Editorials

My first hands-on impressions of the Galaxy Note 5

Friday, August 21st was my birthday. I turned 31, a rather young age according to many people I know. I still see myself as old, though, but it’s always joyous when your birthday comes around. It only comes once a year, and usually, it’s the one day you can take to do something that you want to do.

Taking my own advice, a few friends wanted to treat me out for my birthday – so I told them I wanted to visit my local Best Buy and check out the new Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 edge+. I’m a biased fan, particularly because I’m a huge lover of Samsung’s Galaxy Note series. I purchased the Galaxy Note 3 in 2013 and have been in love with the Note lineup ever since. And Samsung’s latest devices have everyone talking, so why not check out the hyped products locally? I realized that it might be good to get some hands-on time with the new Note in order to advise our readership about the new smartphone.

Galaxy Note 5 back cover
Galaxy Note 5 back cover. Credit: Best Buy

What did I think of the Galaxy Note 5? It is every bit as grand and gorgeous as reviewers have said. It feels firm in the hand, even while sporting glass and metal. There is just a feeling of “I have a good grip on this,” and that feeling comes as easy as breathing. The devices themselves look good, without a doubt. Both the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 edge+ look good, and their 5.7-inch, Super AMOLED displays are nothing short of stunning. And when these devices are placed right beside the Galaxy S6 edge, released this past April, the S6 edge looks tiny by default. Placing an edge on a 5.1-inch screen is too small of an experience for such a gorgeous, gargantuan asset as the edge. Larger screens that get the edge, such as the Galaxy S6 edge+, look and feel more like robust devices that will make for an enjoyable content-viewing experience.

The devices themselves were bold and beautiful, but the S Pen stylus has some interesting changes of its own that I want to tell you about. I’ve said it somewhere that the S Pen feels too flimsy from the older models such as the Note 3. Those styli feel like kids’ coloring crayons instead of regular ballpoint pens. Well, Samsung has surprisingly changed this in the new Galaxy Note 5. The new stylus feels more like a ballpoint pin and is even longer, too, than its predecessors. It looks more sleek and stylish while getting some added bulk, too. It appeared to me as though Samsung has reduced the size of the Note while transforming the stylus into that true productivity writing utensil we’ve all known it was meant to be all along.

Best Buy Galaxy Note 5 area

My local Best Buy had the stylus rather glued to a protective casing so that you couldn’t make use of the push-to-eject feature that’s made its first-time appearance in the new stylus, but I’m excited about the fact that it works like a normal ballpoint pen this year. The business executive or professional will now be happy to leave their ballpoint pins in their desk or on a table when they go to that conference meeting because the best “pen” will be the one inside his or her Galaxy Note 5.

The devices are sleek, stylish, and provide Samsung’s usual “shine,” which means that they are fabulous to hold. Pictures are also excellent on the Galaxy Note 5. I opened the camera app to check the camera settings to compare with my Galaxy S6 Active, and immediately started snapping pics. The coolest thing about the Note 5 camera is that the camera takes photos instantaneously, with no lag or anything of the kind. It was the fastest camera I’ve ever seen in person. If you want to see how fast the Note 5 takes photos, simply tap the on-screen camera button quickly in rapid succession.

There’s nothing better you could ask for in a device such as the Galaxy Note 5 than a fast front and back camera, a refined stylus that mimics a real ballpoint pen, a gorgeous display that will take your breath away, and Samsung’s unique services such as Milk Music and Milk Video. The Galaxy Note 5 is the total package. Well done, Samsung.

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