Review: New Phones, Tablets Keep Samsung at Android Helm

Samsung's new smartphones and tablets might not offer enough to entice current iPhone and iPad users to switch, but they keep Samsung at the head of the class among Android gadget makers.

The new Galaxy devices come weeks before comparable updates from Apple are expected. In a sense, if Samsung can't beat the competition in sales, it can at least beat it to store shelves.

Samsung has been facing competition not just from Apple but also from Android manufacturers such as Motorola and Xiaomi, which offer good-enough features while keeping prices low. Consumers will have to decide whether the premium features in the latest Samsung devices will be worth the premium price tags.

The Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and Note 5 phones arrived last week, while the Galaxy Tab S2 tablets come out next Thursday.

Here's a closer look at the devices:

Jumbo Smartphones

Samsung pioneered jumbo phones with the original Note in 2011, but lost its edge after Apple came out with its own, the iPhone 6 Plus. Samsung's new 5.7-inch phones seek to restore some of that edge.

Of the two, the Edge Plus is likely to appeal to more people. The screen's left and right edges are curved like a waterfall and blend into the phone's aluminum casing. You get a better grip and a more immersive viewing experience, even from an angle.

As with the smaller S6 Edge phone from this spring, you can access frequent contacts and have the edge light up in a different color, depending on who's calling. With your phone face down, you know whether the caller's important enough to interrupt a meeting. The Edge Plus model adds quick access to frequently used apps. The side screen also displays headlines and clock functions.

The Note 5 model comes with a regular, flat screen and is notable mostly for its stylus. It...

Comments are closed.