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Christmas Gift Guide

Bring on the shine

Stylus action

Memo

It just clicks

Stylus redesign

Stylish stylus

Note versus Note

Mightier than swords

Locked in power

A faux farwell

Fingerprint magnet

Family resemblence

Trim it

Penterest

Back to Back

Customized shortcuts

Add your apps

Camera app

Pocket-buster

Side view

No and no

Two 5.7-inch titans

Round versus square

Gold gleam

Multitasking

A Note above?

App dock

Super screen

One handed

Get arty

Take seat

Screen brightness

Massive rear camera

Manual control

Simple option

Rear camera

Take Note

This is a Note like you've never seen it. Made of a glass back and metal trim, the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 5 brings on the bling.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The stylus, which Samsung calls the S-Pen, is the one piece of equipment that differentiates the Note series from any other Samsung phone.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

One of the best new features, you can now jot a memo even with the screen turned off.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The S-Pen physically clicks into place in the built-in holster.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

A flatter S-Pen won't roll away (we think).

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Not only is it supposed to work like a pen, it also looks like one.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The glossy glass Note 5, left, leaves the Note 4's folio look far behind.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Side-by-side you can see the evolution of the S-Pen from the previous generation of Note.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The other big different from previous Notes is, of course, Samsung's new policy of non-removable batteries.

Caption by / Photo by Juan Garzon/CNET

The Note 5 swaps the faux leather finish of the 5 for the glass 'n' class we saw on the S6 and S6 Edge earlier in the year.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

While some people didn't like the fake grain finish, it's worth noting that the Note 5 gets grubby very quickly.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

It's kind of the evolution of man, but with Notes. In order from L-R on the top line is the Note, Note 2 and Note 3. Underneath is the Note 4, Note Edge and the brand new Note 5.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

While the Note 5 (left) and 4 share identical screen sizes, the Note 5 shaves down its footprint.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

It's not just the phones that have evolved over the years. The S Pen has seen more than a few iterations. Again, from L-R there's the Note, through to the Note 5.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Spot the odd one out? On the far  right you'll see the Note 5, the first in the range to have neither a removable cover, nor battery.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The S-Pen calls up shortcuts from this wheel of items, to which you can add your own most-used apps.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

You can choose up to three for the shortcuts wheel, called Air Command.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung styles the camera app just like the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but adds something else, too: the ability to broadcast live video to YouTube.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The Note 5, while slightly shaved down from last year's model, is still a hearty phone.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

This slim silhouette doesn't come easy...

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Space-saving costs you the removable battery and expandable microSD card storage of previous Notes.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The Note 5 isn't alone in its status as an extra-large phone. Samsung also released its fraternal twin, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

You can tell the Edge+ (top) from its rounded sides, while the Note 5 remains more square.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

In addition to gold, Samsung makes both Note 5 and S6 Edge+ in white, silver and black -- though not every color will sell in every country.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Of course, stalwart Note features remain, like screen-splitting, which lets you open (and resize) two apps on a screen.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

There's so much more to know about the Note 5's features and specs. Check out the full Samsung Galaxy Note 5 weigh-in for all the details.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Don't forget that you can move the Air Command floating app dock around if you don't like where it sits on the screen.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The AMOLED Quad HD screen isn't just big, it's also bright and easy to see, even in daylight.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

While not small, the stylus actually helps for using the Note one handed.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The drawing apps for the S Pen return in the Note 5.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Although we'd recommend sitting down first.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

And popping on some cool shades.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The 16 megapixel rear camera comes with some solid photo software.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

There's also the option to adjust photo setting manually for people who understand what an ISO is.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

There's also the standard run of features such as panorama modes and you can always download more as needed.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The rear camera also has optical image stabilisation if you're feeling a little shaky.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The Note 5 is going on sale in most major territories -- check out our full review.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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