Samsung just announced their brand new Galaxy Note model. This is the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. It’s completely redesigned on the outside and has some new hardware on the inside. So let’s go ahead and get into our first impressions of the new Galaxy Note 5.
First of all, the Galaxy Note 5 is completely redesigned. Gone are the square edges of the Galaxy Note 4 and enter the age of smooth curves and chamfers from the Galaxy S6. In the hand, it feels like a much more premium device; especially with the all glass build on both the front and the back. Some of the ports have moved around as well. For example, the 3.5mm headphone jack is now on the bottom instead of the top. The speaker has also been relocated from a backward-facing speaker on the Note 4 to a bottom-facing speaker on the Note 5. Most of these design cues are from the Galaxy S6 design language. And quite frankly, they are all a welcomed thing on the Galaxy Note 5.
On the inside, much has changed as well but not to a point where I expected it to. First of all, the Galaxy Note 5 is packed in with an Exynos 7420 CPU, which has a total of 8 cores. A quad-core 2.1GHz chip paired to a quad-core 1.5GHz chip, that’s all paired to a 4GB of DDR4 RAM and a Mali GPU. In plain English, this is one bad feat of a phone; which has tons of muscle and power. Its GeekBench score verifies the mighty power of the Galaxy Note 5, even when compared to the “flagship killer,” the OnePlus 2. The Galaxy Note 5 easily beats it in both single and multi-core scores.
Next is the display. It looks like Samsung has finally found the perfect screen size for their Note model. The Galaxy Note 5 incorporates a beautiful 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display and somehow it looks even more beautiful than the display on the Galaxy Note 4 and the S6.
Changes to the exterior are pretty severe on this iteration of the Note. For starters, the removable back cover is no more; which also includes the removable battery. Samsung has now switched to a non-removable solution which unfortunately means the battery size is a little bit smaller due to the thinness of the device. Obviously, the faux leather back has been dropped for an all-glass build but also the flash has moved around a bit on the rear.
Software-wise, we’re looking at Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with the latest iteration of TouchWiz. Overall, the icons have changed significantly in terms of artwork since the last iteration of TouchWiz. But the overall functions are pretty much identical. One nice thing is the menu system seems a little bit more organized and there’s also no more tabs in the settings menu itself.
The S Pen has also been changed on the Galaxy Note 5. First off, the S Pen is no longer being pulled out of the bottom of the device but rather clicked out, sort of like a ballpoint pen that’s spring loaded. It’s a nice, satisfying click that feels like a real pen in the hand. Air Gestures has received some updates as well but most of the features like Action Memo and Screenshot Writing is still here.
The camera on the back of the Note 5 is a 16MP unit with an f1.9 aperture. It has built-in OIS for photos and videos. And for this year, the Note 5 is incorporating Digital Video Stabilization on top of Optical Image Stabilization. So that means that crispy 4K UHD video will look even crispier.
Lastly, I want to mention the battery size on the Galaxy Note 5. It has decreased in size over the Galaxy Note 4 now at 3000mAh, which is a worry for me. The Galaxy Note 5 is available for pre-order right now and will be available to purchase on August 21st 2015.