Galaxy Note 5 vs. Galaxy Note 4: 5 Things We Learned in July

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 still isn’t official but it’s clear that it’s on the way. This month we learned a whole lot about the Galaxy Note 4’s successor and today we want to take a look at a few things that you need to know about the Galaxy Note 5 if you own a Galaxy Note 4 or if you are planning to buy in the near future.

Last September, Samsung took the stage and unveiled the Galaxy Note 4, a fourth-generation Galaxy Note that replaced the Galaxy Note 3 as the company’s flagship. The Galaxy Note 4 arrived with a number of bells and whistles including a spacious 5.7-inch Quad HD display, design made of metal and plastic, two solid cameras, and a speedy quad-core processor.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was one of the best phones from 2014 and it remains a solid option even as Samsung looks to replace it with something better.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 rumors started off slow and they’ve slowly picked up the pace as we’ve pushed deeper into the year, closer to Samsung’s Galaxy Note launch window. In July, we’ve seen a number of new details emerge including the alleged Galaxy Note 5 launch date and Galaxy Note 5 release date. Nothing is confirmed but it’s time to start paying attention to Samsung and its plans.

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Today we want to take a look at a few of the things we learned about the Galaxy Note 5 in July. To us, these are the most important things you’ll want to keep in mind if you’ve been looking into buying or replacing the Galaxy Note 4. Keep these things in mind as we exit July and enter the important month of August.

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Galaxy Note 5 Launch Date Confirmed

The first and perhaps most important thing we learned in this month is that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 launch date is going to come much earlier this year. This is obviously music to the ears of those of you trying to decide between the Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy Note 5. It means that you don’t have too much longer to wait.

Unpacked-Note

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 rumors had put the launch date on August 13th and last night, Samsung sent out invites for an Unpacked event set to take place on August 13th in New York City. The company didn’t say what it would be announcing but it saves Unpacked events for major product launches. The Galaxy Note 5 is a major product launch.

Samsung will be live streaming the event which means that those of you interested in the Next Big Thing will want to tune in on August 13th so that you can compare all of the Galaxy Note 5’s features to the Galaxy Note 4. You’ll also want to take in all of the Galaxy Note 5 release details.

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Galaxy Note 5 Release Date

We’ve also learned about the Galaxy Note 5 release date in July, or, the day that you’ll be able to buy the Galaxy Note 5 and or physically compare the two phones together.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 release date is rumored for August 21st though it might not be available in all regions that day. Noted Russian insider Eldur Murtazin claims that Russia will not be among the first regions to get the Galaxy Note 5 when and if it arrives in August. Instead, it could trail behind by several weeks.

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As for other countries, SamMobile claims that “South Korea, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Asia” will be seeing the device right when it’s released. We’ve also heard that other key regions like the United States might be involved with an August Galaxy Note 5 release.

The AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Galaxy Note 5 models recently cleared the FCC, a necessary step before their release. As we’ve noted, the early FCC filings point to an early release. We typically don’t see FCC filings appear until a device’s launch date or shortly thereafter. So the fact that we’re seeing them now means that the door is open for a quick US Galaxy Note 5 release.

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If the early Galaxy Note 5 release date rumors are spot on, that’s going to be big for those of you that are getting antsy. Samsung’s typically released its Galaxy Note in late September, October or November so this is much earlier than normal. Make sure to look into your upgrade now so that you’re prepared for August 13th and a potential early Galaxy Note 5 release date.

Galaxy Note 5 Specs

Over the past four weeks, we’ve learned a lot about the Galaxy Note 5’s features. Unsurprisingly, it looks like the Galaxy Note 5’s spec sheet is going to feature some differences from the Galaxy Note 4’s spec sheet. Interestingly enough, there also appear to be some similarities between the two devices.

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The Galaxy Note 5 is expected to feature a screen similar to the Galaxy Note 4’s. Galaxy Note 5 rumors have centered on a 5.7-inch Quad HD display. Galaxy Note 5 leaks and photos have backed these rumors up so it’s looking like we’ll see the same amount of screen real estate this year.

We’ve heard that the Galaxy Note 5 might feature a 16MP rear camera with a 5MP camera up front. While these are the same as the Galaxy Note 4, it’s possible that Samsung’s improved on the sensors. Remember, Apple has kept its rear iPhone camera at 8MP for many years now.

Thanks to rumors and benchmarks, it looks like the Galaxy Note 5 will not use a Qualcomm chip. Instead, it’s expected to feature an in-house Exynos 7 octa-core chip with 4GB of RAM. The Galaxy Note 4 only uses 3GB of RAM which means that the Galaxy Note 5 could bring improved performance.

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We’ve also learned that the Galaxy Note 5 could deliver a brand new S Pen that looks and feels more like a real pen. There’s also chatter about new S Pen software including a new Write on PDF feature. It’s not clear if the Galaxy Note 5’s software, expected to be Android 5.1.1, will come to the Galaxy Note 4.

The Galaxy Note 5 is rumored to have a 4,000 mAh battery, much larger than the Galaxy Note 4’s, and four color options. It’s not clear if any of those will be exclusives.

All in all we’ve learned that the Galaxy Note 5 will probably be the more powerful of the two which is something you should have seen coming. Whether or not you need these upgrades will be entirely up to you.

Galaxy Note 5 Design

The Galaxy Note 4 features a microSD card slot, removable battery, fingerprint reader that we can’t stand, and a design that’s made of plastic and metal. In July, we’ve learned that the Galaxy Note 5 design could be significantly different in more ways than one.

Thanks to a series of leaks and photos, we know that the Galaxy Note 5 is probably going to be a blown up version of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 complete with a metal and glass design. Samsung’s new Galaxy Note design language could come with some disadvantages though.

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The Galaxy S6 doesn’t feature a removable battery nor does it offer a microSD card slot for expanded storage. The Galaxy Note 5 isn’t expected to have a removable battery and there’s a good chance it won’t come with a microSD card slot. If you want those, you might have to go with the Galaxy Note 4.

Schematics point to a thinner Galaxy Note 5 design, 7.1mm to the Galaxy Note 4’s 8.5mm, though we expect the overall size of the phone to be similar to last year’s model thanks to the screen size.

Samsung’s design changes will make it tough on those debating between these two phones. Many people love the Galaxy S6’s design but others resent Samsung for doing away with the removable battery and microSD card slot.

Changes to the Way You Buy These Phones

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is getting cheaper thanks to new Galaxy Note 4 deals. The AT&T Galaxy Note 4, for instance, is just $50 on-contract right now. The price has gradually dropped over the course of July and we expect its price to drop even more in August.

We’re still not sure how much the Galaxy Note 5 will cost but it looks like it could be more expensive than usual thanks to increased fees.

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On August 1st, AT&T will reportedly increase its activation fee for new two-year contracts. If this happens, and it probably will, the activation fee breakdown will look something like this:

  • AT&T Activation Fee – $45
  • Verizon Activation Fee – $40
  • Sprint Activation Fee – $36
  • T-Mobile Activation Fee – $0

It also looks like AT&T will also be adding a $15 AT&T Next upgrade fee starting on August 1st. Both of these fees will apply to the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy Note 4 and any other phone bought through AT&T. AT&T won’t be the only one with changes.

Verizon’s Edge program is dead and the carrier is now using something called Device Upgrade plans. Verizon hasn’t announced anything yet but this points to the end of two year contracts at Verizon. We’ve heard that Verizon could do away with them in the very near future.

Keep all of this in mind if you plan to buy the Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy Note 5 on AT&T or Verizon.

10 Things to Do Before the Galaxy Note 5 Release Date

Research Your Galaxy Note 5 Storage Needs

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Research Your Galaxy Note 5 Storage Needs

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 isn't official yet but that doesn't mean that you can't prepare for its arrival. There are a number of things you can do ahead of Samsung's announcement and release and deciding on how much storage you might need is one of them. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 design is reportedly going to be similar to the Galaxy S6's. That means premium build materials but it also means no microSD card slot for expanded storage. If this is true, and it probably is, it's going to put pressure on you to figure out how much internal storage you'll need. 

If Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 doesn't feature expandable storage, it'll likely come with several storage options. Those storage options will vary in price. You don't want to pay for storage that you're never going to need so you'll want to think about this ahead of time.

Take a look at your current device, think about how you might use your next phone, and estimate how much storage it will take to feel comfortable. For some of you, it might be 32GB. For others, it might be a 128GB of space. 

We don't know how much the Galaxy Note 5 will come with yet but chances are we'll see some sort of combo featuring 32GB, 64GB and 128GB.

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