10-31-2015 09:09 PM
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  1. JakePleasants's Avatar
    I bought a Note 5 a few days after launch with the intention of trying it out for a couple weeks and then returning it for the iPhone 6S Plus. Why? Because the Notes have always been released shortly after the iPhones and because I always bought the latest iPhones, I never bought a Note because the iPhone was so new. I thought seriously about trying the Note 3 and 4, but because I had just gotten the iPhone 5S and 6 respectively, I never did. Well, this year, Samsung flipped the script and rushed the Note 5 out the door before the iPhone 6S and I jumped at the opportunity to give it a try. I played with it for a minute in the store while I waited and thought it was pretty cool, but fast forward 24 hours, and I was in love. I used it for a month and a half and while I loved it, there was a big problem. I live in a fringe service area where there is a weak signal outside my house and inside, it's even worse. Upstairs, I get one or two bars. Downstairs, I'm lucky to get one. To remedy this, Verizon sent a network extended, but it does not support 4G. So, with my old iPhone 6 Plus, I had to turn off 4G, at which point it connected and worked perfectly. With my Note 5, this isn't possible because there is no setting to toggle 4G without rooting, and rooting isn't possible with the Verizon model. This was an annoyance at first, but once I had a recurring medical problem in which I had to have emergency surgery to correct in April and I was trying to talk to my surgeon to find out what I should do and the phone dropped the call 5 times in a very short conversation, I knew that it just wasn't going to work. So the next day (this past Friday, two days ago) I picked up an iPhone 6S. I had trouble deciding between the 6S and 6S Plus because I had the 6 and 6 Plus and liked the both very much, but after having the Note, I've become jaded regarding the Plus because Apple doesn't treat it like a real phablet. I honestly wasn't expecting to be very happy with either new iPhone because I used iOS for a year solid and just got sick of it and needed a change. I've got to say, though, that I've been very pleasantly surprised. So I thought since I've seen a lot of people switch between these two phones, as well as operating systems, that I would do a comparison, category by category. Bear in mind, though, that this is not a full review, it's a quick comparison of the areas that are most important to me. So, here it goes...

    Design: Both phones are impeccably designed and constructed of the most premium materials. However, this is 100% personal preference, so while I'll give my opinion, I won't spend much time on this portion because it's going to vary person to person. I tend to prefer the design of the Note 5 because it's just so fresh and clean, but I prefer the iPhone 6S for durability. The Note is strikingly beautiful but the chamfered edges are prone to scratches, while the 6S is much more scratch-resistant but bears unsightly antenna lines. The Note also might fare worse in a drop, because both sides are glass and could easily shatter.

    Software: This is probably the biggest difference between the two. The Note runs a light version of TouchWiz over Android Lollipop, of course, while the iPhone runs iOS 9. The Note is all about being open-ended and customizable, while the iPhone is much more enclosed and streamlined. I personally can appreciate both approaches and truly don't prefer one over the other. My favorite new feature of TouchWiz is that it has a built-in theme store to completely change the look and feel of the device on a whim. The themes range from ultra-professional looking to appearing to bear the illustrations of a child with developing motor-skills. With the iPhone, without Jailbreaking, the most you can do to customize the appearance is to change the wallpaper and create various folders for your apps. Stability used to be where iOS was lightyears ahead of Android, but those days are now behind us. I cannot recall a single hiccup in the month and a half that I had my Note, while I've had around 10 stutters and hiccups in the past two days that I've had my 6S. I fully believe that this is very temporary and that Apple will remedy the situation quickly, but it's not something that I remember experiencing with any iPhone launch before.

    Camera: This area is pretty dead-even. Both rear-facing cameras take breathtaking photographs, better than most point-and-shoots. I prefer the flash on the iPhone, though, as it tends to produce more natural colors in the dark. The front facing camera on the Note is sharper, but the 6S isn't far behind.

    Battery Life: This is the area that really surprised me. I was less than thrilled with the battery life when I had my iPhone 6, though it was a little better on my 6 Plus, but I didn't expect good things transitioning to the 6S. I was wrong. I am a fairly heavy user and I haven't yet finished the day with less than 50% battery, versus the typical 30% that I ended with on my Note. Not only is the standby time on the 6S much better than the Note, but it also handles usage better. I often played a matchstick puzzle game on my Note and I had to be careful not to play too long, otherwise I'd have to charge it. That's not a problem with the 6S. The only area in terms of battery and charging where the Note clearly has an advantage is the fact that it supports both fast charging and wireless charging (and a combination of the two with fast wireless charging).

    Display: This, to me, is no contest. The Note 5 has, hands down, the most beautiful screen on the market. The colors are so vibrant that they just explode off of the screen and it is breathtaking. The only advantage that the iPhone has versus the Note is that it produces slightly more realistic colors, but I'll take the possibly overly saturated colors of the Note any day.

    Performance & Other Features: In terms of performance, both phones absolutely scream. There is no lag in either interface whatsoever (aside from the occasional bug in the 6S). The only difference discernible to the naked eye is browser speed, in which the iPhone pulls ahead. It isn't a huge lead, but it's definitely a lead. The next feature is the fingerprint scanners, and I came into this when I got the 6S expecting this to be dead even. I, again, was completely wrong. I thought the Note had zero lag when scanning your fingerprint, until I used the 6S. The Note takes around half a second, whereas the iPhone takes maybe a millisecond. You can literally brush your finger across the home button in a swift motion and it will read it accurately and instantly every single time. It's truly an engineering feat. The biggest feature that is unique to the iPhone is 3D Touch. It might seem like a gimmick, and the initial feature-set might seemingly support that notion, but it has a few great touches and the potential to be great. My favorite feature of it in its current state is to Force-Touch the left side of the screen and swipe to the right, which switches between the two most recently used apps. It's quite handy. However, it is nothing compared to the S-Pen. There are no words to allow me to adequately profess my love for the S-Pen in a sufficient manner. It is so useful and just plain awesome. It can be used for drawing, writing, signing PDF files, handwriting to text recognition, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. The shining feature, though, by a mile, is the ability to remove the S-Pen while the screen is off, write on the black screen, and after you've finished your note to replace the S-Pen and your note will now be saved for the next time your use your phone. It's ingenious.
    10-12-2015 01:15 AM
  2. MDMcAtee's Avatar
    You can get better reception by getting higher grade equipment on your own . What Verizon gives out has always been a joke and one of the many reasons I left them years ago.

    Posted from my AT&T 64 gig Black Sapphire leather wrapped Note 5
    10-12-2015 02:04 AM
  3. adelmundo's Avatar
    I;m surprised the Verizon model you can't toggle 4G off. I have a Note 4 on Sprint and a Note 5 on T-Mobile and on both of them, if you go to Settings, Mobile Networks, Network Mode you can toggle between 3G and 4G/LTE.
    10-12-2015 03:06 AM
  4. drone3's Avatar
    I bought a Note 5 a few days after launch with the intention of trying it out for a couple weeks and then returning it for the iPhone 6S Plus. Why? Because the Notes have always been released shortly after the iPhones and because I always bought the latest iPhones, I never bought a Note because the iPhone was so new. I thought seriously about trying the Note 3 and 4, but because I had just gotten the iPhone 5S and 6 respectively, I never did. Well, this year, Samsung flipped the script and rushed the Note 5 out the door before the iPhone 6S and I jumped at the opportunity to give it a try. I played with it for a minute in the store while I waited and thought it was pretty cool, but fast forward 24 hours, and I was in love. I used it for a month and a half and while I loved it, there was a big problem. I live in a fringe service area where there is a weak signal outside my house and inside, it's even worse. Upstairs, I get one or two bars. Downstairs, I'm lucky to get one. To remedy this, Verizon sent a network extended, but it does not support 4G. So, with my old iPhone 6 Plus, I had to turn off 4G, at which point it connected and worked perfectly. With my Note 5, this isn't possible because there is no setting to toggle 4G without rooting, and rooting isn't possible with the Verizon model. This was an annoyance at first, but once I had a recurring medical problem in which I had to have emergency surgery to correct in April and I was trying to talk to my surgeon to find out what I should do and the phone dropped the call 5 times in a very short conversation, I knew that it just wasn't going to work. So the next day (this past Friday, two days ago) I picked up an iPhone 6S. I had trouble deciding between the 6S and 6S Plus because I had the 6 and 6 Plus and liked the both very much, but after having the Note, I've become jaded regarding the Plus because Apple doesn't treat it like a real phablet. I honestly wasn't expecting to be very happy with either new iPhone because I used iOS for a year solid and just got sick of it and needed a change. I've got to say, though, that I've been very pleasantly surprised. So I thought since I've seen a lot of people switch between these two phones, as well as operating systems, that I would do a comparison, category by category. Bear in mind, though, that this is not a full review, it's a quick comparison of the areas that are most important to me. So, here it goes...

    Design: Both phones are impeccably designed and constructed of the most premium materials. However, this is 100% personal preference, so while I'll give my opinion, I won't spend much time on this portion because it's going to vary person to person. I tend to prefer the design of the Note 5 because it's just so fresh and clean, but I prefer the iPhone 6S for durability. The Note is strikingly beautiful but the chamfered edges are prone to scratches, while the 6S is much more scratch-resistant but bears unsightly antenna lines. The Note also might fare worse in a drop, because both sides are glass and could easily shatter.

    Software: This is probably the biggest difference between the two. The Note runs a light version of TouchWiz over Android Lollipop, of course, while the iPhone runs iOS 9. The Note is all about being open-ended and customizable, while the iPhone is much more enclosed and streamlined. I personally can appreciate both approaches and truly don't prefer one over the other. My favorite new feature of TouchWiz is that it has a built-in theme store to completely change the look and feel of the device on a whim. The themes range from ultra-professional looking to appearing to bear the illustrations of a child with developing motor-skills. With the iPhone, without Jailbreaking, the most you can do to customize the appearance is to change the wallpaper and create various folders for your apps. Stability used to be where iOS was lightyears ahead of Android, but those days are now behind us. I cannot recall a single hiccup in the month and a half that I had my Note, while I've had around 10 stutters and hiccups in the past two days that I've had my 6S. I fully believe that this is very temporary and that Apple will remedy the situation quickly, but it's not something that I remember experiencing with any iPhone launch before.

    Camera: This area is pretty dead-even. Both rear-facing cameras take breathtaking photographs, better than most point-and-shoots. I prefer the flash on the iPhone, though, as it tends to produce more natural colors in the dark. The front facing camera on the Note is sharper, but the 6S isn't far behind.

    Battery Life: This is the area that really surprised me. I was less than thrilled with the battery life when I had my iPhone 6, though it was a little better on my 6 Plus, but I didn't expect good things transitioning to the 6S. I was wrong. I am a fairly heavy user and I haven't yet finished the day with less than 50% battery, versus the typical 30% that I ended with on my Note. Not only is the standby time on the 6S much better than the Note, but it also handles usage better. I often played a matchstick puzzle game on my Note and I had to be careful not to play too long, otherwise I'd have to charge it. That's not a problem with the 6S. The only area in terms of battery and charging where the Note clearly has an advantage is the fact that it supports both fast charging and wireless charging (and a combination of the two with fast wireless charging).

    Display: This, to me, is no contest. The Note 5 has, hands down, the most beautiful screen on the market. The colors are so vibrant that they just explode off of the screen and it is breathtaking. The only advantage that the iPhone has versus the Note is that it produces slightly more realistic colors, but I'll take the possibly overly saturated colors of the Note any day.

    Performance & Other Features: In terms of performance, both phones absolutely scream. There is no lag in either interface whatsoever (aside from the occasional bug in the 6S). The only difference discernible to the naked eye is browser speed, in which the iPhone pulls ahead. It isn't a huge lead, but it's definitely a lead. The next feature is the fingerprint scanners, and I came into this when I got the 6S expecting this to be dead even. I, again, was completely wrong. I thought the Note had zero lag when scanning your fingerprint, until I used the 6S. The Note takes around half a second, whereas the iPhone takes maybe a millisecond. You can literally brush your finger across the home button in a swift motion and it will read it accurately and instantly every single time. It's truly an engineering feat. The biggest feature that is unique to the iPhone is 3D Touch. It might seem like a gimmick, and the initial feature-set might seemingly support that notion, but it has a few great touches and the potential to be great. My favorite feature of it in its current state is to Force-Touch the left side of the screen and swipe to the right, which switches between the two most recently used apps. It's quite handy. However, it is nothing compared to the S-Pen. There are no words to allow me to adequately profess my love for the S-Pen in a sufficient manner. It is so useful and just plain awesome. It can be used for drawing, writing, signing PDF files, handwriting to text recognition, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. The shining feature, though, by a mile, is the ability to remove the S-Pen while the screen is off, write on the black screen, and after you've finished your note to replace the S-Pen and your note will now be saved for the next time your use your phone. It's ingenious.
    Reception is essential, Samsung antennas are crap, you made the right decision.

    dreaming of electric sheep
    10-12-2015 03:50 AM
  5. stilwelloklahoma's Avatar
    i never returned a phone , as they might still charge you
    how can you return it for a new phone ?
    10-12-2015 05:20 AM
  6. MDMcAtee's Avatar
    Reception is essential, Samsung antennas are crap, you made the right decision.

    dreaming of electric sheep
    Wrong answer.

    I've never had a issue with mine on AT&T anywhere I have been all over this country. Not so with the other 3 and fwiw every iPhone I have used have the poorest reception of any oem I have used.

    The issue is his carrier and the bs they do with their radios.

    Posted from my AT&T 64 gig Black Sapphire leather wrapped Note 5
    jimd1050, debdroid1a and James8561 like this.
    10-12-2015 08:36 AM
  7. dpham00's Avatar
    I have found my note 5 to have better reception than my 6sp in very weak signal areas.

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 5
    sqa4life and Harlemknight like this.
    10-12-2015 11:01 AM
  8. Almeuit's Avatar
    Hey can't fault you for trying it. Not everyone is going to have the same situation (as others said they didn't have issues) but you did.. And at the end of the day it comes down to your needs.

    Glad you at least gave it a try to see if you'd like it versus just judging without trying .
    john_v and bkeaver like this.
    10-12-2015 11:14 AM
  9. JakePleasants's Avatar
    I have found my note 5 to have better reception than my 6sp in very weak signal areas.

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 5
    I did too, and that's actually part of the problem. It pulled enough of a signal that it thought that it didn't need to connect to the network extender, but it was always right on the line, hence the dropped calls. It connected to the extender occasionally, but most of the time it thought it was pulling a strong enough signal to function properly on its own. The iPhone, on the other hand, knows it has a weak signal and connects to the extender most of the time, even without turning off 4G.

    Hey can't fault you for trying it. Not everyone is going to have the same situation (as others said they didn't have issues) but you did.. And at the end of the day it comes down to your needs.

    Glad you at least gave it a try to see if you'd like it versus just judging without trying .
    Thanks. Yeah, I don't believe in prejudging, or the need to bash other products in order to feel better about your preferred product. It's very childish.
    10-12-2015 02:29 PM
  10. jdhooghe's Avatar
    First of all, glad that you tried it, not many at iMore think of it . I actually found the opposite in that the reception on my Note is better than my 6S by a huge margin and I have T-Mobile. I also found that my 6S's battery is...well poor would be compliment. Babying it would get me 3 hours SOT time and for some reason, my standby time is poorer than my previous iPhones and I had the good chip. Same usage but of course I could have just gotten a bunk phone. Photos are also no contest; I actually got distressed that the iPhone had such poor photos when previously they'd been fantastic. Apple needs to get its **** together and upgrade the 6s screen, it is embarrassing. Anyone can see the difference between 720p and everything else. In regards to the camera, maybe it is the 12MP but the iPhone refuses to focus and looks more washed out. One thing that the iPhone does very well is the color but that can be rectified on my Note. That was my experience though My 6s is going back as much as it breaks my heart to say it; I've always loved iPhones most.
    10-12-2015 04:56 PM
  11. bertsirkin's Avatar
    The Note 5 works perfectly with Verizons network extender. You just had to shut off advanced calling.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    10-12-2015 05:44 PM
  12. sqa4life's Avatar
    I was in the opposite situation. Tried out the 6s plus for a week and couldn't stand how bored it was, even though it was smooth.
    One feature that use very often on the note while driving is stream music via Bluetooth and leave the camera on. Well, can't do that with the iPhone 6s plus. Only one feature work at a time. I sold it and got the Note 5 and pleased with everything.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
    10-12-2015 06:19 PM
  13. spasell's Avatar
    Wrong answer.

    I've never had a issue with mine on AT&T anywhere I have been all over this country. Not so with the other 3 and fwiw every iPhone I have used have the poorest reception of any oem I have used.

    The issue is his carrier and the bs they do with their radios.

    Posted from my AT&T 64 gig Black Sapphire leather wrapped Note 5
    Wrong answer. My iPhone 6+ in my home gave me 3-4 "bars" (dots lol) of 4g reception. It has more "bands" and stronger radios.

    My Note 5? AWFUL. I too needed extender as I did for my Note 3 before going to iphone for the year.

    Won't go back to Apple but totally disagree that Samsung is better. Maybe because you're not in a weak area yeah.

    But in a weak signal area the iPhone never gave me a SINGLE issue.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    10-12-2015 06:57 PM
  14. itsnotmeitsyou's Avatar
    Great review. Anyone deciding between the two devices should read the OP of this thread. Not many unbiased, non-fanboy, real use posts these days.

    Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
    ectoren likes this.
    10-12-2015 09:16 PM
  15. MalachyNG's Avatar
    I'm not sure I totally trust the bars my phone says I have. If you want to compare signal strength you need to go into the "settings > about phone > status > SIM Card status" to see what the actual signal is in dBm. My note 5 is showing me 4/5 bars and signal strength is "-104 dBm 37 asu" which is supposed to be utter crap (higher number is better. dBm is displayed as a negative number so a 'high' good signal is -60 dBm) yet it still displayes 4 out of 5 bars of signal.
    10-12-2015 09:49 PM
  16. JakePleasants's Avatar
    The Note 5 works perfectly with Verizons network extender. You just had to shut off advanced calling.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    I just popped my SIM back in it and tried turning off Advanced Calling, but it still pulls a weak LTE signal instead of a strong 3G signal.

    Great review. Anyone deciding between the two devices should read the OP of this thread. Not many unbiased, non-fanboy, real use posts these days.

    Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
    Thank you, I appreciate that. I try to be fair and objective as I don't believe in fanboy-ism, it's childish and ridiculous.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    10-12-2015 10:38 PM
  17. JakePleasants's Avatar
    I'm not sure I totally trust the bars my phone says I have. If you want to compare signal strength you need to go into the "settings > about phone > status > SIM Card status" to see what the actual signal is in dBm. My note 5 is showing me 4/5 bars and signal strength is "-104 dBm 37 asu" which is supposed to be utter crap (higher number is better. dBm is displayed as a negative number so a 'high' good signal is -60 dBm) yet it still displayes 4 out of 5 bars of signal.
    I know that signal bars can indeed be wildly inaccurate and I've sometimes gone the -dBm route to measure the real signal strength, but what I generally go by is dropped/failed calls and failed text messages. Frankly, I wouldn't care if my phone gave me the finger in place of signal bars as long as it made calls and sent messages without a problem. Unfortunately, it did not.
    10-12-2015 10:54 PM
  18. MDMcAtee's Avatar
    Wrong answer. My iPhone 6+ in my home gave me 3-4 "bars" (dots lol) of 4g reception. It has more "bands" and stronger radios.

    My Note 5? AWFUL. I too needed extender as I did for my Note 3 before going to iphone for the year.

    Won't go back to Apple but totally disagree that Samsung is better. Maybe because you're not in a weak area yeah.

    But in a weak signal area the iPhone never gave me a SINGLE issue.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    With AT&T the reception on my past 3 notes and my s6 Active have been phenomenal. I seldom even get a signal in my yard due to some magnetic anomaly per Verizon when they came to my house and did all kinds of testing to see why I couldn't connect. I switched to AT&T and only need their micro tower in my basement under the ductwork. Same phones different network totally different results, which is why I have stated what I have. The iphones in my household have been current up to the 6 and they all have been problematic with the reception which is now why there are none and all 4 have been traded (3 Samsung and 1 HTC). All of the Samsung phones are excellent, but the lone HTC struggles to get a great signal without the microcell tower.

    The only real issue I have ever had with Samsung's phones especially with the Note series has been the GPS issue and with the current models that issue has been resolved nicely.

    So... My experience has been totally different and has shown me that a different carrier can result in this.

    Posted from my AT&T 64 gig Black Sapphire leather wrapped Note 5
    10-12-2015 10:56 PM
  19. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    I seriously LOVE your hand-on impressions with both phones.

    More people need to have an open-mind and embrace these devices for what they do best and their strengths instead of bashing each other based on their weaknesses.
    10-13-2015 07:04 AM
  20. bertsirkin's Avatar
    I just popped my SIM back in it and tried turning off Advanced Calling, but it still pulls a weak LTE signal instead of a strong 3G signal.
    You may be confusing "data" with "voice". 4G refers to data - not voice. The network extender provides "voice" capability - not data. If you're home where your network extender is, then I assume you have WiFi - that replaces the 4G or 3G data signal.

    I have a very marginal voice and 4G signal in my home, but I don't even use the landline anymore. I use my Note 5 for all my calls because the network extender provides a VERY strong "voice" signal. My WiFi provides the "data" signal.

    Turning off Advanced Calling allows you to use the Network Extender for "voice" - not data.
    10-13-2015 08:32 AM
  21. JakePleasants's Avatar
    I seriously LOVE your hand-on impressions with both phones.

    More people need to have an open-mind and embrace these devices for what they do best and their strengths instead of bashing each other based on their weaknesses.
    Thank you! And I agree wholeheartedly.

    You may be confusing "data" with "voice". 4G refers to data - not voice. The network extender provides "voice" capability - not data. If you're home where your network extender is, then I assume you have WiFi - that replaces the 4G or 3G data signal.

    I have a very marginal voice and 4G signal in my home, but I don't even use the landline anymore. I use my Note 5 for all my calls because the network extender provides a VERY strong "voice" signal. My WiFi provides the "data" signal.

    Turning off Advanced Calling allows you to use the Network Extender for "voice" - not data.
    No, I'm quite clear on the fact is 4G is for data. That's why you can use LTE while you're on the phone. I do use WiFi at home for data and it works fine, but the only way to force a phone on to the extender, in my personal experience, is to turn off 4G. It may not sound completely logical, but that's the only thing that has worked for me. Sometimes the phones will connect themselves, but they won't stay connected if 4G isn't turned off.
    10-13-2015 10:29 AM
  22. bertsirkin's Avatar
    ...but the only way to force a phone on to the extender, in my personal experience, is to turn off 4G
    That's not the case. Advanced Calling uses 4G for voice - by turning advanced calling off, if uses the voice radio instead (and the network extender) - see Enable/Disable Advanced Calling for Network Extender - Smartphone | Verizon Wireless

    Here is the network extender connected along with a 4G signal and a weak radio signal (on the lock screen):
    It Was Short, But It Was Great! My Journey From A Note 5 To An iPhone 6S...-networkextender-4g.jpg


    edit...
    Interestingly, before I dial a call, I have minimal 4G signal - when I dial a call, it goes to 1x.
    10-13-2015 10:45 AM
  23. Almeuit's Avatar
    So... My experience has been totally different and has shown me that a different carrier can result in this.
    Carrier & Location. Two MAJOR factors that will differ greatly per person. So while you may get great signal -- he didn't .
    jdhooghe and geekaren like this.
    10-13-2015 11:04 AM
  24. Tadrift's Avatar
    Seems to me that in your story the one thing that kept coming up as a problem was Verizon. Yet, the story was about the phones. Weak signals, no rooting, network settings, Poor Note battery life (poor signals cause battery drain), etc. I did read it, but perhaps I missed it, but the most obvious solution is to change carriers. A GSM network solves a lot of problems in general and it also opens you up to a HUGE selection of unlocked devices. I am not sure if that is even an option for you.

    Ultimately, you got to go with what works. Multiple drop calls is just not acceptable, especially if your health or income depends on it. No matter how much you like the phone. It is very possible there is a technical reason for it as others have pointed out, but my guess is that you will eventually tire of trying to figure it out and just switch networks.
    jdhooghe likes this.
    10-13-2015 01:07 PM
  25. dpham00's Avatar
    I'm not sure I totally trust the bars my phone says I have. If you want to compare signal strength you need to go into the "settings > about phone > status > SIM Card status" to see what the actual signal is in dBm. My note 5 is showing me 4/5 bars and signal strength is "-104 dBm 37 asu" which is supposed to be utter crap (higher number is better. dBm is displayed as a negative number so a 'high' good signal is -60 dBm) yet it still displayes 4 out of 5 bars of signal.
    -104dbm for lte isn't necessarily bad, especially if it is xlte. Even at - 118dbm,I can get good speeds

    It Was Short, But It Was Great! My Journey From A Note 5 To An iPhone 6S...-uploadfromtaptalk1444761126814.jpg

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 5
    10-13-2015 01:33 PM
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