Samsung Note 5 – Dual Sim – First Impressions

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Jah is a regular reader of Gavin’s Gadgets and recently imported a dual sim Samsung Note 5. Below are Jah’s first impressions –

“Samsung Note 5 Dual SIM variety – Impressions

First of all, if you are in the UK or Europe, please do your homework before you import or buy an imported Note 5.  The one I have, the N9208, does not have Band 20 LTE which means you can’t use 4G on Three and on Vodafone the 4G is very patchy. The best option for Dual SIM for the UK is the model designated as N920CD. 

Now for impressions:

–         –  the music playback over headphones is mind blowing, when playing high definition music (24 bit / 96 khz).  I used my Sony MDR R1BT in both wired and Bluetooth (with APT-X) mode.  The head amp on the Note 5 is better than the Snapdragon Note 4 and Exynos Note Edge.  Over BT, the sound reproduction is the best I have heard from any smartphone (compared to HTC M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge as recent examples).  Therefore, it is a shame Samsung don’t have a 128GB version as you’ll fill-up the typically free 50GB (of the 64GB model once you’ve loaded your apps) very quickly with High Def music.

–         – the build quality of the Note 5 is top dollar.  You really need to spend time with it to appreciate the accuracy of build and beauty of the metal and glass body.  Even the SIM tray is beautifully constructed.  Again shame no tray for a micro SD card!

–        –  I was surprised that even though the screen resolution of the Note 5 and Note 4 are the same, the screen of the Note 5 is better (whiter whites and sharper text).  The screen on the Note 5 is a joy to use.

–        –  it is quick, appreciably quicker than the Galaxy S6 Edge even though it shares similar (but not the same) internals.

–         – the Note 5 has the slimmer, slicker and frankly much more user friendly Touchwiz interface than the Note 4.  Lots of nice touches make it a joy to use especially for business and productivity.  Also note that the S Pen accuracy and fluidity has also improved.  But I am not sure about the long term viability of the mechanical clicking mechanism on the top of the S Pen as the means to pop it out of the silo.   

–         – I use a Vodafone and EE SIMs and as the Vodafone LTE reception is patchy, I think my N9208 model was struggling with using Vodafone.  When I set my EE SIM to be the SIM to use for data, the battery life improved.  I can just about get through a day with a full charge but when there are signal issues (e.g. varying cell towers and signal types when travelling on a train) the battery takes a real battering. But when you have a good signal, the battery life is great (battery dropped 3-4% during a 1.5hr telephone call, which I think is good).  My typical daily use is two email accounts on 15 minute sync, 40 minutes of music over BT, about an 1 hour of general web use, 10-20 minutes of calls and 30 to 40 minutes of using the Note 5 as a hot spot (over an elapsed period of 13 hours). Please note, that unlike the OnePlus Two and other devices, the Note 5 cannot operate both SIMs on LTE; one SIM runs over 2G (GPRS and Edge) while the other (which you specify in settings) runs on LTE.

Overall, the Note 5 really is a very refined business and productivity tool.  Samsung should bring this to the UK (and Europe).  If are interested in the Note 5, really seek out the 64gb version.”

Many thanks to Jah for his contribution. If you would like to contribute a piece do get in touch.

Note – Photos from IFA 2015

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4 thoughts on “Samsung Note 5 – Dual Sim – First Impressions

  1. An update. I have now acquired the Note 5 variant called the N920CD. This works much better with Vodafone LTE frequencies and does not have any special support for Chinese character input, which the N9208 has and this does make the Note 5 less suitable for European markets.

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