Samsung Introduces Galaxy Note 5, S6 edge+, Possible Gear 2

Android / Mobile / Tech
Feature-Image-Note-5-Edge-Plus

Samsung announced a few major products today at their Galaxy Unpacked 2015 event. It’s hardly news that Samsung has had some struggles in the last couple of years with a fair amount of apathy in response to the their uninspired S5 and heavily redesigned but feature-compromising S6. However, we all knew that Samsung was not going to just lie down, try not to fail, fail a lot. So today they took the stage and showed some truly impressive hardware and software products to rejuvenate their mobile brand.

After making sure that every speaker reminded us that we were all down on Samsung when they introduced the original large-screen Note packing a stylus, letting them have the last laugh, two new phones were show off – the Samsung Galaxy Note5 and the Galaxy S6 edge+. Both phones have a lot in common but pack features differentiating them enough to allow Samsung to target the consumption and creative consumers.

Samsung Galaxy Note5

The Samsung Galaxy Note5 (yes Note5 not Note 5, seriously Samsung?) is beautifully constructed from metal and glass with a curved back that makes it easier to hold in one hand. Updated and refined pen with a release mechanism making it easier to access. Note taking has been updated on the software side as well, allowing you to quickly jot down notes on the screen without even turning it on. The pen is said to feel better in the hand and writes with more precision than before. Samsung compared it to writing with a ball-point pen on paper. An accessory for the Note that will definitely draw some polarizing opinions is the Samsung Keyboard cover that attaches to the bottom of the phone and adds a physical keyboard allowing for easier and arguably faster typing (insert Blackberry references here). The keyboard attachment is far from attractive, but folds away to the back of the phone and out of the way which is a neat feature negating the need to carry it around as an extra piece when not in use. does There was no mention of SD storage or swappable battery unfortunately this time around.

Note-5-7

  • Screen: 5.7-inch QHD (2560×1440, 518 ppi) Super AMOLED
  • Processor: Exynos 7420 octa-core (2.1GHz quad + 1.5GHz quad) 64bit, 14nm
  • RAM: 4Gb  LPDDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 32 or 64GB, UFS 2.0
    Non-expandable
  • Battery: 3000 maH
  • Cameras: REAR: 16MP, f/1.9, Improved OIS VDIS, phase detection autofocus 4K video, slow motion video. FRONT: 5MP, f/1.9
  • Network: CAT. 9
  • Wireless: 802.11ac Wifi, 2.4/5GHz, MIMO (2×2), 620Mbps Bluetooth v4.2 LE, ANT+ NFC, GPS
  • Available: August 21st in US and Canada, pre-orders August 13th
  • Pricing:
    • Verizon: 32GB – $696, 64GB – $792 (off-contract)
    • T-Mobile: 32GB – $699.99, 64GB – not listed
    • Sprint: 32GB – $720, 64GB – $816
    • AT&T: 32GB – $739.99, 64GB – $839.99

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

If you have used the Galaxy S6 edge, then this phone will look and feel pretty familiar. It takes the same design and stretches it to allow for a beautiful 5.7” screen. Leaving the Note series free of curved screens this time around, Samsung chose instead to release a bigger S6 for those that want that feature. The Korean OEM did not forget to mention a la stab at Apple that even with .2” more screen real estate the S6 edge+ is still smaller overall than the 5.5” iPhone 6+. Still no SD storage or swappable battery.

Edge-Plus-12

  • Screen: 5.7-inch QHD (2560×1440, 518 ppi) Super AMOLED
  • Processor: Exynos 7420 octa-core (2.1GHz quad + 1.5GHz quad) 64bit, 14nm
  • RAM: 4Gb  LPDDR4 RAM
  • Battery: 3000 maH
  • Cameras: REAR: 16MP, f/1.9, Improved OIS VDIS, phase detection auto focus 4K video, slow motion video. FRONT: 5MP, f/1.9
  • Network: CAT. 9
  • Wireless: 802.11ac Wifi, 2.4/5GHz, MIMO (2×2), 620Mbps Bluetooth v4.2 LE, ANT+ NFC, GPS
  • Available: August 21st in US and Canada, pre-orders August 13th
  • Price:
    • Verizon: 32GB – $768, 64GB – $864 (off-contract)
    • T-Mobile: 32GB – $779.99, 64GB – not listed
    • Sprint: 32GB – $792, 64GB – $888
    • AT&T: 32GB – $814.99, 64GB – $914.99

Software Notes

Besides the aforementioned improvements to the Note and S-Pen functionality Samsung added a few tasty bits to the entire Galaxy Line.

The first is SIDESYNC. This allows for wireless syncing with PCs running Windows and OSX to allow for a cable-free transfer of data, notifications, photos, etc. The service is meant to connect automatically over a wireless connection once you set it up.

Next up is Samsung Live Broadcast. Samsung has partnered up with YouTube to build a live broadcasting service directly into the OS – think Meekrat or Periscope but with no apps to install or account to sign up for. Just shoot and share with friends and family.

Samsung Pay

Most people were expecting another Google Wallet and Apple Pay clone, but Samsung may have just outdone both. The service is reportedly going to not only work with just NFC but also with traditional magnetic and barcode scanners; relying on “Magnetic Secure Transmission,” or MST that is built into the Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, and Note5.  MST technology was acquired by Samsung back in February when they purchased LoopPay and immediately began working on its integration into the Samsung ecosystem. Like its competition, Samsung Pay can also let store loyalty cards and gift cards. This essentially means that Samsung Pay will be accepted anywhere Credit Cards are, including smaller business where NFC scanners have yet to be installed. The entire system will use Samsung Knox for security and like other Smartphone Wallet solutions will not store your data, instead generating a unique and secure code for every transaction. Samsung Pay will be available starting August 20th in Korea, in  the U.S. on September 28th, followed by China, Spain and U.K. in near future.

Wireless Charging

After one more stab at Apple for not supporting wireless charging, Samsung claimed to be the first to bring quick charging to wireless chargers. According to them, you can place the Note 5 and S6 edge+ on the new chargers and charge them faster than most phones can do now through a wired connection. If the claims are true, you should be able to charge either device fully in 120 minutes; that’s 30% faster than current chargers allow.

One More Sam-thing

Samsung closed up with a teaser for a smartwatch that will be officially announced in Berlin on September 3rd. As rumored this will be a Tizen powered, round and most likely the next in the Samsung Gear line. Details pending.

Samsung Gear2

So now the questions we ask you are: did Samsung bring enough today to catch your attention? Are considering any of the new devices? Anything stand out in particular? We would love to hear from you in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

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