Since 2012 Samsung has continued to prove itself to be the manufacturer to beat where high-end Android smartphones are concerned. Samsung’s most recent Galaxy S7 Edge handset followers on from last year’s S6 Edge and hopes to capitalize on all of the design enhancements and important hardware improvements that one year in the Mobile Tech industry brings with it.
However, where top spec handsets are concerned, Samsung has proven itself to be able to produce more than one line and as such in this article I will compare the Galaxy S7 Edge to the Swiss army knife of mobile phones that is Samsung Galaxy Note 5.
Michael Mauboussin: Here’s what active managers can do
Both handsets have great pedigrees, with the S7 Edge undoubtedly having the longer of the two. However, it was the introduction of the Galaxy Note in 2011, which forced the mobile industry to embark on a new journey, one that would see the introduction of larger 5-inch Plus handsets known as phablets.
So let’s take a look at how the S7 Edge and Note 5 compare.
Galaxy S7 Edge vs Note 5: Design Compared
Starting the Galaxy S7 Edge handset is been considered by many a critic, to be an iterative upgrade basically this means that it’s design is only a slight change from the Galaxy S6 Edge. So basically only incremental changes or refinements to the design of have been made.
It’s still a gorgeous looking device, very futuristic with its dual edge curved display. It’s easy to see where Samsung got the design Q from, well in my opinion it is, and it can only be from the Galaxy Note 5. Furthermore, this means that the Galaxy S7 Edge does not have a flat back panel and like the S6 edge it feels extremely comfortable in the hand.
Moving on to the Galaxy Note 5, this huge handset with its smooth glass back panel and beautifully sculptured metal frame when compared to Galaxy S7 Edge looks rather conventional. Yes, it’s a beautiful looking device; it’s just not as futuristic looking.
When compared in the hand it’s no surprise that the 5.5-inch huge frame of the Note 5 dwarfs that of the S7 Edge and as such doesn’t feel quite as comfortable to hold, having said that though the Edge is so light that it feels almost easy to drop.
There is a slight chance Samsung may have missed a trick with the S7 Edge, as overall it has failed to pick up and improve upon the older Note 5 display. However, having said that, Samsung’s latest AMOLED displays are considered to be the best the mobile industry has to offer. And luckily for both handsets they benefit from this expertise.
In-addition, both handsets offer extremely Sharp displays both with 1440 x 2560 pixels each, and it is here where S7 Edge slightly out-competes the note 5. As its PPI more commonly known as pixels per inch, is set at 534 where as the note 5 is set at little lower 518 PPI.
As far as colour and brightness is concerned, both displays deal quite well with color accuracy however, there are some problems with reds in particular. Some reds can appear over saturated, but the big picture of this part of the comparison is that the Galaxy S7 Edge’s display cannot be called an improvement over that of the Galaxy Note 5.
However, considering both displays are among if not the best screens available on the market there really nothing to be overly concerned about here.
Software and User Interface
Moving onto software and user interface, both of these handsets run the latest version of Android which at the time writing is 6.0.1 marshmallow, and finished off with a little piece of Samsung software, which you may be familiar with called TouchWiz. This is Samsung’s own user interface software and is used within all of its Android based handsets.
TouchWiz has been around for a while now, and feels like a sturdy reliable piece of software. From a design point of view, it has been optimised independently for each device with the S7 Edge receiving a cooler looking UX and the Note 5 getting a more multitasking friendly interface.
Even though the Note 5 is superior at multitasking, the S7 Edge is still able to hold its own in productivity terms. This is because Samsung hasn’t quite stripped all of the multitasking features away from the S7 Edge’s OS. Another one of the differences is in the UX of the edge, which houses convenient short-cuts and other super macro features, which enable a user too quickly automate functions, such as opening cameras and apps like Facebook.
CPU and Memory
Now it is at this point where we start to see some clear differences between the two handsets, both are very capable hand-held devices. However, the Galaxy Note 5 uses Samsung’s processor technology from 2015, whilst the Galaxy S7 Edge is lucky enough to benefit from the latest processor technology on offer.
Depending on whether you are inside or outside of the USA, there may be some difference in the CPU installed in the Galaxy S7 Edge. In the USA, it is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU, which boasts four custom 64 bit CPU cores and a powerful Adreno 530 GPU and fast lpddr4 RAM.
Outside of the USA, some variants will run on Samsung’s own Xynos 8990 chipset, which in comparison tests should run virtually identical to Qualcomm’s CPU however, both run up to 30% faster than the Xynos 7420chip found in the Galaxy Note 5.
Now its final thoughts time and you may be thinking, which handset is the best? Before I reach that part I’ll have to say, that both the S7 Edge and the Note 5 are incredibly impressive pieces of Samsung technology. Both with seriously gorgeous designs and with some of the best hardware that you can buy anywhere in 2016
As great as they both are, these smartphones are undoubtedly both different not only where design is concerned, but where user experience is concerned. The Galaxy S7 Edge is certainly the more attractive, with its dual edged display and better screen to body ratio, which makes it easy to hold in one hand.
It’s probably easier for you to imagine but Note 5 to be not so easy in the hand due to its large size, but it also lacks expandable storage. And it screen size being bigger is a huge Plus for this device, meaning that the S-Pen and TouchWiz combined offer a great multitasking experience.
Having said that though, the Galaxy S7 Edge it’s no slouch in the multitasking performance itself, UX makes multitasking and reaching for your favorite contacts plus apps an extremely easy and convenient task. As for hardware both phones are extremely fast with super chipsets and large amounts of storage for your videos contacts and images.
So as you can see, overall there is not much difference. The Note 5 has the edge in Multitasking and the S7 Edge has it in CPU speed however, here is where two points emerge in favour of the Note 5. They are Battery life, once charged the Note 5 can get you through at least a couple of days, where as the S7 Edge will struggle with 24-hours.
The next benefit is not about specs, it’s about price. As it currently stands an unlocked Sim-free version of the Note 5 will set you back around $600 whilst the Edge will cost in the region of $799.