Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Galaxy Note 5: Comparison Review

Hi welcome to my comparison of the Samsun Galaxy Note 7 and the Galaxy Note 5. Here are two very good phones, and the thing to keep in mind here is that the Note 5 is still only a year old at the time of writing this.

See Galaxy Note Phones on Amazon.com

Physical Build

Both of these tablets have a glass back, glass front, and an aluminium frame. The Note 7 has Gorilla Glass 5, whereas the Note 5 has Gorilla Glass 4. What is Gorilla Glass and what is the difference between 4 and 5? Well, according to this article, Gorilla Glass is a special type of glass which has been toughened to reduce the likelihood of screen cracks. The difference between version 4 and 5 is how high they can be dropped without breaking. In tests, Gorilla Glass 4 survived being dropped from 1 meter 80% of the time, whereas Gorilla Glass 5 survived 80% of dropped from 1.6 meters. As a rough estimate, that is approximately the difference between it falling out your pocket or falling out of your hand while using it.

If you are ever likely to get your phone wet, the Note 7 has got you covered with its IP68 water resistance. This means it can survive being plunged into water to a depth of 1 meter. Compare this to the Note 5 which has no water resistance.

The Note is also a more comfortable phone to use, having a more curvy, symmetrical design and being 2.2mm slimmer.

Software

At the time of writing this, both phones run Android version 6, Marshmallow. However, the Note 7 will probably get future operating system updates for longer. It also has a new version of TouchWiz, Samsung’s own touch interface. The drop-down settings are more useful and more like standard Android, feeling less busy than the old version of Touchwiz. The old version on the Note 5 is still very controllable, though.

Expansion & Connectivity

The Note 7 now has a microSD slot which the Note 5 doesn’t have. This means you can easily expand on the internal storage. The Note 7 also has USB C, which is good for people with USB C laptops, whereas the Note 5 has microUSB 2.0.

Display

Both phones have the same 5.7-inch screen size and the same resolution. However, the Note 7 has an HDR effect which makes it brighter, more contrasty, with more clarity and color saturation with videos. This is not a big deal breaker, though.

Both phones have auto brightness, but the Note 7 allows you to manually tweak the brightness while still having auto brightness turned on. The Note 5 only has the choice between manual or auto brightness, so once you have the auto brightness on you are unable to manually tweak it, which is a shame because it tends to be a bit dim when outside.

Touch Screen

The Note 7 has double the pressure sensitivity of the Note 5, but you probably won’t notice the difference that much. The Note 5 still feels natural to write on. Well, about as natural as it’s possible to feel while writing on a screen.

Unfortunately, the Action Memo app is gone from the Note 7, but Samsung has plans to bring it back as a download in the app store in the very near future.

Both phones have the ability for you to write on the screen while the screen is turned off. You just pull the pen out and start writing. But while we are talking about the pen, the Note 5 has a flaw where it’s possible to accidentally put it back in the wrong way round and get it stuck. The Note 7 is designed so that it won’t even fit the wrong way round, so there is no chance of getting it stuck.

Performance

Both the Note 7 and the Note 5 are two of the fastest phones on the market at the moment. With that said, the Note 7 is even faster than the Note 5. That doesn’t mean the Note 5 is slow by any means, it is still a very fast phone.

Both phones have 4GB of RAM. When it comes to internal storage, the Note 7 has 64GB whereas the Note 5 has 32GB, but you can buy a 64GB version in some stores if you pay extra.

Camera

Some people might be disappointed that the Note 7 only has a 12-megapixel camera when the Note 5 has a 16 megapixel one. But there is something you need to understand: megapixels are not everything. In fact, unless you are likely to print your photos as very large photos, the extra megapixels will not benefit you in any way. the Note 7’s camera imaging system does actually have improvements, with a better lens. The end result is the images are better quality.

Biometrics

Both the Note 7 and Note have the same fingerprint scanner. However, the Note 7 has an eye scanner. It’s so good it even works well if you are wearing glasses.

Battery Life

The Note 7 has a larger capacity battery as well as a more efficient processor. This means you will get more battery life out of your phone, although this does depend on what you are actually using it for.

Conclusion

Both the Note 7 and the Note 5 are excellent phones. The Note 5 is still worth owning, but the Note 7 is worth the extra features if you have the spare money to afford it.

Update September 27th 2016: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall: What You Need to Know

See Galaxy Note Phones on Amazon.com

If you are interested in tablets instead of phones, you might want to take a look at the following:

Thanks for reading my comparison the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs. Galaxy Note 5. If you have any comments or questions, please post them in the comments section below and I will reply as soon as I can.

All the best,
Marcus

4 Comments

  1. Jerry

    I’ve really been contemplating either the note 5 or the note 7. I was afraid of missing out on functionality if I used the note 5. Also, I’ve become more accustomed to larger screen sizes. Though now I think I am going to just go with the Note 5 for the affordability. Thanks for the review.

    Reply
    1. admin (Post author)

      I’m glad you found it helpful, Jerry. Yes, the Galaxy Note 5 is still a great phone and well worth buying.

      Reply
  2. Jay

    Both of these phones are awesome. The speed and bright screen alone set them apart from the competition. If I had the money I’d definitely go for the note 7 but not until the exploding battery issues have been sorted by samsung. I’ve always preferred samsung to apple because they don’t drip-feed their customers with tech. Thanks for the comparison.

    Reply
    1. admin (Post author)

      Yes, let’s hope Samsung can get that problem sorted out very soon.

      Reply

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