Samsung unveiled the fifth iteration of its Note line — named appropriately the Galaxy Note 5 — at an event in New York City on April 13, 2015.
The Galaxy Note 5 follows tightly behind the Galaxy S6 launched earlier in the year, with nearly identical design, many shared internals and very similar software. A metal frame surrounds he phone and there's glass on both front and back, with the back pane sporting curves that help you hold the phone better. And though it shares the same screen size as the Note 4, it's smaller in every dimension thanks to the design changes.
On the inside the Note 5 runs an Exynos oct-core processor, 4GB of RAM and either 32 or 64GB of storage, powering a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display. The battery has dropped slightly compared to the Note 4 to 3000mAh, and it's no longer removable. You also can't expand the storage by SD card, either. Around back you'll find the same great 16MP camera from the Galaxy S6.
Naturally the Note 5 has an S Pen still, but the new version has improved hardware and software to reduce input latency. It stores completely inside the phone as well, with a neat clicking button to remove it. On the software front, Air Command has a new interface and there are a handful of new S Pen features that make it easier to make notes, annotate PDFs and capture large scrolling screenshots.
Beyond the S Pen improvements the software on the Note 5 is nearly identical to that of the Galaxy S6, with the same flavor of TouchWiz and Android 5.1.1 on the phone. The home screens and app icons have received a slight refresh, and there's a new addition to the camera in YouTube live streaming.
The Galaxy S6 edge+ was also announced alongside the Note 5, with both phones sharing the same exact platform, screen size, internals and features — the GS6 edge+ simply doesn't have an S Pen.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 also features Samsung Pay, Samsung's alternative to Android Pay. Samsung Pay allows users of Samsung devices to pay at nearly any credit card terminal using just their phone, even if the terminal is not NFC enabled. It does this using built-in hardware that is able to talk to older terminals using Magnetic Secure Transmission — or MST — in addition to standard NFC transmission.
Samsung put out the Galaxy Note 5 for pre-order in the U.S. the same day as the event — Aug 13 — with in-store and full retail availability landing on August 21. Pricing varies depending on which carrier you're using and which country you're in, but the one big omission is a delayed launch of the Note 5 in the U.K.
Check out our full Galaxy Note 5 review here for all the goods!
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