Samsung has made some of the finest phablets in the world with its Note series. The Galaxy Note 4 was one of the best Android phones of 2014, and Samsung's latest smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, have been well-received by critics. Will Samsung's upcoming phablet, the Galaxy Note 5, deliver? Read on to find out what we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 price, release date, specs and features.
A leaked image of the upcoming Galaxy Note 5 has been unearthed by Nowhereelse.fr and depicts something like an enlarged Galaxy S6. Indeed you could be forgiven for thinking the device was a Galaxy S6, but notice the stylus housing at the bottom left of the rear of the device.
This is only a render, but it's a pretty good mock-up, and we've seen similar leaks to this from case manufacturers before. So if it's real, what does this say about the Galaxy Note 5?
Firstly, and somewhat crucially, the Galaxy Note 5 appears to be housed in the same materials as the Galaxy S6. This premium-feel aluminium unibody would suggest the device won't come with a removable rear panel or expandable storage.
Fans of Samsung's Galaxy series disapproved of this design decision in the Galaxy S6, so we'd expect this revelation to be similarly disappointing, if not exactly unexpected.
This is not to say that Samsung won't surprise us all with some kind of removable back-panel (indeed, we can't see the device's rear in the render), but based on Samsung's current design trajectory, I'd say it's unlikely.
A patent published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, regarding an automatic-ejection system for a smartphone stylus, recently appeared online and is believed to belong to the Galaxy Note 5. Images from the patent, uploaded by Patently Mobile, show off a concept device with a striking resemblance to the Galaxy Note 4.
The patent suggests that the new technology would allow the stylus to be "ejected" from the smartphone using a gesture or voice-command, instead of just pulling it out like on older Galaxy Note devices.
While it's not a vitally important addition, it might make you feel a little more James Bond-like when retrieving your stylus, if this rumor proves to be true.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 display
A rumor picked up by gforgames.com has suggested that the Galaxy Note 5 will arrive with a QHD (2K) display, rather than a UHD (4K) one. This was based on news from Chinese site zol.com.cn, which also speculated that the device will feature a USB 3.1 Type-C connector.
We'd previously heard that Galaxy Note 5 display would come in at 6 inches, and Samsung said at Analyst Days in 2015 that 4K smartphones will exist by the end of 2015, so the Note 5 is probably the last chance to deliver on that claim.
Though Samsung is always keen to be at the forefront of display technology, a 4K display for the Galaxy Note 5 does seem unlikely at this point.
It would create a huge strain on the battery life (even with the fast-charging expected on the Note 5), it would be expensive, and Samsung already has one many believe to be the best looking smartphone display in the world on the (QHD) Galaxy S6. It might be an unnecessary risk to include a UHD display on one of Samsung's phablets this year.
As for USB Type-C, this is going to become the standard for all Android devices before long, so it's entirely likely to appear on the Galaxy Note 5. According to gforgames, it's also expected to be paired with the USB Power Delivery v2.0 specification to charge your phone much faster than before.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 price and release date
A Samsung executive might have inadvertently revealed that the the Galaxy Note 5 release date will be in September. Rhee In Jong, Samsung's executive vice president, said that Samsung Pay was due to launch in September alongside its next high-end smartphone, according to a report from Bloomberg. This suggests that the Galaxy Note 5 will land at IFA 2015, as the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 4 did at IFA 2013 and IFA 2014 respectively.
The Galaxy Note 5 price will likely to come close to 1,000 USD off-contract. The Galaxy Note series is known for delivering cutting-edge smartphone technology, and with the Galaxy Note Edge coming in at around 1000 USD when it was introduced last year, and the same for the Galaxy S6 Edge this year, there's every chance the new Note could reach this price too.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 camera
It seems likely that the Galaxy Note 5 will house some impressive camera tech, given that Samsung tends to prioritize this for its flagship devices. The Note 5 will probably house a wide-angle front-facing camera for all of those "welfies" that people are clamoring for, hopefully in the region of 8 MP. As for the primary camera, expect at least 16 MP and optical image stabilization.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 specs
Little has been leaked about the Galaxy Note 5 specs so far, but Sam Mobile suspects it will have an updated Exynos 7422 processor. You can count on 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM and a battery in excess of 3,000 mAh.
Expecting anything more than a day on a single charge for the Note 5 will be asking a lot. With an big, ultra-bright screen and lightning-fast processor, the Galaxy Note 5 specs are going to put the battery under some serious strain.
Two-day battery life was something of a headline last year, but this year the focus seems to have shifted to fast-charging - essentially an admission that super long-life batteries are still some way off. We think the Note 5 battery will be a fast-charger rather than a long-liver, and will likely charge wirelessly too.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 features
It's always nice to know that you are covered should you accidentally drop your phone in water, or get caught in heavy rain. Samsung has experimented with water-resistant technology before with the Galaxy S4 Active, so it's not out of the question to see it happen on the Note 5.
Samsung's stylus, known as the S Pen, is something which sets the Galaxy Note series apart from the competition. While it is performing the best it ever has on the Note 4, there is still a lot of potential for this technology and Samsung is almost certain to deliver some improvements (like the auto-eject feature mentioned at the top of the page).
The handwriting recognition and usability has been improved in the latest version, but can the classic feel of pen on paper be surpassed by a smartphone? Possibly.
What would you like to see in the Galaxy Note 5? Let us know in the comments below.