There was little left to the imagination today as Samsung officially took the wraps off its next generation phablet, the Galaxy Note 5. Images and specs for the device have been leaking for weeks, so today’s unveil in New York is simply a formality at this point.
As we previously informed you, the Galaxy Note 5 soldiers on with a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a QHD screen resolution (2560x1440). Under the hood you’ll find the same octa-core Samsung Exynos 7420 processor that powers the lesser Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, albeit with 4GB of RAM instead of a “mere” 3GB. Samsung has also beefed up the cameras that are included with the Galaxy Note 4, bringing the same 16MP OIS unit from the Galaxy S6.
In a bid to give the Galaxy Note 5 a more premium feel, Samsung has made two controversial design decisions that are sure to upset diehard Galaxy Note fans. First off, as we confirmed earlier this month, the microSD slot has been removed. No longer will you be able to save money by going with the lowest storage tier and throwing all of your additional apps and media on a microSD card. Instead, you’ll have to choose between 32GB and 64GB storage tiers. Surprisingly, Samsung isn’t offering a 128GB storage tier like its lesser siblings, which is a surprising omission for this supposed Samsung flagship.
The other design change that is sure to ruffle feathers is the abandonment of the removable battery that has been a mainstay in previous Galaxy Note smartphones. But that’s not the worst of it, battery capacity has also been reduced from 3,220 mAh to 3,000 mAh.
You would think that Samsung would have listened to all of the Haterade that was consumed when the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge were released (both of which lacked a microSD slot and removable batteries), but Samsung is simply trying to keep up with the Joneses (i.e. HTC and Apple) which long ago adopted unibody metal bodies for their smartphones.
In return, customers are treated to a sleek metal body that features glass both for the front display and for the back cover (just like the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge). Dimensions have shrunk in every dimension, making the Galaxy Note 5 ever so slightly smaller than its predecessor, and a slightly curved back makes the smartphone easier to grip in your hand. Samsung has also made some adjustments to the all-important S Pen, giving it a more premium feel and improving pressure sensitivity compared to preceding versions.
Although pricing hasn’t yet been set, the Galaxy Note 5 will hit all major U.S. wireless carriers starting August 21st.