Samsung has officially announced one of the most anticipated smartphones of the year. After all the leaks, the Note 5 didn’t bring any surprises.
The new Note 5 is Samsung’s multi-tasking flagship. During the keynote, Samsung told us that there are two kinds of people. The Note 5 is for multi-taskers and the second new device, S6 edge+ is for multimedia consumers.
The Note 5 is like we expected with 5.7″ QHD Super AMOLED display, Exynos 7420 and 4GB of RAM. The latest leaks also predicted the decreased battery capacity right with the 3000mAh non-removable battery.
Samsung spent a lot of time talking about the past. They made it clear that they pioneered the phablet category with the Galaxy Note in 2011 and how Note lineup has always been the phablet to beat. The new Note 5 although brings Note lineup to the future. The new design is borrowed from Galaxy S6 with glass sandwich and metal sides. Samsung managed to make the device smaller in every dimension. They even compared it with the huge iPhone 6 Plus. The Note 5 has 0.2″ larger screen but still it fits inside the iPhone’s footprint. Unfortunately like with the S6, the new design comes with compromises. The Note 5 does not have microSD slot and it has a non-removable, smaller battery.
As you would expect, Samsung has packed the Note 5 with the best hardware possible. The SoC package is the same that’s inside the S6. Exynos 7420 is still the best CPU in the market with its 4 high performance Cortex A57 cores and 4 power saving Cortex A53 cores. For better multitasking there’s an extra gigabyte of LPDDR4 to give an industry leading 4GB of RAM. Note 5 has a 5.7″ 1440x2560p QHD Super AMOLED display and if we can predict anythig from the S6, it’s brighter, dimmer, blacker and more colorful than competing IPS displays.
Like every year, S-Pen, the stylus comes with new features. Most compelling two were the new option to take a note and scrolling screen capture. It’s now possible to write a note by just taking the S-Pen out of its silo and start writing a note even when the screen is off. The note will be saved by just pushing the pen back in. The scrolling screen capture is activated after taking a screenshot by pressing a button on the lower left corner. The feature extends the screenshot by one height of the screen and it can be extended until the end of the web page or Twitter feed. The S-Pen also have new ejection method. The end of the pen can be clicked to extend the end out, so that the pen is easy to take out with fingers.
Cameras are from the S6 but Note 5 can now use both OIS and software stabilization even with the 4K video recording. The 16MP rear camera is still the best smartphone camera in the market with LG’s G4. Front facing camera is 5MP and like the rear one, its F1.9 aperture for better low light performance.
The Note 5 comes with Samsung Pay capabilities which we are talking about in a separate article.
We have very mixed feeling with the Note 5. It’s a great multitasker and all-rounder but lack of expendable storage and replaceable battery are ruining its reputation as a road warrior’s smartphone. The 3000mAh battery is not going to last two days like before and as 64GB is the biggest available storage option, it’s not going to carry a 100GB music library. Luckily we already hear rumors about a 128GB model.
Still, Note 5 is the most complete phablet in the market right now. Productive multitasking features, brilliant screen and understated design make a great device and most likely it’s going to sell well even with its high price of around $800 for the 32GB version.
Availability is still big question. The Note 5 will be available on 21 August in the US but we have heard that the S6 edge+ is going to be the primary device to sell in most markets and it’ll launch earlier. The Note 5 will be available in Black Sapphire, White Pearl, Gold Platinum and as in the pictures, Silver Titanium.