After a long wait, one of the most expected phones of the year, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, was finally unveiled. Of course, a lot of details about the phablet – if not the complete spec sheet – were revealed days ahead of today’s Unpacked event.
Of course, tech fans who are keen on buying the handset are curious about one thing: Is it worth upgrading if you already own the Samsung Galaxy Note 5? In order to answer this, we’ve made a comparison between the two phablets, from each important point of view. Let’s begin, shall we?
Of course, the first aspect that’s being noticed when comparing the two phones is the design. There are a lot of differences! The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 shares the same metal and glass unibody construction as its predecessor, but overall, it looks better, thanks to the more rounded design, similar to the Galaxy S7 Edge.
However, the biggest difference between the two devices is that the Galaxy Note 7 has a display with curved edges on both sides. It’s not as curved as the Galaxy S7 Edge, but hey, it’s noticeable! If some users were complaining about accidentally pressing the edges, it won’t happen with the phablet, as the side rails are thicker.
From this point of view, there aren’t many changes. Both smartphones use the same Super AMOLED panel, measuring 5.7″ inches and with a Quad HD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, with a 518 ppi density.
They’re able to deliver some spectacular images and even the most demanding users won’t be able to find any flaws.
Finally, the only difference we can think of is the protection. To be more specific, the Galaxy Note 5’s display is covered by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4, while the Note 7 is using the new Gorilla Glass 5.
This is the part where things get a bit interesting, since, like expected, the Galaxy Note 5 an impressive amount of processing power, being a real beast, even after a year since it’s on the market.
It’s powered by a 64-bit Exynos 7420 chip, with an octa-core configuration (four Cortex-A57 cores and four Cortex-A53), Mali-T760 MP8 GPU, 4 GB of RAM and 64 gigs of storage, unexpandable, since the back of the phone is completely sealed.
Samsung’s latest phablet, on the other side, is relying on a 64-bit Exynos 8890 chipset, with eight Cortex-A53 cores, clocked at 2.15 GHz, alongside a Mali-T880 MP12 GPU and 4 GB of RAM, while the internal storage capacity counts 64 GB and it can be expanded, using a microSD card slot.
This is actually our favorite part! When the Galaxy Note 5 was released, a lot of people claimed that it has one of the best cameras that was ever mounted on a smartphone. And it was pretty much true, the handset being able to take some amazing snapshots, not to mention the high quality of the videos.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 came with a 16 MP sensor, F/1.9 aperture and features like optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus and an LED flash, perfect for those moments when the lighting conditions aren’t ideal. It was able to record 4K videos at 30 fps, making it a great replacement for a real camera. Oh, and let’s not forget about the 5 MP front-facing camera, more than enough for video-calling or some quick selfies.
Moving on to the Galaxy Note 7, it lowered the megapixel count, just as the Galaxy S7 did, but the quality of the photos is expected to be better. Actually, it is better, as proven by Samsung’s flagship, the phone it’s sharing the same camera with.
The 12 MP rear snapper has an F/1.7 aperture, as well as optical image stabilization and phase detection autofocus. Just like its predecessor, it can shoot 4K videos at 30fps and it comes with a 5 MP front-facing camera as well. In a nutshell, the Galaxy Note 7 is another proof that you don’t need tons of megapixels in order to obtain some stunning images.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a big phone and a big phone needs a serious battery. The phablet was loaded with a 3000 mAh battery, able to keep it alive for a full day of intensive use.
Now we do know that stuffing phones with big batteries can make them chunky, but that Galaxy Note 5 maintained a relatively robust design, considering the category it belongs to, measuring just 7.6 mm in thickness.
When it comes to the Galaxy Note 7, everybody was looking forward to a better battery life and Samsung delivered, equipping the phone with a 3500 mAh power pack. The design had to suffer though, as it’s a bit thicker, measuring 7.9 mm in thickness. Still, it’s decent, considering the amount of juice it packs.
All the beauty of a high-end handset lies in the special stuff it can do. If the Galaxy Note 5 brought features like haptic feedback, it’s no secret that one of the most interesting aspects of the Galaxy Note 7 is the iris scanner.
Basically, it’s used for unlocking the phone, replacing the need to scan your fingerprint or even insert a code. This feature is perfect for those who don’t like a phone storing their fingerprints and one of the coolest things about it is that it works in the dark and if the users is wearing glasses as well.
The iris scanner isn’t just for unlocking the phone, though, as it also gives you access to the Secure Folder of the phone, a place where you can store things which only your eyes can access (pun intended).
Even more, for those who like Samsung’s own browser, the scanner works as a login tool: just let it scan your eye and you don’t need to insert a username and password. Pretty cool, huh?
Now, back to our initial question: Is it work upgrading to the Galaxy Note 7 if you already own the previous model? We’d say no. Indeed, there are notable differences, but not enough to make you invest in a new phone. Yes, it might have a better processor, a bigger battery and a slightly better camera, while that iris scanner is very attractive. But these new additions don’t make such a big difference when compared with last year’s model.