The Note 5 is still at the top of the heap of Samsung's lineup, but perhaps surprisingly, Samsung has recycled a lot of what we saw in the Galaxy S6. That's not necessarily a bad thing: the S6 brought along a speedy processor, great display, and outstanding camera, and all of those things are present in the Note 5. The Note 5 also gains the S6's design and materials, including a glass front and rear and a solid metal frame. But fans of the older Note phones will quickly notice that this step up in design and materials didn't come without cost: the removable battery and microSD card support are gone, as is any sort of waterproofing.
The glass back does make the device slippery, however, and it's extremely prone to collecting fingerprints, regardless if it's the gold or black color. Otherwise, the Note 5's design and build quality are just as high-caliber as the S6.
The rest of the Note's software should be familiar to anyone who's used a recent Samsung: it's Android 5.1 Lollipop with Samsung's TouchWiz interface and customizations on top of it. A couple of new features include the ability to live stream video from the camera app to YouTube and an improved app for connecting and managing the phone with a PC.