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By 8 October 2015 | Categories: news

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Over the past few years, Samsung has always held a large scale event in Cape Town for the launch of its Galaxy Note phablet flagships. This year however was different, as Samsung opted for a smaller (by their standards) event to introduce the Galaxy Note 5 to the South African public.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 in Gold Platinum.

Incremental changes

Whatever the reason for the choice, the Galaxy Note 5 has changed ever so slightly from its previous iteration, and included some clear design cues for the company's smartphone future. Much like the Galaxy Note 4, which truly began the move from plastic to higher quality materials by Samsung, in our opinion, the Note 5 keeps that trend going, also drawing inspiration from the Galaxy S6 (review).

While the Note 5's facade has been refined, the same rings true of its innards. The most notable difference, sees Samsung upping the RAM on offer to 4 GB, 1 GB more than the Note 4. Samsung has also done some fine tuning in its shooter, with the 16 MP camera now receiving OIS to enhance its photo taking capabilities, as well as 4K recording. All of this is supported by an Exynos 7420 octa-core chipset, which pairs together a 1.5 GHz quad-core Cortex A-53 and 2.1 GHz Cortex A-57 CPUs.   

The other notable change is to the Note 5's stylus - the S Pen. Samsung has giving it a clicking mechanism, which is not only used to eject it from its slot, but also provides a very "satisfying," feel, according to the company.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 in Silver Titanium.

Pay the Piper

With a curved aluminium frame, and glass front and back, it looks every bit the premium device. The Note 5 also has a premium price tag to match, with MyBroadband reporting that local service provider Vodacom has it listed at R14 580 for the 32 GB version. That's a full R3 000 more than the predecessor. At this stage however, the price remains unconfirmed by Samsung Mobile South Africa, as it still hashes out the details with other local service providers. Either way, expect the Note 5 to come in over the R11k mark.

When it does land in retail stores, Samsung has confirmed that it will be available in either Pearl White, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum or Silver Titanium for both the 32 GB and 64 GB onboard storage variants. The availability of the different colour options will differ from carrier to carrier though, Samsung notes.

Galaxy S6 edge+ in Black Sapphire.

Gearing up

The Galaxy Note 5, as well as the Galaxy S6 edge+, which Samsung unveiled back in August, will both be available in local stores come early November. Joining them is the Gear S2, the South Korean manufacturer's new round faced smartwatch. Pricing for the Gear S2 is unconfirmed, but we've heard that it could cost as much as R6 000. Although the price does require a double take, one of the nice features about the Gear S2, is that it can pair with any Android device sporting KitKat 4.4 and up. This means you won't have to purchase a Galaxy S device to experience the Gear S2, as has been the case with some of Samsung's previous Gear wearables.

While more definitive details on the local availability and pricing for the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+ and Gear S2 are unconfirmed at this stage, we'll be sure to keep TechSmart readers in the loop, when they are.

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