A few days ago, Samsung flew me off to New York City — via invitation to the newspaper I work for — to attend their Samsung Unpacked event, where media people around the world got to preview the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+.
Along the way, they loaned us one of their sample units, the Galaxy Note 5. As much as I can say about it, it’s a well-built device. Probably something Samsung needs to step up from their glorious cascading down the waterfall. For one thing, the chassis is all metal, front and back are Gorilla Glass 4, with the latter having an extra layer of coating (or so Sammy says) that reduces fingerprints. My experience, the fingerprints are still ever present, though they don’t really get into your face as much. And I’m really glad they ditched the false leather used on previous Notes — premium-look my ass. The back paneled glass does its job right in making money’s worth, to the very least.
“premium-look my ass”
The one thing Samsung executives kept saying was the screen is bigger but the phone is smaller. It’s actually true, surprisingly. It doesn’t feel like a phablet, it feels like a slightly big phone, which feels damn good in the hand. And another surprise, Sammy finally decided to ditch all the stupid bloatware that everyone just takes off as soon as they power up their devices. No more crappy gimmicks, just straightforward boring with no additives whatsoever. They threw in the Screen Off writing menu, where you click out the S Pen and jot stuff down in the screen even while the Note 5 is asleep. I found this practical, and is probably the only cool and useful feature Samsung has ever put in their device, ever.
The last interesting thing for the Note 5, is the S Pen. They added a useless “click” mechanism in order to bring the spirit of a ballpoint pen as close as possible, and as useless it is, it just adds some “fun value” to it, which is kinda sweet honestly.
Galaxy S6 Edge+
I wish I also have a sample unit of the S6 Edge+, but that went off to someone else. But I did get to play with it for a while. The thing about the S6 Edge+ is it’s basically just the S6 Edge, only bigger. If you aren’t familiar with it, the S6 Edge and Edge+ have this thing called People Edge, where swiping the curved part of the screen will bring out your favorite contacts. The Edge+ amplifies this by letting you “poke” those fave contacts by sending them emoticons or doodle-stuff. Another thing the Edge+ has is the Apps Edge, which is this time around, your fave apps. It’s all for novelty really. If you wanted to text one of your fave people, there’s a good chance they’re all ready on top of your list of Message app. That “poke” BS only works if the person you’re poking also has an Edge+ device. Also, despite having two curved edges, only one side can be used as once, and whichever side is used is up to you if you’re a lefty or a righty.
“That “poke” BS only works if the person you’re poking also has an Edge+”
My verdict: The Galaxy Note 5 is an awesome device. If you think it’s about time to update, then sure, the Note 5 is a solid option, no questions asked. Get the Edge+ if you like a new Samsung device that’s pretty fancy. There’s other stuff to talk about with these two devices. The 3,000mAh battery for instance, with the ridiculous Quad HD screen and it’s power hungry specs sheet, of course the battery won’t last long — especially if you’re up for gaming and movie watching. But hey, at least they’ve got fast charging and wireless fast charging (wireless charger sold separately) — and for Samsung, that’s good enough to compensate for the battery.