Samsung Galaxy Note 5 - Verizon

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    Expert Review

    Samsung developed the large-format phablet smartphone, despite the sneers and jeers that other companies and other users leveled at their Note series. Customers took to the devices quickly, however, and it became a success. Other companies jumped on the phablet bandwagon (such as Apple) yet Samsung continues to lead the Android pack when it comes to large-format phones. The Note 5, the latest addition to the Note series, should keep Samsung’s fans happy with its wealth of features.

    In addition to its 5.3 inch screen, the Note 5 also includes a fingerprint scanner which is reportedly much more refined and a better overall login experience than older versions. A nice bonus is it can also lock down access to third party apps. Samsung Pay is enabled on the device, and it’s worth noting that unlike Apple and Google, the Note 5 can not only make payments using its NFC chip, but with magnetic secure transmission that emulates a swipe as well.

    The phone’s camera is built around a 16 megapixel sensor which also shoots 4K at 30 frames per second. Samsung’s also introduced Live Broadcast, its own life streaming app into the device akin to Periscope or Meerkat. Additionally stills can be exported as RAW files, which should be of interest to shooters with professional inclinations. However, despite the increased demands on data, Samsung only offers a 32GB and 64GB storage option.

    In terms of battery life, users report the Note 5’s battery is usable for about a day of normal usage, but the device also allows for wireless charging. Like the Galaxy line, the company is now sealing the battery and eliminating microSD slots by switching to a more iPhone-like glass and metal design, a move that’s proved controversial among the device’s user base.

    The S6 Edge+, also made by Samsung, is virtually the same phone as the Note 5. The Note 5 lacks the curved display that the Edge+ uses to display additional information; the Edge+ also lacks the S Pen. Between the two devices, the S Pen is the more useful and with the addition of Screen Off Memo, it makes the Note 5 a more useful device than the Edge+.Rating: 4.75/5

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