Samsung Introduces New Phones, Samsung Pay and Periscope Competitor
Samsung, which swears it is no follower in the smartphone game, is now promising it has the best mobile payments and live-streaming capabilities.
Roughly a month before Apple is expected to introduce its latest version of the iPhone, Samsung on Thursday morning announced its two latest phones -- or phablets -- the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+.
But the company is also competing on important mobile elements that aren't just hardware. Samsung used the Thursday event to announce Samsung Pay, its entree into the mobile payments space, and Live Broadcast, its play on the live-stream craze.
The two new phones are very similar to one another, with a couple of differences: The Note has a pen, and the S6 Edge+ has a curved "dual edge" screen.
Samsung positions the Note as a more business-oriented product while the Edge+, executives said Thursday, is an "entertainment powerhouse" for those who favor video and photos, among other things.
Both phones have 5.7-inch displays, four gigabytes of RAM and run on Google's Android 5.1 operating system. The camera is largely the same as the one in the S6, but this time Samsung is pitching its camera as a way to get into the live-streaming world that the likes of Periscope and Meerkat have been dominating.
Samsung's new live-streaming capability, Live Broadcast, is being positioned as is easier to use than competing services because it requires no additional app download. Instead, people can just start a live YouTube broadcast by accessing the camera app, executives said at the event.
Samsung's been investing in its cameras lately. In March when it introduced the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, many for the first time consider the cameras comparable to Apple's.
The company is also now getting into the mobile payments space with the launch of Samsung Pay. Much has been said of the hurdles of wide implementation of mobile payments, namely that not all retailers are set up to handle the requisite near-field communications, or NFC, and even if they are, there's been talk of hiccups that make payment a hassle.
But Samsung is saying that its mobile payments solution bypasses a lot of those headaches because it is using a technology that works virtually anywhere a credit card is accepted. The company that developed the technology, called "magnetic secure transmission," is LoopPay, which Samsung acquired in February.
The phones will be available Aug. 21 with preorders starting today.