Many smartphone manufacturers, with Samsung topping the list, have been moving away from small screen displays towards larger smartphones better known as phablets.
In fact, Samsung is the pioneer of this phablet niche with its huge Galaxy Note series smartphones that feature 5.7-inch screen sizes. Well, this has essentially been the best offering when it comes to Samsung. However, the company started making changes to its game plan last year, coming in with a larger Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ that had the same screen size as the Note 5.
This year, Samsung seems to be doing away with the Galaxy S7 Edge+ model given that there is a new Galaxy S7 Edge already in the market and has a different strategy as opposed to last year’s Galaxy S6 Edge. For starters, the display is larger when compared to both Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge as well as Galaxy S7, which is contrary to last year’s set.
With Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge now featuring a huge display, there is no doubt that it has invaded the space dominated by Samsung Galaxy Note 5. If size is your thing, these two smartphones are great, but how do they compare?
Design and display
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has a screen size of 5.5 inches, which is very close to the 5.7-inches installed on Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Given the huge display size of the Note 5, it is also taller and wider than the Galaxy S7 Edge. However, the latter is thicker than the former, probably due to the larger battery unit installed in the S7 Edge.
Both smartphones make use of Super AMOLED panels with QHD resolution. Due to the differences in screen sizes, the larger Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has a slightly lower pixel density of 518ppi as compared to the smaller S7 Edge, which has 534ppi. Of course, these differences aren’t noticeable to the naked eye. You will enjoy a much better experience with the curved edge display of the S7 Edge, but the Note 5 gets even better when it comes to cool tones and brighter displays.
One area the Galaxy S7 Edge beats the Note 5 is the Always On display feature. This is only available on 2016 flagships, which means Note 5 users will still have to press a button in order to quickly check things like time, dates and notifications.
You will notice that both devices have a unibody build featuring metal and glass and are protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on both ends. Samsung made the Note 5 a little easier to handle by including curves along the rear edges, something that was moved over to the Galaxy S7 Edge, making it extremely nice to handle in one hand. Of course, the newer S7 Edge looks sleeker than the slightly older Note 5 and the dual curved edges of the display make the phone look even more gorgeous than any of its predecessors.
Hardware and performance
Last year Samsung dropped Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 chipset and stuck with its in-house Exynos 7. This year saw a change in mind as the Korean company went back to the American chip maker for the latest Snapdragon 820 chipset used in the Galaxy S7 Edge. There are, however, some variants carrying the Exynos 8 chipset. In either variant, there is a massive RAM of 4GB, which is the same as what you get on Samsung Galaxy Note 5. However, the Note 5 uses a slightly older chipset in the shape of Exynos 7 and has a Mali-T760MP8 graphics unit as opposed to the Adreno 530 that comes with the S7 Edge.
Benchmarks have shown that Exynos chipsets are trailing Snapdragon chipsets in almost every aspect; however, this might be a little hard to notice in real world performances.
In terms of memory, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is available in three variants of 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has 32GB of onboard storage and unlike the Note 5; this can be expanded using a microSD card of up to 200GB. Other than bringing back the microSD card on the S7 Edge, Samsung also brought back Ingress Protection, this time coming in with an IP68 certification. This means that the phone can survive in wet conditions as opposed to the Note 5, which lacks the water and dust proof features.
On the contrary, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 packs an even better S-Pen stylus, something that has become synonymous with the Note series. You can take notes, crop images, circle things, create to-do lists and so on. The best part is that you can even take or create notes when the screen is off thanks to a feature known as the screen-off memo. This feature becomes lively whenever the S-Pen stylus is removed from its slot.
Battery, camera, and price
As far as battery life is concerned, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has a smaller 3000mAh battery capacity as compared to the 3600mAh that comes with the S7 Edge. However, both are non-replaceable. On the camera end, the 2015 phablet has a rear snapper of 16MP while the S7 Edge has a 12MP sensor. Even though the latter looks like a downgrade, it offers better photography than the former thanks to the f/1.7 aperture it comes with. The Note 5’s sensor has an aperture of f/1.9. Both phones have a front-facing camera of 5MP.
Although there are some slight differences, you’ll still get top-notch photography with either device.
At the moment, Amazon is selling an unlocked version of Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge for $736.98, which includes shipping costs. On the other hand, the retailer is selling a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (32GB) for $554.99. These prices are subject to change, so hurry while stocks still last.