Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ as well as mobile payment service Samsung Pay at the Galaxy Unpacked 2015 event in New York on Thursday. The launches are intended to counter the success Apple has had with its large screen iPhone models and Apple Pay.
Here's everything you need to know about the latest round of the Samsung vs. Apple battle:
1) Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ boast identical specs: 5.7-inch QHD display, 4GB RAM, Exynos 7420 processor, 32GB base storage, 16-megapixel rear camera, and Android 5.1.
(Also see: Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+ Full Specs and Price)
2) Samsung also announced the official launch its new mobile payment system. Samsung Pay will launch in Korea and US first, and will come to UK, China, and Spain at a later stage.
(Also see: Samsung Pay Gets Korea and US Launch Date; Coming to UK, Spain, and China Later)
3) The new launches are aimed at keeping the South Korean giant atop the global smartphone market and countering its US rival Apple, which has made gains with its large-screen iPhone 6 (Review | Pictures) and iPhone 6 Plus (Review | Pictures) and its tap-to-pay feature.
4) Kantar Worldpanel analyst Carolina Milanese said Samsung trailed Apple in the phablet market - devices with screens at 5.5 inches and above - in the second quarter.
(Also see: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs Apple iPhone 6)
5) With the new devices, Samsung expands from its 5.1-inch display on the existing Galaxy S6, and leapfrogs Apple's handsets at 4.7- and 5.5-inches.
6) Ramon Llamas, analyst at IDC, said the launch appears aimed at getting ahead of Apple, which is widely expected to announce its own upgrades later this year. "This is a calculated move to avoid the marketing onslaught of Apple in September and October," Llamas told AFP.
(Also see: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4)
7) Samsung has traditionally announced the Note series flagship at IFA in the first week of September, but this time it is looking to trump rival Apple by announcing not one, but two new flagships well in advance. Daniel Gleeson at IHS Technology said Samsung "is hoping to steal a march on Apple's new iPhone announcement which will likely happen in early September."
8) Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ kick off in the US from Thursday, and the smartphones will be made available from August 21. In the US, the Galaxy Note 5 will be available via AT&T (with a no commitment contract) at $739.99 (roughly Rs. 48,400) for the 32GB variant, and $839.99 (roughly Rs. 54,800) for the 64GB variant.
9) The Galaxy S6 Edge+ will be priced at $814.99 (roughly Rs. 53,300) and $914.99 (roughly Rs. 59,800) for the 32GB and 64GB variants respectively. Samsung said the Galaxy Note 5 will only be made available in select markets, while the Galaxy S6 Edge+ will feature wider availability.
(Also see: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs Samsung Galaxy S6)
10) Samsung Pay faces an uphill battle against Apple Pay. "Unlike Apple which has accumulated 800 million payment card accounts associated with iTunes, Samsung lacks this critical element for its payment service to quickly gain traction," Gleeson added.
Written with inputs from AFP