Samsung Galaxy Note5 And Galaxy S6 Edge+ Review: More Of A Good Thing

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Introducing The Note5 and S6 Edge+

Samsung has done very well with a couple of key design elements in their previous smartphone offerings, curved displays and the larger format Galaxy Note line. The Galaxy Note series has done especially well for the brand, with a user base that doesn't mind a bit more heft in exchange for more screen real estate, as well as other unique functionality that comes with the Note series. So too have Samsung "Edge" devices like the Galaxy Note Edge and Galaxy S6 Edge, which offer curved glass styling that turns heads and offers some additional differentiating functionality of its own. 

Samsung is intent on capitalizing further on those successes in both their larger 5.7 inch Super AMOLED displays and also curved designs, with the all new Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+. Both phones are plus-sized offerings, sporting a spacious  5.7 inches of QDH visibility at a 2560X1440 resolution, though one device is targeted at the pen stylus wielding types among us, while the other toward those who like 'em both big and curvaceous. In addition, Samsung is also forging ahead with the same great design signature found on their smaller, 5.1-inch Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge devices, strapped with all aluminum and glass designs that exude quality at every angle.

And we of course have one of each of these new pocket powerhouses here at our disposal for testing and evaluation.
Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus front white
But before you dive into their specs and our detailed analysis, let's take you on a guided video tour of both the Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+, because nothing gives you a feel for the road, like a good test drive...


Samsung Galaxy Note5 and S6 Edge+
Specifications & Features
OS Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) with TouchWiz
CPU
64-bit 2.1 GHz quad-core + 1.5GHz quad core (Exynos 7420 Octa-Core)
GPU
Mali-T760MP8
Memory
4 GB RAM
32/64/128GB storage
Display

5.7-inch Super AMOLED (1440x2560 pixels)

Curved Display Technology On The S6 Edge+

Rear Camera
16 MP Rear-facing Camera
Optical Image Stabilization
BSI image sensor
1080p video recording
Front Camera
5MP Front-facing Camera
Network
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 17(700) - G920T
LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 17(700), 20(800) - G920A
Wireless
NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz), A-GPS, GLONASS
Ports
3.5 mm stereo audio jack, micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port
Size
171 grams - Note5, 153 grams - S6 Edge+
153 x 76 x 7.6 mm - Note5
154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9 mm - S6 Edge+
Battery
3000 mAh
Color Options
Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum
Price
$649.99 off-contract; $200 - 299 with 2-year agreement: AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular

A quick run-down of the specs shows these two new Samsung juggernauts are built with basically the same platform as the Galaxy S6 family. However, there are a couple of key upgrades and updates that have been brought to the table. The first to note (no pun intended) is the 4GB of RAM upgrade over any previous generation Samsung phone. Where the GS6 and other Note devices have had 3GB on board for quite some time, this is the first smartphone we've had in house and a first for Samsung with a full 4GB put-up. It will be interesting to see the performance variances (if any) in the benchmarks ahead.

note5 edge plus front
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note5, Side By Side

Beyond that, this dynamic duo also received a Bluetooth 4.2 upgrade as well as tweaks to their camera optical image stabilization algorithm for video capture. Finally, what you don't see on the spec table above is that Samung has added support for live video streaming directly to YouTube. We'll dig into that feature, and the whole big, sexy shootin' match, on the pages ahead.

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