Samsung’s best smartphone yet is the Galaxy Note 5 and it’s finally official, hitting all carriers in the United States on August 21st, and some users have received it early. Almost every aspect of the device was already known based on a slew of leaks before it was announced. However, now that it’s here and we have all the details, here are five reasons to buy the new Galaxy Note 5.
On August 13th after months of leaks and rumors Samsung unveiled the all-new Galaxy Note 5, and a bigger Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ with a huge 5.7-inch curved display. Both phones are among the best on the market and have plenty to offer users.
Taking one look at the Galaxy Note 5 should tell most buyers what they need to know. It looks gorgeous, has a massive and beautiful 5.7-inch screen, powerful specs, and a great camera. That said, below we’ll go over the important aspects of what makes this phone great.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has big shoes to fill when compared to the Galaxy Note 4. Last year the Note was an excellent smartphone that added an aluminum frame around the device, yet kept some of the important features like a micro-SD slot and a removable battery. Two things users won’t get with the Note 5. However, they aren’t as big of a concern as many users are suggesting, and here’s why we still think the Note 5 is absolutely worth buying.
Big, Beautiful Display
A lot of smartphones have big screens. Devices like the LG G4, the Nexus 6, or even Motorola’s new Moto X Pure Edition has the same 5.7-inch screen size with the same 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD resolution. However, now that we’ve got our hands on the Galaxy Note 5 and used it plenty, the screen just can’t be beat.
Samsung is know for making top-end screens, and the Note 5 is no different. The S-AMOLED panel has some of the best and most vibrant colors, exceptional brightness, inky blacks, and good viewing angles to boot. The LG G4 is a prime example of a good screen that goes bad when viewed from the side. The Note 5 doesn’t have that problem, and actually has some of the best viewing angles I’ve seen on any smartphone.
Even the new Moto X Pure Edition and its 5.7-inch screen uses a TFT LCD screen, something that won’t be able to match the vibrancy or brightness of the Quad-HD AMOLED panel on Samsung’s new phone. If you want the biggest and best display on a smartphone, consider the Galaxy Note 5 or its curved S6 Edge+ sibling.
Yes, many users will get the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 for everything it has to offer, yet never use the S-Pen stylus. I’m one of those users who has no real need for it. At the same time, with each new Note release Samsung has made it more and more useful. This year it’s spring-loaded and easy to pull out or put away, has a nice vibration effect when being used, and is extremely useful for a wide array of things.
Our favorite aspect though, is probably the newest feature which is using the S-Pen to take notes while the screen is off. Simply slide out the S-Pen and the phone goes into a low-power state (without unlocking it) and lets you quickly take down a note, write a reminder, or take down a friends phone number and save it for later. It’s simple, easy and convenient.
The S-Pen also feels better in the hand, has a more balanced weight, and overall is a better pen. Samsung improved the sensitivity, the accuracy, and even the latency in which you’ll see the writing on the screen as you jot down notes.
Design & Specs
We can’t ignore the design. Yes changing the overall design to a premium glass and aluminum set of materials also made Samsung compromise and remove the micro-SD and removable battery, but they’ve made up for that in a few other areas.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is the company’s most premium and beautiful smartphone ever released. It’s wrapped in aluminum, glass covers the front and the back, and it just looks and feels like a device worth spending money on. It now can compete with, and beat the iPhone 6 in terms of looks and form factor. They made up for some of those changes by adding fast charging, and now fast wireless charging, but there’s no cure for the lack of storage. Now if only next year they return the micro-SD card while keeping the design similar, then everyone would be happy.
Samsung’s Sapphire Black color actually has multiple hints of blue when in sunlight thanks to the glass on the back, and it just looks gorgeous. There’s no denying the design is exceptional. There is also a slight curve to the back of the Note 5 which makes it easier to hold than the Note 4. It’s also somewhat smaller in size, physically, while being better in every way.
This year the Note 5 really brought everything to the table. Well, everything but a micro-SD slot. Samsung improved the hardware, software, the processor, the camera, the stylus, etc. Everything is better, and that’s just one of many reasons to buy this phone. Here’s the hard numbers for those curious.
Galaxy Note 5 Specs
- 5.7-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD S-AMOLED Display
- Samsung Exynos 8-core processor with 4GB of RAM
- 32, 64GB storage options (no Micro-SD slot)
- 16 Megapixel OIS Camera (like the Galaxy S6)
- 5 Megapixel front-facing camera
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
- Premium Galaxy S6-like all glass and aluminum design
- Fingerprint scanner
- Fast Charging, Fast Wireless Charging
- 3,000 mAh battery
- S-Pen Stylus
This year users get double the power with an 8-core processor, blazing-fast LPDDR4 RAM, and 4GB of RAM for very fast and smooth multi-tasking and dual window mode. The 16 megapixel camera is better and has optical image stabilization. The fingerprint scanner doesn’t suck anymore, and is just as good or better than the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6. It’s fast, accurate, and works everytime. No more swiping either, just touch and go.
While the camera has always been good on Samsung devices, the last year or two they’ve really stepped it up. The F/1.9 lens on the Galaxy S6 is extremely impressive, and has beat the iPhone 6 and most other devices in blind tests, and constantly returns excellent results for a smartphone.
With the Galaxy Note 5 users get a better 16 megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization, a new Pro mode with tons of advanced controls, and a double-tap of the home button launches the camera (even while the phone is locked) in less than one second so you never miss a shot. You can even take amazing photos while recording 4k video.
All said and done, the Galaxy Note 5 should be as good as, or better than the Galaxy S6 in the camera department. This means it should offer one of the best smartphone cameras on the market. If you take lots of photos, you’ll want the new Note.
Fast Charging & Fast Wireless Charging
Last but certainly not least is battery life and charging. Some early battery life benchmarks we’ve seen floating around show the Galaxy Note 5 actually lasts longer than the Galaxy Note 4, even if the battery is smaller. Samsung put a 3,000 mAh battery in the Note 5, which is smaller than the 3,220 mAh battery in the Note 4.
However, the new 8-core processor and Android 5.1.1 Lollipop are both more efficient, they’ve improved the software by leaps and bounds, and they have two ways to charge the Note 5 at an extremely fast pace.
Just like the Galaxy S6 and many smartphones in 2015 the Note 5 supports “Quick Charging” but Samsung calls it Adaptive Fast Charging. This means it goes from 0-50% in about 30 minutes on the wall, and fully charged in an hour and 30 minutes. This is impressive. If you’re low on battery a quick 15-20 minute car-ride will get you nearly to 50%, enough for the rest of the day, or a night out.
However, new to the Galaxy Note 5 is fast wireless charging. Wireless charging has always been a novelty as it is significantly slower than charging a phone with a cord. And while using a wall and the fast charging wall-wart and micro-USB cable will still be faster, the Note 5 supports “Fast Wireless Charging” which is an optional $70 accessory.
We could go on and on about Samsung Pay, wireless charging supporting both major wireless charging platforms, the stunning screen, or even all the changes to the software that take advantage of the S-Pen and the 5.7-inch display, but the five things above are among the most important to me. All reasons I think buyers should buy the Note 5, and will love it.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 is available for pre-order today from all major carriers in the United States, some are shipping early, and it will be available to buy in stores on August 21st.