Recently, Samsung took the stage at the Lincoln Centre in New York and announced its new flagship devices, Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. The Galaxy Note 5 is a true successor to the Galaxy Note 4 in every way possible, while the Galaxy S6 edge+ is just a larger variant of the Galaxy S6 edge with a few software enhancements. One is designed for productivity, while the other is targeted towards multimedia consumers, respectively.
The Galaxy Note 5 is using Samsung’s new Project Zero (Galaxy S6) design language, it features a glass front and back with a metal frame in-between. It’s also thinner and lighter than its predecessor — 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm, 171g. Moreover, Samsung’s designers have slightly curved the edges of the rear glass panel, so the device is easier to hold and use with one hand. And, just like the Galaxy S6, the back cover isn’t removable, the battery isn’t user-replaceable, and there’s no MircoSD card slot.
If you’re curious about Galaxy S6 edge+’ design, it’s exactly the same as the Galaxy S6 edge — just bigger, it comes in at 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9mm, 153g.
Spec-wise, both are packing pretty much identical internals. Both devices are featuring a 5.7-inch Quad HD (2560×1440) Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 518ppi, the Galaxy S6 edge+ is sporting a dual edge panel, whereas the Galaxy Note 5 is rocking a flat one instead. Unlike last year, there won't be a curved-screen Note variant, that's probably because using a stylus on a curved display isn't ideal.
There were numerous rumours about Samsung going with an updated Exynos 7 (7422) SoC for the Note 5 and a Snapdragon 808 SoC for the S6 edge+. However, at the end, Samsung settled for its 14nm-based, 64-bit, octa-core Exynos 7420 silicon — same processor used by the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge — with four high-performance cores (cortex-A57) clocked at 2.1GHz and four low-performance cores (cortex-A53) clocked at 1.5GHz. Alongside the CPU, there’s an eight-core Mali-T760 GPU clocked at 772MHz, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and UFS 2.0 flash storage. They only come in two storage configurations: 32GB and 64GB, it’s not expandable, and the company won’t be producing a 128GB variant.
Samsung’s new flagships are packing a 16-megapixel camera sensor with an aperture of f/1.9, built-in OIS (optical-image-stabilisation) and software stabilisation (VDIS), auto Real-time HDR, object tracking autofocus, and support for UHD (3840×2160) video recording. Samsung has also enabled support for RAW files in its Pro mode, which doesn’t exist on the Galaxy S6. As per the front-facing camera, we are looking at a 5-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.9, software stabilisation (VDIS), auto real-time HDR, and up to QHD (2560×1440) video capture support.
The Korean giant has introduced two new camera modes as well — Live Broadcast and Video Collage. Live Broadcast allows the user to do a private or public live stream, there’s only a 20 second delay, and your audience can watch it through YouTube. Video Collage lets you record and edit short videos easily in various frames and effects, and combine them into a single video.
Out of the box, the devices ship with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and Samsung’s latest TouchWiz UX with features like Samsung Pay, Themes, Samsung Knox, Multi-window, and more.
On the Galaxy S6 edge+, the company has added Apps Edge, which allows the user to access favourite applications quickly and easily by simply swiping the edge display. It works just like People Edge, but for applications and not for contacts. Also, People and Apps edge are now accessible from any screen, it’s not only restricted to the home screen anymore.
On the Galaxy Note 5, there’s an all new 5th generation S Pen with a unique clicking mechanism which allows the user to pop out the S Pen with a single click. It’s still made out of plastic, however, it feels much more solid and has a balanced weight to it; it should feel like you’re holding an actual pen in the hand. With the new S Pen, comes new software features. There’s an enhanced Air command with an improved interface and new S Pen tools. There’s a new Screen Capture tool which allows you to capture lengthy web articles or long images at once, it takes multiple screenshots and combines them into a single image. While the display is off, the device lets you take down notes as soon as you take the S Pen out without even unlocking the smartphone.
In terms of connectivity, there’s support for LTE Cat.9/6 (depending on the market), Wi-Fi 802.11ac, MIMO (2×2), Bluetooth v4.2 LE, ANT+, GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi direct, and a MicroUSB 2.0 port for syncing and charging the device. There’s also a huge array of sensors on-board: Accelerometer, Proximity, RGB Light, Geo-magnetic, Gyro, touch-based fingerprint, Barometer, Hall, and Heart-Rate Monitor.
Both smartphones are using a 3000mAh lithium-ion battery with Fast Charge support on both wired and wireless chargers. Yes, you read that right. Fast wireless charging is here! Korean firm’s latest wireless chargers can fully charge a device in 120 minutes, which is 30% faster than before (180 minutes), and with a wired charger it would only take 90 minutes.
You will be able to pre-order both devices in August, 2015 and will be able to choose between four colour variations including White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Silver Titanium and Gold Platinum. The Galaxy S6 edge+ will be launching globally, whereas the Galaxy Note 5 will only be available in the United States and a few Asian markets — it won't be coming to Europe, at least in 2015.