Samsung's latest phablet, the Galaxy Note 5, hits store shelves on Friday (Aug. 21). So what do reviewers have to say about the device so far?
CNET's Jessica Dolcourt (Aug. 19) gave the device 4.5/5 stars (8.9/10 overall).
- Dolcourt was impressed with the phone's premium design and hardware, as well as its camera (especially for outdoor photography). She also liked its new stylus functionality (including the ability to jot a memo with the screen turned off) and its "terrific" battery life.
- Key drawbacks, by Dolcourt's account, were a nonremovable battery and no external storage option (both available on the previous Note model), as well as a hefty price tag ($350 with a 2-year contract, or about $800 outright).
Engadget's Chris Velazco (Aug. 13) called the Note 5 "Samsung's most elegant phablet yet."
- Velazco was impresed with how the Note 5 feels in your hand. Samsung took that curved class from the front of the S6 Edge+ and put it on the back of the Note 5, which feels "lovely." He said it's the first Note he's picked up in ages that doesn't feel broad and awkward to hold.
- He was high on the Note 5's Super AMOLED screen: "It's of the same quality we've seen in Samsung's other flagships, so expect bright, poppy colors, sumptuous blacks and excellent viewing angles."
- He, like Dolcourt, also bemoaned a lack of an expandable memory slot on this model.
Phone Arena's John V. (Aug. 18) called it "the best-designed phone in the (Note) series to date!"
- John V. echoed the above reviewers sentiments on the luxurious design and feel of the Note 5, but with a caveat: It's fragile. "(It's) prone to fingerprints, and slippery. Trust us, you’ll want to be extremely careful handling it, since minor drops can probably do a number to it."
- He also noted the device's long battery life (9 hours and 11 minutes), adding that "it's one of the fastest charging phones out there" with a charge time of (81 minutes).
- Like Dolcourt, he underlined the differentiating value of S Pen functionality, while also acknowledging the drawbacks of eliminating a removable battery, expandable memory, and IR blaster.
BGR's Zach Epstein (Aug. 13) called it "the premium phablet Samsung fans have been waiting for."
- Like Velazco, Epstein was pleased with Samsung's decision to put the S6 Edge glass on the back of the Note 5.
- He called the 5.7-inch display "absolutely stunning... as vibrant as any smartphone screen I've ever seen."
- He, too, was impressed with the Note 5's improved stylus functionality, adding the writing experience is "much more precise" than on earlier Note models.