When the Samsung Galaxy Note first launched way back when, there was no shortage of skeptics who thought Samsung had completely lost the plot releasing this gargantuan phone. But consumers have proved Samsung’s bold play was a smart one, because millions and millions of them bloody loved the big old beastie – it’s developed quite a following from these humble beginnings and, every year, the annual refresh has largely been met with equal enthusiasm as Samsung has continued to hone and refine the formula.
Anyone who has used a Samsung Galaxy Note handset in the past will probably tell you (with not too much prodding) about what an enjoyable experience it can be. Samsung has poured plenty of innovation, effort, and cutting-edge tech into the series and it’s one of the most polished offerings inside the firm’s portfolio. As you can imagine there was a lot of fevered expectation and excitement in the run up to the Galaxy Note 5 launch!
After many months of anticipation Samsung finally took the wraps off the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 at a special Samsung Unpacked event in New York. Sadly, Samsung didn’t reveal any plans to bring the handset to the European and UK markets. However, as of December 4, it now appears that Samsung does have plans to introduce the Galaxy Note 5 to us Brits and Euros during 2016!
The report comes via Gadgette, which claims to have heard from “trusted sources” that Samsung will launch the Galaxy Note 5 in the UK in “late January 2016”, the source is said to be the very same who correctly informed about the original lack of a UK/European launch ahead of the official announcement. AndroidCentral has also published a report saying that it can confirm the claims via its own sources.
Here at KYM we’ve always been MASSIVE fans of the Galaxy Note range, finding it infinitely preferable to the company’s “traditional” Galaxy S flagship. Pound for pound it always had better specs, better performance and lots more features. It usually looked better as well and had a bigger display, which is always a bonus in our book. The idea that the Galaxy Note 5 was not coming to the UK didn’t sit well with us — even more so when Samsung tried to mug us off with the Galaxy S6 EDGE+.
Thankfully, the company has now seen sense and has decided to bring the handset to the UK. Looking back I still can’t believe it didn’t get a release here right off the bat — the UK has always been a very popular market for Samsung’s Galaxy Note devices — which sort of makes me think this might have been a bit of covert marketing on Samsung’s part; tell a region they can’t have something, make them want it more and, once demand is HUGE, yield and eventually release it there. If so, well done, Samsung — it really bloody worked!
So if you’ve been holding out for a Galaxy Note 5 in good faith it will turn up, your patience is about to be rewarded. Let’s take a look at the phone’s best features below to stoke your anticipation!
1. Stunning Premium Design
Yes, the rumours were true. The Galaxy Note 5 features a broadly similar design to the previous generation Galaxy Note 4, except that Samsung has done its usual best to shrink the bodywork down around that substantial touchscreen. There’s barely any bezel at all, and we find it difficult to imagine that a phablet like this could be any more compact.
Of course the other major change is that the Note 5 adopts the Galaxy S6’s use of metal and glass bodywork giving it a premium look and feel. The last-gen Note had a metal surround, but there’s no doubt that this is now the most high-end finish for a Galaxy Note to date.
There is one slight design tweak, again previously rumuored accurately. The Note 5 features a curved glass rear panel with tapered edges, similar to the front design of the Galaxy S6 edge and S6 edge+. As well as tying the Note 5 in with the rest of the range’s visual style, Samung says this curved back makes one-handed use easier, as well as looking slick in its own right, of course.
2. Gorgeous Display
Well this was to be expected. Samsung has been getting progressively better and better at producing its Super AMOLED displays that utterly trounce the competition. This latest is the same size as the last few Note models, a size which Samsung clearly feels is optimum – something we’d largely agree with. It’s a 5.7in Super AMOLED panel with a QHD 2560×1440 pixel resolution, resulting in some ultra-sharp visual quality. As usual with Samsung’s Super AMOLED the contrast, colour, brightness and viewing angles all promise to be superb.
Oh and just so there’s no confusion, it’s flat, not curved.
3. Processing POWER
Again, there are usually plenty of shared components between Galaxy S6 handsets and the Galaxy Note series devices launched inside the same year, so it’s not too suprising we’re seeing the Galaxy Note 5 using the same chipset from the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, and Galaxy S6 edge+.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all, because quite frankly the Exynos 7420 in question has been one of the finest performing chipsets in any device this year. It’s a 64-bit octa-core chipset built on 14 nanometer FinFet production processes.
This thing is insanely fast, runs cooler, and is much kinder to battery life than pretty much anything else on the market.
Not only that, but the Galaxy Note 5 gets some special treatment by having 4GB of RAM accompanying the processor – that’s the most Samsung has put in any phone to date, and not only will it help out with multitasking, but is also said to be the amount of RAM that really lets apps leverage the 64-bit architecture to the fullest.
4. Multitasking & Stylus Features Galore
No surprises that the Galaxy Note 5 features an S-Pen stylus or an emphasis on mutltiasking! Still, the intricate details are rather interesteing nonetheless. Samsung has re-designed the S-Pen to be more like a pen and more comfortable to hold, plus it now features a clicky quick-release mechanism. As with previous iterations, Samsung has made efforts to make the S-Pen more sensitive and accurate, and allegedly it now feels very close to using a real pen in terms of responsiveness.
The radial Air Command menu has also been tweaked and improved, and Samsung has streamlined many useful features, such as signing PDF documents on the fly.
Multitasking is a key focal point, with Samsung adding 4GB of RAM to make sure multiple apps can be handled easily. The ability to split the display between multiple applications is also alive and well.
As of November 19 we now have a better idea of when Samsung will issue a software update to the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, bringing it up to the latest version of Android – Marshmallow 6.0. There have been multipe leaks inside November 2015 showing info from a Samsung internal roadmap database; the details have changed from leak to leak, but the latest word from PhoneArena’s sources shows that the Galaxy Note 5’s update has apparently been fast tracked as a priority. The update for the Note 5 has an “uploading” status, indicating it is being uploaded to Samsung’s distribution platforms, while the rollout date is listed as December 2015. So, in short, it’s coming next month.
5. BIG Battery Life
As predicted, the Galaxy Note 5 comes loaded with a (non-removable) 3,000mAh battery cell which should provide plenty of juice. Between the more efficient processor and the return of Samung’s Power Saving mode we should see excellent battery performance from this beast. What’s more, the Note 5 supports quick charging and wireless charging.