Samsung Unveils Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note5, and They're Big and Curvy

PHOTO: The Samsung Galaxy Note5 and S6 Edge+ phones on display in New York City.PlayTina Trinh
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Bigger is still better, according to Samsung.

At an event in New York City today, the company unveiled two new phones that build on the company’s penchant for larger smartphone screens.

The Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note5 both sport 5.7 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED displays. Building on the hardware design of its previous models, the Note5 has a curved back and a flat front display, while the S6 Edge+ sports a flat back and curved edges on the front display.

Onstage at Alice Tully Hall, Justin Denison, Samsung VP of Product and Strategy, stated that bigger screens have gone from a “nice-to-have to a must-have,” allowing consumers to get more done.

Of the two devices, the Galaxy Note5 is more productivity-focused. The Note5 comes with Samsung’s S-Pen stylus for jotting and writing notes. A new feature allows users to make notes directly on the phone screen, without having to power on or unlock the phone. One of the more unusual options for Note5 users is the keyboard cover, which provides a physical keyboard, reminiscent of traditional Blackberry devices, that can be snapped onto the lower-third of the phone.

Wireless charging is also built into both phones, as Samsung representatives today emphasized their move toward a “cord-free future,” citing similar wireless charging initiatives by companies like Starbucks and Ikea. A full wireless charge could be obtained on both phone models in 2 hours, according to Samsung.

Samsung is also betting on growth in the mobile payments arena, with the introduction of Samsung Pay. A service that will allow users to link their physical credit and store loyalty cards, Injong Rhee, Executive VP announced the company’s partnerships with major credit issuers and banks like MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Bank of America, Citi and Chase.

Both phones will be available in-stores on Aug. 21, with pre-orders starting online today. Pricing starts at $249 for the 32GB version of the Galaxy Note5 and $299 for the 32GB version of the Galaxy S6 Edge+.