For a long while there, up until the Galaxy Note 3, I wasn’t a big fan of Samsung’s big phones. Their phablets. I wasn’t a fan of big phones in general, and while I’m not completely against them anymore, they’re still not my favorite. But since the Galaxy Note 3 made such an impact on me, and despite the fact I wasn’t all that impressed with the Note 4, I was still excited to check out the Note 5.
So yesterday, when Samsung announced the handset —along with the Galaxy S6 edge+— I went into the hands-on videos and reports thinking that this could be a device I’d pick up and use for a bit. Sure, I might replace it with the iPhone 6s next month, but that’s not a guarantee at this point. (I’m honestly just not at all interested in bringing Force Touch to my iPhone. Yet.) So, there I was earlier today hoping that the Note 5 could win me over.
It’s a nice enough looking device, that’s for sure. A larger collaboration between the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S6 in all the right ways. I couldn’t help but notice all the fingerprints on the back of the device as the hands-on videos played, but that’s just the nature of the beast these days.
I went through the videos, the text, and there’s really only one thing that stood out to me: The price.
Wow. The Galaxy Note 5 is an expensive piece of tech! $739 off-contract for the 32GB model, and $839 for the 64GB. And, just for fun, let’s throw in the Galaxy S6 edge+ in there, too: $815 for the off-contract price 32GB model, and $915 for the 64GB. That’s . . . That’s astounding. In all the wrong ways, at this point. I asked recently if folks might be moving away from flagships, and it feels like the Galaxy Note 5 (and Galaxy S6 edge+) might perfectly encapsulate why that might be the case. Because wow.
(Those no-contract prices are from AT&T. It’s worth noting that Sprint’s off-contract prices are a bit lower, but not by much.)
Throw in the fact that the Galaxy Note 5 loses its replaceable battery and microSD card support, two things that many would consider huge selling points of the lineup up until this point, and those prices almost seem ridiculous. Especially when Motorola’s undercutting Samsung by a vast margin, but still shelling out devices with ridiculously good specifications — and a ton more customization.
My favorite phone of the year so far is LG’s G4, and it comes with 32GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot. And a replaceable battery! And it costs “only” $670 from AT&T. That’s practically a steal for a superb device compared to Samsung’s offerings.
At this point, I think I’m sticking with Motorola or the next Nexus (which LG might be making the model I’d want!), because they’re delivering top-tier devices without making me think twice about how much I’m spending to get it. Don’t get me wrong, the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ seem like great devices, if not just bigger iterations of handsets already available from Samsung (the Note 5 stands out, simply because it has the features to), but I’m sure they’ll make plenty of owners out there happy.
Do you plan on picking up the Galaxy Note 5 or Galaxy S6 edge+?