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

Galaxy Note5 and S6 Edge+: Wrap Up

The octal-core Exynos 7420 at the heart of the Samsung Galaxy Note5 and S6 Edge+ isn’t brand new. It is the same SoC that powers the original Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, so we had a good idea as to how the Note5 and Edge+ would perform. Samsung did make some tweaks on the software side, however, and also added additional memory to these devices (4GB vs. 3GB), so the overall experience and general performance is somewhat better with these new, larger devices.

Most of our benchmarks showed the Galaxy Note5 and S6 Edge+ running neck and neck with the original Galaxy S6. In the browsing and graphics related tests though, these new Samsung flagships pulled somewhat ahead. System level benchmarks didn’t show much of a performance difference, but in real world use, the experience is enhanced by the additional memory—running many apps, switching between them, etc. is buttery smooth.
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The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ And Note5 - Find Them At Amazon

The larger form factor also helps distinguish the Galaxy Note5 and S6 Edge+ from their predecessors. We understand that a 5.7” screen isn’t ideal for everyone. But once you’ve become accustomed to the additional screen real estate, it’s difficult to go back to smaller devices. And a 5.7” display seems to straddle the sweet spot. Although the size difference may not seem dramatic, 6” smartphones feel more unwieldy to most people, in our opinion. In addition, the design of these devices makes them easier to hold in the hand. If you’ve been considering a new large-screen smartphone, it’s absolutely worth checking these new Samsung devices out, especially since their displays are currently some of the best out there for smartphone display technology on the market.

Save for a couple of features, the Galaxy Note5 and S6 Edge+ are very similar. The Note5 includes Samsung’s S-Pen and some additional software to support it, while the S6 Edge+ eschews the stylus in favor of a beautiful curved screen and associated bezel that gives the device a slimmer feel. Both of the phones sport all of the Android goodness of the original S6 / S6 Edge, with some tweaks to the camera app for more stable video, along with quick charging capabilities (you can fully charge the phones in roughly 90 mins), and fast wireless charging options too. Finally, the cameras in these phones are top notch as well, producing some of the best stills and video we've taken from a smartphone.

Depending on your perspective, there are a couple of drawbacks to these devices, however. The same design choices that give the Galaxy Note5 and S6 Edge+ their premium build quality and feel, are what make their batteries non-removable. Neither device has expandable storage via microSD card either. If those features are what made the Note 4 (or previous versions) attractive to you, the Note5 and Edge+ may not be quite as appealing. There is also cost to consider. The Samsung Galaxy Note5 starts at $249 on-contract for the 32GB version; the Galaxy S6 Edge+ will set you back $299 for the 32GB version. Of course, pricing shoots up considerably should you want either device off-contract.

Those prices are certainly high in light of some of the excellent, much more affordable smartphones from this past year, but there are clearly more than a few reasons why Samsung can charge a premium here. The Samsung Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ are easily two of the best large-screen smartphones we have put our hands on thus far.

  • Gorgeous Displays
  • Premium Build Quality, Look And Feel
  • Good Battery Life
  • Excellent Cameras
  • Fast Charging (Including Wireless)
  • Bleeding-Edge Features
  • Somewhat Pricey
  • Potential Note5 S-Pen Issue
  • Edge apps lack luster

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