Are you are in the market for a flagship Android smartphone, but you do not know what to buy? This is totally understandable, as there are many from which to choose. Let me save you some trouble -- stick to Samsung. Sure, there are other great phones from other manufacturers, but Samsung takes things to another level. Its Touchwiz enhancements are actually an improvement over the stock Android experience, while its hardware are often works of art.
But hold on there, I know what you are wondering; which Samsung flagship should you choose? True, the company does have two Android smartphones which are worthy of your hard-earned money -- the Galaxy Note5 and the Galaxy S6 edge+. Both phones are wonderful, and you should be happy with either, but after extensive testing, I have a definitive answer as to which is better.
Both phones feature a 5.7 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, but the difference is, the edge+ offers curved edges on the right and left. When viewing photos or watching movies, the curves do improve the experience, making the media pop. It is very immersive and pleasing.
Unfortunately, the curved edges are simply not worth the trouble. When surfing the web or reading documents, text sometimes reaches the edge of the display, meaning the curves negatively impact the reading experience. I am not reading novels on my smartphone, but on more than one occasion, I have been annoyed by the curve while perusing a website, studying a PDF or reading an email as the text looks bent.
The curved display also impairs my ability to hold the phone. The edges of the phone are very thin, so case manufacturers have had to design with this in mind. The result? Cases that hurt my fingers and seemingly offer less protection. Even holding it "naked" (sans case) is an uncomfortable affair.
There are enhancements for the curved display, such as viewing notifications and swiping inwards to bring up menus, such as favorite contacts or apps, but it is just gimmicky. In fact, I activated these menus mistakenly more often than on purpose.
The Note5 offers a traditional non-curved display, which remedies all of my complaints about the edge+. I can hold it comfortably, and traditional case-designs offer solid protection.
My dilemma with the Note5, was that I didn't want nor need the S-pen -- or so I thought. After spending a lot of time using the stylus, something unexpected happened -- I liked it.
While I still subscribe to the theory that a stylus should never be a needed part of the operating system's interface, I do now see value for other things. It has been a godsend for quickly taking notes, but fun too, as I have drawn many doodles to pass the time.
Here's the thing though, even if you do not want nor need an S-pen, the Note5 is wonderful regardless. In other words, even if you never take the stylus out of the phone, it is still the best Android phone on the market today. It offers Samsung's legendary build quality, beautiful Touchwiz enhancements, and a history of solid support. The company will offer software updates to its flagships for years to come.
Overall, both phones share mostly the same specs, offering gorgeous displays, class-leading cameras, fast wireless charging, fingerprint readers and insane performance, so you can't go wrong either way. The Galaxy Note5 is the indisputable better smartphone, however, and is even less expensive than the edge+.
Do you agree that the Note5 is better than the S6 edge+? Tell me in the comments.