As expected, Samsung revealed its fifth generation flagship phablet – the Galaxy Note 5 at the Samsung Unpacked 2015 event in New York. The new Note delivers a whole refreshed look, packs an amazing camera and an enhanced S Pen experience.
Having had an exclusive hands-on experience (you can read and watch about it here) I can tell you that from the offset, the Note 5 doesn’t seem do anything ground-breaking. The Note’s crown jewels were always the big format display and exclusive stylus experience. Having said that, it’s an evolution from the previous generation with little touches that enhance productivity and overall user experience.
Here are my favourite five top features of the Galaxy Note 5.
Design and build
Aside from the size of the big display, the Note 5 looks nothing like its predecessor. Gone is the faux leather and chromed frame. In fact, the Note 5 has more in common in terms of looks and build with the beautiful Galaxy S6. In comes a premium build with an all-metal finish and beautiful glass curved back.
What’s important to note is that, despite having a large 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED display, the Note 5 is actually smaller, thinner and lighter than the previous Note devices.
If you loved the S6 and S6 edge, then you’ll appreciate the lines, curves and feel of the new Note 5
Enhanced S Pen
Samsung has finally introduced a spring-loaded auto-eject mechanism to the infamous S Pen. So no more fiddling and using your nail to detach the stylus from the silo. It makes perfect sense, really, and something you’ll definitely appreciate. The S Pen itself features better build, and seems more durable and less plasticky than the previous versions.
The S Pen is more responsive and the hand-writing recognition is better than ever, making writing and drawing as natural as doing it with a real pen.
The Air Command is a Note special. Click the button on the S Pen and a pop-up menu shows up on screen. It gives you quick access apps and features. This is a much-loved feature of the Note series. With the Note 5, it gets even better. Now you can customise Air Command to modify and add up to three favourite apps to it. It’s really neat and a long time coming.
This is one of those “Now why didn’t they think of this before?” features. Imagine this scenario. You need to quickly jot down something – a phone number, a message or a scribble. You’ll need to scan your fingerprint or unlock your phone, search for your app, fire up your app and then write your message.
What if you can do it with a single step?
Well, now you can. Just detach the stylus and write on the screen. There is no step two. And that’s brilliant.
Ultra High Quality Audio
In smartphones, especially in the flagship Galaxy series, audio has always been something of an afterthought. Pretty strange if you think about it. Since we spend so much time on our phones listening to music, watching movies and playing games, why isn’t it made to deliver better quality sound?
Audiophiles will love this. The Note 5 now has Ultra High Quality Audio (UHQA) support built in. That means you get up to 24bit/192kHz quality audio. A UHQA upscaler enhances existing MP3 music and make them all more listenable and enjoyable.
The Note 5 includes a new UHQA-Bluetooth codec which means better quality audio streamed to your favourite Bluetooth headphones. And naturally, UHQA works perfectly with Samsung LEVEL.
The Best Camera
Samsung didn’t just adopt the best design and build elements from the S6 and S6 edge. It also brought one of my biggest loves about the S6 series – the amazing camera. We’ve raved about the S6 camera and even our readers tend to agree.
Make no mistake, the 16MP f/1.9 snapper with OIS is stunning, the best on any smartphone. It features an enhanced software-based OIS for smooth, shake-free video. Shoot high-resolution stills or 4K video. The only limit is your imagination. For taking selfies, the Note 5 gets a 5MP shooter, which is an upgrade from a 3.7MP unit on the Note 4.
Performance is unmatched in low light and if you need fast autofocus and shutter, you’ve got the best in your hand. Photography is often spontaneous and unplanned, so simply double-click on the Home button to fire up the camera. All in under a second.
So there you go, my 5 top features of the new Galaxy Note 5. I’m pretty sure you have your own favourite features, give us your thoughts below.
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