The new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a fantastic device, but then, so is the new Galaxy S6 Edge+. Is the Note the better phablet, or does the Edge+ have the, ahem, edge? There’s only one way to find out: in our Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy S6 Edge+ comparison.
Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy S6 Edge+: design and build quality
As you might expect from two flagships launched at the same time by the same company, the Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ are neck and neck when it comes to design and build quality. We think the Edge+ is slightly better looking, thanks to its rounded sides, but that’s really just personal preference.
Both devices look and feel well designed and well screwed together, although we’ll mention in passing that just like with the S6, there’s a pretty blatant iPhone 6 influence at play here. The Note 5 is slightly bulkier than the Edge+. It measures 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm and weighs 171 g; the Edge+ is 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9 mm and 153 g.
Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy S6 Edge+: display
The Galaxy Note 5 has a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display delivering 2,560 x 1,440 pixels at 518 ppi, and so does the Galaxy S6 Edge+, although the latter's display is slightly curved at the left and right edges. Both displays are absolutely superb: pin sharp with excellent color reproduction and good viewing angles.
As with any AMOLED, the display can be a little bright for some tastes, but that’s easy to adjust in each device’s Settings panel. The screens are protected with the latest generation of Gorilla Glass, which comes with claims of 80 percent better durability than the glass on some lesser smartphones.
Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy S6 Edge+: processor and storage
The Note 5 comes packing an eight-core Exynos 7420 processor, with four cores at 2.1 GHz and four at 1.5 GHz. In addition it houses 4 GB of RAM, and it’s backed up with either 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage, but no microSD card slot. The S6 Edge+ has exactly the same processor, RAM and storage options.
Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy S6 Edge+: camera
Both devices come with a 5 MP front-facing selfie snapper and a 16 MP rear camera with optical image stabilization. It’s the same camera and sensor as the current Galaxy S6, which has one of the best cameras currently on Android.
Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy S6 Edge+: software
Android M isn’t out yet, so you can expect both devices to ship with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and Samsung’s recently slimmed down TouchWiz. What really divides these two devices lies in the edge screen software features of the Edge+ and the S Pen options on the Note 5.
Though the Edge+ software has been improved since the Galaxy S6 Edge, it still doesn't provide essential functionality, just some nice extras. The Note 5's Air Command menu has also been refined but, similarly, its feature-set isn't groundbreaking. Though both devices offer unique functions, which is best will depend on your personal preferences. Check out the hands-on reviews linked at the top for a deeper look at the new software.
Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy S6 Edge+: battery
The two devices come with a 3,000 mAh battery, which is significantly larger than the 2,550 mAh unit you’ll find inside the Galaxy S6. They also get the same power saving and power management features we saw in the S6, so hopefully that means all-day battery life – something the Galaxy S6 doesn’t always manage.
The handsets support fast-charging, which tops the battery up by around a third in 15 minutes. A full charge takes around two hours using wireless charging or 90 minutes with a cabled charger.
Galaxy Note vs Galaxy 5 S6 + Edge: specs
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (with Touchwiz UI)
Android 5.1.1 Lollipop (with Touchwiz UI)
Super AMOLED 5.66-inch Quad-HD 1440 x 2560 pixels, ~ 519 pixels per inch Gorilla Glass 4 ~ 76% screen-to-body ratio
Super AMOLED: 5.67-inch Quad-HD 1440 x 2560 pixels, ~ 519 pixels per inch Gorilla Glass 4 ~ 76% screen-to-body ratio
- S Pen Stylus - Fingerprint Scanner - Fast charging, wireless charging
- Dual-edge display - Fast charging, wireless charging
Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy S6 Edge+: early verdict
The Note 5 and S6 Edge+ are not-quite-identical twins with some very similar specifications. The only real differences are the Note’s S Pen and that curved screen on the Edge+.
The curved display certainly looks great and the extra notification space can be useful, but if you don’t really care for curves the Note 5 screen delivers the same number of pixels in an identical but flatter display. There’s very little to choose between the devices in terms of comfort, either: the Note 5 is very slightly thicker while the Edge+ is very slightly wider, but the difference is hardly dramatic.
Ultimately, then, it comes down to the S Pen. If you want it, you need the Note; if you don’t, either device is equally likely to delight.
What do you think? Are the Note 5 and S6 Edge+ too similar, or is it good to have so many options from Samsung?