The Buyer's Guide

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Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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91 Engadget Score
The best in its category. We highly recommend it.
91

The best in its category. We highly recommend it.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Samsung's Galaxy Note series has never been for everyone, but the Note 5 just might change some minds. It's the smallest, most comfortable version of the phablet to date, and thoughtful software tweaks make the S Pen feel way less gimmicky. A great screen and first-rate performance are icing on the proverbial cake, but some people will still feel burned by the lack of expandable memory, a bigger 128GB option or a removable battery.

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Pros
  • Amazing screen
  • Top-tier performance
  • Much-improved S Pen experience
  • Greatcamera
Cons
  • Grabbing the S Pen takes an extra step
  • Some will miss the microSD slot
  • Far pricier than similar phones
91 Engadget Score
The best in its category. We highly recommend it.
91

The best in its category. We highly recommend it.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

91
 

User Reviews

0
dflickema
comment
100
WeaponZero
A gadget unicorn - Engadget
90
eirigance
I do not understand everyone's obsession with SD card support? What is the benefit?...read more
Write a Review

Score Breakdown

 
90
Average user Score
Product Review
dflickema
04.29.16
comment
 
100
WeaponZero
02.03.16
A gadget unicorn - Engadget
 
90
eirigance
11.25.15
I do not understand everyone's obsession with SD card support? What is the benefit? Please someone help me understand... I mean you need as much space on your device for Apps, Pictures & maybe a Video or 2, but beyond that? 32gb I would think should cover this? Music? Google music does take up any space and if Data is the issue, you can make offline playlists? So... Movies? PLEX! again takes up no space. So why do we need SD cards? Google drive to transfer to a computer, or Comp to phone? 128gb for what? SD card for what? Plus the fact that if your Device were lost, or Stolen whatever is on your "SD card" or ridiculous internal storage "128gb" is gone forever. I mean aren't SD cards a little outdated? I'm not complaining that my Computer doesn't support a Floppy drive. Let's all move on. The GN5 is an amazing phone, definitely Samsung's best to date. I'm assuming the S6 is pretty close to the same. Samsung has really stepped up it's game & finally toned down TouchWhiz. I think it's definitely a huge improvement. I love the Themes, they are different than I expected (in a good way) by not only changing the Desktop & app drawer, but the entire UI of the phone Dialer, Text, system, everything! Great move Samsung. My only complaint is "BLOATWARE" and it does not come in Black? What? Really? Blue, Gold or White? I am a long time Nexus user & it was very hard for me to go back to a non-Nexus experience, but the 5X & 6P were not for me & my LG Nexus 5 (2013) was starting to show it's age. I think I made a good decision. Coming from a Nexus 5 & Moto X I haven't used a SD card, or removed a battery in years, so this wasn't an issue for me, but I guess there are still people that need those things? If you are one of them, this phone probably isn't for you.
 
90
futuristreview
09.30.15
It's the best android device you can buy right now, easily. But personally, not my favorite. Why? The TouchWiz UI, as muted as it has become, still rubs me the wrong way. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Dp9azWLaDsZj5RqmCuDPyPlF5gIxjDYcmrFG_34YsdE/edit?usp=sharing
 
100
AndyCr15
09.21.15
I definitely prefer the larger device and this one ticks so many boxes. Fantastic build quality, feels great in the hand. Decent battery, amazing screen and one of the best camera's you'll find on an Android.
 
90
Joachimi
08.31.15
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
80
r3alle
08.23.15
Phone performs excellent! Very snappy and I can run a lot of apps before it starts showing signs of stutter. Battery performs about the same as my iPhone did (when it was on and being used, in comparison the Galaxy S6 drains twice as fast as either the Note 5 or the iPhone 6).S Pen is a lot of fun and this particular time around I can hold it properly and use it to write. Last I tried on my Note 3 back in the day, it was a nightmare as I wasn't able to balance it properly at all. This iteration is excellent.Anything else worth mentioning I made notes for on the device ratings.While I hoped for longer battery life than the iPhone 6, its a great device and its just enjoyable to use, I'd recommend it to anyone that wanted a larger phone and has any use for the S Pen.
 
80
Adityan
08.20.15
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws. - Engadget

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