Samsung unveiled its latest addition to the popular Galaxy Note series a few days ago, and we’ve got our hands on one. We can’t wait to run this device through its paces, but before giving it the full review treatment, here is a quick look at the unboxing, and we give you our first impressions about the Samsung Galaxy Note 5![related_videos title=”More Galaxy Note 5 videos” align=”center” type=”custom” videos=”634297,634296,634295,634225″]
The first thing you’ll notice with the box is that it looks just like the packaging of the Samsung Galaxy S6, with Samsung deciding to do away completely with the fake wood boxes from before, favoring instead a clean, white package with the Galaxy Note 5 branding on the front in big bold letters, along with a list of key specifications on the back.
Opening the box reveals the device in all its glory, wrapped in a plastic sleeve. Underneath is a Quick Start guide and the SIM removal tool that is attached to the plastic tray that houses the phone. Taking out the tray gives you access to the standard microUSB cable, the AC wall charger, extra replacement tips for the S-Pen along with a removal tool, and some very nicely packaged pair of Samsung earphones.
While there has historically been some sort of separation in the look and feel between the flagship Galaxy S series and Galaxy Note line, but this time around, the Galaxy Note 5 basically follows in the steps of the Galaxy S6, with its combination of metal and glass construction. This, of course, means that the back is no longer removable, and takes away the ability to swap batteries, which is even more of a concern given the fact that the battery of the Galaxy Note 5 is slightly smaller than its predecessor.
The change in build quality allows for a fantastic feel in the hand though, and despite featuring a large 5.7-inch display, the device doesn’t feel extremely big or unwieldy. A big contributing factor to the handling experience is the very thin bezels along the sides of the display, making the Note 5 smaller than its predecessor in almost every dimension. The curves along the sides of the back is the difference in design you’ll see from the Galaxy S6, and make the device very comfortable to hold. It does get quite slippery though, and the glass backing is also prone to fingerprints. Overall, Samsung did a fantastic job with the design and build of the Galaxy Note 5, and while the Note series didn’t particularly need the design overhaul like the Galaxy S line did, it’s still a move in the right direction.
Going around the device, the power button is on the right, the volume rocker to the left, the SIM card tray up top, and the Micro USB port, speaker, headphone jack, and S-Pen slot at the bottom. One thing you’ll notice is that there isn’t an IR blaster anymore, so you won’t be able to control your TV or other peripherals. On the back is a 16 MP camera, along with a heart rate sensor next to it. This camera sensor is very similar to what is found with the Galaxy S flagships, which are considered one of the best smartphone cameras right now, and more of the same should continue here. Finally, up front is the signature Samsung home button, also integrated with a touch based fingerprint scanner.
The Galaxy Note 5 comes with the same processing package as the Galaxy S6, but with an additional gigabyte of RAM, and as such, the performance should be as good as it was with its flagship counterpart, if not better, because of the 4 GB of RAM on-board. The Galaxy Note 5 comes with 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage, with no microSD card slot for expansion, so power users will have to depend on the larger storage version to cover their needs.
The device comes with a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with the same Quad HD resolution as seen with its predecessor, and the screen looks absolutely amazing. Samsung somehow manages to offer better and better displays with their flagship smartphones every year, and the Galaxy Note 5 easily features one of the best that we’ve seen on any smartphone.
The S-Pen has also been improved in a lot of ways, at both a hardware and software level. The S-Pen ejects from the bottom side now, which is a nice implementation, even though it makes getting the stylus out a little slower, with the additional step required to eject it first, before you can pull it out. The new clicky top on the S-Pen gives it the feel of a traditional pen, and that is something users will enjoy. The Air Command menu returns in a more refined iteration, and while functionality like taking notes, writing on the screen, and more, return, the menu can now house up to two app shortcuts, allowing you to quickly and easily launch these apps. The new screen-off memo is also a very handy feature, if you need to quickly make a note of something, and the device automatically saves the note when the S-Pen put back in its slot.
So there you have it for this quick unboxing and first look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 5! Stay tuned with Android Authority as we continue to bring you more about the Galaxy Note 5, including the comprehensive review, which should be up soon.