Samsung Note 5

Performance: without compromise!

At each exit from the series Notes the Samsung has accustomed us to little surprises in Soc.This time, I think, because of the well-known problems of Snapdragon 810, remembers the great SOC already mounted on the Galaxy series S6 saving the next Exynos for battle with the Snapdragon 820.

The SoC is the Exynos 7420 first chipset family Exynos to be compatible with 64-bitcomputing and, more importantly, is the first to be created using the manufacturing process to 14nm .

The Exynos 7420 is a chip with four cores octa-core 2.1 GHz Cortex A57 running to, and four other high-efficiency power core A53 clocked up to 1.5 GHz. All cores can work simultaneously thanks to the GTS (Global Task Scheduling).

The only real difference compared to Galaxy S6 is to have inserted a Ram of 4 GB of LPDD4 type.

All this means obviously in top performances, albeit in many tests in line with those recorded from Galaxy S6.

Can have the same SOC, but the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have 3 GB of RAM, while Edge + and 5 Notes are sold with 4 GB of RAM. That gigabyte makes a significant difference in the amount of memory available and in daily use. I was under the impression that the extra ram is very useful for the package S-pen and to help make the TouchWiz interface more fluid.

I ran a quick test of comparison with CPU-Z between S6, 5 Notes, and Edge +, just to see the difference in memory usage. Terminal restarts after boot this is the situation: the S6 finds himself with only 29 percent of the available RAM, while the notes 5 and 46%, respectively, and have Edge + 52%.

Multimedia: quality without compromise!

The audio quality of this smartphone is truly remarkable and certainly merit of the DAc of the Walfson on the Soc Exynos. For audiophiles is possible synthesize the following values:

  • frequency response: 20 kHz, 0.03 dB at < < 0.35 dB @ 96 kHz
  • dynamic range: 98 dB at maximum output, 120dB to default level
  • output level:-8dBV with a load of 16 Ohms (the iPhone 6 = -1 dBV)

A user at Xda with professional equipment has encountered the following curves that testify to the goodness of the DAC.

Even our usual tests confirm these measurements. In the first part of the test, the quality is really impressive and even when we plugged our test headphones we didn’t get a big cross talk.

Music player

The music player has been further simplified although it remains loaded with features and supports a wide variety of file formats, including FLAC. While listening to a song you can find music controls in the notification area and in lockscreen.

The music is sorted by categories with the possibility to hide some and scan the music on DLNA server thanks to the Quick Connect button. The only problem I encountered was with some MP3s that I use in my tests with variable bitrate that were played with an annoying hiss.

The main graphic work in sez. Equalizer covered “music square” which now has two dials–changing the balance between bass and treble, and between instrumental and voice. You can tap the more button to get a 7-speed manual Equalizer bands.

The biggest news of the reader about UHQ Upscaler that attempts to convert audio files of inferior quality to a high resolution mode. Of course, this is pure marketing because technically you can’t replace what was lost due to a lower quality file compression. I listened to dozens of mp3 at various bitrates of various kinds in order to understand how to work this “upscale”, in summary: the entry is thrust back into the soundstage to emphasize the instrumental part giving the brando a considerable boost with a found heat with the sound “punch” that appeals to many.

Comparing the 5 Notes with the Sony Z3 + differences among manufacturers is clear. The Z3 + has the clearest sound with high more present than the 5 Notes that tends to push more and with a warmer sound. Loud no contest between the two and 5 Notes you leave prefer in any genre. Equalizers then of 5 Notes also work with all music in the cloud or in streaming.

Video player

The video player supports multiple file types and codecs, up to 4 k 2160p encoded with the new h. 265 HEVC/codec.

Not very comprehensive set of codecs installed by default. In our testing of 30 audio/video codecs, only 20 have been properly reproduced, 8 in the video as with ac3 or dts multi-channel sound cannot be reproduced, while only 2 audio/video combinations unreadable.

They also supported subtitles even with non-Latin characters. You can configure dimensions and background and you can even choose the subtitle file manually.

You can send your video files to DLNA or mirrored devices. Alternatively, you can send just the audio via Bluetooth.

There is, finally, a good video editor.

Camera and camcorder

BAsed on Howsmb, the galaxy A8 has the new sensor Samsung ISOCELL (S5K3P3) while, from our small survey on the web, we see how the totality of the holders have a rear camera with Sony IMX240 sensor, while the front has the Samsung sensor. Aida64 supports our thesis and also the secret menu Samsung shows the same data.

The rear camera has a 16 Megapixel lens with optical image stabilizer of image, autofocus and LED flash. No point in denying it, Samsung did an outstanding job: photos are worthy of a compact professional with some effect/SLR Pro mode from setting that allows you to manually manage focus, brightness, ISO and white balance. Excellent results in all conditions, even at night despite some noise you get good shots slightly greater than its competitors.

The shots can run up to 16MP in 16:9 for a total of 5312 x 2988 pixels; as for the video instead going from Full HD standard to Full HD 60 fps, QHD (2560 × 1440) concluding with the Ultra high definition (UHD – 4 k) to 3840 × 2160 pixels.

From FHD 60 fps (included) up, they disappear features HDR, effects, image stabilization, auto focus tracking (which does nothing but keep focus a subject chosen before shooting) and taking pictures during recording.

While assembling a Sony sensor remained the possibility of a double-tap on the home button to load in 0.6 sec the camera interface. This does justice to all those amenities that I happened to read on the web who attributed this functionality to detail sensor Samsung ISOCELL listening mechanism proving once again how Samsung may intervene deeply in the Android framework.

In summary, the camera app has the following modes:

  • Toni: 6 preset and programmable 2
  • focus: macro and possibility to calibrate calibrate the distance manually
  • white balance: preset focus and choice of 4 Kelvin
  • ISO: 50, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800
  • shutter speed: 1/1/1/16000, 12000, 24000, 1/8000, 1/4000, 1/1/6000, 3000, 1/2000, 1/1, 1/1000, 1500/750, 1/500, 1/250, 1/350, 1/180, 1/125, 1/60, 1/90, 1/30, 1/20, 1/45, 1/15, 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/4, 1, 0, 0.5, 2, 3s, 4, 8, 10
  • exposure compensation: up to 2 in steps of 0.1
  • time: 2, 5, 10 seconds
  • fire mode: Center-weighted, matrix, spot
  • other: 9 and HDR effects (on, off, auto)

I checked then the percentage of compression jpeg pictures. To do so I decompiled the camera app and within this file smali- CameraSettings. smali -2732 line-I found this command const/16 v0, 0x60 Therefore the photos are tablets a 96% to 100% would be enough to change the constant in Jpeg in 0x64.

On Xda, of course, was already made the change, but currently are needed root permissions (with the guarantee because counter knox). For purists, there’s always the raw mode.

One of the novelties is the possibility to live stream directly to Youtube via the smartphone with excellent quality and allowing to actually do stream in 1080 p using the 4 g without any delay. In short, make a bad picture with 5 Notes is difficult as we are in the area of excellence in photography/video in the android world and smartphone (still that we’re talking about!) gives very good results in virtually all light conditions and even with moving subjects.


The liner notes of Samsung is one of the most loved by Italians and not only that, but seems to converge more and more with the latest top of the range brand and its variant Plus. In our technical analysis we understood why!

The Galaxy Note 5 represents, at the time of writing, the State of the art in mobile technology: the best SoC available, the best Amoled Quad HD, the best camera for the “point and shoot”, an excellent audio in the headphones, a quick and stable software finally made and a UI that “non-violent” more Android pure and squeezes the eye to Android L , a dedicated app with functions S Pen renovated very useful and, finally, a refined design and treated with materials that finally can pleasure even to fans of the bitten Apple.

In a market where the tendency is to enlarge the screens without giving particular added value, this is the only phablet that, in my opinion, does it really make sense to buy because there is no comparable product for hardware, software quality and overall balance. Obviously, in Nokia think differently and have decided to hold, at least for the time being, this phablet far from Europe. For me it’s a shame because between 5 Notes and I would have no Edge + S6 doubt in recommending the second and if only Samsung had decided to add the micro Sdcard, to understand that the current trend is towards Dual-Sim (even and especially in markets where the 5 Notes is aimed), not to delete the IR sensor and that a resistance to dust and water to a Terminal from 800 € and almost obligatory , could put a Groove hardly bridged soon, by his competitors in the Android world. If until last year these competitors were to thank the designer Samsung for taking space at the high end of the market now must thank the marketing choices and hardware as really, in some segments of this smartphone, Samsung is making a difference and finally software development took the right direction.