(Pocket-lint) - Samsung has announced its new Galaxy Note smartphone, alongside a larger version of its Galaxy 6 edge that was introduced back in March at Mobile World Congress.

Consumer electronics show IFA is normally the launch platform for the annual Note update, but Samsung decided to do it early this year. There is one catch though - the Note 5 isn't coming to the UK straight away.

Nevertheless, it's always interesting to see how the new and old compare so we have put the Note 5 against the Note 4 to see what the differences are, how they are similar and whether it's worth praying the Note 5 will eventually launch in all the usual countries or if the Note 4 is still appealing.

The Galaxy Note 5 is smaller and lighter

The Galaxy Note 5 measures 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm compared to the very slightly larger Note 4 that measures 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm. The Note 5 is also lighter than the 176g Note 4, hitting the scales at 171g.

Samsung has finally moved away from the plastic rear in favour of aluminium with the Note 5. All the Note devices follow the same design cues, but small changes have been made along the way and in the case of the Note 5, it's the rear material.

Aside from the slightly smaller and lighter build, along with the switch to aluminium, the Note 5 looks very similar to the Note 4 though, with a near edge-to-edge screen, S Pen and flat home button. The Note 4 is available in white, black and bronze colour options, while the Note 5 comes in white, black and gold.

Exactly the same display

The Galaxy Note 5 comes with a 5.7-inch display, featuring a 2560 x 1440 resolution for a pixel density of 515ppi.

The Galaxy Note 4 has exactly the same display so there have been no changes here. You get the same size, resolution and technology, resulting in the same viewing experience with the new device.

Both are Super AMOLED displays, which is known for delivering vibrant colours with lots of punch, as well as deep blacks. We loved the Note 4 display and so we expect the same from the Note 5.

The Galaxy Note 5 has a better front-facing camera

The Galaxy Note 5 features a 16-megapixel rear snapper with an aperture of f/1.9, along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, that also has an aperture of f/1.9.

The Galaxy Note 4 has the same megapixels on the rear, but an aperture of f/2.4, which should mean there will be an improvement in low light circumstances with the Note 5. In terms of the front, the Note 4 features a 3.7-megapixel sensor with an f/1.9 aperture, so the Note 5 ups the megapixels in this instance, but aperture remains the same.

We were impressed by the Note 4's camera, placing it as one of the most powerful smartphone cameras out there when we reviewed it, so we expect good things from the Note 5 if and when it eventually arrives.

The Galaxy Note 5 will be faster, but has no microSD

The Galaxy Note 5 has a octa-core Exynos chipset under its hood, made up of four 2.1GHz cores and four 1.5GHz cores, and supported by 4GB of RAM. The Galaxy Note 4 features a 2.7GHz quad-core chip and 3GB of RAM, and although it was a very powerful and capable device, the Note 5 should be better.

The Note 5 will come in 32GB or 64GB storage capacities but there is no microSD support for storage expansion - the price you pay for the aluminium body. The Note 4 is available in 32GB only but it was expandable via microSD up to 128GB.

In terms of battery, the Note 5 offers a 3000mAh capacity, which is smaller than the Note 4's 3220mAh battery, which could mean you'll see a reduction in battery life, although the extra processing cores should help combat this slightly.

Similar software experience

The software of the Note 5 and the Note 4 should be near enough the same. Both run on Android and they both feature the Samsung overlay on top.

They will also both offer the additional Note software that works with the accompanying S Pen so you'll get the same experience with both.


The Galaxy Note 5 is lighter, slimmer and smaller overall, while also bringing an aluminium build for a more premium look. The cameras have been improved and the processor has also been upgraded, as has the RAM.

There is no microSD on the Note 5 though, which means storage tops out at 64GB and the battery capacity has also been reduced on the Note 5 compared to the Note 4.

Overall, the Note 5 wins most categories though and given that the Note 4 was an excellent device, we have high expectations for its successor, should it ever make it into the country. If it doesn't, the Note 4 is still worthy.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.