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Fifteen years ago, a small business owner’s office might have held loads of equipment. If I think about what I need to do most weeks, I would have needed a copy machine, printer, fax, computer, filing cabinets, landline, camera, video camera and a scanner. Fortunately, as technology has improved a small business owner can pare back that list of essential equipment considerably. As long as there is a way to connect to the internet, that office can be anywhere.

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Some days it is even a car or plane. To keep things running even when I'm on the road, I’ve got my list of essentials down to two items: my computer and my cell phone. In a pinch, I can do extremely well with just the phone. To be fair, not just any phone is up to all that work. To take over for the vast majority of the equipment noted above I need a phone that can do a lot of heavy lifting as I juggle the endless tasks that go into running a business. After exhaustive research, my phone of choice is the Samsung Galaxy Note5 with Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4. It's tough enough to handle all the tasks I give it, survive getting tossed into a bag, and surprise me with some fantastic features that make my life easier.

Capturing a Grand Canyon Sunset on the Galaxy Note5
Capturing a Grand Canyon Sunset on the Galaxy Note5 | KLO

Excellent Useability

When selecting a phone that will also serve you and your business in so many different capacities, you’ll need to make sure it functions well and fits your work and lifestyle. For years, I lugged around a phone, a mid-size tablet, and frequently a laptop too. My bag became a heavyweight contender, and I kept my chiropractor's business humming. Now, most days, all I need to bring on the road is the Galaxy Note 5. It has a 5.7-inch display, which is large enough for reading, editing documents, and on phone photo editing. While the screen feels expansive, the phone only weighs in at 6 oz and is only 7.6mm thick making it feel slim and sleek.

The S-pen is also a standout. With a fantastic click in holster and an autosave feature for notes, it is the perfect way to jot down a note to myself or a task list. This feature is particularly useful when I want to write down one of those middle of the night ideas when your eyes and dexterity are quite up to typing. Triggering the pen from its holster is satisfyingly reminiscent of a retractable ballpoint pen and automatically launches the note app. The auto-launch saves you from hunting for the app and makes those on the fly notes even easier to jot down.

Notes on the Galaxy Note5
Notes on the Galaxy Note5 | KLO

Given all the bells and whistles that extend the usefulness of the phone, I was skeptical about battery life. It held up well on ordinary days, but I put it to the test on a recent research trip for a travel series. The day was packed full of photo, video, and Google Maps use. Amazingly the Galaxy Note 5’s battery life came through like a champ. When the phone finally needed some extra juice it charged up rapidly. Powering up from the off position was also surprisingly quick in less than 30 seconds.

Tough Enough?

Juggling all the different parts of a business sometimes means I’m racing from one obligation to another. It also means I’m pretty tough on my phones. I'd like to say my phones go into dedicated pockets in my handbags or that I use covers for my devices, but usually, I'm racing out the door and toss it, my keys and even my travel mug in a bag all at once. When I juggle one too many things at once, and my phone goes flying, or I see that I've tossed it right up against my keys cringe as I calculate the time it might take me to visit the ‘Screen Doctor.' I love knowing that the Galaxy Note5 comes with Gorilla Glass 4, the toughest cover glass from Corning yet. Given what I put my phones through, thank goodness Gorilla Glass 4 dramatically improves protection against drops and in laboratory tests, and survives up to 80% of the time when dropped from 3 feet high.

An Entire Office Packed Into One Device

Whether I'm on the road or at my desk, when its time to get down to all the tasks I need to accomplish on any given day my phone has to be able to stand in for a copier, scanner, fax, and file management system. Happily, I've found that the Galaxy Note5 integrates beautifully with Google Drive and Dropbox so that I can access, save, and edit files directly from my phone. That awesome S-Pen even allows me to markup and executed PDF files with changes directly on the phone –A cumbersome task even with expensive software programs on my computer. The camera worked seamlessly with the two scanning apps I like.

The Galaxy Note5’s keyboard deserves a shout out too. With a full keyboard, including numbers and a shift key for symbols. It saves me the cumbersome task of toggling between keyboard screens and makes composing emails and even documents a breeze.

Full keyboard with numbers and symbols on a Galaxy Note5
Full keyboard with numbers and symbols on a Galaxy Note5 |KLO

As much as I love the keyboard, the Galaxy Note5’s voice recognition capabilities might lead me to stop typing anything! I've tried voice recognition in the past; it went so poorly I never considered trying it again.  However, invariably I come up with solutions to tough problems I've been mulling on walks and long drives when I’m not in a position to stop what I’m doing to type it up or even jot it down. When I was setting up the Galaxy Note5, I received a prompt to set up an alarm with a voice command. Hmmm. It seemed easy enough so I gave it a try. Just by saying “6:20 am” worked surprisingly well with no repeating or miscommunication. Just to see how far this might go, I switched over to email and clicked the little microphone icon next to the spacebar and tried it out. It worked seamlessly! Without any ‘training’ time I was able to compose emails and an outline for a blog in Google Docs hands-free. See my video demo of this and some of my other favorite features here:

Ditching the Camera Bag

In addition to taking care of the ‘business of doing business,’ my firm is always in need of great content both for marketing our websites.  Snagging informative and visually stunning images and videos is crucial whether I’m producing a series of travel blogs, creating an explainer video, or helping a client showcase their product or service.

Capturing Closeups of Carrots Galaxy Note5
Capturing Closeups of Carrots Galaxy Note5 |KLO
Capturing Closeups of Purple Carrots Galaxy Note5
Capturing Closeups of Purple Carrots Galaxy Note5 |KLO

A DSLR camera with video used to be the only way we could capture high-quality images without hiring a photographer, video team or settling for stock images. However, if you don’t have that DSLR with you when a photo opportunity strikes or (in many cases) have two hands available to use it, a DSLR's advantages disappear pretty quickly. However, one of the drawbacks to all the phone-based camera's I'd been using was my inability to generate RAW images.  There are times when editing a JPEG post-production just won’t cut it. However if I take a photo in the Galaxy Note5’s Pro mode, I have the option of saving it for extensive photo editing later. Problem solved!

Adjusting brightness on screen Galaxy Note5
Adjusting brightness on screen Galaxy Note5 |KLO

I am also a big fan of the Galaxy Note5’s wider aperture allowing for better low light photos. Optical image stabilization also helps avoid blurry shots from on the go snapshots or shaky hands. Touch the screen to focus and as well as on screen adjustments also allowed us to brighten or darken images like a charm. There are even ways to add music to your videos and images from in the camera. You’ll be ready to share high-quality images and video on social media without ever returning you your desk. Images were also a snap to sync wirelessly and save to both Dropbox and Google Photos. Sharing on social media was similarly easy.

Sedona Sunrise on the Samsung Galaxy Note5
Sedona Sunrise on the Samsung Galaxy Note5 | KLO

Take a look at the gorgeous colors in these images captured at dusk and dawn.

Grand Canyon at Sunset with the Galaxy Note5
Grand Canyon at Sunset with the Galaxy Note5 | KLO
Grand Canyon at Sunset with the Galaxy Note5
Grand Canyon at Sunset with the Galaxy Note5 | KLO
San Francisco Sunrise on the Galaxy Note5
San Francisco Sunrise on the Galaxy Note5 | KLO

Overall, I love my Galaxy Note5 with Gorilla Glass 4. It really is like holding a whole office's worth of equipment in the palm of my hand.  It was up to every task I gave it, withstands my rough treatment, and keeps amazing me with new features.  With my Galaxy Note5 in hand, my daily task list a little easier and more pleasurable to get through. With that in mind, I'm thrilled that our partners at Corning Gorilla Glass are offering our members a chance to win a Galaxy Note5 with Gorilla Glass 4 of their own!

To enter:

  • Follow @corninggorilla on Twitter
  • Retweet a posted tweet that announces the Sweepstakes. Must contain #GorillaGlass4 and #sweeps. There will be a new post to retweet each week.
  • Earn one entry for each retweet posted provided you have already followed @corninggorilla on Twitter

Read full sweepstakes rules here.

This blog post was sponsored by Corning Incorporated the opinions and text are all mine.

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