At the Galaxy Unpacked 2015 event in New York on Thursday, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ smartphones. JK Shin, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics, launched the company's new phablet flagships in a bid to reverse the South Korean giant's declining fortunes. The two smartphones will be available in select markets by the end of the month, with wider availability from September.
Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ kick off in the US from Thursday, and the smartphones will be made available from August 21. In the US, the Galaxy Note 5 will be available via AT&T (with a no commitment contract) at $739.99 (roughly Rs. 48,400) for the 32GB variant, and $839.99 (roughly Rs. 54,800) for the 64GB variant, while the Galaxy S6 Edge+ will be priced at $814.99 (roughly Rs. 53,300) and $914.99 (roughly Rs. 59,800) for the 32GB and 64GB variants respectively. Samsung said the Galaxy Note 5 will only be made available in select markets, while the Galaxy S6 Edge+ will feature wider availability.
(Also see: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4)
Like the Samsung Galaxy S6 (Review | Pictures) and Galaxy S6 Edge (Review | Pictures) before them, both the Note 5 and S6 Edge+ are identical to each other except for the displays. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, like the S6 Edge before it, sports a dual-edge display. The Galaxy Note 5 also features a new and improved S Pen in addition.
(Also see: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs Samsung Galaxy S6)
The Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ feature 5.7-inch QHD (1440x2560 pixels) Super-Amoled displays with a pixel density of 515ppi. The duo is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420 SoC with four Cortex-A57 cores clocked at 2.1GHz, and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz, coupled with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM.
(Also see: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5)
The Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ smartphones feature 16-megapixel rear cameras with f/1.9 aperture and optical image stabilisation, apart from 5-megapixel front-facing cameras. The camera app can be opened with a double press on the home button, which also bears the fingerprint sensor. A Live Broadcast feature is also being touted.
: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ vs iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs iPhone 6
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ both have no microSD card slots, and feature 3000mAh non-removable batteries. Samsung said the batteries feature its Fast Charging technology for both wired and wireless (WPC and PMA) options. Wired charging will deliver full charge in roughly 90 minutes, and with the new wireless charger, full charge is delivered in roughly 120 minutes, said Samsung.
In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ will be offered in 4G LTE Cat. 9 or Cat. 6 modems depending on the market. The phones also feature NFC and MST, to power the Samsung Pay mobile payment technology. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS/ A-GPS, and Micro-USB 2.0 (so no USB Type-C as was rumoured).
(Also see: Samsung Pay Gets Korea and US Launch Date; Coming to UK, Spain, and China Later)
The Samsung Galaxy Edge+ measures 154.4x75.8x6.9mm, and weighs 153 grams, while the Galaxy Note 5 is both thicker and heavier, with dimensions of 153.2x76.1x7.6mm, and a weight of 171 grams. The two smartphones will be available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, and Silver Titanium colour variants.
Detailing changes to the S Pen, Samsung said the stylus now features a one-click mechanism to eject it from the main smartphone body. New and improved features include the ability to take notes without unlocking the phone, and an updated Air Command feature that shows a hovering icon for quick access to stylus tools. Scroll Capture offers annotation and screen/ text capturing abilities.
The company also unveiled BlackBerry-like Keyboard Covers for both the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ smartphones, apart from wireless charging modules and Clear View Covers. Samsung also announced support for its SideSync feature, which provides a 'wired PC-smartphone integration'. Both phones also feature Samsung Knox Active Protection, and the My Knox app.
The dual-edge display of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ comes with a new UI feature called Apps Edge to take advantage of the curved display, over and above the People Edge feature seen in the S6 Edge. It similarly allows users to pin commonly used apps to the side display, for quick access.
Commenting on the launch in a statement, JK Shin said, "At Samsung, we believed in the promise that large screen smartphones could actively address some major consumers pain points by providing users with a better viewing experience and more productivity on-the-go. With the launch of the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5, we're re-emphasising our ongoing commitment to bold, fearless innovation that meets the needs of our consumers."