Samsung Galaxy Note5 Review: Great, Big, & Pricey

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by Jamison Cush, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. Jamison Cush

    Jamison Cush TechnologyGuide Editor Moderator

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  2. lelisa13p

    lelisa13p Your Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Thanks for the review. :vbsmile: (And for the Notepad text example. :vbgrin: )
     
  3. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    I find the pricing of the Note 5 MUCH easier to justify than the S6 Edge+. With the former, it's really unique on the US market, and if you're someone who wants to hand-write, there's nothing else like it in a smartphone. Plus all the handwriting software and stylus-oriented multi-window stuff are unique software features that add value to the consumer (if you want those features, that is) and certainly R&D money to develop and refine.

    The S6 Edge+ can't really say any of that, and it's at the same price point, twice the price of options like the Nexus 6 and Moto X 2015.

    As an aside, Samsung consistently finds little design details that I really don't believe are protectable IP, yet nevertheless remind me of iOS, and deviating from Material Design and vanilla Android to add those in. Like the blurred glass look of the new Air Command menu:

    [​IMG]

    Or in Touchwiz Home, how the folder icon is a three-by-three grid of tiny thumbnails, instead of, well, every single other option you'd find for folder icons/thumbnails in something like Nova Launcher. Or the continued use of unread-counts on icons on the homescreen, displayed in a red rounded rectangle in the top-right of the icon. Like I said, I don't think any of this is protectable IP. Nevertheless, since it deviates from Android standards and it happens far too often to be coincidental, it really does feel derivative, and not in a particularly nice way.
     
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  4. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    I agree with Mitlov on the pricing. And as I said last week, I'm not sure one can really justify getting the Edge+ over the Note 5 either. But the review rightly points out I think that a powerhouse device like this ought to have retained the removable battery and card slot storage capability.

    And thanks for the new review format. It's better than the old multi-page one, although I'm not sure you need to repeat the pros and cons at the top and bottom (I'd prefer they stay at the top personally).
     
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  5. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    Public service announcement: inserting the S-Pen into its silo backwards-end first, even gently, can permanently damage the Note 5 (either jamming the stylus in the silo or breaking the device that detects stylus removal and activates AirCommand). Unlike previous Notes, the stylus does not have a flared or textured back-end to the stylus that prevents backwards insertion:

    http://www.androidpolice.com/2015/0...en-inserted-backward-or-get-hopelessly-stuck/

    Samsung knew about this issue with the device and shipped it anyway, as evidenced by a warning buried in the owner's manual:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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    Seriously? Are there Darwin Awards for smartphone designs?
     
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  7. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    It's funny. In the photos in the review, it did look like the pen had a slightly bigger top-end so that wouldn't happen. That is bad design, as is having the pen insert in the BOTTOM of the device.
     
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  8. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    It gets worse. That user's manual with the oh-so-important warning? It doesn't actually ship with the phone itself. Either in hard copy format or PDF format.
     
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  9. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Mobile Deity

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    Oh, that's just rich, not even including the manual with the warning in the first place. And to think commenters everywhere are dismissive of any user that inserts the pen backwards, as if this isn't a glaring design flaw...

    I'd have thought that the clicky end would've been slightly bigger and flared-out specifically to prevent this, but I guess that's just too much common sense for whoever designed the Note 5, considering they also used a switch that could be damaged in this manner.

    The first three Notes had ridged backsides to their pens to fit the phone's contours, whereas the Note 4's pen lacks the lip and could be inserted backwards, albeit with no permanent damage as a result of doing so.

    I suspect the Note 5 uses a lever type of switch in the silo for pen detection, not much unlike the hx4700's battery latch switch, which presumably gets caught on the gap with the clicky end and physically ripped out if removed by force. (On the hx4700, such a damaged switch results in a motherboard that refuses to turn on; you can bypass it with a bit of soldering, but then you lose the ability to hotswap batteries as originally intended.)

    Anyway, this sort of issue is not what Samsung needs to have highlighted shortly after a major product launch, especially not after the backlash that stems from the lack of removable battery, microSD, IR blaster, MHL, Gear VR, etc. that the Note 4 already had. They've effectively New Coked themselves here, and it's a shame since there aren't any real Galaxy Note competitors out there yet, not until someone else is crazy enough to put an active pen digitizer in a large smartphone.

    Will that someone else be LG or Microsoft, according to recent rumors? Only time will tell.
     
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  10. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Mobile Deity

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    Apologies for double-posting, but I did just find this article which tears down the Note 5 to explain exactly why this happens:
    http://9to5google.com/2015/08/25/ex...e-note-5s-s-pen-is-put-in-backwards-teardown/

    Turns out I'm spot-on with the use of a lever switch that gets caught on the clicky end's gap there. Looks almost exactly like the hx4700 battery latch switch I was talking about, and just as fragile, too.

    This easily could've been averted if they'd just used the Note 4 detection mechanism, or if they had to use a mechanical switch, make it a convex bump or arch that won't get caught on either side.
     
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