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Samsung Galaxy Note5 Phablet Review
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The Improved Cameras

One of the best things about the Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 edge were their front and rear cameras. They were both far superior to their chief rival - the Apple iPhone 6, as we discovered in the Camera Shootout : Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. Apple iPhone 6.

You will be glad to know that Samsung knows enough not to mess with a good thing. They used the same front and rear cameras in the Galaxy Note5 - a 5 MP sensor with an f/1.9 lens in the front, and a 16 MP sensor with an f/1.9 lens in the back.

Samsung Galaxy Note5 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note5 Review

They did improve the rear camera by adding support for VDIS (Video Digital Image Stabilisation). VDIS works together with the rear 16 MP camera's Optical Image Stabilisation capability to further reduce handshake and vibration.

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Camera Performance - Photos

It comes to no surprise that the Samsung Galaxy Note5 phablet produced the same phenomenal pictures we saw with the Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 edge smartphones. Try blowing up the pictures below to 100% and pixel-peep.

Samsung Galaxy Note5 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note5 Review

Note how sharp the edges are, even when you blow up the pictures to 100%. The colours are also very vivid. All the hallmarks of the very excellent Sony IMX240 sensor. The Samsung Galaxy Note5 also did a great job of getting the exposure, whether we took the pictures in the shade, or with a bright background.

Samsung Galaxy Note5 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note5 Review

The amount of detail that its 16 MP Sony IMX240 sensor can capture is amazing. Take a look at these two pictures of oranges and pineapples. Blow up the picture and see how much detail is captured.

Samsung Galaxy Note5 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note5 Review

Do note that not all Galaxy Note5 phablets use the Sony IMX240 sensor. Depending on supply limitations, some Galaxy Note5 phablets may actually use Samsung's own ISOCELL sensor, which has the same resolution but produces less saturated colours.

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Camera Performance - Video Recording

Like the Galaxy S6 / S6 edge smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy Note5 can record 4K UHD (3840x2160) and QHD (2560x1440) videos, as well as 1080p (1920x1080) @ 60 fps videos. The only caveat is - using these modes will disable HDR and video stabilisation. The highest resolution that can be recorded with HDR and video stabilisation is 1080p (1920x1080) at 30 fps.

Here are two handheld videos of Mr. Yang I-Deun playing the piano. You will be amazed by how sharp and clear the videos are. Note how well the Samsung Galaxy Note5 controls the exposure of the scene, even with a bright background at the back.

The audio recording quality was pretty good. It was clear, albeit a bit flat. The emphasis appears to be on clarity, rather than dynamic range.

The Samsung Galaxy Note5 has a slight advantage over the Galaxy S6 / S6 edge smartphones in the video stabilisation aspect because it adds VDIS (Video Digital Image Stabilisation) technology to the existing OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) technology. This should further reduce the effect of handshaking and vibration on the recorded video. Our recorded videos seem to reflect this although it's hard to quantify how much.

The good news is VDIS works independently of OIS. That means if you record in the 4K UHD mode, OIS is disabled automatically. But VDIS will still work, affording you some image stabilisation. The front camera lacks OIS but has VDIS enabled.

Hands On With The Samsung Note5 S Pen

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The Samsung Galaxy Note5 Review


The Galaxy Note5 - The Best Note Yet
The Galaxy Note5 Unboxed
, What's Inside?


The Samsung Galaxy Note5 Phablet
Specifications Comparison


Display & Size, Storage & Memory
Dual SIM Capability, Improved S Pen


The Improved Cameras
Photo + Video Recording Performance


Work Performance - PCMark
Battery & Recharging Performance


Overall Performance - AnTuTu
Gaming Performance - 3DMark


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