6 Unfortunate Compromises Samsung is Making on the Galaxy Note 5

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There are plenty of reasons to be interested in the recently announced Galaxy Note 5 by Samsung. It’s got a sleek new design, a new S Pen stylus, and some nice features.

However, not everyone is happy with the changes Samsung has made to its newest Note smartphone. In many ways it’s the biggest departure since the original Note. Note users looking to update have a handful of things to be weary of.

Here are the six compromises that Samsung made on the Galaxy Note 5 that Note users will probably have a hard time overlooking.

1. Smaller battery

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Although Samsung was happy to show off its new fast charging, wireless charging, and even fast wireless charging, it didn’t say a word about the size of the battery itself. Coming in at 3000 mAh, it’s about average for flagship smartphone in 2015, but it’s actually smaller than the one in the Note 4. At first glance, this was a big letdown for onlookers.

But how does it perform? So far, tests have been good, benchmarking with a longer-lasting battery than the Note 4, despite the smaller battery. It still feels like a compromise because it doesn’t answer the problem of if they could optimize a 3000 mAh battery for longer battery life, what could they have done with a bigger one? We’ll never know—at least not until the Note 6.

2. Not waterproof


Just one year ago, one of the biggest features Samsung was touting on its smartphones was that they were water resistant. There were ads of people using their phones in the shower or in the kitchen, acting like it was a total must have feature. Fast forward a year and now Samsung has completely ditched the feature, instead shooting for higher end materials to compete with the iPhone. The problem is that a lot of Note users actually did like that feature—and now it’s no more.

3. No IR blaster


While this one isn’t probably something a lot of people even knew they had, the few that did loved that they could use their smartphone as a TV remote at any point. For whatever reason, it’s another feature that Samsung has ditched on the Galaxy Note 5.

4. No SD card slot

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Here’s the big one—the Note 5 will not feature a microSD slot, meaning no expandable storage. You’ve got 32GB and 64GB options and that’s it. There are other devices like the LG G4 or OnePlus Two that include the feature nicely, but not on Samsung devices anymore—people who love to store photos, videos, and music on their devices will have to look elsewhere.

5. No removable battery

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While people don’t often replace their smartphone batteries right off the bat due to how expensive they are, being able to remove your battery can be really nice if you plan on keeping your phone for a few years or if your phone gets damaged. Batteries run out of juice over time and not being able to replace it gives less flexibility to users.

6. Very few internal updates

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The Note 5 shares more in common with the Galaxy S6 than just design and materials. Other than the additional RAM, the Note 5 has got pretty matching specs with the S6 at every turn. It’s got the same camera, the same processor, and the same quality of display. We don’t even get the 128 GB storage option here, which feels like a shoe-in. None of those are bad necessarily, but it’s hard to look at what Samsung has done with the Note in the past and not feel like the Note 5 missed out on some updated internals. Samsung is really relying on the S Pen and larger display to set the Note 5 apart—and so far, it just doesn’t feel like quite enough.

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