5 things I want to see from the Galaxy Note 5
Last year’s Galaxy Note 4 was the best Android-powered phablet money could buy, but Samsung has proven with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge that it can do a lot better.
As a big Note fan, and having used a Galaxy S6 for over a month now, here are five things I want to see — and some things I don’t — from the Galaxy Note 5 this fall.
Samsung ushered in its new design language with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, and I’m not the only one who loves it; feedback has been overwhelmingly popular among critics and consumers. Samsung would be crazy not to do the same with the Galaxy Note 5.
I wouldn’t mind if the Galaxy Note 5 was just a larger version of the Galaxy S6, with the same aluminum frame and glass back. It would be great if Samsung could integrate a microSD card slot into the side of the device — and I think it probably will — but I wouldn’t mind giving that up if it means the end of a tacky plastic back panel.
Now that I’ve gotten used to charging my Galaxy S6 wirelessly, I want to do the same with all of my devices — including the Note 5. And no, I don’t want to have to buy a $60 case to get it; I want it built-in just like it is on the Galaxy S6.
The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge are Samsung’s fastest devices to date, and Samsung didn’t need to rely on Qualcomm chips to make that happen. Rather than delivering two Note 5 variants, then, I’d like to see just one powered by an Exynos chip.
For the Note 4 and other devices, Samsung released multiple variants powered by Exynos and Snapdragon chips, meaning a slightly different experience depending on your market. It wasn’t a big deal for most consumers, but it meant those who like flashing custom ROMs had to choose new firmwares carefully.
I wouldn’t mind if Samsung used the same Exynos 7420 chip from the Galaxy S6 in the Note 5, but I suspect we’ll get a newer, faster model instead.
Better Fingerprint Scanner
I don’t think fingerprint scanners are absolutely necessary — I can still use a passcode if I need to — but if Samsung is going to include in the Note 5, it needs to be better than the Note 4’s, which was just inconsistent, unreliable, and just pointless.
I’d like to see the Note 5 adopt the same fingerprint scanner the S6 and S6 edge have. It uses a tap rather than a swipe — like Apple’s Touch ID — and it’s much more reliable. There’s still room for improvement, I think, but my Galaxy S6 recognizes my fingerprint about 90% of the time, and that’s great.
Finally, the Note 5 needs a better camera. It’s a hugely important feature to a lot of smartphone consumers — me included — so much so that it can be a deal-breaker.
Samsung realizes that now, which is why the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge have the best cameras you’ll find on an Android-powered smartphone right now. But I want to see the same camera — if not an even better one — integrated into the Note 5 as well.
The Note 4’s camera isn’t terrible, I must admit. In fact, in many situations, it performs excellently. But it pales in comparison with the S6’s, and given the Note series is supposed to be Samsung’s biggest and best device, it has to either match it or beat it.
3 things I don’t want from the Galaxy Note 5
In the past, Samsung has had a tendency to overload its devices with unnecessary features that no one wants. Its latest Galaxy S devices are much better, thanks mostly to their improved TouchWiz software, but I don’t want Samsung to undo all that hard worth with the Note 5.
So I couldn’t finish this piece without including some of the things I don’t want to see from the Galaxy Note 5.
A 4K Display
I know 4K displays on mobile devices are going to be commonplace eventually, but I don’t think we need them right now.
Quad HD displays are more than good enough — no matter what you’re using your smartphone for — so anything sharper is just excessive. Furthermore, there is no 4K content for smartphones yet. Apps and games aren’t ready for it, and 4K video is hard to come by — and it takes up a heck of a lot of space.
In addition, a 4K display would require more power, which means battery life wouldn’t be as good. And if Samsung ditches the Note’s removable battery like it did with the S6, that’s going to become an issue for some users. For now, then, I think Samsung can hold off on this one.
The painted accents on last year’s Note 4 and this year’s Galaxy S devices certainly looks good when you first start using your device, but over time, it’s prone to chipping. Once this starts happening, your handset suddenly loses its premium look.
I’d rather Samsung just did away with the paint altogether for the Note 5. It’s not necessary, and as Apple and HTC and others have proven, naked aluminum looks just fine.