Samsung Caribbean wowed the media today with the launch of the next iteration of its successful Galaxy line of phones and phablet, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5.
The S6 Edge+ is targeted at consumers heavily into multimedia, while the Note 5 is targeted at Corporate consumers, it’s so-called “productivity” line… and the devices did not disappoint.
THE S6 EDGE+
The S6 Edge+ sports a 5.7 inch screen, up from 5.1 inches on the S6 Edge. The solid metal frame, flat glass back, buttons and ports of its predecessor are still found here, but will more screen real-estate. Usability will ideally depend on you, but the size and shape didn’t present much of an issue.
Samsung says the 3000 mAh battery (up from 2600 in the S6 Edge) will charge in 90 mins through wired charging, and in 120 minutes via wireless charging. However, users can combine the two charging options.
There are 4 gigs of RAM under the hood, and storage in a 32 or 64 GB option. The S6 Edge had a 128 GB option. Samsung continued to trend of a sealed phone with this upgrade: non-removable battery, and no SD card slot. It also sports an upgraded Exynos 7420 octa-core processor which clocks in at 2.1GHz quad plus 1.5GHz quad sporting 64bit, 14nm architecture.
The 16MP rear-facing camera, f-stop 1.9 aperture, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), phase detection auto focus, 4K video recording, and slow motion video are all ported over, while Samsung says auto-HDR is now applied to both the rear and front-facing 5MP camera, ensuring richer selfies. Indeed, the company demonstrated video and pictures that definitely benefited from OIS and the auto-HDR.
The S6 Edge+ continues Samsung’s push with the curved screen to allow quick and easy access to applications for use. “People Edge” appears when you swipe in from the edge of the phone to reveal most important contacts – even within other applications, an upgrade over the previous iteration. You had to be on the home screen or lock screen for it to work before. The technology giant added “app edge” this time around, which pops up when “people edge” is exposed.
Samsung also introduced Live Stream directly from the S6 Edge+ camera to your Youtube Live account. It seems the company wants to capitalise on keeping the popular – and growing- trend of live streaming through apps such as Periscope, focused on both their product and Google, by driving users to use Youtube Live.
The S6Edge+ is a minor upgrade over its predecessor but if you’re about multimedia in a powerful package, it’s the phone for you.
GALAXY NOTE 5
There was one key feature in the Note 5 that drew expressions of surprise from the audience.
Ever needed to take a note quickly, but when you pull out your phone, you have to fumble to turn it on, then unlock it, then run the application, then create a new note? It’s frustrated all of us at some point…. At least those of us who use phablets.
So that killer feature we spoke about?
You can take notes on the screen even when the screen is off.
Yeah, you read that right.
Samsung says that it took the feedback from its customers regarding the feature and decided it was worth implementing, and we gotta tell ya, they got it right. Even if you’re in the middle of writing a note and your phone rings, Samsung says as soon as the call is ended the note will still be there, and when you go into the application itself, you will find it there to further manipulate.
Samsung says the Note 5 is more productivity oriented (fancy way of saying “professional class”?), and the Note 4 was a surprise hit and arguably Samsung’s best phone in 2014. The game has changed, however, and the company decided an upgrade was needed.
So Samsung made the Note 5 slimmer, carries an identical screen to the Note 4, but still with the eye-popping richness and brightness of the Super AMOLED resolution, delivering QHD resolution. Funny thing though, that resolution feels more natural here than on the S6 display, even though there’s better brightness and colour accuracy on the S6.
What about that S-Pen?
One of the cooler options that’s more software here than hardware, is enabled by the S-Pen. You can now select just the part of your screen that you want to screenshot and share. Normally the screenshot would take the whole screen with details you may not necessarily want to share.
Another cool software feature while using the S-Pen is, say you want to capture stuff on a webpage, but the page is really, really long and spans multiple pages…. No worries. Now, whatever you select will be combined into one file so you can have easy access into it later.
Samsung also seems to have listened to consumer’s complaints and stripped down the presence of its TouchWiz interface. The result? The best of Android shines on through. You’ll still get all the features you’re accustomed to and a few new camera and audio ones.
Under the hood.
Samsung said bye-bye to Qualcomm with its S6 line, opting for its own Exynos processor. The same obtains here. What this has done is allow the company to avoid complaints of an overheating Qualcomm processor, while moving to the smaller 14nm process, boosting speed and increasing efficiency. Speaking of which, that efficiency and speed will probably be cranked up even more as the Note 5 adds one more gigabyte to its RAM, bringing it to a total of 4GB, up from 3 in the Note 4.
Oh, tough luck here, but Samsung has removed SD card support for the Note 5, something found in its predecessor.
Overall, like the S6 Edge+, it’s a minor upgrade from its predecessor but it won’t be a bad or tough spend in the least, for a solid and powerful productivity tool, that has great multimedia features as well.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ will be available from September 18th, while the company says the Note 5 will be available two weeks after that in Trinidad and Tobago.
(Additional photos courtesy: android pit)