Boasting enhancements in materials and performance, the new Galaxy smartphones from Samsung are not only better than ever, but also bigger, according to the company. The Galaxy Note 5 (pictured left) and Galaxy S6 Edge+ (pictured right) phones were introduced at a media event in New York today.
Both models feature 5.7-inch high-definition screens, 4 GB of memory and 16-megapixel rear-facing cameras. Both also have built-in wireless charging that can get the battery to full in two hours or less, according to Samsung.
The big change in the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is screen size -- the screen of the Galaxy S6 Edge measures just 5.1 inches. Samsung was able to work in more than half an inch of extra screen size even though the actual Edge+ phone is only 5 millimeters wider than its predecessor and is also 0.1 millimeters thinner. Both phones have glass backs and metal frames, giving them different looks than previous Galaxy Note products. The devices also have wireless charging capabilities.
"The demand for larger screens is bigger than ever," Samsung President and CEO J.K. Shin said at the event. "Bigger screens are great for moving between images and important files."
Screen Not for Everyone
Do consumers see it that way, too? We reached out to independent technology analyst Jeff Kagan to get this thoughts. He told us that Samsung shouldn’t confuse a growing demand for larger-screen devices with a consumer consensus.
"Some want a larger screen device. Some want a smaller screen device," said Kagan. "It all depends on the user and what they use the phone for. There are still lines between phones, phablets and tablets, but the marketplace is being sliced up like a pie. I don't think the line between devices and sizes will go away anytime soon, but things are heading in that general direction."
In U.S., Canada on Aug. 21
The Galaxy Note 5 also includes a bit of a throwback: a Blackberry-esque physical keyboard cover that can be snapped onto the phone and sensed by the screen underneath. The phone also includes Samsung's S Pen stylus.
On the downside, the phones aren't water resistant. Nor do they have user-replaceable batteries or microSD card slots. The battery capacity in the two phones is 3,000mAh, slightly less than the Galaxy Note 4's 3,220mAh. That’s mitigated by quicker charging capability and a power efficient processor.
The Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ include the same Samsung-designed octa-core processor used in the previous S6 model, boasting 32 GB or 64 GB of integrated storage. A fingerprint sensor is also included.
Both phones will be available in stores in the U.S. and Canada on August 21 and globally later in the month. Samsung hasn’t yet released prices, but some carriers are offering deals on the phones. AT&T, for instance, is making available the 32 GB Note 5 for no money down on the AT&T Next plan with payments starting at $24.67 per month for 30 months. On the Next plan, the 32 GB Edge 6+ is priced at $27.17 per month for 30 months. Payment plan prices go up from there.