It seems like only yesterday when people were staring at us manhandling the (at the time) giant 5.3in Samsung Galaxy Note.
It single-handedly kickstarted the phablet revolution, and Samsung has been at the forefront of super sized smartphones ever since.
The Note 4, with its gorgeous pixel-packed display, powerful innards and stylus smarts has fought off the over-sized competition to remain top of the pile, but it can’t hold out forever.
Luckily for Samsung (and the rest of the tech world), we expect to see the Note 5 strut its stuff in September, and the expectation is high.
While it’s still early days, there are enough rumours and whispers flittering around to give us a glimpse at what we can expect to see come launch day.
Here’s everything we’ve seen so far, mixed in with what we’d ideally, and realistically, like to see ourselves.
How many pixels?!
Let’s cut straight to it. The Note 5 has been rumoured to arrive with an insanely sharp 4K screen. That’s a full UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160, or a staggering 748ppi, assuming the rumoured 5.89in screen size is true.
It’s really quite silly, isn’t it? The 2K screens on the Note 4, LG G4, Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are already sharp enough, and a further resolution bump can only take a knock on battery life.
However, while a 2K resolution is more than enough for regular use, extra pixels will still be welcome when it comes to virtual reality applications.
Despite the Note 4’s 2K screen, you can still make out the pixels when it’s strapped to your face via the Gear VR headset and, as with the Oculus Rift, those pixels can be distracting.
Whether or not the currently limited use of the Gear VR is worth sucking up more juice is debatable, but we still expect to see a stunning screen either way, given the quality of the S6 and S6 Edge’s screens.
The bump up from 5.7 inches to 5.89 inches could very well be a legitimate concern for many gadgeteers, including ourselves. The 6in Google Nexus 6 is, for many, too awkward and unwieldy to handle, and more people might quite literally struggle to get to grips with the Note 5 if the screen size rumours prove to be true.
Let's not forget about the curved-screen Note 5 variant either. The Note 4 Edge and Galaxy S6 Edge have shown Samsung's commitment to dual-model flagship launches, and we all expect the Note 5 to have an alternative, pricier model, sporting a screen with two curved sides.
Currently this device is rumoured to be called 'Project Zen' which is... not entirely helpful. Sounds cool though, we suppose.
Form or function?
A recently leaked video showing off a reportedly genuine CAD render is the best look at the Note 5 we've had yet, and it looks similar to the Note 4.
The rear LED flash and fingerprint scanner have both moved to the side of the lens Galaxy S6-style), and the physical home button remains.
On the bottom, we can see a slot for the S Pen stylus, along with a microUSB port. The latter goes against previous rumours of a USB-C port, so we're not entirely sure what charging option Samsung will opt for.
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have both raised the bar for Samsung build quality and design, thanks to their premium glass and metal materials. They’re by far the most attractive, most premium flagships the South Korean tech giant has produced to date, and any step backwards will be a real blow.
The trouble is, Samsung has sacrificed the removable battery in its current flagships, opting instead for a glass back and thinner body.
While a glass back would definitely feel more premium that the Note 4’s faux leather rear, we just cannot see how it can co-exist with a removable battery.
We’d love to see a Note 5 which retains its predecessors premium metal frame, along with a new removable LG G4-like removable rear cover.
This would offer the best of both worlds - a premium design, and flexibility in the form of a removable battery.
Throw in a microSD slot (which was axed from the S6 and S6 Edge), and we’ll be very happy indeed. Sadly however, it looks like this won't be the case.
If the Note 5 uses the same UFS 2.0 internal storage as the S6 and S6 Edge (which is very likely), then we don't expect to see a microSD slot. That's because this newer type of flash storage uses a separate memory controller to microSD. The upside, we suppose, is that UFS 2.0 is much faster than a microSD card, but if you've got tonnes of music and moves you want to save offline, storage space will still be important.
If the Note 5 doesn't arrive with a built-in stylus (and software tricks to go with it), then we'll eat our keyboards.
The Note 4's stylus is one of the best we've ever used, but improved pressure sensitivity would make it even better.
Some rather fanciful rumours point to an auto-ejecting stylus which uses magnets to pop it out automatically when you need it.
Samsung has a patent for it, sure, but patents very often don't make it into the real world. Still, it would be a nice thing to show off...
The Note 5 has a lot to live up to if it wants to match the excellent imaging standards of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Given the quality of the Note 4’s camera however, we don’t expect to be disappointed.
We could very well see the same 16MP camera, complete with optical image stabilisation, make its way into the Note 5. If that’s the case, then we definitely won't complain, but we'd still like to see an increase in the sensor size, and aperture.
The LG G4 currently sucks in a little more light, thanks to its f/1.8 aperture, and if the Note 5 matches or even surpasses it, we could very well have the best smartphone camera in the world. Fingers crossed.
So long Snapdragon
We don’t expect Samsung to go back to using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor for its flagship devices anytime soon, especially not after the success of its own Exynos processor, which has propelled the S6 and S6 Edge to the top of the benchmark charts.
That success, coupled with the Snapdragon 810’s reported overheating issues, means that Samsung is very likely to go with its own Exynos chips once again.
According to Sam Mobile’s ‘insider' source, the Note 5 will pack in the power of Samsung’s newer Exynos 7422 chipset. This all-in-one solution crams in the processor, graphics processor, storage, RAM and modem into one single board, which should help improve the power efficiency (and therefore battery life), even further.
Some whispers point to the less powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor (currently found in the LG G4) being used in the Note 5 Edge variant, though they have yet to be confirmed.
Android Meringue/Malteser/Milkshake/Muffin/Milk - whatever it's called, we're hoping it will be loaded up on the Note 5 from launch, serving up Android fans the latest and greatest version of Google's mobile OS.
It brings with it a whole host of exciting improvements, including the all-improved Google Now on Tap and a promise to double your standby time.
Price and release date
Given the fact that the Note 5 doesn't officially exist, a price and release date are nowhere to be seen.
We do however have a very good idea when it will be launched. Past Note models have all launched at the beginning of IFA in September in Berlin, which means we're likely to see the Note 5 debut on or around 4 September.
We'll be reporting from the front lines in Berlin, so stay tuned for all the official news, straight from the source.
Update 23/06/15: A report from Chinese site Sogi claims the Galaxy Note 5 may get its debut a little earlier, in a dedicated event in late August. Not only does that allow Samsung to unveil it away from IFA (where it could be overshadowed by rival companies' launches), it also means it could be out in the world a good few weeks before Apple's next phablet (the iPhone 6 Plus' successor is rumoured to launch in September).
Update 10/07/15: The Wall Street Journal also believes that the Note 5 will get an earlier release date ahead of IFA, to ensure that the next iPhone doesn't steal its thunder.
With two separate sources pointing to the same thing, it's now likely that we'll see the Note 5 slightly earlier than expected.