After months of rumoring and speculation, Samsung has finally taken the wraps off of their 2015 Galaxy Note device. The announcement came a little earlier in the year than usual, probably to beat the iPhone 6S to market, but I think most people will be happy to get their hands on this thing as soon as possible.
Much of the hardware on the Galaxy Note 5 is the same as on the Galaxy S6. You’ll find the same Exynos processor and an identical camera, although the RAM has been bumped up to 4 GB over the S6’s 3 GB. There’s still no removable back, so no SD card or replaceable battery, but the Note 5 will come standard with 32 GB of storage. Samsung will be offering a 64 GB variant as well, but it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to find a 128 GB version this time around.
Screen resolution mirrors what’s on the S6, and the 5.7-inch display is identical in size to what we’ve seen on the Note 4 and Note 3 in the past couple years. Fortunately, Samsung has done a lot of work in the design department, so you’ll find that the Note 5 is considerably slimmer and lighter than previous models. The back of the device is curved, making holding the phablet much easier, too.
The S-Pen is getting a handful of new features, and the actual design of the pen has finally been improved, too. There won’t be an auto-ejecting S-Pen like we’ve seen in some rumors, but the bottom of the pen can be clicked and slightly extended, making it easier to pull it out of the phone instead of scraping it with your fingernails. The software and functionality has picked up some new tricks, including a quick app launcher for the pen and a way to quickly jot down notes while the Note’s screen is off.
The underlying OS is exactly what you’d expect. You’ll find Android 5.1 running the show, with Samsung’s typical TouchWiz overlay. They haven’t added a ton of new functionality from the S6, but there are a few new things to play with in the software.
The Note 5 should officially be available on August 21st of this year, beating the new iPhone by several weeks and historically coming out way before than other Note phones.