Ugh: Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ & Note5 apes Apple iPhone

Testing times for Samsung. Will these new phablets do the job?

Samsung Galaxy Note5 S6 edge+ release date

Samsung announces Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note5 -- its new twin flagship Android phones. The release date is confirmed, with preorders now, which is odd.

The two devices have very similar internals, but one has the curved edge screen, and one has the pop-out pen. There are also notable omissions.

So will they be good enough to reverse Samsung's falling profits?

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ponder the future for the market-share leader. Not to mention: A fascination for the magical material Ferro Fluid...

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Updated 9:30 am and 2.34 pm PDT with more comment]

Timi "Burch" Cantisano recounts the reveal:

Samsung has finally made the Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ official. [They] share the same specifications, with the exception of the shape and design. ... The latest Exynos CPU...a whopping 4GB of RAM...a 16MP camera and support fast charging.

[They] will be available...August 21, preorders for the devices have already begun.  MORE

So which should people choose, Stephen Hall?

Samsung is touting the S6 Edge+ as “better for multimedia,” while the Galaxy Note 5 is “perfect for multitaskers.” ... The Note 5 features the infamous S Pen...and you can now jot down notes and ideas even when the screen is completely turned off.

They both sport a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display...a 64-bit octa-core Exynos wireless WiFi...Bluetooth 4.0, and storage options in both 32 GB and 64 GB.  MORE

Thankfully, Bogdan Petrovan doesn't get bogged down in speeds 'n' feeds:

Samsung is betting big on the Edge concept, and for good reason: despite a higher price, demand for the S6 Edge reportedly matched the “regular” Galaxy S6. ... Now Samsung is taking its Edge into phablet territory.

A bigger screen naturally makes for a bigger device: handling is still pretty good, provided you’re comfortable with large phones. ... You can triple tap the home button to bring up one-handed mode...double tapping will still open up the camera.  MORE

Rock me, Ron Amadeo: [You're fired -Ed.]

Samsung seems to be aiming for an all-around improvement in the "premiumness" of the devices. ... There's glass on the front and back, and the sides are made of a rounded metal...easier on the hands than the Galaxy Note 4's chamfered metal edges. 

The Note 5 has a unique back design. The...edges of the back curve toward the side of the phone, making...gripping the phone a lot easier—an important quality for a fragile, all-glass device.

The Note 5 is the only version equipped with Samsung's S-Pen. [It] slides flush in the device and pops out with a spring-loaded mechanism. [But] feels about as classy as a 30-cent Bic. ... Both devices get...a fast, accurate fingerprint reader.  MORE

But Ewan Spence waxes critical:

These two new handsets are meant to act as flagships for the second half of the year. ... Not only do I think that these phablets are not up to that task, they also weaken Samsung in the long-term. ... The big omissions [are] the lack of microSD card support and removable batteries.

Historically...the Galaxy Note range [had] a potent combination of size and power, and for a number of years there was genuinely nothing else close. ... [But] the loss of microSD support and the removable battery weakens the Galaxy Note 5 offering.

Something is wrong. ... A weaker hardware specification, with less money available for marketing, yet [Samsung] is expected to sell more handsets than last year, support the mobile division, and arrest the trend of falling profits. ... That’s asking far too much.

Just as Nokia, Palm, Ericsson and others fell away and could not arrest their decline, Samsung needs to do something more than create better efficiency savings.  MORE

Update 1: It gets worse. Lance Whitney boils with rage:

Looking for a high-capacity 128-gigabyte version? ... You're out of luck.

Hopes for a higher capacity arose Friday morning when Samsung's websites...listed three capacities -- 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. But the websites were in error...a Samsung spokewoman said, who added that the two new phones will be available only in 32GB and 64GB.

Samsung does offer a 128GB option for its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. ... Neither the Galaxy S6 Edge+ nor the Note 5 offer a microSD card slot to expand the storage.  MORE

Update 2: Anick Jesdanun stares at the calendar:

Samsung said Thursday that the new Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus will start shipping Aug. 21. ... Usually, Note phones don't come out until well after Apple's new iPhone. ... The timing reflects a shift in fortunes for a company that pioneered jumbo phones with the original Note in 2011.

They are comparable to Apple's 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the larger of the two new iPhones. Samsung's Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge...are closer in size to the regular iPhone 6.

Samsung also teased an upcoming smartwatch, the Gear S2. It will have a round face, rather than the rectangular design in Apple Watch. ... A video from Samsung suggests snazzy graphics to rival Apple Watch.  MORE

And Finally...
Ferrolic: A fascination for the magical material Ferro Fluid
[hat tip: Andy Baio]

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by , who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon