Update 1: Galaxy Note 5 S Pen is another design defect. If you accidentally insert the Galaxy Note 5 S Pen in the wrong direction, Galaxy Note 5 will not be able to detect whether the S Pen is in the slot or not. There are no solutions except visiting a service center. Please read this page for details.
As detailed in this post, Galaxy Note 5 comes with some new or improved features, for example, a new design with a curved glass back, fast wireless charging, improved S pen features, improved camera, more RAM, a faster CPU, and a better fingerprint sensor.
You will surely enjoy these features and the new Galaxy Note 5.
However, it seems Samsung failed to get some user feedback on the defects or design flaws of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Galaxy Note 5 shares some similar defects.
This post will try to summarize the top 5 defects in Galaxy Note 5.
Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5: 1. No micro SD card support
All previous generations of Galaxy Note devices, including Galaxy Note tablets (Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition and Galaxy Note Pro), have a micro SD card slot for you to expand the storage or to transfer files.
But the Galaxy Note 5 stopped this trend. Galaxy Note 5 does not support a micro SD card. There is no micro SD card slot.
As a micro SD card has a similar size to a SIM card, a micro SD card slot does not necessarily reside inside the phone.
If you have a SIM card slot, then technically, there is no problem with putting a micro SD card slot.
One of the excuses for the missing SD card slot is that Galaxy Note 5 is using UFS 2.0 storage, which is three times faster than eMMC storage. The micro SD card is too slow to match the performance of UFS 2.0 storage.
The truth is in your PC, you very likely have a very fast SSD drive, together with the traditional, slower mechanical hard disk. It does not make sense for you to throw away your old mechanical disk because of the new SSD drive. They can co-exist and serve different purposes: SSD for fast access and old disk for storage.
This is the same for UFS 2.0 and micro SD cards.
Another commonly cited excuse is that most Galaxy Note users do not use SD cards at all, based on some stupid market studies.
The truth is you should still buy medical insurance, although you haven’t made any claims in the last 10 years.
One of the major factors in choosing Samsung Galaxy Note devices is the “choices.”
The reality is Samsung made a wrong decision by removing micro SD card support. They hope they can get enough Galaxy Note 5 users who do not know what they want.
But Galaxy Note 5 will lose many existing Note users who know what choices mean.
Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5: 2. non-removable battery
The removable battery is now a luxury for high-end smartphones.
Apple enjoyed the success of embedded non-removable batteries in all their devices. The non-removable battery can give them more freedom in internal design.
Now, more and more Android vendors follow this strategy.
But they forget that Apple has an extensive service network with acceptable service standards all over the world.
This means Apple fanboys can replace the battery easily in almost all places. The cost will be relatively similar in all regions. So, it is predictable.
So, how about Samsung? How many Samsung service centers are in your area?
Do you know how much they will charge you for replacing the battery 2 years later?
You have no answer. Samsung has no answer. Nobody has the answer. Maybe the part is always out of stock, and they will suggest you buy a newly released Galaxy Note 7.
Even worse, in some regions, Samsung relies on local distribution agents. Why do they have an interest in stocking parts for more than 20 different smartphones that are two years old?
Of course, the non-removable battery is due to the glass back cover design. It is hard to design a removable glass back cover.
So, the question is whether the glass is a good choice over plastic, as in previous Galaxy Note devices.
Although many Galaxy Note owners criticized the plastic back cover, what they complained about was the poor-quality plastic Samsung used.
If you try Motorola or Nokia phones, you will know plastic is not created equally. Motorola even shows us you can customize your $180 Moto G with all-plastic construction.
The reality is that Samsung made another wrong decision to go to glass for the back cover instead of using better plastics.
Metal is not a good option if wireless charging is needed.
Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5: 3. No IR blaster
Surprisingly, Galaxy Note 5 removed the IR blaster, which some Galaxy Note 4 owners have enjoyed.
Very likely, “most” Galaxy Note 4 owners never used it. Removing it can save less than $1 in each device.
Therefore, Samsung decided to remove this feature from Galaxy Note 5 to cater to the mass market who do not know what they want.
As mentioned, this means Samsung slammed the doors to users who know why choices matter.
Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5: 4. Smaller battery
Galaxy Note 5 has an screen size (5.7″) identical to Galaxy Note 4. But the battery capacity is reduced from 3220mAh to 3000mAh.
Samsung’s home-made 14nm Exynos processor in Galaxy Note 5 may probably be more power efficient than the 28nm Snapdragon 805 processors in Note 4.
But you should not expect longer battery life than Galaxy Note 4.
This is really bad for heavy users who have problems accessing the wall charger often, although you can charge Galaxy Note 5 battery faster.
For Galaxy Note 4 owners, you can just prepare a spare battery. For Galaxy Note 5 owners, you have to learn to save battery and reduce the usage.
Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5: 5. missing Lollipop features
Android allows all sorts of customization.
This makes a colorful Android world. HTC Android phones may have some unique features. LG can customize it to get some unique features.
Samsung is infamous for adding too many useless (sometimes also unique) features to Android phones.
But the backlash of many half-baked unique features in Galaxy S4 dragged Samsung “back to basics” in Galaxy S5.
Now, Samsung is heading to another extreme. |
They trimmed many useful features in the TouchWiz. Now, they also trim some Android features.
Some excellent Android Lollipop features were removed in the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 as they did for the Galaxy S6. This is surely another defect of Galaxy Note 5.
Here are a few examples:
- No guest user support. Android Lollipop offers guest user mode and multiple users in smartphones. This makes device sharing easier and safer. But you cannot find these features in Galaxy Note 5.
- No multiple-user support.
- Messed notification and interruption system. Although the Android Lollipop notification and interruption system received some negative feedback, it is still the best notification system compared to iOS or Windows phones. In the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Samsung implemented a hybrid of new notification system and the old one. It simply creates more confusion for new users.
What do you think about defects of Galaxy Note 5? What are the missing features you want to see in Galaxy Note 5?
Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.