There are many decisions that supermodel Chrissy Teigen makes in life that you or I will never have to address. Decisions such as which side of the Waffle House booth to sit in with Kanye and Kim, or which butt cheek to put the chicken wing on to tease husband John Legend. But some of the day-to-day choices that Teigen makes are more relatable, like whether to go with a Samsung Galaxy Note5 or the Galaxy S6 Edge+.
Teigen wrestled with the choice of phablet (and showed off her dog’s areola) in a clever Samsung ad, but instead of simply asking W.W.C.T.D. (What Would Chrissy Teigen Do?), we wanted to find out which device suited our needs better. So we got one Note5 and one S6 Edge+ and put them to the test for a week.
Here’s what we found.
Both the Note5 and S6 Edge+ have brilliant screens. I have been an iPhone user for a long time and probably drank the Kool-Aid a little bit when it comes to Apple’s display. But as soon as you power on these Samsung devices, you can see their superiority. It feels like that first time you saw an HD television at Best Buy 10 years ago and were blown away by how vivid the pictures were. Both Samsung devices have 5.7-inch screens with 1440 x 2560 pixels, but there really is something to the curved screen on the Edge+. When you’re scrolling through, Instagram, for example, the curved edges give pictures a more dynamic feel and they almost seem like they’re floating. The same image on the Note5 still looks sharp, but it can feel boxed in by the sides of the phone. Advantage: Edge+
The cameras on the two devices are the same. Each has a 16-megapixel rear camera with an f1.9 aperture for low-light photos. The rear camera can also shoot 4K video. The front camera on each is 5MP/f1.9 and shoots 1080p video. So as far as the actual act of taking pictures, it’s the exact same. However, when it comes to editing pictures, seeing them on the flat screen of the Note5 was nice since it didn’t alter the perspective at all. Of course, as noted above, once you have a finished product the viewing experience on the S6 Edge+ is great.
This is obviously where the Note5 and S6 Edge+ differ greatly. The Note’s design is pretty standard. It feels solid in your hand, but the flip side is that it also feels heavy. You can tell it when it’s in your pocket. For some people, that may not necessarily be a bad thing. Most phones have gotten so thin and light that you are in constant fear that they will fall out of your hand, especially if you have larger mitts. The distinctive rounded edges of the S6 Edge+ also work from an ergonomics perspective. Handling the device, the more angular edges sit comfortably and securely in your palm.
Advantage: S6 Edge+
The Note5 is positioned as a business device, hence the stylus. And if you’re going to be spending extensive sessions on your phone doing more than just scrolling through the ‘Gram or swiping on Tinder, the stylus comes in very handy. Even though it has a slim design, the S Pen feels good in your hand so you don’t think you’re writing with a toothpick. I found the handwriting recognition to be pretty accurate and only occasionally frustrating. And even when you are just swiping through various feeds, doing so with the S Pen was a nicer experience. The issue that I found was that I needed to tell myself to eject the stylus in order to take advantage of its benefits. For just a quick check of your phone it isn’t worth it and sometimes I’d be so involved in longer tasks that by the time I realized my experience would be better with the stylus it was too late. The S6 Edge+ obviously doesn’t have an S Pen. But the edge on the screen does more than look good. It can display notifications and launch frequently-used apps.
THE WINNER: S6 EDGE+
The S Pen stylus on the Note5 really is great and I can see people who do a lot of work on their phones loving the device, but the S6 Edge+ has a wow factor that is tough to beat. In the end, when you grab your phone out of your pocket, you want it to deliver a spark of joy and the S6 Edge+ does that.