1. HighTechToid's Avatar
    Whew, it's been a while since I've posted a new thread I think. Anyhow, in case anyone is interested, I decided to bullet point some impressions that I have with the Verizon Note 5 from the Samsung Test Drive promotion. I'll update this post as the days go on and will answer the ultimate question near the end of my test drive: does it blend? Just kidding. Is the Note 5 strong enough to make me switch back? Stay tuned bat friends. Feel free to ask questions.

    Quick background:
    Long-term android user (Motorola, HTC and Samsung devices) who switched to iPhone late last year because iBooks works very well for my ePub needs (couldn't find an Android alternative that matched iBooks in rendering quality

    GALAXY NOTE 5 TEST DRIVE IMPRESSIONS (As of 9/1/15)

    - 32GB model had 22gb available out of the box

    + White model seems to hide smudges better than the Black model

    - This phone is on a whole new level when it comes to slippery'ness. It's laughably slippy; as bad as the iPhone 6. The curved back edges help with comfort feel in hand, but do nothing for grip.

    - The bezels of this device - dare I say it - are too thin for practical use. I find myself accidentally pressing the sides of the screen when I'm one-handing the device. For example, trying to use your thing to reach something on the other side of the screen will very often result in accidentally launching an app or pressing something near your palm or it won't recognize your press at all because your hand is technically holding the screen. Yes, it is possible for bezels to be too thin and Samsung found it here. This may not apply if you have large hands (I'm a short guy, so smaller hands).

    ? Battery life is questionable. It starts dropping battery immediately after you unplug it and I mean that literally. Within a minute of unplugging and using for basic purposes (reading email) I lost a percent. Funny thing is that it seems to slow down on battery drain as you get below 90%, but boy does that first 10-20% seem to go fast. Auto brightness effects battery a lot. First few days with it on, I would end the day around 20-30%. Turned it off, set screen to 50% and I ended the days between 50%-70%. Huge difference.

    + Touchwiz for once (to me) is nice. In fact, it's great in some places. After having an S3, S4 and my wife with an S5 and I hated Touchwiz on every single one, I actually find Touchwiz here not as in your face. In fact, after throwing on the free Material theme from the Samsung theme store it almost looks exactly like stock Android in the vast majority of apps. Samsung basically took material and just changed the colors and added a few features here and there - most of which are good changes.

    + The S-Pen (something else I found too finnicky and not accurate on previous Note's) is great here. It's very accurate. I will not go as far as some critics saying it feels like writing on paper (it's not), but it's one of the best stylus experiences I've had on a tablet/smartphone. I like that I can even wrest my palm on the screen and write naturally as you would with a pen and paper, whereas many other devices fail in this respect. The S-pen features activate reliably and the writing is smooth. It even recognizes pretty poor writing very well and will transcribe to text if you want. It works so well it makes you want to use it more even if you have limited use for it. A nice bonus is that it works the same even if you are using a launcher (I'm using Nova Launcher)

    + Camera is spectacular. Nuff' said.

    + Fingerprint scanner is super fast.

    ? It's super fast, but I will point out something that I haven't seen any critic point out: don't restart the phone too much if you want it to perform well. I don't know what's going on, but basically it feels like Samsung is caching everything you do. When I first booted up the device it was laggy in that way you hate. After a day or two it began to settle in and mostly everything was snappy with no UI stuttering. A few days later and it was buttery smooth. Then, I decided to restart the device (habit) and I noticed it was laggy like when I first activated it. Then, a few days later it was back to being smooth again. So far as I can tell, Samsung does not want you restarting this phone unless you have to and for the most part I haven't seen any reason to. I don't close my apps and I just leave everything going and the phone runs well.

    ? RAM management on the Note 5 is either going to bother you or it won't. Why? Well, if you find yourself jumping back and forth between a few apps often or quickly then it COULD bother you because sometimes those apps will reload and will not take you back to the point you left off. I notice that this mostly happens if you're jumping between different media related apps or launching the camera. Often times a camera launch will make some other apps lose their place and reload, like the browser.

    ? There's usually about 1-1.2gb of free ram available at any given time.

    - You can uninstall the games that come preloaded, but not the Verizon or other software apps

    + Press and hold the Recent Apps button to activate a really cool split screen shortcut. You can do this in an app or on the home screen.

    - Third party keyboards, such as Fleksy and Swiftkey, seem to have a weird typing lag on the Note 5. It looks like it's stitching words/letters together rather than smoothly inserting them as you're typing. However, the Google Keyboard seems to work flawlessly.

    - Don't disable S-Voice if you want to use Samsung's very smart Voice Recorder on the Note 5. It needs it.

    - There are some UI inconsistencies that might annoy you. For example, in the default gallery, you can only delete photos in the default gallery. If you switch views, EVERY OPTION EXCEPT DELETE is available to you. Dumb. Using Google Photos is a nice way around this, though.
    B. Diddy, MDMcAtee and koves like this.
    09-02-2015 12:33 AM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Excellent write-up so far! I agree with the bezel observation--I never quite understood the obsession with trying to eliminate bezels, and I experience the same issue that you point out on my Zenfone 2.
    09-02-2015 01:09 AM
  3. MDMcAtee's Avatar
    Nice review and Thanks for sharing your impressions of it. I agree about the sickness of the phone and the bezel thinness. I have found myself doing the same exact thing from time to time, however that is easily cured with IMHO the mandatory case addition because of the sickness of the phone.

    Posted from my Galaxy Note 5
    09-02-2015 07:29 AM
  4. dkunzman's Avatar
    Good write up! You are correct about the phone caching certain functions. A reboot slows it down for a bit till it rebuilds.
    One thought on the bezels; give it time. I currently use a 6+ and the Note 5 (had an S6 Edge prior to the N5). Once I got used to the thin bezels it became a non-issue. In side by side use with my 6+ I find I am liking it and the iPhone seems to (in appearance) to have way too much wasted space.
    09-02-2015 10:23 AM
  5. Kelly Kearns's Avatar
    Excellent write-up so far! I agree with the bezel observation--I never quite understood the obsession with trying to eliminate bezels, and I experience the same issue that you point out on my Zenfone 2.
    The bezel issue is to have a larger screen and not increase the physical size of the phone They didn't increase the size of the screen over the Note 4, but the physical phone is a bit smaller and for people like me with small hands, that difference is HUGE and makes this a much more comfortable phone. The N4 actually made my hands ache.
    jnew619 likes this.
    09-02-2015 11:30 AM
  6. m3lover1's Avatar
    I'm in love with the small bezels. Have been since the LG G2. The small bezels on the sides make the display stand out even more. I wish they could even make the bezels on the top and bottom even smaller.
    sergysn and TheDonJ77 like this.
    09-02-2015 11:42 AM
  7. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Sure, the small bezels maximize the screen, which is great--but the OP's description of inadvertently touching the sides of the screen when trying to reach across is something I experience as well, which is due in large part because the screen now extends almost to the very edge of the phone.
    jnew619 likes this.
    09-02-2015 11:46 AM
  8. Kelly Kearns's Avatar
    Sure, the small bezels maximize the screen, which is great--but the OP's description of inadvertently touching the sides of the screen when trying to reach across is something I experience as well, which is due in large part because the screen now extends almost to the very edge of the phone.
    Oh I understand that part, I've even done it sometimes. For me, I do that less and less often and that happening sometimes is a better trade off than my hands hurting. I think they have gotten as small as they can get with the bezel on the side though.
    09-02-2015 12:01 PM
  9. HighTechToid's Avatar
    Something kind of weird. Anyone notice that the color of a lock screen wallpaper is brighter than the desktop wallpaper? I put the same wallpaper on both screens and on the light screen it appears brighter and more washed out

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
    09-02-2015 07:11 PM
  10. ChuckWithAZ3v's Avatar
    I've just finished my 30 day Test Drive with a Note 5 from Verizon. I received a saphirre black 32GB and it was really a very positive experience. At this point Samsung sold me on 3 points: The newer Amoled screen technology (GSIII was the last Amoled phone I owned, very regrettable experience that) the form factor of a phablet, and the S Pen. as much as I enjoyed the S Pen though, the test drive resulted in my purchasing a Nexus 6 from swappa. funny enough, I used my test drive note to purchase it. I have sworn I'd never buy a phablet, but heck, $300 for a white Nexus 6 64gb? it was too good to pass up. Sorry Samsung, I might get a Note when they get below $300 on swappa for mint condition, until then, my N6 on Marshmallow is very, very sweet.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    jnew619 likes this.
    02-13-2016 03:25 PM
  11. jnew619's Avatar
    Yeah I'm liking my test drive note 5 as well haven't been on Android on a while not all the way sure what I'm going to do when the time comes up have not ran in to any problems and multi window is amazing!
    02-13-2016 05:50 PM

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