Samsung Galaxy Note 5 - Sprint
A few years ago, the question was: what are you going to do with a cell phone with a screen that rivaled smaller tablets? The answer is, a few years after the fact, is what wouldn’t you do with a cell phone that size? Samsung developed the large-format mobile device format at a time when smartphone were relatively new. Despite the snickering from other manufacturers and users, the Note caught on in a big way (no pun intended). With the latest iteration of its Note line, the Note 5, Samsung once again brings a compelling device to Android users, with features and upgrades that continue to place its phones at the head of little green robot’s pack.
At 5.3 inches, the Note 5’s screen isn’t the biggest in the phablet arena. However, reviewers have raved about its clarity and color gamut. This makes text easier to read and images truer to life. This comes in handy with the phone’s 16 megapixel camera, which many have called the best Samsung’s offered in their phones, and that can also shoot 4K (which is popping up as a required feature in this year’s crop of cutting edge mobile devices). It also includes a fingerprint sensor that has the option of locking down third party apps. Samsung’s also introduced Live Broadcast, its own lifestreaming app into the device (think along the lines Periscope or Meerkat). Stills can also be exported as RAW files, a format that most smartphones don’t support but that most professional SLR cameras do.
Like Apple and, interestingly, Google, Samsung is incorporating its own payment scheme into its latest crop of phones, Samsung Pay. While other integrated mobile payment systems are dependent on NFC chips, Samsung is, interestingly, using a secure magnetic transmitter than emulates a card swipe. While not all point of sale systems can take payments from an NFC transmitter, Samsung’s solution to include something to address older card readers that require a swipe is an interesting solution to adoption.
The new Note 5 is designed with glass and metal, abandoning its older, plastic back construction. Users who were fans of being able to swap out batteries and add additional storage on the fly likely won't like the new design choices. However, other users who are looking for a more aesthetically appealing device will appreciate the change. However, the device comes available in either 32GB and 64GB storage capacities.
The Note 5 is practically the same phone as the Samsung S6 Edge+, although the Edge lacks the S Pen and the Note does not feature the tapered screen that displays additional information. The S Pen makes the Note a much more usable device, comfortably landing it on our list.