I am currently using the Nexus 6 with Android M as my daily driver. I have rooted and flashed custom ROMs in the past only to find out that I love pure Android experience. I also owned every Note device since they came out. Touchwiz is TouchWiz. It has its ups and downs. On the Note 4, it was buggy at times but that didn’t kill the what my Note 4 was good for which is multitasking, video-watching, photos and note-taking. On top of that, the display is simply phenomenal. I personally love the fact that I could read something while on direct sunlight. The phone detect sunlight and the turns up the brightness so it because viewable. Battery life was okay but with Quick Charge 2.0, charging the phablet was easy and pretty much eliminated the need for a spare battery. I can go on and on but if you used the Note 4, you probably know all of this.
A couple of days ago, I got to play with the Galaxy Note 5 at the Samsung Unpacked 2015 in New York City. It isn’t what I really expected from Samsung. They completely redesigned the phablet in the same lines as the Galaxy S6. Glass back, thin chasis and yes, no microSD slot. Although, the phone seems smaller, the display size was still a full 5.7 inches. I played with it for a good 20 minutes and it ran very smooth, like unusually smooth for a TouchWiz-powered phone. This wasn’t a placebo effect. Like I mentionned above, I am using the Nexus which stupid fast, faster than any phone I ever used. Whether Samsung intentionnally tweaked ot overclocked the processor in purpsose, that has to be seen in the consumer version of the Note 5.
The Note 5 packs the Exynos 7420 64-bit processor, the same as the Galaxy S6. It is quite unusual if we go by what the OEM has done in the past couple of years when they used more powerful processors in the Note devices – The Note 2 shared the same one as the Galaxy S3 (clocked a bit higher though).
Samsung added an extra 1 GB of RAM, making the total available RAM 4GB. If you’re a power user, this is a good thing. You also have Quick Charge 2.0 along with the industry-first “Fast Wireless” charging. I am not sure why you’d need a spare battery at this point. If you do, drop a comment below and tell me why.
The camera is probably going to be great just like in the Galaxy S6. I will have to test it out once I get my hands on the phone. But I expect it to better than most phones in the market.
The S Pen has also been upgraded. All you need to do is click it to make it pop out. It looks a lot like the one from the Note 4 but a little shorter. I am a big fan of this new feature called “Screen-Off Memo” that allows you to take a note on the fly wihtout having to unlock the screen. You can also sign PDFs right from your palm of ytour hand.
Modding is becoming a thing of the past in my opnion. If you’re looking to flash a custom ROM in the Note 5, prepare to give up the S Pen functionalities which are already embedded with Touchwiz. I am a firm believer that the Note devices should be kept untouched in order to fully enjoy the phone. The majority of consumers purchase the Note phablets aren’t modders – that’s the reality. If you’re into ROMs, this is NOT the phone for you. It is that simple. Get the Moto Style X or the Nexus 6.
Every major OEM is moving away from using microSD cards. Hell, even Google has moved away from it. I don’t see any user complaining about the lack of storage.
I am going to pre-order the Note 5 (or get a review unit) soon. I will report back on my findings. In the meantime, I highly suggest you go check the phone out in person at your local stores to make a decision. You will be as pleasantly suprised as I was when I played with it.