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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Note 5 vs Note 4: What’s the difference?

How does the new Galaxy Note 7 compare with the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy Note 4, and should you upgrade to this latest model? Here’s our full Note 7 vs Note 5 vs Note 4 comparison review.

Samsung has just launched the Galaxy Note 7, a mighty 5.7-inch phablet that’s thankfully actually coming to the UK and Europe, unlike last year’s Galaxy Note 5. Over here in Blighty, we’re still using the two-year-old Galaxy Note 4, which to be fair is a pretty bloody great phone even after all that time.

So, should Note 4 and Note 5 owners upgrade to the Note 7 and what new features does the Note 7 boast?

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Note 5 vs Note 4: At a glance

Phone Galaxy Note 4 Galaxy Note 5 Galaxy Note 7
Weight 176g 171g 169g
Screen size 5.7-inches 5.7-inches 5.7-inches
Screen resolution 2560×1440 2560×1440 2560×1440
Water resistant? No No Yes
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes Yes
Iris scanner? No No Yes
Processor Snapdragon 805 Exynos 7420 Snapdragon 820
Memory 3GB 4GB 4GB
Storage 32GB 32/64/128GB 64GB
microSD? Yes No Yes
Battery 3220mAh 3000mAh 3500mAh
Rear camera 16MP f/2.2 16MP f/1.9 12MP f/1.7
Front camera 3.7MP 5MP 5MP

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Note 5 vs Note 4: Design

When it comes to looks, these three Galaxy Note phones don’t exactly look worlds apart. They’re all 5.7-inch beasts, which makes one-handed use a little difficult, although the Note 7 is a wee bit lighter than its fellow Notes.

They also all rock metallic edging which adds a hint of reassuring ruggedness. However, while the Note 4 sports a matte textured rear, the Note 5 and Note 7 both have a glossy backing. That gloss surface is prone to picking up greasy fingerprints, but you can only really tell under harsh light.

One big advantage that the Note 7 has over the other Note handsets is its water resistance. This means you can dunk it in a bath or toilet and it’ll still work fine. Even better, the S Pen will work perfectly well when the Note 7’s display is damp, making it well suited to wet climates (like good ol’ Blighty).

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Note 5 vs Note 4: Screen and media

All three Note phones sport a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED screen that’s bright and punchy. They also all boast a Quad HD resolution, for supremely sharp visuals.

There might not be much difference when it comes to how good everything looks, but the Note 5 has a disadvantage over its brothers when it comes to media. With no microSD memory card slot to expand the on-board storage, you’re stuck with whatever space you have left on the phone for your media collection. Thankfully the Note 4 and Note 7 both have microSD card slots.

And while it doesn’t make much difference to the quality of the screen, the Galaxy Note 7 boasts Samsung’s dual-edge design, where the panel wraps around the edges of the phone. It might not be much use, but it’s very cool indeed.

The Note 7 also has one very unique feature which the others don’t, in the form of support for HDR media. This means that HDR shows and movies will look as intended when played back on the Note 7, complete with brighter colours and deeper blacks. Check out our what is HDR explainer feature for more info.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Note 5 vs Note 4: Features

The Note 4, Note 5 and Note 7 all boast fingerprint sensors for improved security. However, the Note 5 and Note 7’s scanner is easier to use as you don’t have to swipe your print across the surface, like you do with the Note 4.

And the Note 7 goes a step further with a built-in iris scanner, which can unlock your phone with a quick shifty of your eyeballs. It works impressively well, although you need to power up the phone and swipe the screen to activate it, which means it takes longer to use than the fingerprint sensor. Glasses users can also forget about it – check out our Note 7 iris scanner review for more info.

Read next: The seven best new Note 7 features

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Note 5 vs Note 4: Cameras

The Note 7 has one over the other Notes with its excellent 12-megapixel camera, the same snapper found on the Galaxy S7. Low light performance is better and the lens is incredibly quick at focusing and firing off a shot.

That said, the Note 4 and Note 5 cameras are also strong, proving dependable in most conditions. All three phones can shoot 4K video at 30 frames-per-second, or Full HD video at up to 60FPS.

We’ll be fully testing the Galaxy Note 7’s cameras for our in-depth Galaxy Note 7 review, so check back soon.


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