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5 min read 88 comments

Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 3 comparison: is it worth upgrading?

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is truly beautiful phone, but it’s replacing a real heavyweight: the five-star Galaxy Note 3. It’s dumped the fake leather and upped the specs of its predecessor, so is the Note 5 now the best phablet around? Let’s find out in our Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 3 comparison.

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The Galaxy Note 3 (front) and the Galaxy Note 5: how much has changed? / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 3: design and build quality

The Galaxy Note 5 doesn’t look significantly different to the Galaxy Note 3, but it has been to the gym. The Note 3 is 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm and weighs 168 g; the Note 5 is a little smaller and slimmer at 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm and 171 g. The new Note also dumps the fake leather back of the 3, which isn’t a bad thing.

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The Galaxy Note 5 (bottom) is undoubtedly the more attractive handset. / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 3: display

The Galaxy Note 5 has a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display that delivers 2,560 x 1,440 pixels at 515 ppi, and it’s absolutely superb: pin sharp with excellent color reproduction and good viewing angles. As with any AMOLED the display can be a little bright for some tastes, but that’s easy to adjust in each device’s Settings panel. The display is protected by the latest generation of Gorilla Glass, which comes with claims of 80 percent better durability than the glass on some lesser smartphones.

When the Note 3 went on sale its screen was one of the best around, but in this company the 5.7-inch AMOLED with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels at 386 ppi has lost its crown. It’s still a really great screen, but the Note 5 has crammed more pixels into the same space.

samsung galaxy note 5 vs galaxy note 3 display 3
The Note 3 (right) has a great display, but it's not comparison for the Galaxy Note 5. / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 3: processor and storage

The Note 5 comes packing an eight-core Exynos 7420 processor with 4 GB of RAM, and it’s backed up with either 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage but no microSD card slot. Samsung hasn’t announced clock speeds yet but the same processor in the Galaxy S6 has four cores at 2.1 GHz and four at 1.5 GHz.

The Note 3 came in two flavors: a quad-core Snapdragon 800 at 2.3 GHz, or an eight-core Exynos 5 Octa at 1.9 GHz. It has 3 GB of RAM and a choice of 32 GB or 64 GB of storage, plus the option to extend via microSD cards, something many users will miss on the Note 5. 

samsung galaxy note 5 vs galaxy note 3 power button 2
The Galaxy Note 5 has a beautiful metal and glass body, but no microSD card support. / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 3: camera

The Note 5 has a 5 MP front-facing selfie snapper and a 16 MP rear camera with optical image stabilisation. It’s the same camera and sensor as the current Galaxy S6, and that means it’s really good.

The Note 3 camera isn’t bad, but with 13 MP on the rear and 2 MP on the front, the Note 5 has it beaten in the specs stakes, hands down.

samsung galaxy note 5 vs galaxy note 3 camera 4
The camera technology is worlds apart on the Note 5 and Note 3. / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 3: software

The Note 5 runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Samsung’s recently slimmed down TouchWiz and will get Android M when the operating system is finished. The Note 3 originally shipped with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but the Android Lollipop update is rolling out to the Note 3 right now.

Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 3: battery

The Galaxy Note 5 comes with a 3,000 mAh battery, and the same power saving and power management features we saw in the Galaxy S6, so hopefully that means all-day battery life. The Note 5 also supports fast charging, which tops the battery up by around a third in 15 minutes. A full charge takes two hours using wireless charging or 90 minutes with a cabled charger.

samsung galaxy note 5 vs galaxy note 3 usb 1
Though the battery is smaller, the Note 5's battery features are more impressive. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Note 3 battery is bigger than the Note 5's – it’s 3,200 mAh – but doesn’t benefit from the newer Note’s more efficient processor and battery saving modes. Like its successor, the Note 3 supports fast charging.

Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 3: early verdict

When we reviewed the Galaxy Note 3 we gave it five stars: the display was – and still is – stunning, the S Pen is handy to have, the performance was excellent and the camera was pretty good too. All that was wrong, we felt, was the design – that fake leather in particular.

samsung galaxy note 5 vs galaxy note 3 front 1
The Note 5 is the more impressive version of an already impressive handset. / © ANDROIDPIT

So what’s changed? The leather has gone, the performance is better, the display is even more impressive and the S Pen is still handy to have. Samsung has looked at what made the Note 3 so good and found ways to make it even better. It’s a great device and a worthy successor to an already excellent device.

What do you think? Is this the Note you’ve been waiting for? Let us know in the comments.

Readers' favorite comments

  • Manfred Elsing Aug 15, 2015

    Shure,the note5 is newer better but I will keep my loved Note3 with at the moment running Android 5.1.1.After for me 1.5 years an amazing device.
    I got 2 new high quality akkus and for 4 days they give me the power to work .
    Also the fast 64 GB sdcard with the internal ROM works quite well.
    So,why change such a brilliant device?For me no reason to do that .

  • Keith Wright Aug 15, 2015

    I really want to ask the team that decided to eliminate the sd card and removable battery, WHAT IN THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Angel Huertas Aug 15, 2015

    I was thinking of upgrading from my Note 3 to the 5 but no sd card and no removable battery has made me think twice! I'm going to wait to see how much the price is going to drop on the Note 4 edge. .and why is there no Note 5 Edge? Sunny is dropping the ball!

  • Mohamad Nazri Mohd. Noh (Nazrae) Aug 15, 2015

    Okay.. Basically you're listing on the specs which is irrelevant because it would be a similar comparison if you compare the Note 3 with a Note 4 or a Note 2 with a Note 3 or a Note 4 etc. It is so lame if you ask me! Of course the hardware would be better than it's predecessor that's why it's it's called the 'next' generation! It wouldn't be a 'next' generation the hardware specs is lesser! Forget about the fake leather textured plastic back cover of the Note 3! It's a back cover for God's sake! Try to peel off a glass if you wanna change the battery on the Note 5!

    I would expect the Note 5 would be better than the Note 4 and would be a worthy jump from a Note 3 to a Note 5 as with those who are still using Note 2 to jump to Note 4.. But after looking at the specs, I was like "Hmmm.. Ok. Nothing much changed from the previous release of the S6 or S6 Edge.".

    Now, if the screen is bigger (that's why they called it a Note) say 5.89in or 6in, a 4100mAH battery (non-removable battery, I can live with that), SD Card support (as the Dual SIM version of the Note 5 supports this) and inclusive of those other specs you listed! Then, it would be a worthy successor of the Note 3 and 4!

    Some may find it irrelevant of the SD Card support and use Cloud storage! Try downloading files when the signal is weak or none at all! Try downloading data until it reaches it's limits and bottlenecked! Backup can Restore can be stored to Cloud or Contacts saved to Google will be restored when signed in but what about other files? VCFs (Contact files), important downloaded email attachments, images, apk files etc. Mind you that the storage is not gonna be 32GB or 64GB, it will be lesser by 1.5 or 2GB with OS files! SD Card is a safeguard in case something went wrong with the phone and backup to the SD Card is practical.

    Samsung may have thought this through and ways to make things easier but for me as a Power User, the Note 5 is a let down! Why take away the things that makes it a Note and/ or doesn't stand in the way of its functions? The Note series stands out on it's own from S Series and other Samsung smartphones or from other brands! Now, the Note 5 looks like S6 Edge+ but inverted. The back cover of the S6 Edge+ is now the screen for the Note 5 and the front screen of the S6 Edge+ becomes the back cover of the Note 5! I'll be getting a Note 4 instead and still keeping me Note 3 as backup!

  • D.j. Klermund Aug 22, 2015

    F you Samsung! I can't believe that you've done this to me. I was really looking forward to upgrading to a note 5 from my note 3, but after I find out you have taken away my micro SD card slot and now do not allow me to remove the battery I will never swap. I may have to find a new company to provide my next phablet. You lost me Samsung, wow what a fumble!

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  • 3 years later I just found this article because Tmobile replaced my dieing Note 3 with a Note 5, and I absolutely HATE it. Some things this article completely failed to explain.

    Note 5 Downgrades:
    No replaceable battery
    No IR port for IR remote control
    No USB 3...

    My Note 3 lasted almost 5 years, and went through 3 different batteries, the most recent one 2x Capacity... My Note 5 will only last as long as it's batter does... Wich will not be 5 years I assure you.

    I could care less about the minor speed tweaks, slightly brighter harder to read screen, or smaller slippery design... I/we lost more features than the damned iPhone headphone jack, and they were not even briefly mentioned??? These losses are terrible, and my opinion of Samsung which was 100% is and now in the low 40's at best. I'm just glad I wasn't an idiot who paid full retail for this and instead got it under warranty (which I don't pay out of pocket or else it would be like $400).

    Stop taking away features from devices and integrating forced obsolescence!!!! People who buy Samsung products buy them to last, if we wanted expensive throw away devices we would choose Apple..


    • And yes, I used all of these features daily! Now my battery will be the end of the phone, I can't remote control my TV, AC, and Stereo system with the same device, and not only are transfer speeds slower, USB 2.0 does not support Display Link like 3.0 did/does... So everything OTG is fail now...


  • Also usb 2 on note 5 vs usb 3 on note 3 means slower transfer speeds to my pc...another concern


  • i like the sd card, and removable battery. lets me control some things, i like the pleather back too. my phone is paid for and i don't use the camera that much. its mainly my business device, to read documents, edit, and send out. i like the stylus pen. screen is great for me. I was thinking of upgrading to the newer phone, but think i will keep my tried and true note 3. i have had it for two years , not changing out .


  • I commented on here when I was trying to decide weather to update my note 3 to the note 5. I couldn't make up my mind what to do. I'm glad I decided to update cause I've had my note 5 for 7 months and I love it. I hate that I lost my remote control, which not many people talk about but I've still got my note 3 sitting in my bedroom for that. I bought the 64 gb version and was very worried cause I put a lot of my phone but I still have plenty of space. The reason they took the SD card out was to make it faster and more responsive and it worked. If it has to read the SD card it takes longer. This phone is so fast it never lags. The camera is great too. I updated and have not regretted it at all.


  • I can't believe Samsung let me down. I'm a Small Business Owner who runs ENTIRELY off of Samsung. I love that my phone is just as useful as my Tab2, Chromebook, Smart TV and Printer. I NEED that additional space.

    My Note 3 hasn't let me down. I have had the same device(no trades, upgrades, or troubleshooting) for the last 2+ years. I consider myself a HEAVY user of my Samsung devices. ESPECIALLY my phone. I Screen Mirror to my employees, chat on Gtalk(now called Hangouts), Use Google voice for "digital receptionists" through 4 different phones, email, text, surf the web, use multiple screens during Mirrioring, text to speech when I am driving, GPS going to meet different clients - my list is ENDLESS.

    Why on God's earth would you remove the option to pop in an additional battery OR additional memory?! THAT'S WHY WE CHOSE YOU OVER APPLE IN THE FIRST PLACE!! Ugh!! Personally, I get through the day on ONE charge. I'll plug my Samsung portable charger in while on the go. With my S2, I would switch batteries(so I can understand other angry user's complaints). I want to upgrade simply because, I always do when Samsung releases a new product(I'm a fan!). Given, it's usually an upgrade that's WORTH it. I've been waiting since the release of this phone, my NOTE 3...

    My Note 3 was and IS still the best phone out. I run a business. I need my files on me at all times. I pay monthly for my Google Drive to be larger - I'm already occupying about 80% of that. Can you imagine my phone's memory with the 64g HDSD?! I'm STILL packed. If you're going to FORCE us to not have removable storage-be BETTER than Apple. Give me more space. Make it worth my while!

    I'll hold off until Samsung gets it together.

    Signed,
    An ANGRY Samsung Fan/User


  • I don't see the big deal about a removable battery specially when I can use a wireless charger. Would be nice to get a bigger screen with the note 6 but my note 3 has seen it's better days behind it. I am having some software issues and now the phone just shuts off when I try to answer a call. It is a great device but on with a newer one. Note 5, here I come.


  • Why it it everyone hate on the plastic back......you can buy a leather one.... A steel one....I've even seems some 24k gold one.....

    The plastic back allows easy access for guests what.... ? Replacing the battery and sd card BY Yourself.

    The back is not a flaw it allows you to access built in features.....

    The same dumb asses who critique the plastic back to not tell us how they would allow customers to change batteries and sd cards easily while maintaining the slimmest profile possible


  • I was in the same boat as all the note 3 users upset with the battery and sd being not available features. Then I thought about it... for the sd card, I have never used nearly 10g of my note 3 capacity and never had a sd in it. For the battery, I may have removed my battery once in 2 years and that was when I first got it. I put it into an otterbox day one. And only took it off a few times since. The battery is very reliable. It makes no sence to limit myself to no upgrades because of that, it's the future, cloud computing. .. may as well enjoy it now!


  • Stop complaining about the microSD card slot being removed people. It's not a terrible tragedy but it does require you to think just a little bit about how you can get around this. As one person mentioned, you can use cloud storage. My personal preference is to use a Monster Duo flash drive. It has a micro USB port on one end & a regular USB port on the other end. Simply plug the drive into the micro USB port on the phone & you're good to go. With OTG USB built in you don't need to download anything to make it work. There are other manufacturers of the "Duo" flash drives. Stick with one that is Class 10 or U1 for speed purposes. This really isn't that big of a deal breaker IMHO.


  • I'm ready to upgrade my Note 3, but Samsung has missed the mark for me. No SD card slot, and no replaceable battery! I travel internationally, and need 30-40 hours of use....


    • Use the micro USB port with an OTG cable or a flash drive that has a micro USB port on it, like the Monster Digital Mobile Drive Mini 3.0. The lack of a microSD card slot sounds very bad at first but there are ways around everything. There is a big push being made by all of these tech companies to more or less force us to use the cloud. I would much rather use an OTG cable & secure the data myself. Is it that much of an inconvenience to carry a flash drive that's 1.5" L x .5" W x .25 H?


      • Come on! I don't want to take everywhere with me additional drive!! No card it's like a foot shot. I'm doing a lot o photo and I keep many documents on card. I don't want to store it in internet. What happend it's my baterry will be weak? Now I can replace it. Without it I need to pay for costly repair. I have Note 3 and I don't change it for new one.


    • Use the micro USB port with an OTG cable or a flash drive that has a micro USB port on it, like the Monster Digital Mobile Drive Mini 3.0. The lack of a microSD card slot sounds very bad at first but there are ways around everything.


  • Rush Nov 15, 2015 Link to comment

    I currently have a Note 3, and came due for an upgrade around the launch of the Note 5. I was 99% sure I was upgrading and very excited to see what all Samsung would add to the latest note. But when they launched it was revealed they did away with the removable back. This is the 1% that made me change my mind about upgrading to the Note 5. I utilize the mircoSD card slot and I always carry a fully charged extra battery while hunting or doing anything when I'll be away from power for a while. It's so much better to pop in a 100% OEM battery than to plug in to a portable charger for hours. Anyways, I still want to upgrade because I have become unhappy with the note 3 camera. Everything else is still great. So now I'm having to spend countless hours researching LG, HTC, etc. to try and figure out what I will upgrade to. I will hate losing the few Samsung bloatware features I use, but I need my removable battery and expandable memory. Thanks a lot Samsung.


  • I was really excited about the new Note 5, mainly the camera. But the HUGE deal breaker is the noSD slot. I can handle the non removable battery because I've had HTCs. I have way to many pictures and music to not have an external memory card. Why would they take out that option??


  • Just like everyone else I have a note 3, upgraded from the note 2 that I gave to my daughter after 2 years cause it was still a great phone, I've had my Note 3 for close to 2 years now and it's still a great phone. I cracked the screen after dropping it and now I have 2 tiny hairline cracks going across the screen. Also, after tmobile offered the upgrade to the new OS my phone had all kinds of problems. Apps that came with the phone were force closing without even being open, battery draining real fast, texts taking 20 minutes or longer to send so I would use Facebook messenger, and more. On November 20th I've been with tmobile for 3 years and they told me I can get a new phone for nothing down on the jump program instead of a high down payment since I made 2 payments late lol (over 500 dollars down) so I'm thinking about upgrading to the new note 5. I've got the 32gb version with a 64gb card. I've used almost 19gb on internal and that's just apps and the occasional file that I don't realize gets saved on internal storage. I use my phone a lot for watching movies, reading books, using apps, taking notes, and just about everything else so I'm trying to decide if the loss of an external SD card is a deal breaker for me. I've got an external 1 TB hard drive so I guess I can move to it when I full up but I like having everything with me. I don't like the non removable battery either, not cause I want to replace it cause I've never had to buy another battery but every once in a while the phone freezes and I have to take the battery out to free it. I won't be able to do that anymore and that makes me nervous. I like having the best smart phone out there and I've been a die hard Samsung fan since I got the note 2 and I've told every one about it and switched a lot of people from crappy apple's to Galaxy phones cause they're better but now they're trying to imitate apple and it's sad. I hate apples they suck they won't let you tweak your phone or do anything other then the basics and their app store sucks and don't get me started on their music and getting music on the phone. I've always made fun of apples saying damn that sucks you can't take your battery out or put an SD card in your phone and what is your screen made from glass. Now they will be saying that about me, except the glass part. I'm gonna have to pay another 100 to upgrade 32gb to the 64gb cause I know 32gb total will not be enough, instead of putting my 64gb card from my Note 3 to my Note 5 that I paid 50 bucks for. Can someone help me make up my mind. I just can't decide.


  • I've had my note 3 for a little over 2 years now. It's been dropped several times and still keeps working. I hate that it doesn't have flash capabilities. I was looking forward to upgrading to the note 5, but I went for 2 big reasons. First is the lack of removable battery. If that was the only flaw in the new design, I might be able to live with that, especially if the battery has a larger capacity. But no mSD slot is a HUGE deal breaker for me. Might just as well go to the dark side and get an Apple product. That is why I liked the android platform so much. Sorry Sammy, it's been real, but, it's time to look elsewhere I guess..


  • I just bought a Note 3, have had it for about 2 weeks, and I'm loving it!

    I did not even consider the Note 5. The lack of an SD card slot and removable battery is a deal breaker. The one neat thing about the Note 5 is that you can write on the screen while the display is turned off. However, my Note 3 can now do the same with an app called Screen Off Memo (downloaded from XDA forums).

    Overall, the Note 3 is more than capable for my needs. I don't need it to be any faster (apps open within 1-3 seconds, smooth transitions, games run smoothly), and the screen is still beautiful by today's standards. The average person isn't going to go "wow what an old phone." My experience has been just the opposite with friends and relatives feeling impressed by it. In fact, my brother thought it was a Note 4 until I flipped it over to show him the back, lol.


  • Keep in mind that batteries go bad so when the battery in the note 5 goes bad the phone is useless when it goes bad in the note 3 you just buy another one for $15, I'll stick with the note 3, Samsung if I wanted an Iphone I would have bought an Iphone, imitating their phone is NOT a good idea.


  • I for one cannot live with a non removable battey and no SD card, I will be keeping my note 3, I have been using Samsung for many years but they are now going in the wrong direction so when I'm ready to upgrade I will be looking at other companies unless of course Samsung goes back to removable batteries & SD card slots.


  • My Note 3 died on Saturday, no one could tell me why, I now have the Note 5 I am NOT impressed not sure it is worth the money like the 3 was. I am in grad school the whole reason why I fell in love with the 3. For this money I want my phone to be my backup computer! I have another 10 days to return it not sure what to do.......any thoughts?


  • I upgrade from the 3 to 5. Since switching from Appl 3 years ago, I have converted to a die hard Samsung fan. The Note 3 was and is an amazing phone, but the 5 is even better. Here are the major difference I see:
    -Note 5 is sturdier- no more fake leather, better quality feel in your hand
    - Note 5 pen: you have to push in to release it to come out. I LOST my 3 pen when I dropped it one day, which was devastating to me. Point its, the 5's pen will not just fall out :)
    -NO MORE MENU BUTTON on the 5. This is taking me a bit to get used to. Instead, it is the multi-tasking button, which I do like.
    -Image is sharper on the 5.
    -5 has an updated look to the default theme. AND YOU CAN NOW DOWNLOAD THEMES (some free, some not) to personalize your phone. I LOVE THIS!!!!
    - 5 s Health will measure your heart rate, SpO2, and stress with a built in sensor. The 3 only did this if you had a fit bit or s gear accessory.

    I know this is a lengthy comment, but these are the major differences I've noted in the first 24 hours of owning a new 5.


  • I upgraded from the 3 to the 5. I never used expandable storage, have plenty music, pictures and videos. When it got full, I would transfer content to Dropbox or my PC. I also used the S Note and the stylus heavily. So for me, it was an actual upgrade. I loved the Note 3, it's still an amazing phone, but in really enjoying the Note 5.

    One caveat is I also have 2 Note Pro 12.2s where I DO use the expandable storage and use heavier apps like Photoshop, Autodesk, OneNote, etc...


  • We were an apple family but I moved to the note 3 and have loved it. Others in the family slowly moved to it from apple as well because it was...well just great. It's had some occasional gps issues and the speakers are a bit average. Plus the earphone socket gets blocked easily causing headphones not to work without a 30 minute clean out but otherwise it was great. I expanded the storage with a samsung sd card by another 32 gig. I watch movies and TV on it due to the great screen and expandable storage. Also I can (with some tweaks) use the external sd card as a mass storage device for mp3 for my car. I was really excited about upgrading....BUT...now I read that external sd card is gone... battery can't be changed. (Does this also mean no more activated flip cover) and I haven't found any mention of audio improvement. I feel I just can't upgrade as these are deal breakers. My wife now wants to go back to apple since her upgrade contract is available.


  • I would like to point out that the Note 5 is bigger in the one dimension that I notice most in using a large phone - it is longer (taller) than the Note 3. Most of the time I don't notice the Note 3 in my front pocket, except when sitting or bicycling with pants that don't have deep pockets.


  • Jeez what a bunch of complainers. If you use more than 32GB of storage you've got problems. I've had the Note 2 and I'm currently on the Note 3 and I've never used the expandable storage. I have over 1000 songs, about 300 photos, and close to 150 apps and I still have about 15GB+ of storage left. Whenever my phone gets pretty close to being full, I just upload everything to my PC. On a performance and looks level the Note 5 is one of the best Android phones out there. If you want a removable battery and storage there are other options out there, but they are not nearly as powerful as Samsung's lineup, but with cloud storage and improved batteries you don't need any of that stuff.


    • You probably don't need the Note series then. Most phones can handle that sort of usuage.

      The Note series was marketed as a "phablet" (tablet replacer), as such I have used my Note 3 quite extensively, for editing and other features. I am well and truly over 6,000-7,000 photos and other images I use for work and leisure (and I still need to keep moving off the phone and into storage). That doesn't include my music and other apps (some which can be rather large in size).

      I probably use about 60-80gb worth of material (on a monthly basis, as my job requires me to document a lot of small details for records, coupled with a stylus pen it made this process much quicker for me), so expandable memory was a welcomed feature. Also as the battery dies (and it does degrade with more usage), I usually just would buy a replacement for $15 and it worked like new again. That option is no longer available, and you'll find if you battery was faulty you may end up paying anywhere between $100-200 to have it replaced if you want to avoid voiding the warranty.

      So it does present some problems for those that actually used the Note for its original design intent.


      • I agree with Slavco... The Note 3 was designed as a business Phablet, for power users and heavy business and personal use. I store no music on my device as I typically stream my music using Spotify or Pandora (storing music files wastes space, which I use to scan business documents and save on my SD card versus the cloud, for offline, immediate access).

        I absolutely love my Note 3, and for me, I need the additional 'on-device' versus cloud, storage space. As stated earlier, I need access to many of my business files 'offline'. As a power user, there are times you don't have online access or, if you do have access, you don't have time to wait and access the cloud service provider.

        For power, I have a full-sized, battery & case, which when charged gives me 4-5 days of usage and standby service. Without the ability to access and upgrade the battery, Samsung has eliminated any possibility of users achieving this 3rd party battery/case option, which is a terrible user experience.

        Samsung, what are you thinking? I love Samsung, but the recent Phablet devices are useless to business and power users. The latest Note phones completely miss the mark, and were obviously developed with litte or no user input (user experince testing before development).

        The faster processors are wonderful, however, I have few limitations with my current Note 3 device. The same with my screen... I love the screen of my Note 3, and I actually do graphics design work. Samsung, since technology has reached such glorious levels of speed and screen resolution, just how much do users need, compared to the cost, to perform their daily tasks? Business 101 concepts of product design state that you should never take away product features that 1) are imporant to consumers, 2) improved useability and 3) extend the devices time of use (replace battery, upgrade battery, etc).

        The cell phone / tablet / phablet market has reached a plateau. I would prefer devices having more RAM, so I can multitask without slowing down. For all consumers, we now have to consider the high cost of acquistion to the return of our investment. Is the high cost of a newer device worth the investment? For most of us, the right time to buy is when company's such as Samsung, offer better features (without loss of current features). The new Note features are just not worth the cost to upgrade.


    • That is exactly why people are complaining... they wanted the good parts of the Note 5 but without having to sacrifice the things they loved about previous Notes.
      Sure, you can live without a lot of things. When it comes to flagship smartphones, using the word NEED is always too strong, but people want to get what they WANT for that kind of money, not something almost good enough.
      I have a 32 GB Note 3 and I just upgraded to a 128 GB microSD card because my 64 GB was filling up too much. Someone could just as easily comment that anyone who needs more than 4GB of space on a phone has problems, and you would probably view their comment the same way many others see yours.


    • I make and edit videos using my Note 3 and Kinemaster. You didn't mention having any videos on your device. They take up 80% of my storage space with Apps being the next highest. The camera having many video setting options such as slow motion etc along with the large screen means it is a solid device for social media video creation and sharing. Large storage as an option is required.


    • You obviously never take videos of your kids doing cute stuff or use those 150 apps because once you do they store app data which takes up space. Your the minority if you've never used external storage not the majority dude. Most people use this phone for everything from work, to note taking, to movies, videos, pictures, and the list goes on and on. App updates keep getting larger and larger not smaller as they put more features on them. I have less apps then you do and store everything else on my external sd and I'm using 19 gb of my 32. All my pics, music and videos are on my external and some of my apps that I don't care if they are fast or not are on there as well. Also, my phone freezes some times and it's good to take the battery out at least once a week to reset your phone, even your carrier will tell you that. I don't think it's right to tell people they've got problems if they're using more storage then you.


  • Earlier this year on his visit to the US I met the Samsung's CEO and told him "you guys make a great product" all in anticipation for the new note 5. He acknowledged my comment and replied "thanks for your support". Wish I would not have said it.


  • Is there an app that will download all my data (photos and video) via wireless connection or internet connection, then delete them from my phone right away so that I never use up my 32gb of memory?


    • pink Aug 26, 2015 Link to comment

      you can always use the Cloud or Google or Photobucket for online storage or transfer files from USB to your computer/external hard drive


  • I have always kept my phone in an OtterBox case but before I do this I insert my 64GB SD Card in which I am getting ready to move up to a 128GB. I was waiting to see what the Note 5 would be like and like the better camera but the lack of an SD Card is a bad thing for me. Also why would they take this away, the answer is it cost you $99 for 32gb more which is a ripoff and pushes people to use the cloud which they will need to pay for more space. What a shame... the next best thing did not come, it went!

    Keeping my Note 3 but will be getting a new OtterBox case after 1.5 years and a 128gb SD Card. Maybe the next best thing will be the Note 6?


  • Very frustrating for me. It took me 2 years to have the rest of my family see the light with my note 3. They all have the latest and greatest apple product. As they upgrade I stayed with my note 3. Throughtout this time frame they have had issues with memory, apples monopoly on apps, music and products. They saw i could download, expand my memory, when i wanted and without manipulation of a vendor. Samsung you build a great product why in the H__L would you want to imatate and start applying practices like apple?
    Please bring back the sd card.


  • F you Samsung! I can't believe that you've done this to me. I was really looking forward to upgrading to a note 5 from my note 3, but after I find out you have taken away my micro SD card slot and now do not allow me to remove the battery I will never swap. I may have to find a new company to provide my next phablet. You lost me Samsung, wow what a fumble!


    • I feel the same way. I might try something from Xiaomi or Meizu. Maybe Huawei.


      • Same here. Most may think losing the SD slot is no big deal but its a big deal to me. Waiting to see the LG G Pro 3. Sounds perfect.


      • Use the micro USB port with an OTG cable or a flash drive that has a micro USB port on it, like the Monster Digital Mobile Drive Mini 3.0. The lack of a microSD card slot sounds very bad at first but there are ways around everything.


    • I feel the same way, this has made me start looking for other alternatives. Thought I would use the note series for a long time. I was wrong!


    • forums.xda-developers.com/note5/help/disappointed-samsung-galaxy-note-5-t3183666
      This XDA-Thread is made by a poor genius, and only bbbobbbo and hella356 and another guy take this XDA-User serious.
      Whoever made that Note 5 XDA thread IS A 100% GENIUS!!!!!


      • That thread says everything, that i wanted to say.
        If you want to know, what i wanted to tell you, read this: forums.xda-developers.com/note5/help/disappointed-samsung-galaxy-note-5-t3183666


  • I have a note 3 and it's amazing but honestly I'd switch to the note 5 although they took off the sd and removable battery they've improved quite a bit of things and the processer on rhe note 5 is much better so is the cameras resolution and it looks alot better so it's a much faster phone and soon enough they'll stop having updates for the note 3. And why are people saying there taking away what makes it a note. They aren't notes because of the battery and SD card. If you said that you're stupid because that has nothing to do with why it's a note because thousands of phones have removable batteries and sd cards. They are notes because of the stylus pen and the size of it


    • Andre, I find it insulting to be called "stupid", and I am hard-pressed to find many phablets or smartphones these days that have an SD card these days, but perhaps there is a long list you are aware of? Many on this blog and throughout the web feel that is the deal breaker to spending a ton of money on an upgrade, but you are welcome to waste your money on the Note 5. Most, like myself, can live without the removeable battery in exchange for wireless fast charging. If all the Note 3 had was a stylus to sell it, I don't think the reaction to the removal of the SD card would be so strong, nor do I think Apple and other manufacturers would have reacted to the popularity of the Note 3 by going bigger. Yes, the Note 5 is "pretty", faster and now has "gorilla glass" instead of plastic. So what? Any intellingent consumer will cover up their expensive device with a protective case (unless of course you have the money to replace it when you drop it.) Palm Pilots had styli as well. You like the Note 5? Exercise your freedom and buy one. But don't insult others by calling them stupid because they have legitimate complaints about the direction Samsung has taken in their upgrade progression. Samsung's drop in overall sales in the past 2 years is somewhat indicative of the quandary Samsung has placed itself in. To be honest? I bought my Note 3 for the very reasons you say we are stupid. At this point, I think it's "stupid" to buy the Note 5. If you have a Note 3 or 4, cool. If you're going to spend the money on a Note 5 just for the so-called enhancements, you're better off getting the cheaper S6, S6 Edge, etc. Otherwise you are one of a multitude that buys the latest and greatest because the manufacturer says its better. That, to me, is the definition of a sucker and a "tool".

      My Note 3 is a damn good phone, still...with a stylus and MicroSD card. If you noticed,, Samsung is after iPhone owners, not satisfying the faithful fans who supported them through the last couple of years. Enjoy your overpriced smartphone with a stylus. I'll stay in the "stupid" category and save my money. Have a nice day! 😉 👍


    • A note is a phone for a power user, not someone who wants to look pretty. Taking those stupid features (as you call them) away takes the phone out of this category.


  • Clearly there will be a lot of people clinging to their S5's and Note 3's and 4's because of the loss of removable battery and SD. You can buy a $10 Qi Wireless Receiver card for your phone and make it charge wireless, did it with my Note 3 and my kids S4 and S5. I bought a couple $15 wireless pads so whenever you put the phone down it's charging. I mention this in case anyone is thinking of upgrading and the wireless charging is a major factor, even my Note 3 with an extended battery charges wireless with it's big fat battery, Mugen makes a wireless charging case for the big battery.


    • Where do you get a wireless pad for $15?
      I just got a Note 5 and they said the wireless pad thing cost $50.


    • Thanks Tim. I just bought a Qi Wireless Charger Receiver card for $3.00 and 2 Qi Wireless Power Charging pads (home and work) for $3.89 each off of eBay (you can even choose white or black). They are all being shipped from China by ePacket but I have the time. I did not even know you could add this feature to a Note III. Especially for this price. Now I don't really see the need to upgrade to the Note 5.


  • Rick N Aug 19, 2015 Link to comment

    I just did a side by side size comparison of the viewable screen...Note 3 is taller and wider by a few mm.

    Can't live without MicroSD. The battery being permanent is ok because of the faster charging.

    Also, fyi...the Edge + has the same viewable screen size as the Note3 but without the pen :(
    And the only edge phone that's worth a damn is the Note Edge because the edge screen size is in addition to the viewable screen, unlike the other Edge phones that came after it.


    • You hit upon my sentiments exactly! I purposely skipped the Note 4 to see what the Note 5 had to offer. I can live without the replaceable battery and would like the wireless fast charging, but no MicroSD? That's what I love about my Note 3. Almost 3 years later and I am hard pressed to want to upgrade.


  • I have had my Note3 for 1.5 years and love it. I remember when I would get a new phone and a week later something better came out. That is not the case with the Note3. I have been watching new phones and Samsung (as well as others) have given me no reason to "upgrade". Samsung did great things with the Note3, how is it the the new versions of the phone have been downgrades? Give me a 6 inch screen, microSD, a better camera, longer battery life. Keep the features that people already love, don't get rid of them. Improve on the features that make this phone great. Give us a reason to want to upgrade (other then forcing the new OS updates that slow my phone that I already love). So many people use cases now, so a metal back is not really a big selling point, just saying.


    • I totally agree with you. The Note 3 is a excellent phone. The person's comment I was replying to made comments last year arguing in favor of keeping his Note 3 because he believed the 4 was a "paltry" upgrade. He said he was waiting on the 5.


    • I agree. None of the upgrades Samsung ever did proves that they worked on the key selling points of the Note 3. E.g dozen of sensors, removable battery, back cover which doesn't slip on the palm, Micro SD slot, IR port, NFC, flat screen etc.
      Comparing to what have been dropped when upgrading to Note 4, Edge and Note 5, it is still worth keeping my good old Note 3 which is still a super phone. I think Note 3 was made by mistake.
      A human eye can detect a maximum of 450 to 470 ppi. So, going beyond this limit doesn't make a detectable difference of a display. Also adding stupid healthcare and fitness tools onto the handset doesn't make good business sense. I don't wanna lose all the tools I have handy on the Note 3, to get a heartbeat meter. Making a handset more user adjustable is more attractive than imposing inflexibly strict hardware bureaucracy like Apple does. Note 3 still earns more overall points than any other handset on the planet.


    • Completely agree, though it would be tough to make the battery and screen bigger as this would add to the size of an already big phone, but all the other upgrades were great; if only the battery would have stayed at least the same and an upgrade to the sd card would have been outstanding. From their perspective, if they did all those things I think most people would have purchased that new phone and kept it for years which would have drop sales for future versions of the phone. It's all about money.


  • This review discussing the comparison of the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 5 was vague and uninformative. I don't understand how a company that can develop such innovative products has such a difficult time delivering information to its clients.


  • Titan Aug 16, 2015 Link to comment

    From the begining of smartphones revolution customers bought samsung phones than iphone because it has (option). Now behind some same spec with note4 .. buying golden glass cover for note4 is more okay than buying note5 :p


  • My toughts exactly...im not changing my note 3..i need micro sd..i need at least a minimum of 128 gigs and mixro sd on top to crank it to 256 or more...64gb is a joke...people who buy this ..buy it to use it not to look at it!!!!...thanks samsung for listening...hope that next year..after loosing an incredible amount of$$$$ you'll realise why it was such a bad idea to lose the removables!!! I heard lg will have a super phone with big upgrade possibilities...maybe not..maybe...dont know for shure..but what i do know is i will not buy a non removable storage gismo like the new note 5.....will do what i never would of tought...look elswhere than samsung.....


  • Who cares about a glass back, my phones have all lived in a cover! They can make the backs out of paper as long as the phone does the job I want it to do!
    I'll stick with Note 3 until someone at Samsung listens to their customers and puts micro sd card back where it belongs!
    #NoSDcardNoSale


    • Wow! It's nice to see I'm not alone. I really wanted to upgrade, and at Best Buy compared the 5 with my 3. Is it a prettier display? Yes. Does it have cool features not found on the 3? Yes. Is it so cool and so impressive that it convinced me to upgrade? Nope. I'm with everyone else...they seem to want to follow in Apple footsteps. The reason people love the Note 3 is the freedom, Samsung! Stop putting out new versions every year and improve without removing the very features we loved in the 3. Otherwise, why spend another $300-$600? 2 years and I still love my 3!


  • A better comparison would have been the Note 4 Vs the Note 5..


    • Not really... Considering most contracts are 24months........


    • I don't know, Paul. I have friends who have the 4 and are happy, but many of us 3 owners still like our freedom...4 & 5 just don't cut it. Who cares about plastic vs aluminum? Anyone purchasing a phone this expensive is a fool not to get an Otter or other protective case. So all the "beauty" and "streamlining" the reviews and Samsung are promoting don't make up for the fact that the 3 is a timeless device that should be improved without removing the very options Note 3 owners value. S4 and Note 3 are the reason Apple came out with iPhone 6.


  • I really want to ask the team that decided to eliminate the sd card and removable battery, WHAT IN THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • LMAO!!! Talk about "paltry upgrade"! More like a downgrade. Same screen, no SD, no removable battery and no apps to fully take advantage of the 64bit chip! This is what you were waiting a year for? Here's to hoping the 3 can make it to the 6!


      • Use the micro USB port with an OTG cable or a flash drive that has a micro USB port on it, like the Monster Digital Mobile Drive Mini 3.0. The lack of a microSD card slot sounds very bad at first but there are ways around everything.


      • Who has time? Who has the desire? Get it together Samsung - you're great and all, but perhaps you could current owners opinions before doing stupid stuff! It's Jan 2018 and I still love, love, love my Note 3. By the way, so does my son! Meanwhile, my other son has fallen into the industry's - "Get a new phone every year trap". Samsung may have decided, when looking back on the Note 3, and said, "Hell, everyone is keeping them, not good!" - lol.


    • I fully agree!


    • Use the micro USB port with an OTG cable or a flash drive that has a micro USB port on it, like the Monster Digital Mobile Drive Mini 3.0. The lack of a microSD card slot sounds very bad at first but there are ways around everything.


    • Ditto. My SD card goes where I go.


  • I was thinking of upgrading from my Note 3 to the 5 but no sd card and no removable battery has made me think twice! I'm going to wait to see how much the price is going to drop on the Note 4 edge. .and why is there no Note 5 Edge? Sunny is dropping the ball!


  • dean Aug 15, 2015 Link to comment

    Apple will be laughing like hey Sammy just not only shot itself in the foot but blew the ankle too lol. The two things that made the note so attractive has been dumped.yeah it's a iPhone + with a sylus now. I will be keeping my note4 till I find a worthy successor.


  • Okay.. Basically you're listing on the specs which is irrelevant because it would be a similar comparison if you compare the Note 3 with a Note 4 or a Note 2 with a Note 3 or a Note 4 etc. It is so lame if you ask me! Of course the hardware would be better than it's predecessor that's why it's it's called the 'next' generation! It wouldn't be a 'next' generation the hardware specs is lesser! Forget about the fake leather textured plastic back cover of the Note 3! It's a back cover for God's sake! Try to peel off a glass if you wanna change the battery on the Note 5!

    I would expect the Note 5 would be better than the Note 4 and would be a worthy jump from a Note 3 to a Note 5 as with those who are still using Note 2 to jump to Note 4.. But after looking at the specs, I was like "Hmmm.. Ok. Nothing much changed from the previous release of the S6 or S6 Edge.".

    Now, if the screen is bigger (that's why they called it a Note) say 5.89in or 6in, a 4100mAH battery (non-removable battery, I can live with that), SD Card support (as the Dual SIM version of the Note 5 supports this) and inclusive of those other specs you listed! Then, it would be a worthy successor of the Note 3 and 4!

    Some may find it irrelevant of the SD Card support and use Cloud storage! Try downloading files when the signal is weak or none at all! Try downloading data until it reaches it's limits and bottlenecked! Backup can Restore can be stored to Cloud or Contacts saved to Google will be restored when signed in but what about other files? VCFs (Contact files), important downloaded email attachments, images, apk files etc. Mind you that the storage is not gonna be 32GB or 64GB, it will be lesser by 1.5 or 2GB with OS files! SD Card is a safeguard in case something went wrong with the phone and backup to the SD Card is practical.

    Samsung may have thought this through and ways to make things easier but for me as a Power User, the Note 5 is a let down! Why take away the things that makes it a Note and/ or doesn't stand in the way of its functions? The Note series stands out on it's own from S Series and other Samsung smartphones or from other brands! Now, the Note 5 looks like S6 Edge+ but inverted. The back cover of the S6 Edge+ is now the screen for the Note 5 and the front screen of the S6 Edge+ becomes the back cover of the Note 5! I'll be getting a Note 4 instead and still keeping me Note 3 as backup!


    • Exactly! Undersign below each word.
      Actually I'm disappointed in the whole new Samsung lineup, that is Note 5, S6 Edge Plus, and the upcoming Tab S2 - all of them seem to copy the hateful Apple products, with the 4:3 screen on the second Tab S and absence of SD card slots and nonremovable batteries.
      It doesn't seem enough their new software updates make older devices work worse, slower, so one would consider getting a new model sooner, they now make hardware changes so as to kill the devices even faster.


    • Use the micro USB port with an OTG cable or a flash drive that has a micro USB port on it, like the Monster Digital Mobile Drive Mini 3.0. The lack of a microSD card slot sounds very bad at first but there are ways around everything.


  • Shure,the note5 is newer better but I will keep my loved Note3 with at the moment running Android 5.1.1.After for me 1.5 years an amazing device.
    I got 2 new high quality akkus and for 4 days they give me the power to work .
    Also the fast 64 GB sdcard with the internal ROM works quite well.
    So,why change such a brilliant device?For me no reason to do that .


  • Another important factor is the Note 3 has a replaceable battery and the Note 5 does not. I am just not seeing a reason to upgrade that makes me want to spend $850 or so for a new phone that does not have two desired features (micro sd and replaceable battery).

    Samsung should have made one new 5.7 phone with these features and the other phone with the "premium build" that reviewers seem so love (and iPhone users apparently love).


  • I was hoping for something more. Since I have received the Lollipop update on my Note 3 I really can't see a reason to upgrade. what attracted me to the note 3. was removed from the Note 4 and possibly the Note 5. I really like the S6 Edge And now the Edge plus but it a doesn't have the stylus. What to do? I think I will stay with what I have

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