Its premium design is its biggest perk if you're upgrading from the Note 4 or a previous Note phone, and want something that looks and feels as good as the Galaxy S6 in a bigger size.
With a 5.7-inch quad HD display, better specs and the return of the S-Pen, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has everything you want, except a microSD card slot and replaceable battery.
That's a deal breaker for many long-time (and vocal) Note users we've already heard from, but others will see the value in upgrading to the more stylish and powerful phablet later this month.
We seen and tested the Note 5, so when does it actually launch? That all depends on where you live, sadly. Its official release date was Friday, August 21 in the US, and it's not coming to the UK. Not this year, at least.
US pre-orders begin later on Thursday, August 13 at 3 p.m. EDT, right after the Samsung Unpacked 2015 event in New York and London. Carriers include all of the usual suspects: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular.
You' have pay top dollar for the Galaxy Note 5, as Samsung phablet regulars have come to expect. AT&T is charging $250 for the 32GB version if you buy the phone with a two-year agreement, and $349.99 for 64GB on the same terms.
That's $50 less expensive than the Note 4 launch price, but it ends up being $740 for 32GB and $840 for 64GB off-contract. Somebody REALLY wants you to make a commitment, and their name is AT&T. Put a ringtone on it.
Don't expect the same for the UK, where it would likely cost the usual £600, or Australia (AU$940). Samsung doesn't currently have a UK release date for the Galaxy Note 5, instead touting that the Samsung Galaxy Edge 6+ as coming to Europe "soon."
Our stretched-out fingers have been itching to get rid of the textured plastic materials of the Galaxy Note phones for years, and Samsung comes through here.
The Note 5 design is made of an iPhone 6 Plus-challenging metal frame with a glass back, and it stands in stark contrast to the plastic-painted frames of yesteryear that simply looked metal.
At 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm, its dimensions slightly more compact than last year's, and it weights a few grams less than the Galaxy Note 4, 171g vs 176g.
That said, it's still hefty compared to the Galaxy S6, but at least the camera doesn't protrude as on Samsung's smaller flagship phone.
Just don't expect Samsung to have added in the sorely missing microSD card slot or removable battery. Like the on S6, it's missing in the new phablet, too.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 keeps the same 5.7-inch display size and Super AMOLED technology back it for good reason: it's among the best looking screens out there.
With a quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution and pixel-packed 518 pixels per inch, it's hard not to like what's behind this Gorilla Glass 4 display.
On paper, it's not quite as pixel-dense as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which tout a 577ppi. But that's just because that same resolution is stretched out overtop of larger screen. It hardly makes a difference.
Samsung ditched Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor with the Galaxy S6, and it hasn't looked back, employing the same Exynos 7420 Octa-core as its smaller flagship phone.
It combines the power of a 2.1 GHz quad-core (Cortex-A57) + 1.5 GHz quad-core (Cortex-A53) chip, and in previous S6 tests has topped our benchmarks among all reviewed phones.
What's amazing is that the S6 has 3GB of RAM. The Note 5 ups the amount of memory to 4GB. The ceiling is even higher for running multiple tasks at once on this performance-driven phone.
Just don't expect to store everything you own on your Galaxy Note 5. Its internal storage is limited to 32GB and 64GB, whereas the S6 and the iPhone 6 Plus reach 128GB.
With Android 5.1 onboard and Samsung Pay, the Note 5 seems set to go otherwise.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 benefits from the best-in-class S6 camera, with its 16MP sensor and f/1.9 aperture. Only the LG G4 comes close to its quality.
Photos are highly detailed and videos can be captured at a 4K resolution. The front-facing camera maxes out at 5MP, but also sports the wider f/1.9 aperture.
What's new is that Samsung is using the Galaxy Note 5 to debut its support of RAW photos and YouTube live streaming integration.
Most people don't splurge for the Note series for the camera, but it's great to see that Samsung carried it over to the new phone. Photos will look extra nice on the 5.7-inch quad HD display.
Samsung stuck its 2015 phablet with a smaller 3,000mAh battery, while the Note 4 had a larger 3,220mAh battery. Now you know how it shaved down those dimensions.
That's an even more alarming trade-off to power users who are used to swapping of the battery by carrying an extra one with them. You won't be able to do that with the Note 5.
The battery is sealed shut, but it does at least benefit from Fast Charging technology that's all the rage among Androids now, and it's wireless charging is PMA and WPC compatible.
S-Pen, Samsung Pay and fingerprint sensor
The Note 5 introduces the next-generation S-Pen and a few new meaningful capabilities. In our hands on Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review, we particularly liked the Scroll Capture feature.
Being able to screenshot an entire webpage and then annotate with a few simple stylus clicks is extremely handy for mobile productivity. That kind of effort takes a laptop, or at least a tablet.
Samsung significantly improved the fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, and that's the one you'll find in the Note 5, thankfully.
That's good news, because the biometric home button is just in time for next month's Samsung Pay roll out throughout the US. It's protected by Knox and apparently ready to go.
Launching in the US on September 28, the Samsung Pay digital wallet is likely to beat the mysteriously delayed Android Pay from Google, which may not launch until Android M arrives.
Samsung Pay could mount a challenge to Apple Pay with its support of NFC (Near Field Communication) and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) for wider compatibility.