Samsung has been at the top of the smartphone market for a few years now. There have been a lot of competitors coming out with cheaper smartphones of varying specs, but for Android-based smartphones Samsung is the company that sets the benchmarks. In March, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge were released. These were aimed at taking customers from Apple, with the devices moving towards the look and size of the iPhone 6. This August will see the release of two new models, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is similar to the S6 Edge, except with a bigger screen. The screen is 5.7 inches and has a quad HD AMOLED screen. Despite the increase in screen size, the size of the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is only 12mm longer and 5mm wider than the previous S6 Edge. The thinness of the S6 Edge+ is less, being 6.9mm compared to the S6 Edge that is 7.0mm. This is a decent effort, as people want bigger screens without the smartphones being larger.
The Galaxy Note 5 is the flagship of Samsung’s smartphones. The Note series has always been popular and well designed, being a phablet that is functional, has very good specs and isn’t a hassle to carry around. Personally, I prefer phablets, especially the Note series, to usual size smartphones or tablets. The extra size compared to a smartphone makes them useful for business and study, and being smaller than a tablet it’s easier to use when walking or on a train. The S Pen on the Note 5 has been improved, with the aim to make writing easier and more natural. The rear camera is 16MP/F1.9 with Smart OIS/VDIS and auto-real time HDR. The front camera is 5MP/F1.9, VDIS, 120° wide selfie angle and auto real-time HDR.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 both are charged using Samsung’s new Fast Charge system. Cables aren’t required for these new models, with the Fast Charge device connecting to the S6 Edge+ or Note 5 through the back casing. It takes about 2 hours for the S6 Edge+ and Note 5 to charge, something a lot of people will like. For me, I’m constantly on the move, only still for a couple of hours at a time. My smartphone is rarely fully charged, and this is an annoyance. To have a device charged and ready to use in a couple of hours is a big plus.
Both the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Note 5 have 4GB RAM and will be able to use Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay will be available in Korea on August 20 and September 28 in the US. How Samsung Pay will go when it’s competing with Apple Pay (On iPhone devices.) and Android Pay (On Android devices, which is what the Samsung phones and phablets are.) is an interesting question. With Samsung Pay being only on Samsung devices, it limits who will be able to use Samsung Pay. Stores and businesses may not see the point in supporting Samsung Pay due to the smaller number of people who have Samsung devices. Users will be able to be secure with Samsung KNOX that provides fingerprint verification and digital tokenization. Samsung Pay will be able to be used with MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) and NFC (Near Field Communication) technologies.
Samsung keep up with their devices looking like high end devices and continuing to set benchmarks on device design and performance. One thing that has annoyed other users and myself with the amount of bloatware that ends up on a Samsung device. The unwanted apps that come prepackaged with the devices rarely get used, have horrible (Sometimes hilariously sarcastic) reviews on the app stores and aren’t wanted. Why Samsung keep trying to push its own apps is unknown, but it isn’t hurting the company selling smartphones and phablets. Samsung Pay feels like another bloatware app that users won’t use but will use Android Pay instead. At least with Android Pay you know if you change devices to a competitor’s you’ll be sync up and right to go.
The new charging system that the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 use is very interesting. USB cables to charge devices never have been a bother or issue for me. Unless you count losing the charger in a drawer, which I’ve done a lot. I’d probably still lose the charging device, knowing me. The time it would take to charge the S6 Edge+ or the Note 5 is a big plus. The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is an update of the previous S6 Edge, but the Galaxy Note 5 is a definite upgrade that could be said to be Samsung’s best phablet yet. Neither device demands you upgrade to it immediately, but if it’s time for a contract renewal or if you’re a couple of models behind an upgrade would be worth your consideration.