Note on Note: Samsung Galaxy cảnh báo 5 vs note 4.

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The chú ý 5 has arrived, and while Samsung seems to want to lớn push the Galaxy S6 Edge+ instead as its killer apk king, the new lưu ý is still a corker.

But how much better is it than the classic Samsung Galaxy note 4?

We’ve been using the two phones side by side khổng lồ see what progress Samsung has made in a year & whether it’s really worth the upgrade.

As well as observations from just using these phones, we’ll be looking a bit deeper with specific camera and battery tests too.

Note 5 vs cảnh báo 4: Design

A lot has changed in a year. The Galaxy chú ý 4 arrived at an awkward time, as Samsung was transitioning from its nasty plastic-fantastic design to lớn the glass & metal seen in the note 5.

The note 4 has a leathery textured plastic back & real metal sides, where the chú ý 5 is made of Gorilla Glass 4 và aluminium alloy. The dodgy look và slightly cheap feel of the lưu ý 4’s textured plastic is gone.

A more expensive feel is the result.

Related: Best Smartphones

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That’s not the most important change, though. You get used lớn either after a few days. What matters more is that the cảnh báo 5 is also significantly narrower and a bit thinner, making it a good giảm giá easier lớn handle. It much less of a stretch for your hand.

The lưu ý 5 is 76.1mm wide, 7.6mm thick. The lưu ý 4 is 78.6mm wide, 8.3mm thick. It makes a difference, as does the new rear style.

Rather than having a flat back, the note 5’s rear curves around at the sides, much lượt thích the S6 Edge+ does on its front. This softens out the feel of the phone, making the difference in thickness seem even greater than it actually is.

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Both phone have fingerprint scanners, which sit under the central home button. However, the note 5’s is significantly better. Where the old note 4 has a scanner that needs khổng lồ be swiped, the newer version reacts khổng lồ a finger just resting on it. It’s much better in general use, feeling much more reliable.

Note 5 vs cảnh báo 4: Screen

As the king of screens, you might expect Samsung to lớn have made loads of progress since the lưu ý 4. However the quality of these screens is roughly similar in most areas: both are awesome.

They’re both 5.7 inches across, have a QHD resolution & use Super AMOLED panels. With the right display setting you get great colour accuracy, và terrific contrast.

Colour performance is a bit better in the new phone, but what’s most obvious is that the chú ý 5 offers much greater peak brightness. You won’t need lớn get close to top brightness in most situations, but in very tricky bright outdoors situations the newer phone is stronger.

Related: iPhone 6S Plus vs chú ý 5

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DisplayMate’s tests back-up our findings too.

“The Galaxy note 5 is the Best performing điện thoại display that we have ever tested. It takes over from the Galaxy note 4, which was the previous record holder for sản phẩm điện thoại display performance,” it says. That sums it up nicely.

Note 5 vs note 4: S Pen

The S Pen is one of the most important features of the cảnh báo series, but the tech behind the stylus hasn’t changed too much this year. That’s no huge surprise, when the chú ý 4 already offers the pressure sense fidelity of a dedicated Wacom graphics tablet.

Wacom makes the digitiser tech for the chú ý series, và both phones have 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and neither stylus needs its own power source.

What’s different? The chú ý 5 stylus has a clicker on the end. It doesn’t bởi vì anything, but does give you a nice click as you take the pen in & out of the phone.

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The software looks a little different too, but the functions are roughly the same. You use Air Command to access pen-led features, and they include S lưu ý and action Memo. These let you scribble away on the screen, và convert your scribbles khổng lồ characters, or thư điện tử them lớn yourself as an image.

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Note 5 vs chú ý 4: Connections

Not every part of the chú ý 5 is an tăng cấp over the chú ý 4. The older phone has an IR transmitter, the new one does not.

Few people seem to have noticed, but an IR blaster is a neat extra. It lets a phone act lượt thích a universal remote. Your chú ý 4 can control your TV, and so on. The cảnh báo 5 can’t.

Most of the other connections are the same, though. It’s a high-end buffet. You get Wi-Fi up khổng lồ the ac standard, bluetooth (4.2 in the chú ý 5), Wi-Fi Direct, microUSB 2.0 và NFC.

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Note 5 vs chú ý 4: Storage

Just as the cảnh báo 4 has the IR blaster missing from the cảnh báo 5, it has a microSD memory card slot, which the lưu ý 5 lacks. This is down lớn a change in Samsung’s tactics. By making memory non-expandable, it makes the high-storage versions of its phones more attractive.

The lưu ý 5 comes in 32GB và 64GB versions, while the lưu ý 4 has 32GB. You can get 128GB microSD cards for around £50, or 64GB ones for about £20.

Note 5 vs cảnh báo 4: Software

Like all Samsung apk phones, the lưu ý 5 and note 4 use the TouchWiz custom UI. And these days, both phones run android Lollipop. The cảnh báo 4 launched with android KitKat, but has since been given the upgrade.

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There are some significant-isn differences between the versions of TouchWiz, but ultimately these phones look and feel somewhat similar. They have separate apps thực đơn and home screen areas, & the apps thực đơn borrows its background from the homescreen, making everything appear quite simple.

Both also have Briefing, the Flipboard-powered trang chủ screen news feed that lives just to the left of your left-most trang chủ screen. You can turn it off if you don’t lượt thích it.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge + review

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The differences? The tiện ích menu customisation is different in the cảnh báo 4, using an top-level Edit button rather than a more involved menu. The Air Command stylus thực đơn also looks different, taking up the whole screen in the lưu ý 4 where it appears like a small overlay in the cảnh báo 4.

Note 5 vs lưu ý 4: CPU & Performance

Some elements of the cảnh báo 5 haven’t been radically altered. However, the CPU has.

The cảnh báo 4 has a Snapdragon 805 processor, while the chú ý 5 has left the Qualcomm bandwagon lớn start up with Samsung’s own Exynos CPUs.

The Snapdragon 805 is a quad-core processor where the Exynos 7420 has eight cores, but more cores doesn’t necessarily make for better performance. While the clock tốc độ of the chú ý 4 is a lot higher at 2.7GHz lớn the chú ý 5’s 2.1GHz, the cores of the cảnh báo 5 are newer. Its performance cores are Cortex-A57 units, where the 805 uses older Krait 450 ones.

The architecture in general is newer too. The Exynos 7420 is a super-efficient 14nm chipset, where the Snapdragon 805 is a 20n chipset. This tells you the kích thước of the chipset’s transistors, & it’s a case of ‘the smaller, the better’.

The GPU is newer in the lưu ý 5 too.

Geekbench tells us roughly the performance difference. All guns blazing the note 5 scores around 5200 points in Geekbench 3, dropping down khổng lồ 4100-ish when you enable nguồn saving. The chú ý 4 scores in the 3835 area, a significant drop from the quite amazing (for mid-late-2015) performance of the cảnh báo 5.

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For the most part, though, both phones are very fast. And the chú ý 4 isn’t all that much slower than the Snapdragon 810 CPU competition (like the htc One M9).

Note 5 vs lưu ý 4: RAM

The cảnh báo series often has more RAM than almost any phone out there. The lưu ý 5 has 4GB of the stuff, & it’s snappy DDR4 too. Being that bit older, it’s no surprise the cảnh báo 4 has 3GB RAM, but it is still a lot for phone even today.

We had believed the cảnh báo 4 uses DDR3 RAM, but its performance is very similar to that of the chú ý 5. According khổng lồ the A1 SD RAM benchmark, both RAM sets are able lớn juggle data at up lớn around 7000MB/s. Judging by our recent comparative tests, this seems very high for phone DDR3.

Related: How much RAM does your phone really need?

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Note 5 vs chú ý 4: Camera

At a glance, the note 5 and chú ý 4 cameras seem quite similar. Both have 16-megapixel sensors, both have optical image stabilisation. However, there are some very important differences.

First, the lens of the chú ý 5 is a lot faster, at f/1.9 lớn the lưu ý 4’s pedestrian f/2.2.

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The newer phone is also much faster lớn shoot, with quicker shot-to-shot speeds and more reliable focusing. Samsung appears to have really levelled-up its processing too.

Where the chú ý 4 can often smear out fine texture detail, mistaking it for noise, the lưu ý 5 tends lớn retain it. Low-light noise handling is also much better in the newer phone.

While they seem similar in specs, there are some worthwhile improvements that make the chú ý 5 a significantly better camera.

Note 5 HDR

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Note 5 tự động hóa HDR

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Note 4 HDR
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Note 5 non-HDR
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Note 4 non-HDR

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Comparison

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Note 5 Night
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Note 4 Night

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Comparison

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Note 5 vs note 4: Battery life

One worry of the cảnh báo 5 when it arrived was that it has a 3000mAh battery where the cảnh báo 4 has a 3300mAh one. However, efficiency savings across the board mean the lưu ý 5 lasts just as long, & even longer in some situations.

One of these is đoạn phim playback. Where the lưu ý 4 lasts for 13 hours playing a 720p MP4 video, the note 5 hangs on for more than 15 hours. It’s a very impressive performance.

In general use you’ll get around a day và a half’s use out of a charge with either, making these phones good for nguồn users. The benefit of the note 4 is that you get access to the battery, and can carry around a spare. The note 5’s battery is locked in.

So why is the note 5 more efficient? The 14nm CPU is significantly more capable và the screen is less of a drain.

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Note 5 vs chú ý 4: Speaker

These phones haven’t gone in for the front-loaded speaker hijinx of phones like the điện thoại htc One M9. The note 4 has one on its back, the chú ý 5 one on its bottom edge, in iPhone-like fashion.

While not class-leading, the note 5’s speaker is a bit better than the cảnh báo 4’s. It has a bit more mid-range oomph, getting rid of some of the residual thin-ness of the older model.

Verdict

Is the cảnh báo 5 a better phone than the lưu ý 4? Yes it is. Screen & camera tech have both been tweaked, the build unique is a league above and the CPU is both more powerful và more efficient.

It’s a next-gen phone & no mistake.

However, if you find a red-hot giảm giá khuyến mãi for the lưu ý 4, it’s by no means a bad buy. By including microSD tư vấn and an IR transmitter, you could easily argue the older phone is a more versatile truyền thông device, & one that’s a bit more nerd-friendly.

The problem with note phones, though, is that they never seem lớn become all that cheap. The full bộ of being genuinely great và genuinely different from most other phones means they don’t depreciate in quite the same way. Have money to burn? We’d still opt for the lưu ý 5, mostly for the accessibility of its shaved-down frame & the bonus speed of its camera shooting.