Do we have a good one for you today – the two newest Samsung phablets, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ goes up against the venerable Galaxy Note 5. Rather than upgrade the Galaxy Note Edge from last year, Samsung decided to drop that model and replace it with a stretched out version of the Galaxy S6 Edge. Both of these devices are sporting a 5.7-inch display and the same internal specifications. What differentiates them from one another is the S6 Edge+ includes a dual curved display and the Note 5 includes the S-Pen. Did Samsung do the right thing by eliminating the Galaxy Note Edge and replacing it with the Galaxy S6 Edge+, yet take away its S-Pen? Will users be confused and find it a tough decision to decide between the two models? Will the new Galaxy S6 Edge+ rob sales from the Galaxy Note 5? Let us see what we can determine as these two great devices battle it out for supremacy.
This comparison will be a little different than most because there are so many similarities between these two devices, it is foolish to list them below under each device, so we will discuss them under a section I have named Similarities, and then point out the differences between them under each device.
Both the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5 owe their design to the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 introduced in April. The S6 Edge+ is essentially a S6 Edge stretched from a 5.1-inch display to a 5.7-inch display and the Galaxy Note 5 is essentially a stretched out Galaxy S6. All devices use the same Gorilla Glass and metal frame construction, they all use the Super AMOLED Quad HD displays, a 64-bit Exynos 7420 Octa-core processor, they all use the same 16MP main camera and 5MP front-facing camera (FFC), DDR4 RAM, UFS 2.0 Flash memory, a non-removable battery and none have expandable memory. Both devices are almost the same physical size, with the Note 5 weighing in a few grams heavier.
Both the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5 use Samsung’s Super AMOLED QHD display that just keeps getting better overtime and is consistently awarded the “best display” from DisplayMate. Both displays are 5.7-inches with the main difference being that the S6 Edge+ display has dual curves on the left and right sides of the display. With a resolution of 2560 x 1400 pixels, both devices are about 515 pixels-per-inch (PPI).
Samsung decided to forgo the usual Qualcomm Snapdragon in these devices and used their own homegrown 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor with four A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four A57 cores clocked at 2.1GHZ. Both devices have 4GB of DDR4 RAM with non-expandable memory options of 32GB or 64GB of the new and faster UFS 2.0 flash memory. This changed a little over the 3GB S6 Edge and a 128GB memory option available. One has to wonder with the back sealed up, why Samsung did not pull a ‘Sony’ and add waterproofing…an addition that might help appease some of the naysayers.
The camera area is another place that Samsung really improved their standings in the smartphone community as one of the best cameras available at this time. It is a 16MP Sony or Samsung sensor in the Galaxy S6 and strictly a Samsung ISOCELL in the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5. The camera is fast to open, fast to focus, and fast to snap a picture. It has an LED flash, large, f/1.9 aperture for better low-light shots, OIS and some great camera software. The FFC used on both devices is now a large 5MP with a wide-angle lens and the f/1.9 aperture for great group selfies or video chatting.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5 both have enhanced sound systems and a single speaker on the bottom of the device – a much better placement than on the back panel, but certainly not as good as dual front-facing speakers. I wish Samsung would take that extra step, as it would help their flagship devices immensely. They both support quick battery and quick wireless charging for both Qi and PMA standards. They also have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, NFC and a microUSB 2.0 port for charging. They both have the same non-removable 3000mAh batteries. For some odd reason, Samsung removed the built-in IR Blaster from both devices – the normal Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have that feature included. Another surprise was that Samsung stuck with the microUSB 2.0 port rather than changing over to the newer Type-C that uses the reversible plug.
Another nice feature these two beasts share is a much improved fingerprint sensor that serves a multitude of functions. It can unlock your device for starters, but it also gives you access to mobile payments, such as Samsung Pay and Android Pay. It is also PayPal Certified so you can use your fingerprint to sign into PayPal…another nice convenience. With Samsung Pay, you will be able to make a payment at practically any retailer where you can swipe your card. When Android Marshmallow is released, you will be able to use the fingerprint sensor for one-touch buying with Android Pay.
Just a few more things to mention about these two new Samsung offerings – the Exynos 7420 processor is the first to use the new 14nm technology. Technology advances are also found in the much faster DDR4 RAM and the much faster UFS 2.0 over the traditional eMMC 5.1 flash memory. Samsung did their best to make these two devices the most technologically advanced smartphones on the market at this point.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
The new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is beautiful from any angle and simply oozes premium design and build. Because it has the same display size, processor, memory and camera as the Galaxy Note 5, this will be a very short section.
The biggest difference is that the S6 Edge+ has the dual curved display that gives this device that certain WOW factor. It is also gives it the look of no bezels and allows the user’s finger to easily swipe left and right. It also has some functionality built into the curved edges – you can swipe on the edges to bring up notifications, a clock for at night, or to access your top five contacts or top apps that you use…quickly and easily. The curved edges also make it more comfortable to hold the device.
The dimensions are 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9 mm and weighs in at 153 grams. It is available in Black Sapphire and Gold Platinum. It will cost you about $768 off-contract for the 32GB model and about $864 for the 64GB version.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Just as the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a stretched out S6 Edge, the Galaxy Note 5 is a stretched out Galaxy S6 with the addition of a few added features. This did not sit well with many loyal Note users ready to upgrade from their Note 3’s, because the Galaxy Note series always prided itself on ‘upping’ the Galaxy S series device on something. However, there was no 4K display, no extra pixels in the camera, no 7422 processor, no IR Blaster, no Type-C plug…only an extra gigabyte of memory and not much to excite the senses. While the Galaxy Note 5 is probably the most advanced smartphone currently on the market, it was just a wee bit of a disappointment for current Note owners used to bragging rights.
The biggest differentiating factor on the Galaxy Note 5 has to be the infamous S-Pen. It is neatly tucked away in its onboard silo and out of the way. However, once removed, a whole new world of productivity can open up to the user. Whether it is taking a quick note, drawing or sketching a masterpiece, capturing items on the display as though it were a ‘mouse,’ drawing on photographs or simply playing a game, the improved S-Pen adds a whole new dimension to your phablet.
The new Galaxy Note 5 measures 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm and weighs in at 171 grams. It is slightly smaller than the Galaxy Note 4 and with the curved edges in the back, it is also easier to hold and operate in one hand. It is available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and Silver Titan in certain countries. It will cost you $696 for the 32GB model and $792 for the 64GB model.
…And The Winner Is…
This is a fairly easy one to pick in my mind – unless you must have the dual curved display – the Galaxy Note 5 wins this competition. While both devices are equal in specifications, it comes down to productivity and the Galaxy Note 5 offers more substance than the S6 Edge+. Don’t get me wrong, I love the curved display and if the S6 Edge+ included the S-Pen, I would be all over that bad boy. The curved display adds a WOW factor and offers a few niceties, but it cannot compare to the productivity you get from using the S-Pen and all of the software designed to take advantage of the S-Pen.
Then we must consider the price – you pay an extra $72 for those curved displays. For me, the lower price and S-Pen make the Galaxy Note 5 the winner of this comparison…and even if you do not use the S-Pen that much, you saved yourself some money and the S-Pen is always there, just in case you decide to take a quick note.