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Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 hands-on

Alex Kidman 19 August 2015 NEWS


The five most notable improvements on Samsung's new Android phones.

Samsung's latest premium smartphones carry premium price points, but with them, a number of features that you won't find on other phones.

Having spent some hands-on time with the Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5, here are the key highlights.

Slick design

It took Samsung a fair while to drop plastic designs in favour of full metal bodies. With the Note 5, the mix of glass and metal extends to a curved rear design that does sit quite well in the hand, but you'd want to be careful not to let it slip. The Galaxy S6 edge+'s curved screen is quite unique in the market, and the jump up in screen size to 5.7 inches further enhances the eye-catching nature of the edge design.

Quick cameras

The early signs for the 16MP camera on the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ are very positive indeed, with fast startup times and quick focusing ability. The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge were no slouch in this department, and the Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ appear to follow this trend.

Productivity tool or viewing experience? It's your choice

The Galaxy S6 edge+ has much the same hardware as the Galaxy Note 5 with one important exception: there's no included S-Pen. Samsung Australia's says many previous generation Note buyers purchased them but never particularly used the pen, and for them, the S6 edge+ provides the same experience with the addition of the edge contacts app found in the earlier S6 edge, along with an apps edge to quickly access your favourite apps. If you were part of the Note-buying crowd that loved the S-Pen, the new stylus pops out quickly and can be used to scrawl quick single-page notes without flicking the screen on.

Rapid charging

Both the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ support fast charging via the supplied chargers -- Samsung's claim is that you can fully charge either device in just 90 minutes from the wired charger, or in 120 minutes from the optional fast wireless charger. With sealed batteries, you can't swap and charge, so fast charging is a real boon.

Quick data

We haven't yet had opportunity to specifically test out the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+'s Category 9 LTE ability per se, but the appeal here is quite clear. The Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ will be the first CAT9 devices to launch in Australia, with both Telstra and Optus flagging network availability in metropolitan areas for downloads of up to 450Mbps down. Fast, in other words.

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