The Note 5 is like the Note 4, but newer. Actually, while that introduction would generally be true, this year's model received the drastic redesign Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S6. Bye bye plastic and microSD card slot, hello glass and... no microSD card slot.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is really the only game in town when it comes to a 2015 flagship with a stylus, but the US carriers want so much coin for it—over $700 most places. You can get a brand new unlocked Note 5 on eBay right now for $590. That's a much better deal.
The Galaxy S6 edge+ is a large Galaxy S6 edge. If you want this phone distilled to its essence, there it is. It is derivative. That is its sole reason for existing, and if that is the bar to meet, the Galaxy S6 edge+ meets it with unforgiving literalness and exacting precision.
The Galaxy Note 5 is a large Galaxy S6... with a pen. And a curved backplate (a reverse edge, if you will). The Note 5 is very clearly defined not by the Note device that preceded it, but by Samsung's larger "premium" corporate brand image unveiled with the S6, and makes all but a complete break from last year's device except in regard to the stylus.
T-Mobile has been pushing some new network technologies lately, like the Advanced Messaging platform announced a few months back. Now it's moving on to video calling by adding native support to its network for select devices. It will require a software update to use, but the experience of placing a video call should be somewhat less annoying.
While the Note 5 and S6 edge+ are far from the first Samsung phones with reported issues killing background tasks with unusual aggressiveness, they are the first ones with four freaking gigabytes of RAM to do so. We've long assumed that Samsung's background task issues on certain handsets are related to a lack of RAM headroom due to TouchWiz, and yet, the Note 5 and S6 edge+ may exhibit the most aggravating task killing of any Samsung devices we've yet seen. Let's cut to the video for a complete explanation. (I realize it's long, but I'd recommend watching all the way through to see what's going on here.)
The issue was readily reproducible on both our S6 edge+ and Note 5 review units, and we aren't the first people to point this out.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 are going to launch in a huge number of countries around the world starting next week, despite having been unveiled just a few days ago.
The general take of the Android Police team is that both phones are essentially blown-up Galaxy S6s. The S6 Edge+ is, of course, a giant S6 Edge. The Note 5 is basically an S6 with a stylus. (Oddly, though, both lack the S6's infrared blaster.)
They use the same basic version of TouchWiz, the same basic version of Android, and have very similar styling. They have the same chipset, the same RAM, the same storage, the same cameras, and the same display technology and resolution.
If you've been watching today's coverage of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ with bated breath, you won't have to wait too long to pick one up from an American carrier. All five major US networks have confirmed that they'll be carrying Samsung's new flagships, with varying degrees of availability and pre-order status. The official release date from Samsung is August 21st, and AT&T is already selling phones. Here's the breakdown for the other carriers:
Big Red is already taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5. The S6E+ can be had for a whopping $768 in its standard 32GB model or $864 for the 64GB model (ouch) at unlocked prices.
Here's something you already knew about the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ before today's announcement—both devices are expensive. Samsung charged a ton for its massive phones before, and nothing about introducing more premium materials into this year's iterations says cheap. So you're looking at parting with uncomfortably close to a grand by the time taxes are factored into the equation.