The Galaxy Unpacked 2015 event is just a few days away now, and as we prepare for Samsung’s big bash of the season, we can look back to what the phone market has given us this year: HTC One M9, LG G4, Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, Moto X Pure Edition (or Moto X Style), OnePlus 2, second-generation Moto G, and so on. As the end of the year starts closing in, there’s much to look forward to with Sony’s Xperia Z5, two Nexus phones (one being a Huawei Nexus), and Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
Phablets are in these days, with most manufacturers offering smartphones with display sizes 5 inches and up, but not all wide-screen smartphones are created equal. The one thing that seems to stand out is the wide display on any smartphone. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Note 4 and soon, the Galaxy Note 5, will be placed in the same circle as these phones. What’s the difference between them? Very little, if you talk to most consumers. “It’s just a bigger screen with a stylus,” many have said. Some tech enthusiasts, sadly, have placed the Nexus 6 and the Galaxy Note 5 in the same camp. If you’re critical of this statement, think back to how many “Nexus 6 versus Galaxy Note 4” comparisons you’ve seen on tech sites all across the Web.
Nowadays, all phablets (5+-inch-display smartphones) are all lumped into the same category. Even though the Galaxy Note 4 has a stylus, few seem to care about what it does; in their minds, it contributes nothing new to the smartphone experience. And, sadly, if these same, misinformed consumers visit their local wireless carrier retail store, the carrier representatives don’t help in this regard. While I worked retail, I noticed that few of my fellow coworkers ever talked about the Galaxy Note 4. Usually, customers would visit the store and request the phone, at which point, they would have little to nothing to say. “It’s got a stylus, and you can do things with it,” was the typical response. “How in the world did they ever wind up selling tech for a living?” I asked myself.
Here’s my clear answer to sort out the confusion: The Galaxy Note 5, when it arrives, will have no equal. It’s not just a wide display with a stylus. It’s not just a bigger phone that lets you watch movies, play games, and write a few memos. The S-Pen stylus changes the nature of how you remain productive. It’s a blend of old-school and new-school into one, in which you can jot things down like the old school while taking pictures and sporting a classy look via a new-school, contemporary yet mature design.
It is perfect for students, featuring a “Photo Note” capability that lets you take pics of notes on a classroom chalkboard that are then converted into printed text; a Smart Select function that allows you to copy and paste images and texts simultaneously; Screen Write, for the student who reads on his or her Galaxy Note and underlines and writes notes on screenshots of e-book pages that are saved to the phone’s gallery; and more.
It is a productivity beast for the professional who wants to “get things done” with a little more excitement than typical smartphones that retail for $600+ but are consumed with basic smartphone tasks. Its productivity and design warrant its high price tag, and its multitasking makes it perfect to work on the go. Can the Nexus 6 or iPhone 6 Plus do these things? How can these two phablets stack up to the Galaxy Note 5 when they require you to download multiple apps to match the functionality that the Galaxy Note 5 will provide out of the box? The word “premium” doesn’t just apply to the price tag or design, but includes software functionality, too.
When the Galaxy Note 5 arrives, yes, it’ll have a phablet-sized screen (it is a 5+-inch smartphone after all), and allow you to do the basic smartphone tasks – but it won’t be “just another wide-screened smartphone.” No, it’ll be that plus so much more. It will have not only the “beauty,” but also the “brains” to match. Even with the current phablet-sized phones on the market, the Galaxy Note 5, upon its arrival, will still be light years ahead in what it means to put the “smart” in “smartphone.”
Columns Galaxy Note 5
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