The Note5 is probably the most aesthetically pleasing addition to Samsung's phablet line to date. Its metal and glass design screams premium and ensures the device is not confused for a lower-priced competitor. Although it is a little too prone to pick- ing up fingerprints and smudges.
The trademark S Pen has received its own makeover to match this new style, now appearing more metallic. It slips out of the body via a handy new clickable end that is hard to resist pressing during use.
The dimensions, as previously, are large and lavish at 153.2 x 76.1mm wide. But the curvature of the device's rear means it fits surprisingly snugly in the hand.
Upon turning the device on, the 5.7-inch display is strik- ing and among the best in the business at 518ppi. Pictures look clear and crisp, high definition video is smooth and the exter- nal speaker is sufficiently loud should you want to sit down for a movie or television show.
The hardware is also market leading at launch, with 4GB of RAM and an octa-core processor. There was no noticeable slowdown while playing games, watching videos or switching between apps. However, like Samsung's other devices this year, the Note5 does not include a micro SD card slot to expand the storage or a removable battery. This may make some think twice before purchasing.
On the home screen, Samsung's TouchWiz interface makes a return. Expect the usual manufacturer apps installed by default. Navigating the interface is made smoother by the S Pen, which feels more accurate than last year's version. Normally clunky functions, like copy and pasting text between documents or emails, are far simpler. Multitasking between different apps
feels less arduous than on other devices.
Fitness fanatics will be pleased to hear that the heart ratemonitor on the rear of the device makes a return. This was fun to play around with but only the committed are likely to use the feature every day.
The front fingerprint scanner was also a little too unreliable at times, meaning other methods of unlocking the screen were often quicker.
In the camera department, the Note5 boasts some of the best picture taking we have seen on an Android device. There are multiple shooting modes to choose from and the delay between pressing the screen to shoot and a picture being taken is minimal. The 16MP rear and 5MP front cameras also per- formed well in different light environments and should easily match the photography needs of most Instagrammers.
So what is the overall verdict? The Note5 certainly makes waves in the looks department and stands at the top of the market in terms of internal hardware. However, those looking for new features or expandable storage options may find them- selves disappointed.
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