After the major Android security threat dubbed Stagefright was discovered, Google was forced to improve security on its smartphone operating system. Many smartphone manufacturers, including Samsung, confirmed to keep up with monthly security patches that Google releases for Android. Samsung even released software updates for fixing the Stagefright bug on various Galaxy devices.
Up until now, users weren’t able to see how up-to-date their devices were in terms of security. Now, Samsung has started showing the Android security patch level information with the latest update that has hit the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 edge+ recently. You can find the Android security patch information in the About Device section in the settings menu.
We’ve explained in our previous article about the software update that hit these high-end smartphones from Samsung that the changelog mentioned about this feature. This feature is also included by default in all the devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This means that Samsung will have to release such updates every month to all its devices, but this would be a lot of work for Samsung since they release a lot of devices each year.
How has it held up after all this time of regular all-day usage?
Well, it’s held up very nicely. Okay, so there’s a large crack at the top right of my phone, thanks to a drop that saw it fall flat on its face, but thankfully the drop didn’t do any damage to the display itself. Speaking of the display, the 5.7-inch Super AMOLED unit on the Note 5 is simply great. Everything on the screen looks stunning, even on the Basic display mode setting that makes colors more accurate but doesn’t add that horrible yellow tinge that previous iterations of Samsung’s Super AMOLED display would do.
Performance has been one of the worst issues with Samsung’s software
and even with the optimized TouchWiz, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge slowed down after a couple of months of use. Whether it’s the 4GB of RAM or further optimization on Samsung’s part, the Galaxy Note 5 is still very smooth and fast. I rarely see a stutter or hiccup in regular usage, and apps continue to fire up quickly. Apps in the background still don’t seem to be able to stay in memory as long as one would like because of whatever changes Samsung has made to Android’s RAM management, but it’s not as bad as it was on the S6 and S6 edge.
The camera is another aspect that has continued to impress. Good lighting conditions or not, the Galaxy Note 5 takes great pictures, and it takes them extremely quickly no matter how light or dark it might get. Seriously, the near-instant shutter speed in even the darkest conditions is one of the reasons I love this camera. The app itself hasn’t slowed down noticeably; it usually starts up quickly when the home button is double-pressed, though the launch can sometimes be slow when the screen is off.
What about battery life?
Um, let’s just say it gets the job done but is nowhere near as good as the Note 4 or any previous Galaxy Note flagship. Battery life has improved over the weeks, partly due to Samsung’s new app optimization feature. This is the same as the Auto stop battery feature we saw on the S6 and basically starts stopping apps from running in the background all the time. It can be a problem when apps that should never shut down are killed (Android Wear being a good example), but you can disable the “optimization” for individual apps (from the Settings » Battery menu, under App optimization).
As for that S Pen, there hasn’t been much surprise
It continues to be a nice alternative to regular touch input. I don’t use it much except for copying text and typing faster, and it’s a tool that is there for those who need it but just gets out of the way for those who don’t. The push-to-eject mechanism is still an unnecessary extra step in access to the stylus, but with practice I can get it out faster than I could when I started using the phone.
The Galaxy Note 5 is just great
It’s not a good device for those who need a lot of physical storage on their smartphone (unless you get the 64GB variant), and it’s not for anyone looking for epic battery life. But for just about anything else, the Note 5 has it all. Great display, fast performance, an amazing camera, and a stylus that lets you get really productive if you need to. The best thing has been the fact that it hasn’t slowed down with continued usage over two months, and if the Galaxy Note 5 is available in your country, it’s a great purchase if you are looking for a large-screen flagship.
Like most Android smartphones, the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ ship with a Do Not Disturb feature which mutes all notifications that occur during a specific time frame. But did you know that you can also configure it to turn on automatically at fixed times on certain days of the week?
Here’s how you set it up.
Head into Settings.
Locate and select the Sounds & Notifications subheading.
Hit Do Not Disturb.
You will now have the choice to either turn on Do Not Disturb instantly or to configure a schedule. For the purpose of this guide, we’re going to be scheduling the service.
Flick the switch entitled “Turn on as scheduled” to On.
Tap on the Days heading.
Now you’re going to want to select all of the days that you would like Do Not Disturb to switch. I have this configured Monday through Friday.
Once you’ve chosen what days are best suited to you, click the Back button on your handset.
Select Start Time from the menu.
Here you will set the time that you want Do Not Disturb to turn on. I usually find myself falling asleep at 11:30 PM, so I have that set. This doesn’t necessarily have to be your sleep time, though. It could just as easily be for when you’re at work.
Once you’ve set a time, click the Back button.
Now have to select End Time from the menu.
Choose a suitable time for Do Not Disturb to turn off. Once again, as I use this feature to mute my phone while I’m asleep, I have it set for 7 AM the next day. This may not be relevant for you, though.
Once you’ve done that, tap the Back button.
You will now notice that a Do Not Disturb icon is present in your Notification Panel whenever it is active. While the service is on, your phone will be completely silent. You do, however, have the facility to set exceptions for alarms, telephones numbers and important applications.
On my device, I have my morning alarm set as an exception, together with phone numbers for immediate family — so if something were to happen during the night, they could easily reach me, but all other unimportant notifications remain muted.
To enable exceptions, navigate back to the Do Not Disturb menu in Settings. Scroll down until you see an option titled “Allow Exceptions” and select it. Here, you will find the resources to input all of the alarms, numbers and applications you would like to bypass the silence.
If you are using any of the other Samsung devices launched this year running Android 5.0, you should be use the Do Not Disturb feature the same way as it has been described above. Moreover, you can access the Do Not Disturb menu quickly by adding it to the notification panel’s quick toggles area.
If you happen to run into any issues along the way, do be sure to let us know in the comments section below, and we’ll do our very best to get you back on track.
Samsung isn’t a manufacturer with the most clear conscience, having taken inspiration in design from its Cupertino competitor a few times in the past. But the Korean company has also seen many of its own phones getting 100 percent clones over in China, with the infamous Goophone often coming out with knock-offs of Galaxy flagships soon after they were announced by Samsung.
Well, the Galaxy Note 5 is the latest target of the photocopiers in the world’s most populous country. Local manufacturer UMi is gearing up to launch a device called ROME, and a picture of the phone published by Phone Arena makes it clear where the design has been lifted from. The ROME even has the same curved sides at the back, and a similar looking camera module. The golden paintjob on the phone is similar too, and it’s one of the nicer Galaxy clones that we’ve seen.
It might have a copied design, but the UMi ROME does seem to have an important weapon to attract consumers: The phone apparently comes with 3GB of RAM at a price of $90. It’s not a high-end phone though, and it will be very interesting to see how this thing looks from the front when UMi launches it next month.
The Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ are two of the best and most complete flagships from Samsung, but there’s an annoying little bug that ruins the experience on these devices every now and then. Sometimes, when you wake up the phone and try to unlock it, the Note 5 and S6 edge+ become extremely slow. This slowdown corrects itself in a few seconds, but it does so by reloading the entire UI.
This UI reload sends you back to the lock screen, making you unlock the device again. It doesn’t kill or restart any apps that you might have running, but the trip back to the lock screen and the slowdown means you have to wait for a few seconds before getting back to using the phone.
This bug crops up at least once every day; it’s not that frequent, but it’s still an annoyance that has existed since launch and wasn’t fixed in the first software updates to the two devices. It’s an issue on both standard swipe screen unlock and when you use the fingerprint option, and Samsung will hopefully implement a fix in the next update that comes along for the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+.
Does your Note 5 or S6 edge+ suffer from this issue? Let us know in the comments!