Samsung Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+: Lofty Price, High-End Features - InformationWeek

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8/13/2015
03:03 PM
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Samsung Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+: Lofty Price, High-End Features

The Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ offer premium features, including luscious screens, Samsung Pay, classy frames, and premium pricing to match.

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Samsung today announced the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+. The handsets are top-of-the-line in every detail and represent Samsung at its finest. The price points are scary high, however, which may impact sales.

The Note 5 and S6 Edge+ will be sold in the US by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. The 32GB Note 5 starts at about $700, and the 64GB S6 Edge+ pushes $900. Yeah, ouch. Carriers will offer them through monthly payment plans, but you're looking at hefty payments of $25 to $45 a month, depending on the model you select.

The coup de grâce? Samsung Pay. The Note 5 and S6 Edge+ will be among the first Samsung handsets to support Samsung Pay, which launches in Korean Aug. 20 and in the US Sept. 28. Samsung claims users will be able to pay almost anywhere credit cards are accepted. It has signed up American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa, as well as banks such as Bank of America, Chase, Citi, and USBank.

The Note 5 and S6 Edge+ can be preordered beginning today, and will reach stores August 21.

[ Who's really winning the smartphone game? Read iPhone Vs. Android: Apple's Success Only Goes So Far. ]

If you take the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which Samsung debuted in March, and increase the dimensions a smidge, you get the Note 5 and the S6 Edge+. These new handsets are simply larger versions of what Samsung produced earlier this year, though Samsung was sure to trick them out with several unique features to make them a bit more compelling.

The Note 5 and S6 Edge+ feature 5.7-inch displays with Quad HD (2560 by 1440) resolution. The Note 5 has a flat screen, and the Edge+ has a curved screen. The screens are luscious to behold. The phones are powered by Samsung's Exynos 7420 processor, a 64-bit octa-core monster with four cores at 2.1GHz and four cores at 1.5GHz. They are accompanied by a stunning 4GB of high-speed RAM, and the handsets come with either 32GB or 64GB of storage. (Nope, no 128GB model.)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5
(Image: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

(Image: Samsung)

The devices are made by two glass panels (Gorilla Glass 4) glued together by an aluminum frame. The frames are rather thin, but feel strong and give the phones rigidity and a classy look. There's no getting away from the dimensions. Both measure close to three inches wide. That makes them somewhat difficult to use with one hand. They are slightly smaller than last year's model, and are also a wee bit lighter.

Shared features include 16-megapixel main cameras that can record 4K video and broadcast it live to YouTube, as well as 5-megapixel selfie cameras. The phones support most wireless networks, including LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, WiFi, and NFC. The batteries carry capacities of 3,000mAh, and can be charged lickety-split thanks to QuickCharge technology. They are compatible with both major forms of wireless charging, and can reach a full charge wirelessly in two hours. Samsung didn't make any claims about battery life.

The Note 5 has a revised S Pen Stylus tucked into its bottom edge. It's a trick-click to pop it out. Samsung updated the S Pen software, which now offers the Air Command feature as a constant home screen companion for quicker access.

The S6 Edge+ has software that delivers notifications and content to the side edges of the display. For example, the Edge+ can be set to warn people of incoming messages, calls, and emails, or deliver breaking new alerts.

They each run Android 5.1 Lollipop with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface. New features include Knox enterprise-grade security and SideSync 4.0 for seamlessly connecting to PCs for transferring files.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio

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Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2015 | 8:10:35 AM
Re: Samsung
"I do have a hard time looking at the price of a phone and being able to buy a decent laptop for that price but I've been burned by less expensive phones and been driven near insanity by "cheap" phones"

SaneIT, now a day's Smartphones are almost equivalent to Laptops in terms of computational power. The only difference is in terms of screen size. The recent Smart phones are of having 64 bit Octa and Hexa core processors with 4-8 GB RAM, separate processors for graphics etc. 
Gigi3
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0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/21/2015 | 7:59:16 AM
Re: Samsung
"Sounds like I'll be putting my hands on an Asus phone in the future to see how they match up.  That's a big price difference if the build quality is the same"

SaneIT, I got an Asus Zenfone2 for approximately 400USD, having Intel atom 2.3 GHz, 64 bit quad core processor with 4 GB RAM, Android 5.1 and 5.5" screen, 13 M Pixel camera, 3000mAH Battery etc. The same from Samsung will cost you more than double of this price.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2015 | 8:26:00 AM
Re: Samsung
Sounds like I'll be putting my hands on an Asus phone in the future to see how they match up.  That's a big price difference if the build quality is the same.  I do have a hard time looking at the price of a phone and being able to buy a decent laptop for that price but I've been burned by less expensive phones and been driven near insanity by "cheap" phones.
Gigi3
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0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2015 | 6:21:49 AM
Re: Samsung
"  I can't say that same about the HTC or Motorola devices, if you are frustrated every time you pick up your phone or you have to replace it three times in the span that you'd own one better built phone then the price difference is easier to accept.  Of course I'd like to have the prices come down but that's the market I guess. "

SaneIT, this time I have changed my phone from Samsung to Asus. We can have the same or at par configured Asus phone by 20-40% lesser than that of Samsung.
Gigi3
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0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2015 | 6:15:59 AM
Re: Samsung
"I've had several Samsung phones, they have been far better than any of the other Android phones that I have had including HTC, Motorola and LG.  What's probably surprising is I would place the LG phones ahead of everything but the Samsung phones. "

SaneIT, you may be right about the functionality or quality when compare with their competitors, but my question is "Is it worth for the premium price'. Now S6 and S6 Edge are in Indian market for approximate price of (INR 56000 = 1000 USD). But No sales and forced Samsung to slash the price to 15-20%
SaneIT
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50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
8/14/2015 | 8:06:29 AM
Re: Samsung
I've had several Samsung phones, they have been far better than any of the other Android phones that I have had including HTC, Motorola and LG.  What's probably surprising is I would place the LG phones ahead of everything but the Samsung phones.  There is a clear build quality difference and I tend to carry them until they are well beyond the corporate replacement period because I don't have problems with them and don't want to give them up.  I can't say that same about the HTC or Motorola devices, if you are frustrated every time you pick up your phone or you have to replace it three times in the span that you'd own one better built phone then the price difference is easier to accept.  Of course I'd like to have the prices come down but that's the market I guess. 
Gigi3
100%
0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/14/2015 | 5:53:45 AM
Re: Samsung
"Samsung gets hardware design. But the fact that it would name its software "TouchWiz" suggests the company doesn't get upscale marketing for a US audience. Don't evoke Cheez Wiz if you're trying to convey a premium experience."

Thomas, Samsung themselves compare their Smartphones with IPhone and trying to fix the prices at a premium level. Whether Samsung products are justifiable with their pricing & Quality? I never found its worth for the price.
Gigi3
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0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/14/2015 | 5:50:49 AM
Price war
"Samsung today announced the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+. The handsets are top-of-the-line in every detail and represent Samsung at its finest. The price points are scary high, however, which may impact sales."

Eric, Samsung introduced these products a month back in Asian market and found sales were very less due to high price. Last week they announced that they are slashing the price to 10-15% for all these models for increasing the sales. Let's see how it's going to work it out.  Asus recently introduced Zenfone 2, an at par model with Samsung S6; for half of its price.
Thomas Claburn
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50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/13/2015 | 5:32:48 PM
Samsung
Samsung gets hardware design. But the fact that it would name its software "TouchWiz" suggests the company doesn't get upscale marketing for a US audience. Don't evoke Cheez Wiz if you're trying to convey a premium experience.
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