The Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ are finally announced!

One of the best things to come out of Samsung’s announcement today is that the constant leaks of these two devices can STOP, finally.  With that said, it looks like the leaks were mostly correct.

Here is a good way sum up these two devices:

  • Note 5 – A blown up Galaxy S6 with a stylus.
  • S6 Edge+ – A blown up Galaxy S6 Edge.

From my tone, you’ve probably guessed that I’m underwhelmed by this announcement.  But this article is not going to be a rant against Samsung not listening to its customers (although, it’s true).  I’m going to focus on a summary of what we’ve witnessed.

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Samsung came on stage talking up the evolution of the Note line, as expected.  They touched how it has improved into the beautified mold of their current metal/glass design.  But when it came on the screen, all I kept thinking regardless of their talk, is how it simply looks like a larger S6.  And I don’t think I was the only one.

Fortunately, they didn’t leave it at that and threw a couple bones.  The stylus is spring-loaded and satisfyingly pops out of its hole.  You can start writing notes on the screen right away, you don’t even have to turn the phone on.  And that keyboard case.

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While I shrugged at the keyboard case in the leaked images (it looks is fairly dated in appearance), in action it looks like a promising accessory.  Especially when you recall that the Note line has been traditionally aimed at power users.  Cleverly, the keyboard section of the case can pop off and be attached to the back of the case until you need it again.  Fantastic considering that the keyboard takes up a good chunk of screen real estate when you’re using it.

As far as the S6 Edge+ goes, I think Samsung could’ve just said one sentence and been done with it:  The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a larger S6 Edge.  That’s all there is to it.  And yes, I’m ignoring those minor software tricks on purpose.

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Since Samsung didn’t have much to offer in terms of hardware, they also threw in their rollout announcement of Samsung Pay.  Yay, more fragmentation.  In a nutshell, Samsung feels they’re big enough to justify their own mobile payment platform.  And they think that they can succeed where Google has failed, to make mobile transactions available “virtually everywhere”.  Personally, I’m still on Google’s side and awaiting the rollout of Android Pay.

Lastly, because Samsung had to move up the launch of their phablets (to avoid mixing in with Apple’s September launches), they teased the overdue Gear S2 smartwatch.  This one is still okay to announce at the typically venue at IFA in Berlin.  And the new watch will follow the popular, circular design trend.

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To end, I think a lot of Note fans are not too happy right now.  The Note line has traditionally been for power users, who put function or fashion.  Samsung had molded the Note line into the workers phone.  And now they killed it, cold turkey.

There is neither a removable battery nor microSD card slot.  And to put icing on the cake, there is only a 3,000 mAh battery.  Only 400 mAh more capacity from the poor battery life performer of the Galaxy S6.

But hey, fast wireless charging is cool.  Now if only their vision for a cordless-free future was closer than further…

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