Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+, but announced that only the S6 Edge+ will be coming to the UK
Samsung unveiled two new flagship smartphones at its “Unpacked” event in London today – the Galaxy S6 Edge+, a larger version of the Galaxy S6 Edge, and the Galaxy Note 5, an update to the Note range that takes design cues from the Galaxy S6.
“It boils down to a business prioritisation more than anything else. We’ve decided to roll out first with the S6 Edge+, just to leverage on the S6 Edge launch,” said David Kang, vice president of online at Samsung Mobile.
“That’s not to say that we’re not going to launch the Note 5 shortly thereafter, it’s just that for Europe that’s not the prioritisation.”
The S6 Edge+, which is expected to reach the UK in on September 4, has a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display and the same curved glass design that debuted with the S6 Edge. Samsung said pre-orders would open on August 18 – next Tuesday.
The phone features a new aluminium frame, which Samsung claims is 1.7 times stronger and 1.3 times more scratch-resistant than its predecessor, and a super-slim bezel, which means that the overall device is narrower than some smartphones with 5.5-inch displays.
Samsung is pushing the S6 Edge+ as a multimedia device, and has introduced several new video features such as steady video recording with face recognition on the front-facing camera, for smoother selfie-videos, and native live broadcasting supported by YouTube.
It has also added new video editing options, such as “collage mode”, which allows users to film several videos and have them playing back side-by-side in a collage, and series mode, which allows you to cut together several video clips into a continuous film.
Audio quality has also been improved, with the addition of a ultra high-quality (UHQ) upscaler, so the ordinary MP3s on your phone can be upscaled to 24-bit 192kHz sound, and a dedicated clock to minimise sound distortion and noise.
Samsung has even developed its own UHQ Bluetooth codec, so users can stream music from their S6 Edge+ smartphone to a Samsung Galaxy Pro headset or speaker via Bluetooth, and still experience premium quality sound.
“Being that it is a large-screen device, we really wanted to put a lot of effort into making it a more-enhanced multimedia experience,” said Richard Knight, head of product management at Samsung UK.
In terms of the core specs, the S6 Edge+ is not hugely different from its predecessor. It has the same processor as the S6 Edge, the octa-core Exynos 7, and the same camera combination (16MP on the back and 5MP on the front). It also features Samsung’s “defense-grade” security platform, Knox.
Samsung has improved its wireless charging technology, so despite having a bigger battery than the S6 Edge (3000mAh compared to 2600mAh), the S6 Edge+ takes one hour less to charge wirelessly. Wired charging takes 5 minutes longer than on the S6 Edge.
The S6 Edge+ also comes preloaded with SideSync 4.0 which allows users to sync their smartphone with their PC over WiFi and easily move images and files between devices by dragging and dropping. they can even manage incoming text messages and phone calls from their PC.
As well as the “People Edge”, that was introduced with the Galaxy S6 Edge and allows people to quickly call, text or email their most frequent contacts, Samsung has added an Apps Edge, that allows them to quickly access their favourite applications.
The People Edge has also been enhanced, so users can now send pokes, pictures and emoticons to their top contacts as well as calls, texts and emails.
The Galaxy Note 5, which Samsung was keen to stress may roll out in other markets in the future, has almost exactly the same specs as the S6 Edge+.
Apart form having a flat screen and a stylus that pops out of the bottom, the only real difference is that the Note 5 is ever so slighly bigger and heavier (153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm, and 171g).
The mid-August launch puts Samsung’s new smartphones on the market ahead of arch-rival Apple’s next iPhones. The US company is reportedly preparing for its largest initial production run for new phones so far by the end of the year.
Samsung is seeking to rebound from a disappointing 2014, when its annual profit hit a three-year low as smartphone earnings slumped.
Though Samsung’s earnings are recovering, its second-quarter guidance of a 6.9 trillion won (£4 billion) operating profit fell short of market expectations, following a supply shortage of the Galaxy S6 Edge.