Both phones have a 5.1-inch screen -- the same as the Galaxy S5 and a hair smaller than the iPhone 6 -- and feature a metal body that should feel more high-quality that the plastic and faux-leather materials the company's opted for in the past. That does, however, mean that Samsung loses a key feature that made it different from the iPhone: the ability to swap out your own battery. Going for the slimmer design also means that the new Galaxy phones don't have expandable storage, another feature that often lured users to the Galaxy and away from the iPhone.
That's not to say that Samsung has abandoned any attempt to distinguish itself from the iPhone. The new phones do have the fast-charging option already offered on the Note 4, as well as built-in wireless charging.
But the Korean smartphone firm has clearly focused on style to bring it through a crucial time in the company's life. Samsung needs a hit as its profitability and mobile dominance have started to slip in the face of cheaper phones from Chinese smartphone makers eat into their low-end sales while Apple continues to rake in sales on the high end of the market. Other plays in wearables and tablets -- another market that's hitting a slow patch -- haven't managed to offset problems on the smartphone side of the business.
AT&T confirmed that it will carry Samsung's upcoming flagship phone, but didn't announce pricing or availability details; Samsung said in its news conference that both devices will have a global launch om April 10. Both will also be enabled to work with Samsung Pay, the company's newly announced payment technology it's launched in partnership with MasterCard and Visa.
HTC also showed off an update of its most popular smartphone line with the HTC One M9 -- a new phone that keeps almost everything that users love about the current M8, with a slightly improved camera.
One could certainly see how the company would be wary of messing with a winning formula, since the M8 is one of the best Android smartphones on the market. But it, too, suffers from a differentiation problem. It's a great phone, but it has no killer features that would make anyone want to jump ship from their current phone -- a risky move when even Samsung is struggling.
“HTC's challenge with the One M9 smartphone is how to drive sales with a smartphone iterative design," said IHS Technology analyst Ian Fogg in an e-mailed note. "Samsung struggled with its Galaxy S5 to convince consumers it was different to the previous years' S4, while Apple proved with the new form factor iPhone 6 design that it is relatively easily to increase year-on-year shipments markedly."
HTC wasn't only focusing on handsets at this year's show. The company also revealed the Vive, a virtual reality device that it created in collaboration with the game company Valve.
The headset promises to not only immerse viewers in a 3D environment, but also to allow you to "get up, walk around and explore your virtual space, inspect objects from every angle and truly interact with your surroundings." The details are still pretty vague, but that description makes it sound as if you're more than a passive observer when using this headset, and maybe that your interaction with the world around you will be more natural. HTC certainly gets points for the element of surprise.
LG showed off its latest smartwatch, the Urbane, which comes in two versions and was first announced last week. The simpler version runs on Android Wear. The more expensive version has its own operating system and lets you make calls and has 4G LTE connectivity. Take a look here:
Also of note: the Chinese smartphone firm Huawei unveiled a handful of new wearable devices. This includes the Huawei Watch, a stainless-steel banded device that will roll out in 20 countries including the United States. (The company hasn't said when, exactly.) The watch face has a 1.4-inch touchscreen and a number of fitness sensors to let you measure your heart rate and steps taken.