The metal frame is almost unbreakable, but the glass components make it an overall more fragile device than the HTC One M9 and Apple iPhone 6.
So no, the Galaxy Note 5 isn’t headed to Europe this year, and elsewhere, it doesn’t allow for microSD storage expansion. Not even in a dual SIM configuration. Its battery is sealed, internal hoarding space caps off at 64GB and something tells us teardowns will produce very low repairability scores.
Anything else “wrong” with Samsung’s newest S Pen-capable but non-edgy phablet? Well, USB Type-C connectivity would have probably boosted its wow factor, and many hoped the Exynos 7420 SoC and 16 MP rear camera were up for (marginal) upgrades.
On the bright side, the internals might be essentially identical to those sported by the Galaxy S6, but from a build quality standpoint, the GNote 5 is superior. PhoneBuff already took the technically unreleased 5.7 incher for a destructive spin, and discovered it takes more than a few drops to completely slay the dragon.
Using a professional and 100 percent impartial drop test machine, the tech news outlet knocked the Galaxy Note 5 on its back, side and face onto tile and concrete from a fixed altitude of one meter, or roughly 3 feet and 3 inches.
As you’d expect, the Gorilla Glass rear cracked early on in the video experiment, and so did the poor, beautiful Quad HD display. Yet the aluminum enclosure showed nearly unnoticeable signs of wear and tear after contacts with both hard surfaces, which is clearly good news for prospective buyers.
If owning a visually unappealing phone, damaged on the outside but still fully functional at heart, doesn’t scare you, then you can let go of the Note 5 from waist level while walking on the street. It’s only after a fourth violent drop that the powerhouse starts lagging and shuts down operations on its right side, and the grand total of six “accidents” simulated on camera fail to altogether destroy the phablet.
Bottom line, just buy a case. You don’t want to pay $700, and smash that pretty backplate in a moment of clumsiness.