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Galaxy Note 5 – Day 1 Impressions

15

So apparently pre-ordering pays off!  I got my Samsung Note 5 via FedEx today when it’s supposed to be released on Friday.  Woo a whole 4 days early, but I’m not complaining 🙂

Won’t really bore you with the specs again… so let’s just go into the experience.  The device itself is actually smaller than the Note 4 in terms of length and weight.  Thickness though it seems a little thicker though it could just be the illusion of the curves.

Even though it is physically smaller, the screen size is the same as the Note 4.  It also seems brighter, but it just could be because it’s new 🙂

The Note 5 is on the left, the Note 4 is on the right.

Functionality wise, the phones are very similar but with the new OS (Android 5.1.1) and with some updates to the Samsung Touchwiz and other apps, the experience is enhanced a bit.  With the 4GB of RAM and octa-core processor, the response time is very fast and doesn’t seem to slow down too much no matter what I kept throwing at it.

It does tend to get hot when you tax it a bit in terms of downloading or running multiple apps.  It could get to the point where you might not want to hold it, or keep it in your pocket, but this was the same as with the Note 4.

Some of the early reviews said it’s slippery… to me it’s not.  What it is though, is a fingerprint magnet.  Being that it’s all glass, it just attracts a ton of fingerprints.. now even on the backside.  Can’t wait til I get a cover for it so at least the backside won’t have the smudges… and maybe it’ll provide a bit more grip (though I haven’t felt like I would drop it).

Being that it’s a little skinnier, it’s actually easier to hold than the Note 4.  I can reach across the screen easier on the Note 5, where it was sometimes a challenge doing things with one hand on the previous version.  The draw back of this is, it gives me the perception that the phone is that much smaller — when the screen is the same size.  The bezel is smaller than the Note 4 and much of the face is screen with a lot less blank space.

Other functions I like so far is the new S Pen which has a spring load/release function.  It’s fun just clicking it… it’s like having a real pen that makes clicky noises… think of how irritating you can be with it.  Clicking the pen doesn’t do anything software wise, that I’ve noticed.

The S-Pen menu seems to be locked to the right side edge of the screen of the Note 5 which is ok, provided it loads up that fast every single time.  On the Note 4, it would load near to where you placed the pen which sometimes caused delays.

The most awesome function is the ability to write a note without having to wait for the interface to appear.  As soon as you release the pen and place it near the screen it automatically assumes you want to take a note and let’s you just write.  It’s like writing with a neon pen on an LED screen.  Now I can take notes really quickly just by using this function.

The other function I like, which actually is part of Android 5.1 is the themes…  Yeah it can make your phone slower, but it’s nice that you can have a uniform interface change.  There are quite a bit available already so I tried to pick the most geeky one they had that was free.

So after a few hours of just playing with this phone, it seems to be going well.  Aside from seeming like it’s a smaller phone, the new functionality from the OS and the updated software is quite nice.  The new design also is quite flattering even if it does make it look more like an iPhone.

The Note 5 does feel solid in the hand, but to me the Note 4 felt more sturdy with the metal edges, and even with it’s plastic backing.

Tomorrow will be the test to see how long the battery lasts considering the Note 5’s battery is actually smaller than the Note 4.  Also have to see if I’ll miss not having the expandable storage, even though I did get the 64GB model.  Maybe I’ll end up using more cloud storage for my pictures.

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