Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is legendary, that much is true. But it’s legendary not because Samsung did something it is good at, but rather because it introduced something that it was just starting to experiment with since the Samsung Galaxy Alpha: metal and an edge display on the Galaxy Note Edge. Many were impressed by what the Galaxy Note 4 could do and still can do, including the most beautiful smartphone display, a great fingerprint sensor, superb design, awesome camera and a revamped, functional, feature-filled stylus, complete with actually good TouchWiz features. The Galaxy Note 4 is a success, an even better success than any other Samsung flagship, right up until the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge were launched a few weeks ago.
The Galaxy Note 4 is a great phablet, and although a bit too large for many, an incredibly versatile, powerful and durable smartphone. One of the main benefits of the Galaxy Note 4 is a very good battery life, which isn’t impressive when you first hear about it: 2 days, but it is if you consider the following. The Galaxy Note 4 display is a humongous, 5.7 inch QHD Super AMOLED panel, which requires a lot of mAh juice to function. Moreover, the extra features that cater to the Samsung S Pen embedded in TouchWiz can be a bit of a strain on the battery. But Samsung pulled this one off, and some can’t even imagine getting to a higher point than with the Galaxy Note 4.
Regardless of how much improvement can be fitted, the Galaxy Note 5 is coming and is all but confirmed at this moment. Samsung is prepping the new phablet for an Autumn launch, and our sources say that the Galaxy Note 5 release date is confirmed for September 15 internally. Take that release date with a grain of salt, although we do feel like the date is accurate enough reporting to previous release dates for Samsung Note devices. The Galaxy Note 5 will be demoed at IFA most likely, and there will be, once again, two of them. Our sources tell us that the Galaxy Note 5 will keep the dual-variant tradition alive, and will be launched in a simple display format and a dual-edge format like the Galaxy S6 Edge.
Although the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge were launched in unison, the Note Edge is a limited edition, expensive device and it was more of an attempt from Samsung to test the waters and see if people like the innovative new screen design. It turned out that people were ecstatic about it, which lead to Samsung launching two new flagships in 2015: the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, with two edge displays. With that in mind, our sources tell us that there is no doubt that the Galaxy Note 5 will be met with the same kind of dual-launch: the Galaxy Note 5 and Note 5 Edge.
With the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung introduced the new metal frame that it designed for the phablet, in the positive spirit of the now discontinued Samsung Galaxy Alpha. The Galaxy Note 5 will bring design to another level, according to insiders that are close to the manufacturing process. They tell us that the Galaxy Note 5 will be very similar in build to the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy S6, which means that the new phablet will sport a full metal unibody or alternative, a metal body and a glass panel on the rear. Since we’re thinking of a device that will most likely reach 6 inches in display measurements, the glass panel option seems like an ill-fitted idea, which is why we believe a full metal unibody Galaxy Note 5 is a much more probable release this year.
The Galaxy Note 4 comes with a massive 5.7 inch QHD display, which has since become much of the norm, especially when thinking about display resolution. The Super AMOLED panel comes in with a resolution of 2560*1440, which adds up to about 515 ppi pixel density. Rumor has it that Samsung is working on their own 4K smartphone displays and certain representatives of the company have come forth saying that their own 4K smartphone panels are ready to be implemented this year. That is why, we are definitely looking forward to a 4K display on the Note 5 that will make the Galaxy Note 4 Super AMOLED panel pale in comparison. 4K resolution displays have already been demonstrated by Sharp, and people seem happy to see this kind of evolution in display technology. Since Samsung most likely wants to give people what they want, when they want it, a 4K Galaxy Note 5 is almost certainly getting launched this year.
When thinking of size, it’s a tricky matter to properly predict. People seem to be liking large displays like the 5.7 inch one on the Galaxy Note 4, 5.5 inch one on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus and 6 inch one on the Motorola Nexus 6. But there have been enough complaints about the 6 inch Nexus 6 to make us wonder whether 6 inches are too much for a smartphone and that same thing might be going around in Samsung designers’ and developers’ heads. Our best bet about the Galaxy Note 5 display size would be that it stays the same 5.7 inches as the Note 4. Many Note 4 users are very happy with the footprint and screen to body ratio, so Samsung should not find it necessary to make changes to that. To the design and bezels on the side, yes, but not the size. Samsung should definitely try to improve the design and make the Galaxy Note 5 easy to use one-handed, because that was a problem with the Galaxy Note 4. Unless a stylus is your best friend.
Moving on to hardware specifications, this one’s mostly a given. The Galaxy Note 4 specs include an Exynos 5433 CPU for the European model and a Snapdragon 805 for the U.S. model. Since the South Korean company decided to focus on their own processors, starting with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, it’s a done deal. The Galaxy Note 5 has very little chances of getting a Qualcomm chipset, and maybe that’s a good thing. Samsung’s Exynos 7420 is in the new flagship and so far, it’s been performing awesomely, even better than the Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 808 that were used for the LG G Flex 2 and LG G4, respectively. The company will most likely keep this route and use an Exynos CPU in the Galaxy Note 5, as well. That being said, we are still content with how the combination of the Snapdragon 805 and Galaxy Note 4 is working, as there are no complaints about performance whatsoever on our part.
By the time the Galaxy Note 5 comes around, most likely in November 2015, Android M might already be ready for deployment. If that is the case, Samsung will most likely launch the Note 5 with the revamped sweet OS on top. If Android M is not ready, then the Galaxy Note 5, just like the Galaxy Note 4, will be launched with the current OS out of the box. When the Galaxy Note 4 was launched, Android 4.4.4 KitKat was the norm, and Lollipop will be the norm when the Note 5 will eventually be unveiled. Although we can’t state that for sure, we do have developers working with Samsung tipping us about how TouchWiz is progressing, and we’ve some hunches about that.
According to these tipsters, TouchWiz will be replaced soon enough. They say that the Galaxy S7 will see the launch of a brand new UI from Samsung, but they’re not particularly open to talk about what kind of software developments will be included in the UI that will be on the upcoming Galaxy Note 5. There might a surprise coming our way, and we’d hate to spoil it so early on. We’ve still a good few months to wait until Samsung actually starts talking about the Galaxy Note 5, and it’s always better to be pleasantly surprised than let-down. The Galaxy Note 4 successor has little chances to be a let-down, but you never know.
The camera on the Galaxy Note 4 is impressively good. It’s one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, topped only by the Galaxy S6. On the rear, it comes with a 16 MP sensor complete with optical image stabilization, autofocus and an LED flash. Below that rear unit, we can find the Galaxy Note 4 heart rate sensor, which is surprisingly accurate, although it does start randomly on occasion. With the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung is sure to innovate both camera and health features. We suspect that a 21 MP camera with laser autofocus, optical image stabilization and 4K video recording. There are rumors about a depth-sensor being included, but we doubt that is something Samsung would meddle with. The front camera of the Galaxy Note 4 is a 3.7 MP sensor, and that should be bumped up to at least 5 MP on the Galaxy Note 5.
Although the Galaxy Note 4 is an important stepping stone in the company’s smartphone line-up and development, the Galaxy S6 is an even bigger one. That is why the Galaxy Note 5 will most likely use the features that were introduced to Samsung phones with the Galaxy S6 this year. As such, the Galaxy Note 5 will most likely feature a non-removable battery, a lot of internal storage (there’s word about 256 GB), wireless charging, a bigger battery and a new S Pen stylus that will be correlated with some new features for note-taking.
In conclusion, even though the Galaxy Note 4 is an excellent release, there is still room for improvement, improvement that will be made with the Galaxy Note 5. Although the phone is not officially confirmed, a Samsung exec today has “kind of” confirmed its release date for September, which is in line with what our insiders have been telling us in the past few days. Whether or not our predictions and information is correct or not will be revealed when the company spills the beans about what it plans to achieve with the new Galaxy Note 5.