Samsung recently unveiled their latest phablet device – the Samsung Note 5. During the event, I remember staring at the phone’s screen and wondering why would anyone want this unit and why on earth would you need a pen? I didn’t get it.
When I was initially invited to attend the South African launch of the Samsung Note 5, I was curious to understand what the fuss was all about (and admittedly made some snarky comments to my Android friends).
Interesting speakers, bright lights, shiny devices and a star studded guest list – check, that was expected. I hadn’t expected to ask myself if I perhaps had judged the Samsung book by its cover. But when I held the Note 5, it became clear why millions of fans love the Note range.
Sleek, big, clean lines, solid, well put together and feels good in your hand.
The Galaxy Note5 comes with a suite of Microsoft Office installed. According to Samsung this is a great feature, to others it feels like they’re being forced to use options such as OneDrive, a cloud-based storage solution. However, being Android based, you can use DropBox, Google Drive so no real limitation.
Using Office on a large screen has its advantages which is what sets the Note 5 apart. Excel spreadsheets start to make more sense without the constant scrolling up and down, left and right, as one does with smaller screens.
Moving information from one Samsung device to another is simple with SideSync two-way file sharing: Galaxy Note5 users can drag and drop files from the smartphone to the PC and vice versa.
This is smart, as the Note 5 is an extension of your work pc. Before heading out drop the file onto the Note 5 and your info is at your fingertips.
A pen? Still? Really?
But there it was, the S Pen, tucked away in the bottom of the device and easily released by a quick push… The explanation came down to many things but signing documents and writing notes on the screen when it’s not even turned on, okay, that’s cool. Just don’t put it in the wrong way, you’ll get no use out of it then…
Built-in fingerprint scanner
Meh – there have been others but yes, this is a one-touch. Say good-bye to frantic swipes.
Powerful core features
I was very impressed by the camera function on this phone. The deeper screen contrast and details thanks to Samsung’s industry-leading 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display also improved video capabilities.
There’s video digital image stabilisation on both the front and rear cameras and video collage mode, which allows users to record and edit short videos easily in various frames and effects.
A fun feature is the filming and live broadcast, where users live stream straight from the phone to any individual, group of contacts, or even the public through YouTube Live.
So in summary
Samsung has always produced quality products which have been critisied for feeling “plastic and cheap”. The Note5 not only has the hardware and the software but also feels like a premium product.
Things to consider if you’ve had a Samsung: you can’t upgrade storage and you can’t change the battery.
What stood out for me was that the phablet size was not the monster I thought it would be. I was comfortable handling it, working on it, and snapping my pics and while I am not ready to convert to a phablet, I see why many have stopped carrying their laptops and tablets and have opted for this middle-ground device.
About Clare Matthes:
Clare’s father swears she was born waving spirit fingers and singing tah dah in an oh-so-dahling-showbiz-esque manner. Nicknamed “Schnauze” because of her smart mouth and quick whit, Clare enjoys putting the world in words. This sarcastic eye roller extraordinaire has a passion for all things gadget, technology and social media. She sees the humour in everything and never shies away from a good old égoportrait (selfie).