With glass, metal and a number of hardware improvements, Samsung Electronics is hoping to entice consumers to spend big on its latest smartphones with large screens, the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+.
When Samsung launched the first Galaxy Note, few believed the concept would work, but the company correctly predicted the appetite for large screens. Now, though, it faces an arguably bigger challenge: convincing consumers to pay top dollar for the Note 5 and S6 edge+ as competitors have given up on charging as much for their top models as Apple does.
However, Samsung has given itself the ingredients for success with the Note 5 and S6 edge+, which the company launched at event in New York on Thursday.
"The demand for larger screens is bigger than ever," Samsung President and CEO J.K. Shin said at the New York event. "Bigger screens are great for moving between images and important files."
Samsung is "betting big" on smartphone owners using the devices as multimedia consumers and multitaskers, Shin added. The two new devices target those users, he said.
"If you want the best camera for sharing photos and videos on social media, we have the smartphone for you," Shin added. "And if you want help managing your life ... we have the Galaxy Note."
Samsung has taken the designs it premiered on the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge earlier this year and enlarged them. The Note 5 and S6 edge+ also have a glass back and a metal frame, which give them a classier look than previous Galaxy Note products.
However, this new level of luxury once again comes with a few drawbacks: Neither of the models are water resistant, have a user-replaceable battery or microSD card slot.
The battery capacity is 3,000mAh, slightly smaller than the Galaxy Note 4's 3,220mAh. Samsung partially makes up for that with quick charging and a power efficient processor. The devices also have wireless charging capabilities.
The decision to exclude expandable storage makes the new models stand out from a majority of their Android-based competition. Vendors such as Sony, LG, HTC, Motorola Mobility, Huawei Technologies and Asus have all included microSD card slots in their latest models. OnePlus and Xiaomi are siding with Samsung's view that expandable storage is no longer needed.
The rest of the Note 5 and S6 edge+ specifications are free of disappointments. They include the same Samsung-designed octa-core processor used in the existing S6, with 32GB or 64GB of integrated storage and, for the first time, 4GB of RAM. Add to that a 16-megapixel camera on the back and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. A fingerprint sensor is also included.
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