Home / Opinions / Why I'm gutted the Galaxy Note 5 is not coming to the UK

Why I'm gutted the Galaxy Note 5 is not coming to the UK


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Hi, my name is Owain Jones and I love the Galaxy Note. I was looking forward to upgrading to the Note 5 next month until Samsung dropped a bombshell at its Unpacked event this week.

I remember the day clearly when I first set eyes on Samsung’s curvaceous Note. I was on the train going into London. Clasping my own Samsung Galaxy S2 tightly, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted that vibrant 5.3 inch screen from across the carriage and spontaneously started a conversation with the lucky, smug owner. I even managed a few seconds precious screen time for my own ‘hands-on’. It was love at first sight.

With modern-day contracts being what they are – read, far too long - I had to wait until the third iteration, the Note 3 to become a proud owner of the Note and join the stylus-loving cult.

Yes, the masses with their tiny iPhone 5’s chortled away and routinely quipped ‘oh look, he’s brought the computer with him today’, or even funnier, ‘Is that a Note in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?’ - how droll. But I was content, satisfied that I was the enlightened one and they would one day ‘go big’. How I laughed when those same tormentors sheepishly showed me their oversized iPhone 6 Plus.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs S6 Edge+

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Well the relationship carried on swimmingly, my well-loved Note 3 was traded in for a Note 4 with its understated metal sides and thankfully a lack of faux-leather stitching, and like any dedicated gadget boy, I started counting down the days for the Note 5. You can imagine my excitement then when leak upon leak started drip-feeding online through the summer of a mythical Note 5 getting its reveal not in Berlin in September, but nearly a month early. Insiders commented that it was in order to get a run on Apple's launch of the next iPhone juggernaut on September 9, with a few precious millions sales the transparent aim.

As us believers ticked off days on our digital calendars, the big day arrived. While those modern-day preachers of the gadget world filed into Samsung’s Unpacked event in London waiting to spread word to their eager disciples, Note users all over the UK would have been making excuses, mumbling about late afternoon meetings, but secretly swiping down on Twitter, hell even using their S-Pen to rabidly searching for information. As the event got underway, they’d have regaled at the beautiful lines on the new Note with its ever more elegant form, all brushed metal and glass and those supercharged specs.

Then events took a turn for the worse. Much worse. Word started seeping out that Samsung was not going to ship the Note 5 to the UK. I repeat, SAMSUNG WAS NOT SENDING THE NOTE 5 TO THE UK. It was like the moment your first girlfriend repeats the immortal words, ‘it’s not you, it’s me’. Samsung said it had taken the decision to prioritise the Galaxy S6 Edge+, with admittedly the same innards as the Note, as it better fitted to he UK market.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs Note 4

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Well, hold on a second, but who are Samsung to play with our emotions and decide which phablets hit the white cliffs of Dover and beyond? They don’t have to break the news to my kids, that daddy’s next phone may not have the pen that they can scribble with when they’re kicking off in TK Maxx.

Immediately after such crushing news, there are differing stages of coping. First there’s shock. ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. You’re not serious, are you? Then there’s sadness, ‘What’s wrong with us in the UK? Aren’t we as devoted as users in the US and Asia? Then the anger sets in as dark, dark thoughts start to circle. ‘Well we know there’s going to be the launch of an iPhone 6S Plus in a few weeks. Then we'll see if you’re sorry, Samsung.'

Again, like the ex who gives you a glimmer of hope of reconciliation, Samsung has left the door ajar, saying it didn’t have plans to come to Europe in 2015 and would make a decision in 2016. Well that’s an eternity in the tech world and playing with our gadget-addled brains is a dangerous game when Samsung needs users to say loyal. They only have to look at HTC’s problems to know you can go from a tech darling to a tech brand on-the-ropes in a matter of years – and let's not even go there Nokia.

Obviously when emotions have re-calibrated in the coming days, many Note users not booking flights to New York or Singapore in search of their Note 5, will instead, scan the reviews of the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and wonder if they can cope without their S-Pen, whether productivity or most probably dawdling will be blunted. It will be a painful process. So will we see a Note again? Your guess is as good as mine, but I bloody hope so…


August 15, 2015, 8:56 am

Is this a serious article, get a grip and a life. It' s a phone.


August 15, 2015, 10:52 am

The Note 5 isn't a Note, it's an S with a stylus. It's always been ahead of the S in terms of specs, now it's the same. Also no microSD + no replaceable battery = no sale.


August 15, 2015, 2:26 pm

I totally agree. There is so much choice these days. TR
sounds like a kid throwing a tantrum because you can't have your new toy. Stop
whining and get yourself something else! Stop publishing stupid articles.

There is the note 4 which is still one of the best phablets
around and cost a lot less.

There is hardly any difference between the S6 Edge+ and the
Note 5 except the Stylus. This is another TR hate article on Samsung. What
about all the articles whining about no SD card or removable battery but I don’t
ever see them doing that with Apple iPhones.

Dead Words

August 15, 2015, 2:47 pm

When your job is technology and phones, and your life is technology and phones, you tend to care about technology and phones. The person who designs phones, and doesn't absolutely love phones, is the person I will not buy a phone from. Nor will I read any article written by a person who doesn't have an interest in technology, and doesn't care about their job.

Dead Words

August 15, 2015, 2:49 pm

I'm inclined to agree with this statement. Note 5 is a step back in more places than it is an upgrade.


August 16, 2015, 8:44 am

And the IR-blaster has been removed too.


August 16, 2015, 8:56 pm

Stick with your current note or get a note 4 and get over it


August 17, 2015, 6:56 am

@Zubeir, its an opinion. and possibly a lot of loyal Samsung Note users are unhappy. So Owain has a point.


August 17, 2015, 6:57 am

You also forgot no 128Gb option


August 17, 2015, 11:54 am

I agree and I had Andyvan openly told me on here a while back with a reply to my comment that they (TR and he included) hated Blackberrys. I mean to even say such a thing is journalistically wrong. So in respect of your iPhone comments I totally get that and TR needs to be fair and non biased with phones.


August 17, 2015, 11:55 am

So then why don't they just call the the S6 Stylus?


August 17, 2015, 12:46 pm

It's about that the Note always used to have them and for no good reason ("premium look" and "you don't need them because there are workarounds") they've been stripped away. Design should follow function, especially regarding the Note. It is a workhorse after all.
Imagine a popular car model that used to have four seats suddenly only having two seats. Because most owners ostensibly use it 95% of the time driving alone. And potential customers are supposed to thank the manufacturer on their bare knees for leaving in the extra seat.

And of course there are ways to work around obstacles, but before that, many of us are still in the stages of emotionally coping with bad news: shock/denial, anger, sadness, negotiation/false hope and finally acceptance and giving it a place "in the greater fabric of life.." (lol)
We are grieving not for just the Note 5 but for the future of Samsungs true flagship-line, if not fearing for the course of the entire Samsung fleet.

Examples, so you can gauge for yourself where to place reactions in this thread. And to refrain from judging them for not being in the final stages yet.
1. Shock: Seriously ? No expandable storage, no IR-blaster and no removable battery ?
Disbelief: Did Samsung really go through with that "premium look"-stupidity ? On the Note, the only true workhorse phone on the market ?
2. Anger: The responsible imbecile(s) should be fired and fined. Samsung has lost at least one faithful customer of the Notes. I am checking out the competition right now, no more Samsung for me.
3. Sadness: Such a waste of once a very very good thing going. Heavily disappointed they did it after all for the best phone line ever. I may never find a good replacement at least half as good.
4. Negotiation: Maybe they will reconsider when they see sales figures plummeting and we may be getting a Note 5 Pro in April 2016 with all the original goodies back on (and some serious improvements on top).
Maybe if we'd all sign a petition asking Samsung to reconsider would speed that up.
Maybe the Note 6 will be setting it all right again and this will all have been a very bad dream.
5. Acceptance: It is what it is. Maybe I can turn the new restrictions into working in my favour, maybe not. I shall see what I will replace my current Note with by the time I really need to. Hopefully the competition will have caught up by then. And after all, it's just a possible phone replacement.

In case you've started wondering: I am in stage 3 of utter sadness.


August 17, 2015, 6:02 pm

Because they're killing it slowly. The Note 6 will be called the S7+ Stylus.

I wonder if there's a new boss somewhere who wants to kill off his predecessor's successes. Happens a lot unfortunately.


August 17, 2015, 6:02 pm

Unfortunately I never used it, although I was keen to have it. The bundled software couldn't turn my TV on and I couldn't find any other decent RC software. If you know of some then I'm all ears :o)


August 17, 2015, 6:05 pm

Well I was just saying what's stopping me from 'up'grading. I didn't mind even 32GB as long as I had microSD. No microSD and max 64GB means that this is no longer a productivity phone.


August 17, 2015, 6:11 pm

heheh you're probably right. Those Samsung Korean people are just weird...


August 17, 2015, 7:13 pm

Funny coincidence:Samsung just very recently changed/updated the bundled IR-software WatchOn into Peel. (I am on Lollipop 5.0 on the Note 3).
It is much more comprehensive. Any possible device, brand and model that has an IR remote option, so it seems to me.
Moreover, the Peel helppdesk is very quick and responsive should your particular model not be included (yet) in their longlist. (Contact through e-mail, I've made them trying to add an exotic=ancient AC receiver to my detection list. It's on their to-do list, so they replied.)

I would say, give it another try. For me WatchOn has already worked fine, but Peel seems better and more easy to setup.


August 17, 2015, 11:17 pm

Thanks for the tip. I tried it, still no luck, but I figured I'd submit another request for help. They never replied to the previous request.


August 17, 2015, 11:20 pm

And when their decision-making gets too bad even for Samsung they get a job making series renewal decisions for SyFy...


August 17, 2015, 11:23 pm

Its too painful...I need my Blackberry fix heh

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