Samsung launches the pen-driven Galaxy Note 5 and the mega-sized Galaxy S6 Edge+

The Galaxy Note 5 has been completely revamped, while the Galaxy S6 Edge exists to placate those who just wanted a bigger version of the existing phone.

Credit: Florence Ion

Samsung didn’t just overhaul its flagship devices this year—it did some considerable work on its phablet lineup, too. The company announced the brand new, completely revamped Galaxy Note 5, and it’s just as pretty as the rest of the newly made over Galaxy family.

Samsung also introduced a new sibling to the family, the Galaxy S6 Edge+. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a blown-up version of the Galaxy S6 Edge. You can find my first impressions with each phone here and here. Otherwise, read on for the full specification rundown. Both phones go on sale August 21, with pre-orders starting August 13.

A beefed-up Note

The Galaxy Note 5 is a big step up from its predecessor. Samsung stuck with its homemade octa-core processor rather than one from Qualcomm. And with the extra gig of RAM, it’s shaping up to be quite a powerful phablet. (It’s worth mentioning that even with 3GB, the Galaxy S6 was quite speedy.)

  • Display: 5.7” Quad HD Super AMOLED 
  • Resolution: 2560x1440 (518ppi) 
  • Processor: 2.1GHz octa-core Exynos 7420
  • Rear camera: 16-megapixels (f/1.9)
  • Front camera: 5-megapixels (f/1.9)
  • Storage: 32GB or 64GB
  • Battery: 3,000 mAh
  • Size: 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm, 171 grams
  • Colors: Black Sapphire, White Pearl

Unfortunately, Samsung did not hear your cries, and opted to omit the MicroSD slot just as it did in the Galaxy S6. You can buy either phone in 32GB or 64GB variants, though Samsung is leaving pricing for each model up to the carriers.

Of course, the Note 5 includes a built-in stylus, the “S-Pen.” It’s been revamped with a clicking mechanism that quickly pops the S-Pen out when you need it. There are also a few new added software features, which you can read about in my hands-on.

A competitive Edge+

The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is exactly what you think it is: a mega-sized version of the comparatively petite Galaxy S6 Edge. But inside, it’s nearly identical to the Galaxy Note 5. It’s great if you want a bigger-sized curved phone, though Samsung wasn’t very explicit on who exactly it’s marketing the phone towards. It would have made more sense to launch this phone earlier in the year alongside the Edge, just as Apple did with the iPhone 6 and 6+.

  • Display: 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED
  • Resolution: 2560x1440 (518ppi)
  • Processor: 2.1GHz Exynos 7420
  • Rear camera: 16-megapixels (f/1.9)
  • Front camera: 5-megapixels (f/1.9)
  • Storage: 32GB or 64GB
  • Battery: 3,000 mAh
  • Size: 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9mm, 153g
  • Colors: Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum

The same goodies as its siblings

Samsung equipped the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ with integrated wireless charging for both WPC and PMA standards, so it’ll work with almost any charging pad you lay it on.

Samsung also bundled in some new software features, including full HD live broadcasting through YouTube, and support for Ultra High Quality Audio (UHQA). There’s no word on whether these features will come to older Galaxy devices through a software update, or whether they’ll be specific to these two particular phablets.

And what about Samsung Pay?

samsungpay Florence Ion

Samsung Pay uses digital tokenization.

Both phones also come equipped with NFC and MST chips, the latter of which you’ll need for Samsung Pay when it launches in the U.S. this September. Samsung Pay will be protected by the KNOX security suite, and the app will offer fingerprint verification and digital tokenization. It's essentially an integrated, Samsung-branded version of LoopPay, which Samsung acquired earlier this year.

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