As expected, Samsung Electronics unveiled two new phablets, the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+, and also got strong support from all of the major U.S. carriers. However, each carrier is rolling out its own promotions to entice customers to switch or upgrade when they buy the new smartphones, which are largely identical in terms of their specifications.
Samsung announced the newest member of its Note family weeks earlier than it normally does and also announced the S6 Edge+, a larger-screen variant to the S6 Edge, which features a dual-edge screen that users can access content on apart from the main front-facing screen. Samsung is banking on the larger-screened phones to help it regain momentum in the smartphone market during the back-to-school shopping season and ahead of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) expected September launch of its newest iPhones.
"Both of these beautiful smartphones offer an immersive viewing experience, but they fit right in the palm of your hand," Samsung co-CEO JK Shin said at a media event in New York City to announce the phones. "The screens are bigger, but the phones are actually smaller and these are the thinnest devices ever built with screens this size."
Both phones run on Android 5.1 Lollipop and are powered by Samsung's own 64-bit Exynos 7420 octa-core processor. The gadgets have 5.7-inch Super AMOLED screens with quad HD resolution. The phones support Cat. 6 LTE, have a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization, a front-facing 5-megpaixel camera, 4 GB of RAM and a 3,000mAh battery that supports both the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi and Power Matters Alliance wireless charging standards.
The Note 5 and S6 Edge+ will be available with 32 GB or 64 GB of internal memory, though pricing will vary from carrier to carrier, depending upon which device payment option customers choose. The phones will generally be available in carrier and retail stores starting Aug. 21.
However, the carriers are looking to set themselves apart through their promotional offers. Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), which is taking pre-orders for the phones starting at 3 p.m. Eastern Time today, said that for a limited time, customers can trade in any smartphone and get a minimum $200 when purchasing a new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ or Note 5. The traded-in phone must be in good working condition. Additionally for a limited time, customers can switch to Verizon and get a $100 bill credit within two to three billing cycles for each new smartphone purchased and activated.
AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T), which is also taking pre-orders for the phones starting at 3 p.m. Eastern Time today, said that for a limited time DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse TV customers who switch to AT&T will receive a $300 bill credit for each line they port in when they buy a Galaxy S6 Edge+ or Note 5 on AT&T Next for that line. Customers who also trade in an eligible smartphone will get an additional credit or promotion card for $200.
Meanwhile, current AT&T customers who upgrade to or buy one of the new Samsung phones on AT&T Next are eligible for a minimum $200 trade-in value as an instant credit or promotion card on an eligible smartphone trade-in. New customers that switch to AT&T from another carrier and purchase the new phones on AT&T Next will receive a $100 bill credit and $200 buyback credit when they trade in a smartphone.
T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) said customers who pre-register on T-Mobile.com/NextBigThing by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Aug. 20 and get one of the new phones by Sept. 30 will also receive an entire year of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) service for free, which it said is a value of more than $100.
Meanwhile, Sprint (NYSE: S) said that for a limited time, customers who activate one of the new Galaxy phones through a qualifying Sprint Lease leasing plan or Sprint Easy Pay equipment installment plan get a guaranteed $200 minimum credit when they trade in a working smartphone, an early upgrade at 12 months and a free Samsung Galaxy Tab4 7.0 tablet when they sign a two-year contract for the tablet.
U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM) said both devices will be available for $0 down with its 20-month installment pricing (the 32 GB Note 5 can be paid for in 20 payments of $33.42, while the 64 GB Note 5 will cost 20 payments of 38.46; the 32 GB S6 Edge+ can be paid for in 20 payments of $38.40). Also, with two-year agreements, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ will be available for $299 and the Note 5 will be available for $199, U.S. Cellular said.
- see these two separate Samsung announcements
- see this Verizon release
- see this AT&T release
- see this T-Mobile release
- see this Sprint release
- see this U.S. Cellular release
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