Samsung took the wraps off its popular phablet — the Galaxy Note 7 — on Aug. 2 and the device is promising to be another winner from the company.

Comparisons with the predecessor Galaxy Note 5 are inevitable and consumers would be wondering what improvements the Galaxy Note 7 packs in when compared to the older iteration (there's no Note 6 in between).

Let's check out how the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy Note 7's specs compare against each other to see if the latest offering from Samsung is worth upgrading to.


The Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy Note 5 both sport a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED displays. The resolution for both phablets is the same at 2,560 x 1,440 pixels.

However, the Galaxy Note 7 sports a dual-curved screen — the first-ever Note series device to do so — which Samsung asserts makes the handset 2.2 mm thinner compared to the Galaxy Note 5 despite the same screen size.

The Galaxy Note 7 deploys Gorilla Glass 5 for protection versus the Gorilla Glass 4 on the Galaxy Note 5.

Another subtle difference between the two handsets is that like the Galaxy S7, the Galaxy Note 7 also boasts an Alway-On display, which basically means that one can take notes with the S Pen even on a dark screen and not unlock the device to do so.

Processor, RAM & Storage

The U.S variant of the Galaxy Note 7 is fueled by a more powerful octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor (quad-core 2.3 GHz + quad-core 1.6 GHz) when compared to the older-generation phablet.

The U.S. variant of the Galaxy Note 5, on the other hand is powered by the older octa-core Exynos 7420 processor (quad-core 2.1 GHz + quad-core 1.5 GHz). Both smartphones boast 4 GB of RAM.

The Galaxy Note 5 is available in three storage options: 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB. The Galaxy Note 7 will only be available in a 64 GB storage option. However, the new flagship marks the return of the microSD card slot which was skipped for the Galaxy Note 5. The microSD card support for the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone is up to 256 GB, giving the newer handset a clear edge over its predecessor.


The Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy Note 7 both support wireless charging. The Galaxy Note 7 houses a 3,500 mAh battery, which is slightly bigger than the 3,000 mAh one on the Galaxy Note 5. Additionally, the Galaxy Note 7 supports USB Type-C charging, unlike the Galaxy Note 5.


The Galaxy Note 7 houses a dual pixel 12-megapixel (f/1.7 lens) rear-facing camera with smart OIS support. The Galaxy Note 5, on the other hand, has a 16-megapixel (f/1.9 lens) camera with smart OIS support.

Both phablets tout a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, but the lens is different — the Galaxy Note 7's selfie camera has an f/1.7 lens and the Galaxy Note 5's has an f/1.9 lens.

Form Factor

The Galaxy Note 5 measures 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm (6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches) as opposed to the 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm (6.04 x 2.91 x 0.31 inches) dimensions of the Galaxy Note 7, making the later slightly thicker than the former.

At 169 g (5.96 ounces), the Galaxy Note 7 is also slightly lighter than the Galaxy Note 5 which weighs 171 g (6.03 ounces).

Operating System

At launch, the Galaxy Note 5 came pre-loaded with Android 5.1 Lollipop but soon Samsung updated the phablet to Android Marshmallow. The Galaxy Note 7 comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box. Both should get the new Nougat flavor when it launches, however.

Additional Features

Both Samsung phablets tout a fingerprint scanner, but Samsung has upped the ante with the Galaxy Note 7 by introducing an iris scanner.

Moreover, unlike the Galaxy Note 5, the Galaxy Note 7 is water- and dust-resistant with IP68 certification.

The Galaxy Note 7 also boasts enhanced S Pen features and the stylus is water resistant as well. It also has double the pressure sensitivity when compared to the older iteration's stylus.


The unlocked 64 GB variant of the Galaxy Note 5 costs $792.99. Reports hint that U.S. network operators will offer the unlocked model of the 64 GB Galaxy Note 7 for $849.99.

The Galaxy Note 7 is not a major overhaul when compared to the Galaxy Note 5. However, if you fancy using an Iris scanner, want a waterproof device and are keen on the dual-curved display, these could be strong enough reasons to upgrade. Otherwise, the Galaxy Note 5 is a good old warhorse that you can use for a while longer.

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