Samsung has been phenomenal in using innovative technologies in its smartphones and has for sure evolved as one of the most commendable players in the market, at least among the Android-based smartphone makers.
Apart from supplying ample number of mid-range devices to the market, the company has also excelled in impressing the fans with its premium smartphone ranges including the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series.
Anyway, at the IFA 2015, Berlin, the company showcased its already announced Galaxy Note 5 device and we were quite excited to check it out. The company has not made any major changes in the device and it is very similar to the company's other devices - the Galaxy S6 edge+ and even Galaxy S6. These are similar in a lot of ways like in appearance, features and software experience.
However, there are few changes that is so intricate and subtle. Anyway, since we had a look at the device and played with it for a while, here is the kind of impression the device left with us.
As said earlier the Galaxy Note 5 looks very similar to the Galaxy S6. Therefore, if you have liked the Samsung Galaxy S6, you will for sure love the new Galaxy Note 5 as well, at least in terms of the device's aesthetics.
The adopted design language of the Galaxy Note 5 offers the device a sleek unibody which consists of a couple materials. First off all, the device looks pretty sturdy as there is a metal frame surrounding the edges of the phone. However, the glass case that surrounds the front and back doesn't look very promising. Perhaps, this glass coating is one important aspect of the design that Samsung has used to make it look the best premium device. Personally, I feel they have succeeded in doing so. Moreover, the sides of the back panel has been curved graciously, which doesn't only enhance the appearance of the device but also manages to give the user a much better grip on the device.
On the back, the Note 5 houses a protruding rear camera, along with the LED flash and the heart-rate monitor. Samsung has not made any changes in terms of button placement and their design. In fact, everything else is where you would expect it to be. You will see the volume rocker on the upper-left, the power button on the right side, a home button/fingerprint reader right below the screen and a SIM card slot on the top side of the phone. A standard Micro USB port is on the bottom along with a headphone jack and speaker grille. Well, the signature hardware of the Galaxy Note 5 device - the S-Pen is which is located on the bottom-right and operates via a spring-loaded mechanism.
The device measuring 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm in dimension has a great looks and design. However, the weight of the device is what might hurt you because it is slightly heavier than most of the device at 171grams. Perhaps, with premium features, hardware and metal frame, comes the weight.
Samsung has a reputation of using the best possible display technology in its devices. Therefore, it's not a surprise to see the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 coming with a massive 5.7-inch Super AMOLED panel with a QHD (2560x1440p) resolution and a 515 ppi pixel density.
The screen is very bright and gives a proper image clarity. There is a particular crispness in the AMOLED display that the company uses and personally, I like it better.
Power and Processor
Well, Samsung has not used the Qualcomm's premium chipset in this device. However, the company's proprietary chipset is no less in terms of offering horsepower to the device. You can say that the Galaxy Note 5 will be just as powerful as the Galaxy S6.
It is powered by a 2.1 GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 processor backed by a Mali-T760 MP8 GPU. This makes the device a pretty intense one and add to that a massive 4 GB of RAM. Hence, the device's multi-tasking capability is very impressive and its performance is quite pleasing.
As we played with the device and opened quite a lot of apps and tried to slug the device, to our surprise, it didn't lag. However, we didn't do a versatile test on the device to come up with a solid verdict on its performance aspect. Anyway, let's reserve the aspect for the review, which we will be doing very soon.
OS and Software
When you power up the Galaxy Note 5, you will get to see all the goodness of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Moreover, the company's popular TouchWiz UI also adds a great deal of features onto the handset.
The company has offered a theme store, a full set of toggles, multi-tasking features and the glorious S-Pen tool as well in the handset. The redesigned Air Command window works pretty impressively.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 uses the exact same camera that is employed in the Galaxy S6 device. So, we are looking at the same 16MP sensor, OIS, phase detection auto focus and quick-launching capabilities from a double-press of the home button.
This gadget packs the same 16MP sensor with f/1.9 aperture, OIS, phase detection auto focus. The camera is capable of shooting video at 4K resolution, slow motion. You can perhaps call this as one of the best cameras in the industry. As far as the camera features in terms of software has received quite a few changes like there is a new video collage mode and new live broadcasting to YouTube this time.
Don't worry about the selfies, because the Galaxy Note 5 also features an efficient 5 MP front-facing shooter with f/1.9 aperture.
The pictures taken from the device came out to be very neat and crisp. The OIS works fantastic in the device. One of the things that I liked with most was the fast auto-focus.
The S Pen
Stylus is the only thing that makes the Galaxy Note devices stand out from all the other Samsung smartphones. The company calls it the S Pen and has integrated a number of functions with it.
The S Pen has been improved a lot this time. On removing the S Pen with the screen off, you can start writing on the black screen and immediately record your note. There are quite a lot of things that you can do with it. You can customize which apps appear now, and the Air Command launcher remains on-screen and collapsed, ready to be interacted with after a simple tap with your S Pen.
Storage and Connectivity
Samsung has given a closed option in terms of storage in the Galaxy note 5. You can only opt between 32 GB or 64 GB of internal memory. Unfortunately, the device doesn't feature a microSD card slot. This is one of the aspects that you would be disappointed with.
As far as the connectivity options are concerned, the Galaxy Note 5 features support for LTE cat.9, 802.11ac Wifi, Bluetooth v4.2 LE, ANT+, NFC, Micro USB 2.0, Adaptive Fast Charging, Qi wireless and Powermat wireless for fast wireless charging.
As expected, the Galaxy Note 5 also fails to offer a removable battery. There is a 3000 mAh battery powering the device, which might seem a bit small for the 5.7-incher and octa core processor.
Good news regarding the battery is that you will find wireless charging and quick charging support which at least helps make up a little for the smaller battery.
There are quite a lot of things that you can admire in the Galaxy Note 5. The display is very impressive and there is hardly anything that you can dislike about the camera. Basically, the Galaxy note 5 has been made with the optimum features to give it a classy accent. Moreover, the device's design is also such that you will fall in love with it instantly when you see it.
However, there are certain things that you might not be happy to see in the handset. For instance, the battery capacity could have been more. The lack of microSD card slot is a major disappointment for sure. Despite the oddities, the Galaxy S5 still manages to make its impact on the users because of its other impressive features like the wireless charging, S-Pen, awesome display and much more.