Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge is the new kid on the block, but how does the new smartphone handle itself alongside the admittedly fantastic Galaxy Note 5? Read on for our comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the Galaxy Note 5.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 5: design and build quality
The gorgeous Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was worth the wait, rocking an aluminium body protected by Gorilla Glass 4 in a compact, eye-catching, premium shell.
Those concerned about the camera-induced wobble which was noticeable on previous models have nothing to worry about, considering the camera protruding from the rear of the Galaxy S7 Edge has been tweaked. The snapper now sticks out less at just 0.46 mm, which means you can place the smartphone down on a flat surface with no troubles.
Naturally, the headline-grabbing design feature of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is its curved display, which genuinely adds to the experience of using the mobile. The sides of the gadget can be used to highlight most-used apps, serve up notifications and more.
It's hard to deny that the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a beautiful phone, and it's now made even better thanks to a built-in fingerprint sensor inside the home button and an IP68 certification for dust and water resistance. It's a tough cookie.
Meanwhile, Samsung's Galaxy Note 5, released in the US and Canada back in August, takes some significant design inspiration from the Galaxy S6, which can only be a good thing.
The phone is seen boasting some neat curved rear edges, complimented perfectly by the Samsung Galaxy Note 5's mini bezels surrounding the display. The gadget is both slimmer and lighter than its predecessor, resulting in a slicker smartphone in the hand that's protected by Gorilla Glass 4 on both sides.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 manages to make leaps and bounds in the design department when sat alongside previous smartphones in the series, although this is still clearly a Note phone.
Samsung's glass and metal-wearing smartphone works alongside Samsung's S Pen, which ejects automatically from the smartphone when needed. The accessory makes accurately writing notes or drawing on the Galaxy Note 5's display worlds easier, and it's simple to store away when you're done.
All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 brings some sleek, modern design tweaks to the series. It's the best Galaxy Note phone you can grab right now.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comes with a vibrant 5.5-inch AMOLED display, which sees colors burst into life as users explore TouchWiz and its perks on the new handset.
There's a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution for Galaxy S7 Edge owners to feast their eyes on, and the display of the smartphone ensures that watching movies or playing high-end games on the go really is a glorious experience.
To add to that, the brightness of the display is another key strength. Even if you're out of the house and using your phone as the sun beats down, it's still easy to make out what you're looking at on the screen. Meanwhile, viewing angles are also impressive.
It's fair to say that the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has a big screen, but the Galaxy Note 5 takes things a step further with a 5.7-inch AMOLED screen rocking a QHD resolution.
Samsung's display on the Galaxy Note 5 has the same screen resolution as the Galaxy S7 Edge, although its pixel density is slightly lower at 515 ppi. In our experience, the Galaxy Note 5 brings stronger contrast and definition than the Galaxy Note 4, so it's a clear upgrade in this regard.
The display on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 remains one of the best we've ever had the pleasure of using, although we appreciate the size and bulk of the smartphone may put some people off. Even so, it's hard to fault the visual quality on show.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 5: processor and storage
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is powered by the Snapdragon 820 chip, backed by 4 GB of RAM that ensures the user experience is perfectly smooth and stutter-free.
When it comes to internal storage, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge arrives in the form of a 32 GB model and a pricier 64 GB option. Of course, this space is expandable up to 200 GB thanks to microSD support, which will put the minds of heavy users at ease.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the Galaxy Note 5 can't offer expandable storage, meaning you'll have to choose between the concrete options of 32 GB or 64 GB. Powered by Samsung's own Exynos 7420 which has eight cores, the Galaxy Note 5 also has 4 GB of RAM under the hood, with a max clock speed of 2.1 GHz.
Overall performance is very solid, although the lack of expandable storage means that things can slow down if the smartphone gets cluttered. Simply put, Samsung's Exynos 7420 plays very nicely.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 5: camera
The star of the show when it comes to snapping pictures and taking videos on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is the 12 MP rear camera, equipped with dual-pixel technology.
Samsung's duel-pixel offering keeps speeds brilliantly high, and we're told that the focus speed of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is four times faster in low-light conditions than on the S6. The rear camera has an f/1.7 aperture, and in our minds the main camera of the Galaxy S7 Edge is one of the handset's most exciting features.
On the front of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a 5 MP camera also with an f/1.7 aperture. Both of Samsung's S7 Edge cameras work well in low light, and pictures taken with the rear camera in particular are very well lit.
The camera technology built into the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will keep both photography professionals and casual selfie takers happy, thanks to plenty of toys to try out.
A great 16 MP camera lives on the back of the smartphone, and an 'AF/AE lock' features allows for locking the camera's focus point during filming. Detail is top-notch, even building some color and substance to pictures taken in very dark environments.
On the front of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a 5 MP camera with f/1.9 aperture. While it copes well when it comes to providing some vibrancy to images, it struggles with low-light where the rear camera excels.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 5: software
The latest build of Samsung's TouchWiz UI arrives with the Galaxy S7 Edge, running alongside Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.
Although there's been no major improvements to the UI since the last entry in the Galaxy range, TouchWiz on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is still the best yet. The system runs smoothly and seems less crowded than previous builds.
When it first arrived, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 came pre-installed with Android 5.1.1. Lollipop, although that's now upgradable to 6.0.1 Marshmallow.
Whilst there's a couple of guilty bloatware apps dropping with the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung has managed to not get too carried away. Plenty of the apps already present compliment the S Pen, for example, which is forgivable.
A whopping 3,600 mAh battery keeps the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge juiced up and ready to go, which is a massive increase on the 2,600 mAh battery of the Galaxy S6 Edge.
During our full review of Samsung's S7 Edge smartphone, we found wireless charging and fast charging technology to be a treat, powering up the smartphone in a respectable amount of time. Those in a hurry to leave the house can put the Galaxy S7 Edge on charge for 30 minutes and rest assured they'll have enough power to go another couple of hours.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has a smaller battery than the Galaxy S7 Edge, at 3,000 mAh. Although the battery may be a downgrade on Samsung's newest flagship, it still performs very well.
Most users will easily get a full days usage out of the Galaxy Note 5, and Samsung's own power saving tools, combined with fast charging functionality, add even more support.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 5: specs
Fancy a more detailed look at the differences between the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and today's competitor, the Galaxy Note 5? Take a look at our table below.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Sorry, not yet available!
Sorry, not yet available!
150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm
153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm
2560 x 1440 pixels (534 ppi)
2560 x 1440 pixels (515 ppi)
6.0 - Marshmallow
5.1.1 - Lollipop
32 GB 64 GB
32 GB 64 GB
Samsung Exynos 8890
Samsung Exynos 7420
Number of cores:
Max. clock speed:
HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2
HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs Galaxy Note 5: verdict
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge may be one of the best-looking Samsung smartphones we've ever seen, but the Galaxy Note 5 has plenty of tricks of its own that will entice buyers.
Whilst the lack of expandable storage or a removable battery may put some people off, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has a fantastic display paired elegantly with the S Pen. Yes, it's a big smartphone, but it's a brilliant one too.
Which smartphone do you think comes out on top? Does the shiny fresh Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge have all the tools needed to win this one, or does the older Galaxy Note 5 still put up a great fight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.