The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is undeniably one of the best phablet around and a major step up from its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. It features a beautifully designed screen with a 5.7 inch panel.
Check out our review and comparison with the two phablets below.
The specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are more in line with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and its overall aesthetic is similar to the stylish S7 Edge.
The Note adopts the Edge's beautiful dual-curved screen all the while managing to retain a sense of elegance despite its supersized 5.7 inch panel.
On the other hand, The Galaxy Note 5 is pretty much identical to the Galaxy S6 model. It ditches the faux leather design of the Galaxy Note 4 that went before it, and instead opted for a premium metal and glass case.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is by no means a small phone – it's still very much a phablet with the same 5.7 inch Quad HD display. It's just a tiny bit slimmer than the Note 5.
The latest model also has more of a curve on its right, making the dimensions 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm. This means the Note 7 is a meaningful 2.2mm narrower; this allows for a much easier to hold than the Galaxy Note 5.
Believe it or not: the narrower Samsung Galaxy Note 7 size doesn't also mean that the screen has shrunk. It's still a 5.7 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel display resolution.
The two handsets, Note 7 and Note 5, are practically identical on paper when it comes to the screens, but the newer Note supports Mobile HDR (High Dynamic Response) video content thanks to the brighter 800-nits display. Samsung has used one of the best panels in the business, and the Super AMOLED display boasts plenty of punchy colour, strong contrast, and sharpness.
PROCESSOR AND PERFORMANCE
The newly announced Galaxy Note 7 specs confirm that Samsung's new phone will be faster, but the Note 5 is no slouch when it comes to performance either.
Both have 64-bit processors, and the US version of the Samsung Note 7 has a Snapdragon 820 chip and 4GB of RAM, the same specs as the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The Note 5 uses 4GB of RAM, too, instead of 3GB used by the S6 and S6 Edge.
The Galaxy Note 7 also improves on the older model by slimming down the tip of its bundled S Pen to just 0.7mm, and the screen now supports 4,096 points of pressure sensitivity for greater accuracy and control. Samsung has also added IP68 certification to this year’s Note, which extends to the S Pen, too; this means it can now be used even when the screen is wet.
As mentioned before, the new phone is much slimmer compared to the Note 5, making it easier to hold. But not only that, it’s also lighter at 162g and sports a curved display, one that's subtler vs Galaxy S7 Edge. This helps reduce false touches while still looking nifty, as the curved back meets the metal frame at a point.
At 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm and 171g, the Galaxy Note 5 keeps its display straight, but it too has a curved back. Sadly, however, the Note 5 isn't waterproof.
Whereas, the Note 7 can survive in water at a depth of 1.5 meters (about 4.9 feet) for 30 minutes or less.
Galaxy Note 7: 3,500mAh
Galaxy Note 5: 3,000mAh
The Galaxy Note 7 has a larger battery than the Galaxy Note 5: 3,500mAh compared to 3,000mAh, respectively. Both batteries are un-removable, however.
If you like taking photos and care about photo quality, you'll want a recent phone made by Samsung. Samsung’s cameras have consistently beaten its competitors, this includes both the Note 7 and Note 5. The Note 7 has a 12MP sensor with an f/1.7 aperture on back. The older Note 5 has a 16MP sensor with a f/1.9 aperture.
Both have optical image stabilization (OIS), but the Samsung’s newest in-built camera has dual pixel sensor technology allowing for optimal shots, and faster autofocus. This also enables cleaner, low-light photos and is perfect for evening shots.
The same can be said about either front-facing camera when snapping selfies and group selfies. Both have 5MP front cameras; the Note 7 leads with a f/1.7 aperture, while Note 5 is almost as good with a f/1.9 aperture.
The two handsets borrow from their respective siblings when it comes to camera technology. The Galaxy Note 5 has an identical set-up to the Galaxy S6, namely a 16MP snapper on the rear with f/1.9 aperture, OIS and 4K video shooting ability. The Note 7 uses the S7's impressive dual-pixel technology, along with an even wider f/1.7 aperture, OIS and 4K support. Both have 5MP selfie cameras on the front.
The Galaxy Note 7 continues the welcome trend of adding microSD support, this time up to a sizeable 256GB.
The Note 5 is limited by its storage options: 64GB and 128GB editions are said to exist but they're extremely hard to find. The 32GB model is now easier to get hold of than it was originally.
There are big differences when it comes to storage, both internal, and in the case of the Note 7, external storage. The Note 7 starts at 64GB and supports expandable storage up to 256GB.
The Note 5 starts with 32GB of internal storage, and skipped out on including a microSD card slot (just like the S6 and S6 Edge that year). Your memory cards are no good here. That means you're stuck with the 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage, whatever configuration you go with.
SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 7 vs NOTE 5 : VERDICT
Okay, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 might not actually be two steps ahead of the Note 5, but that's only because our older 5.7 inch phone has held up pretty nicely.
Both have fast processors, excellent cameras and displays superior to almost everything else on the market, except for the S7 and S7 Edge, of course. The Note 7 makes it biggest leaps in the design, storage and camera, but costs significantly more.
Just remember this advice when purchasing: while both phones run applications without major slowdown and are fit for envelope-pushing Samsung Gear VR apps, you'll likely keep using the device you buy for two or more years. Buy the phone you'll love on month 23 of a two-year contract.