Samsung Galaxy Note 5 was the last flagship handset that Samsung released last year following the releases of Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
This is one of the best smartphones to have existed in 2015 and there is no doubt that it still is. It is for this reason we set out to pit the phablet against this year’s flagship – Samsung Galaxy S7. Since it’s a new handset, big changes were expected especially when compared to last year’s models.
Samsung has a habit of coming in with incremental upgrades for its devices. Samsung Galaxy Note 5 was released after the S6 series and it came in with slightly improved hardware than the latter. In coming out with the Galaxy S7, Samsung built a lot on the Galaxy Note 5, coming in with things like rounded back as well as 4GB of RAM, just like what was used on last year’s phablet. So, how do these two smartphones – Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 – really differ?
Samsung installed a 5.7-inch screen size on the phablet Note 5, which is a lot bigger than the 5.1-inches installed on the Galaxy S7. However, the two have the same QHD resolutions of 2560 by 1440 pixels. Both screens use the same technology – Super AMOLED – but the Galaxy S7 adds more flavor by introducing the Always On display feature which keeps the screen lit in order to always have things like date, time and notifications on sight without hassles of pressing buttons.
Without digging deeper into the speeds of the chips on board these two handsets, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 packs an Exynos 7420 chipset whereas the Galaxy S7 has either a Snapdragon 820 or the latest Exynos 8890. Even though the SD 820 is said to be better than the Exynos 8890, the latter is still a lot better than what the previous Exynos 7420 can offer.
Samsung knows that smartphone photography is a major selling point and as such, it did all the best to come in with a top-notch snapper for the S7. The snapper has 12MP on the rear while the front has a 5MP sensor. As far as the Note 5 is concerned, there is 16MP on the rear and the same 5MP on the front, however, the phablet has an aperture of f/1.9 on both sensors as opposed to the f/1.7 installed on the S7.
Last year, Samsung ditched the microSD card slot in favor of an Apple-like approach to doing things. It seems this did not work out for the company. This year, Samsung Galaxy S7 has a microSD card slot in addition to 32GB/64GB of onboard storage. Samsung Galaxy Note 5 offers 32GB, 64GB and 128GB variants, but with no room for expandable storage.
Although not visible, Samsung Galaxy S7 also brings back water/dust resistance that did not feature on Samsung Galaxy Note 5.