Samsung has been enjoyed strong success in the Android smartphone market for several years as buyers rushed to grab its latest Galaxy with a fervour normally associated with Apple products.
However, times are tough for the Korean heavyweight at present, as despite rising shipments it recently posted major profit falls. As such, it is no doubt hoping its current flagships, the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5, sell well in the Christmas quarter.
Both phones are packed with innovative software and features and have justifiably earned their place as two of the best handsets to arrive this year.
However, under the hood, and despite both being built by Samsung, the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 are very different beasts designed for very different uses, a fact that potential buyers would do well to consider when deciding which is best for them.
Design and build
The Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 are unmistakably designed by Samsung and feature the same pebble like chassis debuted on the Galaxy S3. However, there are a number of design differences.
For starters the 154x79x8.5mm, 176g Galaxy Note 4 is noticeably larger and heavier than the 142x73x8.1mm, 145g Galaxy S5. The combination of weight and dimensions make the Galaxy S5 slightly more comfortable to hold than the Galaxy Note 4, which will feel large to most people.
However, when it comes to build quality the Galaxy Note 4 has a definite edge. We found the flat finish metal sides and fake leather finish removable backplate more luxurious and solid than the Galaxy S5 case, which features grooved metal sides and a perforated polycarbonate back.
The Galaxy Note 4's sides and back generally proved more scratch and chip resistant than the Galaxy S5's, which has a tendency to pick up marks. This is interesting as the Galaxy S5 is the only handset of the two to feature IP67 certification. The certification means the Galaxy S5 is water resistant.
Another difference is the inclusion of the S Pen stylus on the Galaxy Note 4. The S Pen stylus docks in the bottom right of the Galaxy Note 4 and is an enterprise and productivity focused feature designed to make it easier to do things like edit documents.
For us the productivity gains of the S Pen are a big design point that improves the Galaxy Note 4's enterprise appeal.
Beyond this, both handsets come with custom fingerprint scanners. Housed in the phones' front facing physical home buttons the scanner is a security feature that lets users set the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 to unlock or approve certain actions, such as NFC payments, only once its holder has proved their identity.
Winner: The Galaxy Note 4
Next: Display and operating system