Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Specs, Release Date, Rumours: Everything We Know So Far

By James O Malley on at

It's that time of year again. Whereas April is owned by the Galaxy S-line, August-into-September is when Samsung puts out its latest phone-tablet hybrid ("phablet"). And in just over a week we're expecting the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Here's everything we know so far.

What to Expect From the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Specs

We're fairly confident these details are correct, as they come from ultra-reliable leaker Evan "@EVLeaks" Blass. There have also been plenty of leaked photos of the purported device.

Like last year's Note 4, the phone will allegedly feature a 2K screen (running at 2560x1440), and sport a 5.66" AMOLED display. The innards are getting a speed boost though, this time featuring an octa-core Exynos 7420 processor (4x2.1ghz + 4x1.5ghz) and 4GB of RAM (up from 3GB).

The 2K screen puts the phone on par with the Galaxy S6, (which we recently crowned the best phone on the market) too. So far we're yet to see any (mainstream) 4K phones given the technology was only mastered earlier this year. Maybe next year?

There were previously rumours that the Note 5's screen would be 4K - one of the first phones to reach this milestone - but the latest set of leaks seem to disprove this rumour. There were also initially rumours that the screen would be even larger at 5.9", the same as the Nexus 6 - but the photos we've seen since debunk this too.

The camera, as last year, will be supposedly be a 16MP snapper on the rear, but this time the front camera has been boosted up to 5MP. The camera was initially rumoured to be going up to 21MP, but this also seemingly been proved to be wide of the mark, which would make the Note 5's camera capabilities a step to the side rather than a leap forward.

The other major hardware change is that this new version, as with the Galaxy S6, won't feature a MicroSD slot. It is currently unclear what storage will be available, though we'd hazard a guess at 32GB/64GB/128GB. If this proves true, expect it to ruffle feathers with those that use the larger display for lots of on-the-go, locally-stored video viewing.

The stylus is also getting an upgrade: It will now be "push to release" from the phone's casing, saving you the need to slide it out yourself. According to our pals at TechRadar, the phone will use magnets to hold it in - magnets which can have their polarity reversed so you'll be able to make the stylus jump out through a gesture or even a voice command. Imagine that.

It is also expected to have a fingerprint sensor and heartrate scanner, as is fast becoming standard on Samsung devices.

The phone's battery could be big too, with rumour suggesting that the phone could be packing a 4100mAh battery. That's much larger than anything we've seen in a Samsung handset before.

There is also some speculation that the phone will make the switch to supporting USB-C for charging rather than the more standard Micro-USB, though this remains unconfirmed. Making the switch would make sense though, as the whole industry is slowly going that way - with the likes of the new Macbook and Chromebook Pixel already supporting the new standard, and the next Nexus phone expected to support it too.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The above leaked images also confirm that design-wise, the Note 5 will be taking its cues from the S6, which in turn seemed to take its design cues from the iPhone 6. Note that aside from the stylus hole, it is basically identical.

And if you're wondering how confident on the design we are... then check out this. Someone has leaked the CAD designs for the Note 5, from before the phone even hit the production line:

Will there be an "Edge" version?

Last year, you might remember, Samsung released the Note Edge alongside the Note 4. It was essentially the same phone spec-wise, but the right side of the screen was curved around, and Samsung boasted about how the "Edge" could be used for notifications when the phone is on your bedside table, and so on.

Whether Samsung will do the same thing this year with a Note 5 Edge is unclear. The reason is because Samsung is also expected to announce the Galaxy S6 Edge+ - a jumbo-sized version of the S6 Edge, which was released in April and has the display curved on both sides of the phone. This phone is widely expected to be essentially identical to the S6 Edge, but with a larger screen. So it would be odd for there to also be a Note 5 Edge alongside it.

What Software Changes Will It Have? Will TouchWiz be Bloat-Free?

This is perhaps the trickiest thing to guess, as the software is locked away until Samsung releases it. However, we can reasonably speculate that it will run Android Lollipop, and be ready for Android M, which is due in the Autumn. Samsung's Galaxy S6 dialled back the pre-installed bloatware too, and we'd expect the Note 5's version of Samsung's divisive TouchWiz UI to do the same.

What about accessories?

Intriguingly there are rumours that there will be a keyboard case. Our pals at TechRadar also reckon that there will be a new version of the Gear VR, Samsung's Virtual Reality headset, by the end of the year. Given the device was unveiled last year with the Note 4, could we be getting a new version next Thursday too?

Do We Have a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Release Date Yet?

Samsung has scheduled its next "Unpacked" announcement event for Thursday August 13th. We'll be absolutely stunned if the company doesn't announce the Note 5 then. The company has already released teaser images strongly hinting at it.

But what about when it will hit shops? The Note 4 was released in October last year, the Note 3 the September before that and the Note 2 the September before that. So our money would be on early September or even August. There has been reports that Samsung is planning to move the release forward to this August to give the new phone breathing space before the inevitable launch of the iPhone 6S and (perhaps more importantly) iPhone 6S Plus in September. August 21st has been named as one possible date.

How much will the Galaxy Note 5 Cost?

The last two Galaxy Note phones cost £599 when they were released in the UK - so our guess would be the company will go for exactly the same again. Fingers crossed we should be able to confirm UK pricing soon after the phone has been officially announced. What tends to happen is that as Samsung are climbing on stage, press releases from the different phone networks start hitting journalists' inboxes announcing prices and any other exclusive details, such as exclusive colours.