Samsung Galaxy Note5: Still big, but is it better?
Whether I’m jotting down my thoughts while sitting in a meeting at work, or watching cooking videos on YouTube while attempting to make dinner, I need a phone that has the versatility and screen size to help me do what I need at both work and play.
Recently, I had the opportunity to try out the Samsung Galaxy Note5 for a few days. I’ve used older versions of the Note in the past, so I was excited to see what new enhancements Samsung built into the latest model. The Note series of phones is well known for its large screens and the handy S Pen, but can Samsung keep Note enthusiasts interested in the line with the Note5? Read on, and I’ll let you know what I think.
Slimmer, streamlined design
I always have my phone in my hand, just like I always hold the remote when I watch TV at home. The Samsung Galaxy Note5 fit well in the palm of my hand. It features the same 5.7” Quad HD Super AMOLED display as the Note 4, but its design has been streamlined with a thinner body at just 7.6mm and it features a metal frame with Gorilla Glass on both the front and back. The redesigned Note is skinnier and looks sleeker than previous models.
New S Pen features
The S Pen is one of the main features that has differentiated the Note from other phones that are similar in size. And with the Note5, Samsung has made the S Pen an even better productivity tool. One of the great functions of the S Pen is that it allows for Air Command which pops up a menu of shortcuts to specific features with a simple click and swipe of the pen over any part of the screen. Air Command has been improved with a colour coded menu that makes it easier to identify features that are specific to Note phones like smart select and screen write. Samsung’s also made it possible to add shortcuts to your favourite apps from the Air Command menu. Now the S Pen allows quick access to social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn (or games many of us can’t get enough of like Candy Crush Saga).
But for me, the best new S Pen enhancement is the ability to make off screen memos. My brain never takes a break. When I was lying in bed one night, I scrambled for the phone to write down an idea that came to mind. With the Samsung Galaxy Note5, all I had to do was eject the S Pen, and I was able to write a memo on the screen right away and saved it to my notes – all without needing to unlock the screen.
Quick and wireless charging
And just like the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+, the Note5 is also equipped with built-in technology that enables wireless charging with a wireless charging pad. Plus if you’re often running late for meetings or dinner reservations like me, you’ll appreciate that you can get 4 hours of battery life with just 10 minutes of charging with the Adaptive Fast Charger (included with the phone).
Fast load times and smooth performance
The Note5 performed well when I ran multiple apps at the same time. With a Samsung Exynos 7420 octa-core 64-bit processor and 4GB of RAM – the best speed and most power ever included in any Samsung smartphone – the phone was able to keep up with my multi-tasking demands. While working on the go, I had YouTube playing my favourite music video playlist, while I checked emails on the other half of my screen with Multi-Window. I never had to worry about the Note5 freezing or lagging while working or browsing.
Pre-loaded Microsoft Office apps
The latest Note also comes with Microsoft Office apps already installed on the phone, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These apps really came in handy for me when I attended a meeting via conference call the other day. I was able to pull up the presentation with the PowerPoint app and view a production schedule with the Excel app while I participated in the meeting over speakerphone. With the Microsoft apps, I didn’t have to wait until I got back to my computer to open my files.
I like to think of myself as an amateur photographer. One weekend, I used the 16MP camera built in to the Note5 to take pictures of my nieces running around the backyard on a sunny day, then later took artistic shots of the basket of wings I ordered at a dimly lit bar. With an f1.9 lens, the camera on this phone was able to capture more light in low-light conditions – this resulted in great looking shots, no matter how poor the lighting was. And I never missed a moment with the ability to launch the camera with a quick double-tap on the home button.
The bottom line
The Samsung Galaxy Note5 maintains the tradition of powerful productivity tools that the line is well known for. It’s faster, looks and feels nicer, and the S Pen continues to be a feature that helps this phone stand out in the crowded smartphone market. I’ve found it to be a great phone for getting things done whether at the office or on the go. It’s definitely a step up for the Note series. There’s plenty in this new version to keep loyal Note users happy, and a lot of great tools for Note newbies to discover.
What are your thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Note5? Let me know in the comments section below.
Glenn Calderon is Bell Mobility’s Marketing Communications Specialist.