Samsung has introduced the better, sleeker Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Note 5 updates to its mega-successful giant phone lineup.
Both new phones try to give users as much screen space and processing power as possible in a more solid and slimmer design than their giant-screened predecessors, the Note 4 and the Note 4 Edge (now rebranded S Edge+).
“With the launch of the Galaxy S6 edge+ and Note 5, we’re reemphasizing our commitment to bold, fearless innovation that meets the needs of our consumers,” said JK Shin, Samsung’s mobile CEO, during the company’s “Unpacked” event Thursday.
Pre-orders for the devices began on Thursday, and they will be available in AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and Best Buy stores Friday for people to play around with.
Here’s what you need to know about each device compared to their predecessors, the Note 4 and the Note 4 Edge.
The Galaxy Note 5
1. Slightly smaller and thinner. At less than 0.3 inches thin, six-inches long and less than three-inches wide, the Note 5 is smaller than the Note 4 without sacrificing any of its giant 5.7-inch screen size.
2. Better camera. Samsung bumped up the selfie camera to 5 MP in the Note 5 (up from 3.7 MP in the Note 4). Like the Galaxy S6 Edge+, video shot on the Note 5 can be viewed on a 4K TV, and there is also a full HD Live Broadcast feature, which lets you stream video privately or publicly.
3. An improved pen. The Note’s signature “S Pen” stylus got some upgrades. You can now write things down even when the screen is off. There’s a scroll capture feature, which will let you screen-shot an entire website from top to bottom, and a way to save an image of just part of a page.
4. Battery life could be a bit worse. The Note 4 had a 3220 milliampere battery, while the new Note 5 has a smaller 3000 mAh battery. It’s unclear yet what that will mean for battery life — sometimes software upgrades can improve battery-life more than smaller batteries shorten it.
5. Same two color options and two memory size options: black and white, and 32 GB and 64 GB.
Galaxy S6 Edge+
1. Screen is curved on both sides. Unlike the Note 4 Edge, which was only curved on the right side, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ curves on both edges. Similar to the smaller Galaxy S6 Edge, the Edge+ 5.7″ screen allows users to program shortcuts that can be accessed while the phone is face down.
2. Same camera, better filming and broadcasting. The Edge+ features a 16 MP rear camera and 5 MP front camera. Video shot on this phone should look good on a 4K TV, and there is a new live-stream feature which lets you broadcast to contacts or on YouTube live in HD.
3. Only two memory storage sizes. The new phone has a 4 GB RAM and comes in either a 32 GB or 64 GB size. (The Edge also has a 128 GB option.)
4. Battery should last longer, but it’s still not great. With 3000mAh, it’s exactly the same as last year’s Note 4 but a bit better than the Edge, which has a 2600mAh battery.
5. There are two colors options: black and gold.