AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Cell Phone Review - Reviewboard Magazine


AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Cell Phone Review

AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Cell Phone Review

The AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a nice looking cell phone.  It’s big, it’s fancy, it’s powerful, and it is a perfect go to phone for power business users that are in need of something between a tablet and a phone to get stuff done while they are in the air or on the road.


The design is nice looking.  It’s not a breathtaking look, it’s more of a tweaked same old same old.  That said “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” works.  The S-Pen (Stylus) is pretty slick, it has a button at the top that lets you easily place and retrieve your stylus into/out of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

One of the really great features I liked is the ability to quickly jot a memo down with the screen turned off.  That’s neat, it’s obvious, and damn… why didn’t they think of that 4 iterations ago?  Not sure, but it’s there now and a great time saver 🙂 The S-Note app is better experience in general and it has auto-save!

The AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 5 build goes like this:

  • 5.7″ display; 2560×1440 (518 pixels per inch)
  • Metal and Glass Construction (Gorilla Glass, the good stuff that doesn’t break easy and doesn’t scratch)
  • It’s about 6 x 3 x .3 inches and weighs in at a whole 6 ounces.
  • Samsung Exynos 7 octa-core processor
  • 32/64GB storage options
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 3,000 mAh Battery
  • OneDrive with 100GB cloud storage (for the 1st 2 years, after that you have to pay to keep your content).
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 AC (as well as the old a/b/g/n)

The screen is an AMOLED display which is sharp, crystal clear and rivals anything on any phone. Period.  The camera (rear-facing) is 16 megapixels and it has a flash and heart-rate reader all tied up in the bundle on the back.   The pictures the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 takes are breath taking.  I am a horrible photographer and I’ve taken some really crispy shots that look pro with this phone.  It makes me happy 🙂  The front facing camera (the one you do selfies with) is 5 Megapixels as well so you the shots you take look extra nice.  You can film 4k ultra HD video with the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 as well as stream live YouTube.  This will come in extremely handy if you get pulled over by the police and feel like you should record them.. because… well they don’t seem like the good guys anymore. 🙁  You will want to set that up before hand as account information needs to be plugged in, etc…

Some of the new stuff on the Note 5 (that I haven’t seen on the Note 4) is a redesigned shortcuts wheel called Air Command.  It’s a different interaction than the shortcut app on the S6 Edge+ but it is implemented in the same manner.  There is a little shadow of a tab on the side of the phone, you flick it and it opens up. The only difference is you need the stylus to flick it as your finger won’t engage it.  It is invaluable.

One of the great features (especially for business people) is that you can get a PDF, annotate the hell out of it, save it and forward it off to whomever for changes or reviews.  Being able to yank out the stylus and hand write all over a document while you are on the train is handy and satisfying 😉

The Galaxy Note 5 is running Android 5.1 Lollipop with has a layer of Samsung’s TouchWiz in it for good measure. You can probably bet that you will get a Marshmallow update fairly soon-ish.

The octa-core processor is a 2.1GHz quad-core chip with a second 1.5GHz quad-core chip for low-priority/power tasks.  The Note 5 has enough power for you.

Storage… don’t get me started…

Unfortunately Samsung has gone the way of Apple and decided to nickel and dime you on storage capacity so you have to decide which model is right for you (32gb or 64gb).  They used to have a convenient microSD slot that let you put what you wanted in it, and more importantly be able to swap cards based on your need.  But they took the N&D (nickel and dime) route.

There are a myriad of alternate options for more storage, unfortunately they are all ugly.  They involve getting a USB drive that has a microUSB plug and plugging it in your phone, and there is really a very limited application where that makes sense.

Samsung also screwed up the battery situation and now it is built-in and non-removable.

My last gripe is they took my IRBlaster away! No more universal remote control. I can’t tell you how many doctor/dentist/hospital-waiting-rooms/bars/restaurants/hotel lobbies I have been in and would have been forced to endure some awful television show.  With the Note 4 I just did a quick lookup on the model and either shut it off or put something I wanted on LOL.  Life WAS good.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 did very well in performance tests.  It beat out all the other phones we are currently playing with except the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge +.  So it beat out Apple iPhone 6 Plus (by almost 40%), the LG G4, S6 Edge, S6, and the OnePlus 2.  The Galaxy S6 Edge+ beat it by 1%.  That’s odd because they have the same chipset.  So I can only assume that the S6 Edge+ has better software optimization.

I got about 12 hours of battery life on the Note 5, which is pretty damn good.  I put plex on, selected a whole directory and told it to stream video.  So we are talking about 6 full movies without charging and these movies are not local, but are being streamed so the network adapter is running full out in addition to the display.

The AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has two different wireless charging standards built in.  PMA and WPC, which means that Qi charging pads work with it by default!  Just throw it on the pad and the phone charges up.  That’s pretty slick.

All in all I really like the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 5.  It’s a great phone, and the AT&T service was outstanding the entire time we demo’d the unit.  I’d give it 4.5 out of 5 stars all day.

If you want to protect your AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 5 I recommend doing so with the Otterbox Defender Series.  It’s a good solid case that takes serious abuse and keeps your phone looking brand new.  I don’t use a phone without one on it if I can help it.


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