead like the display, but it is at the top of the pack. With an f1.9 aperture it has outstanding low light performance and I would say in low light it comes in second place to one other phone with an f1.8. The colors and contrast are good. The internal processing is excellent. I once considered the Apple phones some of the best in photos, but this Samsung has surpassed them and my Apple owning family is jealous. Without getting technical, how do I tell you how good it is? I have several fairly expensive point and shoot cameras that don't do as well.
The camera on this phone not only performs better than my other point and shoots, it starts up faster, captures pictures better, is easier to use and works better at night. That is impressive. I no longer use any of my point and shoot cameras except for one which is waterproof as this phone IS NOT WATERPROOF. On dry land, I only have need for the bulky [but awesome] DSLR which takes better pictures and offers more programming flexibility. So while this may not perform as well as a DSLR, it performs better than most point and shoot cameras.
This is the fastest phone I have ever owned by far. My apple family love to say their phones will load a game or run an animation a half a second faster. Of course it will. It is using one quarter of the screen resolution. It is not running as many tasks. It does not put TWO apps on the screen at the same time. The Apple - under certain circumstances - yield a result a fraction of a second sooner in simple graphics based applications such as games. But during play, the Samsung can keep up. In multiprocessor applications, the Samsung will leave the Apple wondering what went by it so fast.
Compared to phones using other processors, there is no comparison. This phone is fast and smooth. It almost never hangs and I have had a dozen apps or more running at one time and two on screen at once. This is one reason I chose the Note 5 over the Nexus 6P.
The Note phones are truly impressive to look at. People have become accustomed to the look of the iPhone. They are everywhere. But, people stop me to ask about my titanium silver Note 5. That is no big deal for me. But if it is for you, then the Note 5 and its brother the Galaxy 6 Edge are the phones for you. Status has become part of the feature set of the Note 5.
The entirety of the exterior of this phone is aluminum and glass [Corning Gorilla Glass 4 to be exact]. To say it is beautiful is an understatement. It stands out like a red Ferrari in a parking lot full of yellow taxi cabs. This is not all good though.
The glass is tough. [I am still using it without a case or screen protector of any kind]. My keys have not scratched it. I have dropped it on the floor many times. I dropped it as I got out of a pickup truck. The four foot drop onto solid asphalt did not leave a single scratch. I sat on it in my back pocket with no dents bends or damage.
The iPhone 6 and 6+ by comparison are easily bent and they break when they bend. The Note 5 will not bend under any reasonable stress and I cannot bend it by hand even using surprisingly high pressure. I am not saying you could not break it by hand if you really wanted to, but you would have to REALLY want to. The instructions say not to put it in your back pocket, but I do that fairly often. I weigh about 195 pounds (over 88Kg] and have not damaged the phone even after sitting on it. I offer no guarantees, but I think more of the phone's durability than other phones I have owned, including an Apple 4.
The one serious flaw to the durability picture is that it is not waterproof. Seriously, we all sit by the pool, go to the beach and get caught in the rain. So far, the rain has not hurt my phone and neither has the Florida humidity, However, electronics are easy to waterproof and this, along with the lack of an oleophobic [oil repelling] coating are gripes with me.
This phone utilizes Gorilla Glass 4 on the front and back, ut glass is glass. The new glass is supposed to be both more scratch resistant, shatter resistant, as well as allowing smaller damage spread [I am skipping the engineering terms] than the Gorilla Glass 3 used on most other phones including the Note 4. But glass breaks and a visit to YouTube will reveal that these phones can be broken from as little as ear height. So the short version is that it will look nicer longer than the plastic phones, but when it does get damaged, it won't just scratch it will break. Interestingly, the phone usually still functions even with seriously shattered glass.
Again, to compare it to the iPhone, I would say because of the shape and stronger frame, it is somewhat less susceptible to drops, but they are more similar than different in this regard. The reason you see so many shattered iPhones is not because the glass is so much more susceptible to contact damage [though it is to some degree], but the frame is more flexible and the glass becomes shatter prone when bent. The iPhone would be a much tougher phone if it just had a better frame.
The other problem is the glass loves fingerprints. My phone is the "titanium silver." I noticed the fingerprints less on the white on more on the "sapphire black." But I chose the titanium because it was so striking. I think Samsung should have used an oleophobic [oil hating or oil repelling] coating on the glass. As it is, though it wipes clean very easily, I find myself wiping it quite often.
A look through my old phones will reveal how hard I am on my phones. All things considered this phone is fairly tough and after 2 months of hard use and no phone case or screen cover, it still looks brand new, save a tiny 1 mm scratch near the edge. This scratch was produced when the phone was dropped between the cushions of a recliner. When the chair was turned over, the phone was jammed into the steel mechanism of the chair and to me forcibly retrieved. I was surprised it did not shatter. The scratch left behind is so small most people cannot see it when looking for it, but is can be felt by slowly rubbing a thumbnail down the edge of the screen.
Some people are critics of the “Touchwiz” overlay that Samsung uses. Personally, I like it. I find it adds function and ease without being overwrought. Purists will prefer the simpler interface of the Nexus phones.
The software has some very special features. There is software that takes advantage of the S-Pen. This includes being able to remove the pen/stylus from the phone, write on the screen without turning the lock screen on. The screen remains black and the pen writes in white. When the pen is returned to the phone, the note is automatically saved into the phone. When the phone is turned on, the notes can be retrieved in the S-Note program. Each note is saved to a yellow background, I assume to look like a ‘post-it’ style note. I find this function extremely useful.
When the phone is on, removing the S-pen brings up an “Air Command” menu. Tapping anywhere on the screen outside of a selection reduces the menu to a tiny movable translucent dot, about 4-4 mm, which can be put anywhere on the screen out of the way. If the dot is pressed with the finger, it will not open. Thus if your finger swipes over it while using another ap, nothing will happen. When the dot is pressed with the pen, the Air Command menu is restored.
Four programs are assigned to the six menu slots and two are available to the user for his own choices. The software includes programs to recognize handwriting. My handwriting is pathetic. It seems to read my writing better than most people can, even when writing in cursive.
There is another program to make drawings. It can be very precise. For example, draw a circle. Does it look sort of like a circle? Great. Select it and Sammy will convert it to a perfect circle. If it was a little too imperfect, then Sammy might convert it into an oval. No problem, you can select an eraser and you also have the choice of several pens and pencils. I am not yet done learning this program, but I will update this when I have had more time on it,
There is a very cool program called “Screen Write.” If you tap on this, the Air Command menu disappears for a moment, you hear a camera shutter and a screen shot is taken. You can then write on the screen shot and then save the image or send it in a text or MMS. If someone sends you a picture of a car, for example, and asks you what you think, you can take that image, write a note on it with your S-pen and say, “Did you see that crack in the windshield?” and then draw an arrow to the suspect area and then return the image with notes back to the sender.
The S-Pen has tons of uses. It is not just a stylus. And I could go on for pages just on this function.
There is a HUGE oversight on Samsung’s behalf however. The S-Pen MUST be inserted TIP FIRST. If the pen is inserted backward, it will get stuck and any attempt to forcibly remove it will break the S-Pen sensor. The pen should have been designed with a slightly wider base so this was impossible.
I am not sure why someone would insert it backward, but if one is that careless, there is a remedy that I have read about, but I have not attempted myself:
Roll a piece of paper tightly around the pen and then slide the paper into the phone over the pen. This will lift the sensor off the latch and then the pen can be removed without damaging the phone.
I have not tried it and thus will not guarantee success. If the sensor is broken, the Air Command function will no longer work, though the pen will still function as an ordinary stylus.
In a word it is awesome. It works as good or better than any of the keyboards I have tried from the Play Store. It is well laid out, efficient, and the predictive feature is accurate and adaptive. The only thing that is missing is a swiping function. I am not a good swipe keyboard user. For those who are, you will still need to go to the Play Store for a swiping keyboard. Otherwise, this one is outstanding. And since it is included with the phone, you don’t need to pay for it, watch adds when using it, or have your privacy violated like so many Play Store utilities do.
c. Split screen
The split screen function allows TWO programs to run on the screen at the same time. Each program must be compatible with this function and so far only a few programs are. [Messages, Firefox to name just two]. This allows two programs to run and be viewed at the same time. The portion of the screen allocated between them is adjusted by sliding the thin blue box that divides them. In the center of th blue line there is a button that opens a menu with various functions. Things, such as images, can be dragged ad dropped between these open applications.
In my opinion, the software that comes from Samsung is generally useful and well laid out. There are only a few redundant programs that cannot be removed and it is generally not too bad on bloatware compared to phones that are ordered through a carrier.
Once again, if you are a minimalist, you should consider the Nexus 6P which has almost no additional software and it also enjoys getting Android updates faster than any other phone.
Currently the Note 5 runs on the “Lollipop” version of Android. An upgrade to “Marshmallow” is expected in the first quarter of 2016. [To illustrate my point, the Nexus has already moved to Marshmallow].
5. Comparison to Other Phones
I can find something about many phones that are exceptionally nice. But few are the total package that the Note 5 is. Even the Galaxy S6 or the S6 edge do not stack up. The S6+ can be compared, but even that comes with less RAM [3GB vs 4GB] but is otherwise the same except for the S-Pen [More on the S-Pen later].
There is one phone that takes better pictures [and it caries a bulky over-sized lens that makes it hard to fit in the pocket, another that takes slightly better night shots. Another has a more elegant user interface. But then if we look at what this phone can do hat others can't it sort of becomes a joke:
Magnetic Field Communications [think about 'talking' to any device that you swipe a magnetic card on [most credit card readers, many electronic doors, many ID readers, to name a few].
The S-Pen which is a lot more than a stylus. It has a hundred uses from making drawings to recognizing handwriting, to signing PDFs and other documents, to simply allowing you to interface with your phone when you are wearing gloves.
Hardware based security. As far as I know the Samsung Note 5 and Galaxy S6 series are the only phones that have it. They are the only phones approved by the US and British government for data security. Hardware based security cannot be hacked by the software [Android or the apps] because the processing of the data is not handled by the software. There are only a few applications that take advantage of this now, but there will soon be more.
The list goes on and on. This is the Swiss Army knife of phones.
7. Comparison to the Note 4
There is a lot of rattle about all of the tings Samsung took from the Note 5 when compared to the Note 4. There is some merit to this, but not much. Specifically we are talking about the removal of three things:
1. The removable battery.
2. The SD card slot
3. The “IR Blaster” [infrared emitter allowing the phone to act as a TV remote].
We shall address these one at a time:
1. Removable battery: The battery lasts longer in the Note 5 than the Note 4 -- Quite a bit longer. Depending on the source, 20% to 30% longer. Add to that the fast charging (both wired and wireless) and I have not been stuck to a wall yet. The phone can get an 80% charge from empty in as little as 30 minutes and a full charge in less than an hour and half. The wireless charger is only slightly slower. The wireless charging supports both QI and Powermat chargers, so virtually any wireless charger works, albeit at the different charging rates supported by each format.
However, the thing that is problematic here is in the future, 2-3 years down the road when the capacity of the internal battery starts to drop. Batteries wear out. The procedure for replacing the internal battery is not long. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes and requires no soldering, but it is delicate, especially when first removing the glass back.
Most phones are only designed to last 2-3 years and so a fixed battery is moot. It is kind of like putting a $10 watch battery into a $15 watch; nearly pointless. But people are still using the Note 2 and some are still buying the Note 3, Some carriers are still marketing the Note 4 as a current model. These are flagship phones and I expect them to be useful for at least 5 years.
Most phones hae little value after a year. But The Galaxy, the Note and the Apple phones all enjoy a resale market, which means you can upgrade and have a real product to trade or sell when the time comes. If Google keeps moving in the direction they have been, the Nexus may join these phones on the short list of re-sellable phones. But their past models have seen less than a return of investment of less than 33% after they are a year old. By comparison, the Note can get as much as 70% if the phone is well cared for. And much like cars, the value drops most the first year. This is another reason the battery issue is a big one for Samsung and Apple users.
Samsung says they used a non-removable battery to keep the phone thin. If Samsung wanted to keep the profile down, fine, but they should have made it easier to replace the battery later on. Personally, I would happily exchange a phone that was 2mm thicker for one with an easily replaceable battery, but this is not a deal killer. Just a big gripe.
2. No memory card slot: The Note 5 comes with a program called Side Sync. My notebook has a 1TB hard drive. When my Note is connected to my laptop, via Bluetooth or when they are both on the same WiFi network, they are seamlessly connected. My laptop mouse pointer can literally reach over to my phone and I can control my phone, answer it, return text messages and see my phone screen on my laptop. I can also drag and drop files between the Note and the laptop. Thus, my Note 5 has access to a 1 TB hard drive.
This is not a Play Store App. It is already on the Note 5. I just had to download the program to my laptop and pair the devices through the program.
What is nice is when I am at a client’s location, my Note provides internet access to my laptop through its hotspot function and I can answer my calls and return texts on my computer screen without removing the phone from my pocket. In fact the Note's notifications pop up in the lower right corner of my screen in my laptop's native notification bubbles. If I connect the USB cable I don't need to turn WiFi or Bluetooth on to pair the devices and my phone is being charged at the same time. For my privacy the Note's screen remains black while operating it from my laptop, unless I request otherwise, and I can disconnect the two devices or reconnect them at will.
So then, do I miss an SD card slot? Well yes, sometimes I do, but not much. If I want to put something on the Note when I am on an airplane or in a taxi, it is a hassle to have to open my laptop to do it. This is a rare occurrence for me. Generally the only thing I swap with my laptop are videos. Everything else just stays on the phone. I never need a video when I am taking a taxi ride and rarely need one on a plane. This inconvenience would be minimized if Samsung simply made a 128 GB model readily available. I have found a nice workaround though.
There are now TINY jump drives called "OTG drives" that will plug into the micro USB port at the bottom of the Note 5 or any other phone with a micro USB connector. [That includes virtually every Android phone. Of course like all things Apple, the Apple USB adapter is required.] These drives sport DUAL CONNECTORS. One is micro USB, the other standard USB, so you can take data from the laptop to the desktop, to your tablet, to your phone, all transparently. Many laptops, tablets and even desktop computers have no SD slot, so these OTG drives are much more versatile than SD cards. These OTG drives are available in all of the same capacities as SD cards and function in all of the same ways. So what is being traded is not memory expansion, but simply the compact and internal nature of SD cards vs OTG drives.
Here is an example of a 64 GB "OTG": www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L6M1H1C
So again, while the lack of an SD card slot is slightly limiting, as I don't like to have things hanging off the bottom of my phone, it solves the plane/taxi problem nicely. As a bonus these drives are not delicate like SD cards so don't have to tote around an SD card wallet. I just stick them in my pocket and go. So I PREFER to carry these over SD cards, but I prefer the on-phone storage of the SD format over something hanging off the bottom of my phone. Because I treat my phones pretty rough, I won't stick my phone in my pocket with an OTG drive attached because I fear damaging the USB port on the phone, though there are those who have done so without damage.
3. IR Baster: For the life of me I don't understand why this was removed. I have a house full of IR controlled devices and most of them are Samsung. The weight and size of the electronics was virtually zero. It did not consume battery power when not in use. I think this was a loss.
Of course many devices are now controlled via WiFi and some even with Bluetooth. Maybe there will be a day when IR remotes become extinct like the sonic remotes once used 30 years ago have, but we are not there yet and we won't be for some time.
So the question comes down to choosing between the speed, efficiency, ease of use, durability, and additional functions of the Note 5 vs the lost features of the Note 4, primarily the “IR blaster”.
Some will be tempted, especially those who already own the Note 4, to stick with it. They know it, trust it, are familiar with its capabilities and have adapted to its limitations. But I would submit, if someone had owned a Note 5 first, they would be just as resistant, if not more so, to migrate to the 4.
So now that I have had a few months to live with the limitations of my Note 5, what are my conclusions?
I have worked around the SD slot limitation quite nicely. I would rather have one, but this is a minor inconvenience at worst. The battery has been a completely moot point for me even though this is the first phone I have ever owned without a removable battery except the Apple. Between the battery time being longer than other phones I have used [HTC, LG, Apple, and others] and the unbelievably fast charging, the lowest I have seen the battery at the end of my day is 23%. I am sure I will be frustrated when it is time to sit down and change the battery.
So then, I have pined only for the IR blaster. I hope they bring it back. But as much as I like the Note 4, the Note 5 has too many pluses over the 4.
Again, my priorities may be different than others and some will not feel the same. But the battery and lack of an SD slot may be dings against Sam to be sure, but minor dings not catastrophic ones, because of the factors to mitigate the inconvenience. The IR blaster is completely dependent on the individual. Some have no use for it, some can't live without it, most of us are somewhere between those two extremes.
Though I miss some of its features, I will not go to the Note 4, though it is almost $100 less expensive. I think anyone who would, except if the IR was critical to them, is not thinking things through. On the other hand, if one is limited by budget, the Note 4 remains an exceptional phone and it should be considered over other phones that are newer but in the same price point.
In the forums there is a fanatical following of Note users, not unlike the fanatical following of Apple users. In my view, it is a mistake to be dedicated to a brand. The Apple is very easy to use, is very stylish and quite capable. I understand why people like them. At one point I would have called the Apple the king. But in my view they are falling behind. Some will argue that.
The Note series is a set of phones that do things no other phone can do at this point. At this point, it may be the most versatile phone ever made. But it is not perfect. I like this phone, but I am not a fanatical follower. And your choice of phone should depend on your wants, needs and budget. The Note 5 is very expensive. Is it worth it? If you can use it, then yes. But the Galaxy S6 is a very nice phone for a lot less money and basically you lose the S-Pen for the price difference. The Nexus 6P is another great choice.
I am a little bummed about Apple right now. The latest version [6+] is too fragile for me and it cost even more than the Note 5. [WOW!] The rear camera is very good, but not as good as the latest Note. The Apple front “selfie” camera has simply fallen behind many of the new phones. The display is also very nice but comes up short of the Note or the Nexus. The processor is not as fast on paper and not as fast in real world multi-core use either. Will I get an iPhone 7? Maybe, it just depends. But it will be hard to let go of all the things the S-Pen can do. And that S-Pen is not just a stylus.
For me it is about what it can do. The Note 5 is the king in that category. For me it is the phone that allows me to be most productive. But don’t buy a jet if all you need is a glider.
So then if 5 is perfect, this phone gets a 4.5. There are mistakes. The problem if the S-Pen is inserted backward, the lack of a battery that is easily replaced, no SD card slot. But it is a darn nice phone.
#1. Bigger Display 100% Color Gamut OLED 5.7" QHD
#2. Smaller thinner and lighter than iPhone 6 Plus which has a smaller 5.5" Display
#3. 4GB DDR RAM is more than enough what other phone has 4GB of RAM
#4. Fast Charging quick on the go 15 minutes gives you power for the day
#5. it Can do most things only the iPad Pro can do like Side by Side Split view Apps Use Stylus to Copy something from a Webpage no DRM restrictions and paste it to an email in real time.
#6. Check the DisplayMate official review its the Most colorful Best and Brightest Display they have ever tested.
#7. Samsung Protection Plus its the same Price as Apple Care you can accidental destroy your phone 2 times and they will give you new one just like Apple does. http://www.samsung.com/us/owners/protection-plus/
#8. Fastest Next Gen LTE Radio 600Mbps future proof
#9. Voice Commands Just say "Take a Selfie" and it does
#10. I love the iPhone 6 but the Note 5 is Faster and Better in every way.
It was sold by Open Group Wireless, speed by Amazon. It was listed as out of stock when I bought it, but it still arrived within a reasonable timeframe.
My wife loves it, she's still trying to learn the new features that were added.
We don't use Samsung Pay, and I don't know if it's included on this model. I would check, but I don't go like going through other people's devices.
-1 star because of high price.
- Excellent battery life after turning off all the crap apps that I won't use. I get two to three days of moderate use from one charge. Battery is about a year old now and still reaching that performance.
- The S-Pen is marvelous. Very accurate with both position and pressure.
- Screen is very clear. It is easier for me to read than many printed books.
- Reliable. It does what I want every day, and things don't break or stop working after system updates.
- Fast-charging is great, but it's basically a necessity for this device. Recharging from 20% takes about 1.5 hours with fast-charge and 4.5 hours with normal charge (even on a high-amp port).
- Visual themes are an all-or-nothing kind of customization rather than al-a-carte. I would much prefer a system that lets me pick everything (like button styles, keyboard style, default colors, etc) individually.