Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. Edge+: Advantage, stylus

The conventional wisdom is that the Samsung Galaxy Edge+ would top its more business-focused sibling Note 5. However, the stylus wins in the end.

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Samsung's launch of the Galaxy Note 5 and the Edge+ created a sibling rivalry that didn't necessarily make sense. The Note 5 was positioned for business and had Samsung's S-Pen stylus. The Edge+ had rounded edges on its screen sans the stylus.

Other than that difference, the devices were largely the same. In a perfect world, all of Samsung's Galaxy devices would have edge screens.

But since Samsung has created a situation where you have to choose between its large screen devices the recommendation is the Note 5. As Matthew Miller noted, that Note 5 is better for business tasks. And the ability to write, jot down ideas and take a few notes synched to various clouds gives the Note 5 an "edge" over its sleeker rival.

When testing both of Samsung's latest devices, I purposely opened the Note 5 first. Why? I expected the same reaction I had when the two Galaxy S6 devices launched. I opened up both, picked the sleeker Edge and totally forgot about the traditional Galaxy S6.

The two large screen rollouts delivered a different reaction. Here's why:

  • The Edge+ screen isn't that much of a differentiator. The edges almost seemed toned down to a large degree.
  • Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 doesn't yield much of anything to the Edge+ in terms of feel in the hand or bulk.
  • The S-Pen is enough of a differentiator to offset the Edge+ screen.

Samsung has positioned the Note 5 as a business tool and the Edge+ as a consumer device. The reality is that the features are largely the same and you could buy a stylus and play around with the Edge+.

Previously: Ten ways the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 excels for business use | Galaxy Note 5 review: Samsung's best sets the bar again | Samsung responds to Galaxy Note 5 S-Pen flaw | Samsung faces S-Pen, Galaxy Note 5 flap: Design flaw or overblown? | Samsung Galaxy Note 5, S6 Edge+ pricing: A dangerous, confusing game | Samsung launches Galaxy Edge+, Note 5, creates phablet sibling rivalry | CNET Note 5 first take

Shockingly to me, the Note 5 more than holds its own. In fact, I preferred it over the Edge+ much to my surprise.

In early sales data, tech buyers also apparently are favoring the Note 5. 1010data's research team found that the Note 5 is doubling the units of the Edge+. 1010data tracks e-commerce sites across its network. 1010data tracked preorders from Aug. 14 to Aug. 23 and found consumers ordered 5,000 units of the Edge+ and 10,000 for the Note 5. Those units trail the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launches by a wide margin.

For me, the S-Pen led the way and was the decisive factor. However, don't put the S-Pen in backward or you're going to potentially create some havoc for the device and you.

I'd still merge the devices into one Note, but Samsung likes to segment markets. My bet is the Note 5 beats its sibling over time.