Samsung’s Galaxy Note range of phablets has for a long time been the larger, quirkier step-brother to the Galaxy S series of handsets, bringing with it a bigger display and strange new contraptions like the S-pen and often other new technologies. While many think that the Note is a series of handsets designed for Samsung to experiment with, this year with the Galaxy Note 7, the manufacturer has promised to deliver something that will be the most advanced Note to date. So now that the Note 7 has been officially unveiled, let’s look at how it compares to its predecessor, the Note 5.

Note 7 vs Note 5

Galaxy Note 7 versus Galaxy Note 5

It is now clear that this year’s embodiment of the Note lineup of handsets has borrowed the majority of its internal specifications from the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. It features the same amount of RAM at 4GB and the same processor. MicroSD card expansion was brought back to the Note 7 after being missing from the Note 5, but before we go into too much detail, let’s break down what’s new and compare the differences.

Cameras

The Note 5’s 16-megapixel sensor may have a few people confused as to why Samsung would give the Galaxy Note 7 a 12-megapixel sensor,but  this is because the technologies included have advanced so much that such a large sensor is no longer required to get better results.

The camera is the same as that found on the Galaxy S7 handset and offers superior low-light performance. Its lens is much quicker at focusing and firing off photos compared to that found on the Galaxy Note 5. However, when it comes to shooting in 4K and full 1080p HD video, the devices cannot be separated as both offer recording speeds of 4K at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps.

Iris scanner

The Note 5 and Note 7 both feature fingerprint sensors and offer an improved level of security over devices without such technology. However, the Galaxy Note 7 goes a step further with the addition of a built-in iris scanner, with which you can unlock the device with a stare or glance.

To activate the iris scanner, need to have the phone switched on and swipe the screen, which all-in-all means that it takes a little longer to use the Note 7 compared to the Note 5. Plus, there is one more downside to the iris scanner: if you wear glasses, you cannot use it.

Galaxy Note 7 color variants

Design

When it comes to looks, I am afraid there is not much to split the two handsets apart, as they both have 5.7-inch displays, which can make one-handed use complicated. As for what the Galaxy Note 7 does have over the Note 5, that is its weight; at 169 grams, it is the lightest Galaxy Note to date.

Display

For me, the biggest design change has to do with the screen. With the Galaxy Note 7, gone is the flat screen. Instead, we get a dual-curved-edge display like on the Galaxy S7 Edge. However, there are many similarities between the screen on the Edge and this new handset, as both offer punchy colorful AMOLED screens and to be honest, the Note 5 is almost identical in this respect, apart from the dual-curved-edges.

S-pen more sensitive

With the Note 7, the pressure sensitivity of the S-pen has doubled to the 4096 level, and the tip has been shrunk to 0.7mm-wide. This means that compared to the Note 5, the Note 7’s S-pen offers finer control over the pen tip, and as such, handwriting and drawing fine detail are expected to improve significantly.

Touch Wiz

Many users of the Note 5 had complained that TouchWiz had become so large and intrusive that it made the experience of using it confusing, almost to the point of being overwhelming. Because of that, Touch Wiz has been given an overhaul on the Galaxy Note 7 with a streamlined and new interface, tweaked color choices that better match the Phone’s hardware, and a few minor improvements.

Note 7 Vs Note 5 Specs

Galaxy Note 7 Vs Note 5 Specs

Final thoughts

So as you can see, there are improvements and some new features on the Galaxy Note 7, but overall, it is probably too early to tell just how better the handset is at more general day-to-day tasks like multitasking, call quality, handling messages, etc.

However, what the Note 7 does have over the Note 5 is the fact that with its development, Samsung was able to draw on what has worked in the past. What I mean by this is that it was able to use features from both the Note and S ranges to create a powerful handset for 2016 and something that takes those features and adds to them to offer potential purchasers of the phone something that’s almost fresh.