We knew this one was coming. Following an avalanche of leaks, rumors and even a lone retail box, Samsung on Thursday made the Galaxy Note 5 official. And it’s basically what people expected: a beefier, more attractive Note device that puts a lot of emphasis on design and experience.
Not only does the design match the beautiful S6—metal sides, glass back, slim build—but it comes with some monster specs, which we’ve come to expect from new Samsung phones. It also offers plenty of options we first saw introduced in the Galaxy S6, like a focus on fast charging, PMA/Qi wireless charging support, killer cameras and more. Even better, Samsung tweaked the software with new support for the S Pen, like taking notes in an idle state or launching frequently used apps, and even signing PDF documents.
Wondering a bit more about the hardware, though? Check out the list of specs below.
Note 5 specs
OS: Android 5.1
Processor: Exynos 7420
Screen: 5.7-inch Quad HD (518ppi)
Battery: 3000mAh; Quick Charge 2.0 and wireless charging support
Camera: 16-megapixel with f/1.9 and optical image stabilization
Others: NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), MIMI, fingerprint sensor; black sapphire and white pearl color options
As you can see, it’s no slouch, and if it’s anything like the Galaxy S6, this will definitely be a very, very good phone. But does it achieve greatness? The lack of expandable storage and a removable battery could very well turn power users off of the Note lineup, and the absence of a 128GB storage option is truly strange.
As it did with the Galaxy S6, Samsung chose looks over function; it’s a strategy Samsung is still coming to terms with, and it looks like something users will have to get used to.
But for all the perceived “bad” news, potential buyers still get plenty of Note perks, and Samsung says the S Pen, which ejects out of its little slot this year, is much improved over years past. We didn’t really have enough time to put those claims to the test, but we’ve always found the S Pen to be a pretty pleasant experience.
Samsung has found it difficult to find an audience for its shinier, more advanced devices—evidenced by the lower S6 and S6 Edge prices—so what makes the Note 5 any different? It’s a lot bigger than the S6, more powerful, and comes with an S Pen.
The Galaxy Note 5 will be available globally on Aug. 21 and, in the U.S., through AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular.