Trying not to be outdone by the new iPhones we expect to see announced on Sept. 9, Samsung has unwrapped a new line of Galaxy smartphones. According to a report from 9to5Mac, the Korean company has announced the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 as well as a larger version of the S6 Edge called the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge +. As if those weren’t enough announcements, the company also described a launch of its own mobile payments platform, Samsung Pay.
Both of the new phones have nearly identical specifications, with their 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display and 4GB of RAM. Both phones are scheduled to be available on Aug. 21. My assumption is that Samsung made the announcement and availability earlier than the new iPhones so they couldn’t be accused of copying Apple again. Releasing two phones under completely different names, but with almost the same specifications, seems like a rush job. The main difference between the two handsets is that the Note 5 features Samsung’s S Pen, redesigned with what 9to5Mac calls “a better build than previous pens.”
Mobile payments, Samsung style
Samsung Pay is scheduled to debut in the United States on Sept. 28, following a pilot launch in Korea in mid-August. After the U.S. launch, Samsung Pay will roll out to the United Kingdom, Spain, and China. The Note 5 and S6 Edge+ will have Samsung Pay included out of the box, and the Korean company states that a software update should roll out to other flagships later this month.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t we already have both Android Pay and Google Wallet? Why does Samsung need its own mobile payment platform? It seems like overkill to me, and is largely a move to say to Apple, “Look, we can do this, too.”
But wait, there’s more
Samsung didn’t stop at new phones or its payment platform. Oh, no, not at all. Samsung mentioned, but did not give many details of, its upcoming round-bodied Gear S2 smartwatch. The device seems to be running a proprietary Samsung operating system and the user interface looks strangely similar to that of Apple Watch. Samsung says that more details will be coming September 2015 at IFA in Berlin.
Now you know what a circular Apple Watch would look like pic.twitter.com/6J0cdifkdn
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) August 13, 2015
Samsung can announce all that it wants. I haven’t always been an iPhone user, and in fact have owned several Samsung phones. From my experiences, Samsung’s devices can’t hold a candle to the ease of use and beauty of the iPhone. Sure, the iPhone has its quirks and faults, but it runs much smoother than my Galaxy S5 did.