New Galaxy Note 5 Phablet Review
Introduction to the Galaxy Note 5 Review in Tech Kenya
Just a few years ago, everyone was wondering what the South Korean giant phone maker, Samsung, was really up to when it launched the 5.3 Note.
It was a completely new concept, one that, however, didnt take much persuasion to get a solid following.
Soon enough, there sprang up a number of Chinese brands who tried to compete with the new smartphone breed in their home market, and also saw international brands such as HTC, Sony, LG, Oppo, and recently Apple follow suit.
The phablet territory is no longer reserved for the daring, i.e the likes of Samsung, but for those who have an eye for the lucrative niche, such as the Apple iPhone 6 Plus.
It is worth noting that Samsung was surprisingly able to sell more than 7 million pieces of the original Galaxy Note as reported by the Verge in 2012.
Fast forward to 2015, we are now privileged to meet the latest Galaxy Note iteration: The Galaxy Note 5. It is a machine, it is a jewel and it works better than before. It might be good to also note that even before its release, it has already been awarded the best smartphone screen in existence!
Gone are the days when Samsung haters would laugh at Samsungs then cheap plastic phones. But the iPhone fans are now considering what else they can hate about Samsung. And you already guessed it, it is the design.
When the Galaxy S6 came out, we could not help but notice the 10! similarities with the iPhone 6.
But hey! Who said that was a bad thing? We are in Kenya, and the average smartphone user will always appreciate the treat they get from a normal smartphone, rather than how much it respects the designs of the competitors.
To add tho that, we already have several smartphones competing to look like their brothers, and the smaller brands have that in common.
For example, you can hardly differentiate between the low cost iTels and a Tecnos without if you do not look at their names, but that is just a by the way.
That aside, we can finally say Samsung is now both a Smartphone for those who like over the top features and those who want a premium brand, not forgetting those who just want what works!
So, just like the great Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, the new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 looks and feels premium.
If you like the New Note 5 that much, you can call it a larger Galaxy S6, since it also has a sister with an Edge+ beauty, and so you can fall in love with any of em. Certainly not all of them I guess, because they are unmistakably destined to be expensive.
The new Samsung smartphone is meant for those who want a larger Galaxy S6, and because we could hardly find a flaw on that smartphone in our Galaxy S6 review, were pretty sure the Galaxy Note 5 will actually be over the top.
In our view, Samsung is finally killing the Note series, and making two versions of its flagship, because this is simply a larger S6, but simply retaining the name.
Enough talk already, lets delve into the techie techie of the beast.
Galaxy Note 5 Specs and Features
We couldnt wait to get to this section of the review, as there is a lot you will love about the Beast, not Obamas Beast though. This one fits in your jeans pocket, but sadly, it wont get Nairobis heavy traffic out of your way like Obamas Beast did. Sad indeed.
The Galaxy Note 5s Screen, as posted by Display Mate is the best screen ever seen on a Smartphone. It is a 5.7 quad-HD display. That results in a resolution of a massive 518ppi even with the large screen.
Galaxy Note 5 Specs List
- Specs Details
- Dimensions 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm (6.03 x 3.00 x 0.30 in)
- Screen Size 5.7 inches
- Screen Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels (~518 ppi pixel density)
- Chipset Exynos 7420
- CPU Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57
- GPU Mali-T760MP8
- SD Card slot None
- Internal Memory 32/64/128 GB, 4 GB RAM
- Primary Camera 16 MP, 5312 x 2988 pixels, optical image stabilization, autofocus, LED flash
- Secondary Camera 5 MP
- Video Details 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, optical stabilization, dual-video rec.
- Battery Non-removable Li-Po 3000 mAh battery
- Weight 171 g (6.03 oz)
- Take me to the top
The Design of the Galaxy Note 5
The latest Galaxy Note comes adored in full metal-and-glass construction for an undoubtedly slick, premium device that’s so much in line with Samsung’s new design language found in the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
Additionally, apart from it being made of glass rather than its forerunners faux leather, the Note 5s back is unobtrusively flush with the edges, letting the phablet sit comfortably when you hold it with your hand.
That implies the phablet feels notably thinner, lighter, and even a lot more premium than the Note 4 given the meager 7.6mm thickness and 171g in mass.
Other features ported just as they are from the Galaxy S6 includes a rear heart-rate sensor and LED flash though they have been slightly altered to sit besides the camera module.
The same set of microphone, USB port, and speaker grille on the bottom also add to the list of the specs earlier seen on the Galaxy S6.
An expected design as compared to the Galaxy S6 is the alteration to accommodate the S-pen slot, which is a staple in the Galaxy Note Series.
Do not forget that the choice of the premium design came with a few unavoidable compromises: namely: the lack of the removable battery, that Samsung lovers used to boast of in the past, and the lack of SD card slot.
However, considering that the competition, with an exception LG, has already adopted the in-built battery design, it will not be a drawback, let alone being a turn off.
Additionally, we have been told the average smartphone user only utilizes no more than 25-28 GB on their smartphones. If that is true, for the base version to have come with 32GB on-board storage is actually thoughtful of Samsung.
The lack of a removable battery has been taken care of too by additional features on this phone. There is fast wireless charging along with fast charging from the bundled charger.
Samsung is known for assigning fancy names to its unique features, and the fast charging is being touted as Ultra Fast Charging. Just saying.
There is a claim that the in-built support for fast wireless charging will reduce the charging time by half, meaning something like 45 minutes on average, for it takes only 90 minutes to charge your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 with the bundled charger.
Performance and Software Features of the Galaxy Note 5
On paper, the new premium phablet from Samsung is the most powerful smartphone in the World.
That is considering the 4GB of RAM and Samsungs home-baked 64 bit Exynos Octa Core which is a 14nm Processor. The phone runs Android Lollipop 5.1.1.
With these features, expect no lag at all in addition to super-smooth transitions. The phone is also well set to handle advanced graphics that come with the latest Games on the market.
The performance, coupled with the gorgeous 5.7 Super Amoled display, that is protected by Gorilla Glass 4 is a beauty to behold. As mentioned before, it is officially the best screen ever seen on a smartphone. Thumbs up Sammy.
On the software front, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has a new nifty feature. The S-pen now allows you to write instantly without having to unlock the screen, and there is also a write to PDF feature.
You are also in for a treat if you like taking screenshots of the content that you read. It is now possible to use what Samsung calls Scroll Capture to take a screenshot of a complete web page, up to 20 screens long! Well, that is on average the longest web page you can find on a blog.
Even though we will have to wait for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5s release in order test it in Tech Kenya, it is the same camera module that you are used to; just ported from the Galaxy S6.
The camera on the Galaxy S6 was crowned the best smartphone camera by several reviewers back when it got released earlier this year, and Samsung has taken it a notch higher on the Note 5 by allowing you to take photos in RAW format.
The latest Android OS version supports taking photos in RAW format; but up to now, you had to rely on third party apps in order to take advantage of the feature.
With the RAW format, you get a photo just as on camera module, without any post processing. It means that you will be able to take advantage of the pro photo editing software tools to fine-tune your photos.
So, if you do not trust Samsungs own post processing, you can set the photos to be in RAW format and later move ahead to enhance them with your preferred tools on PC or Mac.
That said, expect stellar camera performance from Galaxy note 5.
The Galaxy Note 5s battery has a capacity of 3000 mAh. This is not the largest battery out there, in fact, it is one of the average batteries if you consider the capacity.
However, if you are assured of fast charging, you can be sure you may not have to curse the phone. When the phone gets to Kenya, we will be able to update you with real battery life stats.
The Galaxy Note 5s Price in Kenya
Even though the smartphone is not yet in the Kenyan market, expect pricing to be a few thousands shy of KShs 100,000.
Pre-Orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 in Kenya
When the Galaxy S6 came out earlier this year, the major phone carriers in Kenya, namely Safaricom and Airtel were quick to invite people to pre-order the phone.
We are sure there will be pre-orders available soon. We will inform you of the Galaxy Note 5 pre-order details in Kenya and expected release dates. Stick around.
All that we can say about the latest Note from the giant phone manufacturer, Samsung, recently announced is that it will be a huge hit.
We are also expecting Apple to go an extra mile with the design or features of the iPhone 6S Plus if such a device exists in their lineup. However, it might be a bit late for them to overhaul it if it is to come in September. With that, we are expecting a tough competition between the two devices.
It is also worth noting that Samsung has always succeeded with its Galaxy Note line, and we are predicting an increase in shipped units of the Galaxy Note 5 units as compared to its predecessors because of the improved design and features.
That will only possible if Samsung will pace up with the demand though, considering that metallic smartphones are tricky to manufacture. However, it has the capacity.
That said, we are keeping our fingers crossed, and we can describe the Galaxy Note 5 as a device that both looks and feels premium plus it is endowed with power and features.
What Other Reviewers Say About the Galaxy Note 5