The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ are almost the same device ... but not quite. Let's break down their many similarities and few key differences.
The two handsets have an almost identical footprint, but the Note 5 is 10 percent thicker than the edge+.
The Note 5 is also the heavier of the two, weighing in at 12 percent heavier.
Both devices have premium metal frames, though you get a bit more aluminum on the Note, since it doesn't have those curved displays on the sides.
You'll find glass on the back cover of both handsets, though it's curved on the Note 5's to make the device easier to grip in one hand. In this way, the two devices are like mirror images: curved glass front on the Edge+, curved glass back on the Note 5.
You'll get the same choice of colors with either handset.
Both devices have 5.7-inch displays.
No screen resolution differences either.
Ditto for the AMOLED panels you'll find on both flagships.
One of the Edge+'s biggest selling points is its curved screen, which slopes off on both sides.
In our review of its smaller sibling, we found the curves to be little more than a cosmetic perk (though that part was significant enough not to be taken lightly). But Samsung is also trying to frame the curves as an experience-enhancing innovation ...
Swiping in from the side of the Edge+'s curved display brings up five favorite contacts. Tap on one and you'll get an interactions menu with options to call or message your top friends. You can also assign five apps to the edge of the screen, giving you quick app-launching access wherever you are in the OS.
Another aspect of People Edge is the ability to color-code contacts, so you can discern who's contacting you just by looking at which color is flashing on the Edge Display. Not a showstopper, and it probably looks cooler in commercials than it
The Note line is famous for its active stylus, and Samsung made some improvements this year, adding a clickable end that makes it easier to pop the pen out of the handset. You can also now scribble notes on its black screen before you've even turned on the display.
Other advantages of the S Pen include the ability to take screenshots (now including long ones that span more than one screen length), clip only specific selections of your screen, annotate all your screenshots, jot notes on a virtual scratchpad and easily highlight text. Some people also prefer the precision that comes from using a stylus vs. a stubby finger.
Back to the categories that are identical (feel free to skip to the end if you don't want to see a lot of sameness), the smartphones make use of the exact same high-end Exynos processor.
It's top tier stuff here, with both devices packing 4 GB memory.
There's a choice of the same two different storage configurations with either handset.
Like other recent Samsung flagships, there's no microSD card slot here.
You'll find the same cameras on both the front and rear ends of both the Note 5 and S6 edge+.
That naturally goes for aperture as well.
... and Optical Image Stabilization
The Galaxy S6 edge has a slightly larger battery capacity than the GS6, but with Samsung's phablets it's all even.
You also won't be able to switch out the battery on either handset.
There's fast charging technology included on both devices, allowing you to quickly juice them up when their batteries are close to dead.
Both these handsets feature fast wireless charging, meaning you'll no longer need to choose between speedy and cable-free solutions. According to Samsung, you'll be able to get a full charge in just two hours.
The edge+ and Note 5 are compatible with Samsung's upcoming payment service.
There's a touch-based fingerprint sensor included on the front button of both handsets.
Either device will work with Samsung's Blackberry-like Keyboard Cover.
The handsets run on the same Lollipop flavor of Android, complimented by Samsung's own augmentation.
The devices are set to hit shelves this week.
Starting price (full retail)
Pricing varies from carrier to carrier, but on average we're looking at roughly a US$50 difference between the handsets. Based on our first impressions, we think the pen makes more sense than the curved screen anyway, so saving 50 bones only sweetens the pot.
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