If you're having trouble keeping up, we don't blame you. Samsung bludgeoned us today with a bevy of new products. Smartphones. Payment systems. It even teased a new round smartwatch. It was one hell of a liveblog.
There's a lot that's new, but also a lot that's building upon products we've become intimately familiar with over the past several months. There's definitely something for most everyone here.
So let's break it all down in one easy-to-digest post.
Galaxy Note 5
A new Galaxy Note comes out each fall, but this is the earliest we've seen one. Getting out ahead of the new iPhones? Looking to supplant the Galaxy S6, which (depending on who you ask) isn't selling like Samsung had hoped? Who knows. Fact is we've got a pretty sexy new phone. It's done in this year's Galaxy style — we wouldn't blame you for mistaking the two in a standalone picture — with a 5.7-inch QHD display, Exynos processor, S Pen stylus, 4GB of RAM and either 32 or 64GB of storage.
The rear camera is Samsung's excellent 16-megapixel shooter with optical image stabilization. But like the other Galaxy phones of 2015, it's lost the removable battery and external storage. And the battery it does have "only" has a 3,000 mAh capacity, down about 7 percent from last year's model, and the same size as any number of "normal" smartphones. No curvy sides on this one, but the back of the phone is a nicely rounded.
The really good news? You'll be able to get one anywhere. Erm, except Europe. Because apparently Europe isn't part of everywhere.
Galaxy S6 edge+
Was the original Galaxy S6 edge just too small for you? Were you left wishing you had something bigger but was pretty much exactly the same in every other way? (And do you have a good way to unload an otherwise relatively young Galaxy S6 edge?) Then this is the phone for you! The new GS6 edge+ is awkwardly named, sure, but it's basically a bigger (and better?) GS6 edge. We've gone from 5.1 inches up to 5.7 inches. Same size as the new Galaxy Note 5, but with curved sides. The battery also is increased a little bit, gaining 15 percent more capacity at 3,000 mAh. Plus, Samsung's new "fast-charge" wireless charging promises to fill you up 1.4 times faster.
We've known for a while that Samsung Pay is coming. And, in fact, it's still coming. But now we know when Samsung's mobile payment system (not to be confused with Apple Pay or the eventual Android Pay) is, in fact, coming. It'll launch in South Korea on Aug. 20, and in the United States on Sept. 28 (with America getting a beta trial starting Aug. 25). Other countries initially named for Samsung Pay include the UK, Spain and China.
Samsung Pay will work with the Galaxy S6 phones, as well as the Galaxy Note 5, and it'll work in conjunction with the phones' fingerprint scanners for security. It'll use NFC for contactless payments as we know them today, and it'll also use "Magnetic Secure Transmission" to emulate the magnetic stripe on a card.
And while we're definitely excited for it to finally launch, we're also well aware that contactless payments haven't quite taken over the world just yet. But we're optimistic.
Gear S2 smartwatch
This one's just a teaser for now, but Samsung's getting ready to drop a new Gear smartwatch on us in a few weeks at the IFA conference in Berlin. (We'll be there, of course.) The Gear S2 is a round smartwatch — the first truly round one that Samsung's done. Like its current crop of smartwatches, it'll run the Tizen OS and not Android Wear, and presumably it'll only work with Samsung smartphones. (Though we'd really love to see that change.)
And that's basically all we've got at the moment. We'll find out more the first week of September.
So you're getting a shiny new Note 5 or GS6 edge+, but all you really want to do is use a physical keyboard with it. What's a nerd to do? Well, Samsung's got you covered — OK, part of your phone, really — with this fairly unimpressive keyboard cover deal. It starts as a cover/case, and it'll protect the back and display of the phone. But you also can attach the physical keyboard to it. And we do mean "physical," as it works by physically pressing on the screen or the buttons on the bottom of the phone. The keys themselves aren't all that great. But for some folks out there this is going to be a big deal. I'll cost $80 for the pleasure.
That's a lot, for sure, but we'll have plenty more coverage as devices become available! Stay tuned!
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