With the release of Samsung’s 2015 flagship, the Galaxy S6, came its “edgier” sibling, the Galaxy S6 Edge. Samsung loved the idea of a dual-edged screen so much that it made a bigger version of it. In this review, we take a look at just how cut throat the stunning Galaxy S6 Edge+ is.
Here are the specs of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+:
- Octa Core Samsung Exynos 7420 64-bit processor
- Mali T760 graphics
- 4GB RAM
- 32 or 64GB internal storage
- 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display (2560 x 1440 pixels) 518 ppi
- Corning Gorilla Glass 4 front and back
- 16 megapixel rear facing camera with Optical Image Stabilization, dual LED flash with f/1.9 aperture
- 5 megapixel front facing camera with f/1.9 aperture
- 4G/LTE, 3G/HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- Qi Wireless Charging
- 3,000 mAh battery
- Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Samsung TouchWiz
- P39,990 for 32GB and P44,990 for 64GB
HARDWARE AND DESIGN
There’s no denying it. The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a premium smartphone, from the glass front and back, aluminum frame and rigid construction. The phone is 80% display and the bezels on the sides are ridiculously thin and at the top, reasonable enough to house the earpiece, 5MP wide-angle front facing camera, ambient sensors, the capacitive multitasking and back buttons, and the home button.
That home button also houses a built-in fingerprint scanner that thankfully doesn’t require you to swipe your finger over it to unlock the phone. It works like the iPhone’s Touch ID where you just put your finger over the home button and the phone unlocks almost instantly. I only had to try unlocking the phone with my fingerprint again if my fingers weren’t positioned the way I registered them. But when everything was right, unlocking was a breeze.
At the back is the now infamous camera hump. Since phones are getting thinner and cameras are getting more powerful, the hump is necessary to install those camera components without sacrificing the phone’s thickness. Beside it is a single LED flash and the heart rate monitor which, like the Galaxy Note 5, can be used for taking selfies with just a tap. The back of the phone is probably the most fingerprint magnet part of it. If you’re a bit OC about how your phone looks, you’ll probably want to wipe your phone every now and then. It’s also ultra reflective, it’s almost a mirror. This adds more premium feel to the phone itself, knowing that anything that shines under light is considered top of the line.
The volume rockers are located at the left side while the power button is located at the right. As someone with small hands, I personally feel that the physical buttons on the phone are a bit too high for me to reach while using it one-handed. It should be just fine for people with bigger hands, however as this phone was probably designed for those people.
While reviewing the phone, I got a lot of “Oooh! What’s that?” or “Why is it curved?” or “It looks 3D!”. The phone is definitely a head turner not just because of the reflective body, but because of the display. Obviously, the reason why this phone is making headlines is that dual-edge display debuted by the Galaxy S6 Edge. It does look 3D when you try to look at the display from the side or when you watch a movie in the dark. The display curves ever so elegantly that it gives the illusion that the display wraps around the device.
When turned off, the Super AMOLED display is pitch black. It’s also QuadHD so even at 5.7”, text looks crisp, photos and videos look as sharp as they can be. I actually believe that the Edge+’s display is better and easier to the eyes than the Note 5’s display. When viewed side-by-side, the Note 5’s display looks punchier and more saturated, while the Edge+’s is a wee bit softer without actually being desaturated. Everything on it actually looks like it was printed and at first it felt like holding a piece of paper. The display is unbelievable gorgeous. When Samsung showed the world the YOUM flexible display panels for the first time in 2013, I never thought it would actually materialize . It did, and it did beautifully.
If ever you find the display to be too saturated, Samsung offers other screen modes, two of which makes the display muter and much closer to how Apple displays handle color. I often found myself switching to these modes whenever I’m editing photos on VSCO and uploading them on Instagram since I’m used to doing it on an iPhone display.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
With 4GB of RAM, the device handles multitasking, heavy gaming and intense use with ease. It’s no slump when it comes to gaming, even in graphic intensive ones like Asphalt 8. Playing on it was definitely an enjoyable experience. Apps started almost instantaneously and they never crashed. I rarely needed to reload a webpage after switching to another app, and then going back to browse. SInce the S6 Edge+ is a phablet, Samsung’s multi-window feature is present here. With the sizeable RAM, supported apps run smoothly side by side.
These are all that you would expect from a flagship device. Even with Samsung’s TouchWiz installed on top of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, the device still runs smoothly. This is where Samsung has greatly improved, in my opinion. Gone are the days where TouchWiz is the main culprit to blame for why a phone lags or slows down. TouchWiz has become simpler, lighter and more user friendly than ever. Even pre-installed Samsung apps can be uninstalled if you wished to.
The curved display is more than just cool. Samsung made it useable by developing special software for it. Both edges can be used to display notifications while the rest of the display is off or show a night clock which in my opinion was a neat feature. Having the clock facing you while the phone lies flat on your bedside table totally eradicated the need to grab the phone, fire up the display and check the time. The time was always there, always available. And because the display is AMOLED and the night clock only needs a few pixels, it doesn’t need any power.
Swiping from the edge from any screen brings up your favorite contacts, while swiping another time shows your favorite apps, all of which you can customize yourself. When the phone is placed face down on a surface and a favorite contact calls, the edge display animates a streak of color that corresponds to that contact. It allows users to actually know who’s calling even before they touch the phone.
The S6 Edge+’s camera is superb. The rear, with 16MP and a f1.9 aperture, allows for better looking photos, even at night. I actually enjoyed snapping photos using the phone’s camera and I was even confident enough to post them on my Instagram account. The photos look crisp, nicely balanced and not at all overexposed. The camera processes colors naturally and doesn’t oversaturate them. Skin tones look great, as well. The camera software software bulit for this version of TouchWiz has also been greatly improved. There’s a Pro option available so you can set even the aperture and the shutter speed to your liking and achieve certain effects. Aside from this, the camera also has neat software tricks such as Selective Focus, Panorama, Slow and Fast Motion and Virtual Shot.
The headline feature of the Edge+’s camera is Live Broadcast. It allows you to live stream through YouTube straight from the phone’s camera app. Of course, you can select to whom you’d like to broadcast. Samsung markets it as a new way to video calling or conferencing, but I actually see it play a bigger role for gamers or brands who want to stream their games and events, respectively, without spending big on equipment.
Since the Edge+ is LTE-capable, connecting to Globe’s LTE network was an ease. Videos loaded fast and social media was a breeze. Calling was kind of a problem for me. As this is a big device and I, a small person, my ears usually missed the earpiece. I would often find myself positioning the earpiece on the wrong part of my ear giving me an impression that the sound output was low. When positioned right, I still had a problem with it. At louder volumes, the earpiece vibrates creating a discomforting feeling on my ear. I always have to turn the volume down in order to not feel the vibration. All those nitpicking aside, the phone did fine with calls.
Yes, the S6 Edge+ has a 3000 mAH battery, but because the display is Quad-HD, there are more pixels to power. With normal use, the phone lasted a good 9 hours, long enough to cover for the days activities. But if you love playing games on it or browsing over data, you might need to bring along your charger with you. Fortunately, the Edge+ features Quick Charging via cable and wireless charging by a proprietary charging dock. I wasn’t able to test it, though, since our review unit did not come with a charger. Overall, battery life is fine.
Samsung outdid itself here, in software and especially in the hardware department. With a game-changing feature, Samsung capitalized on it, gave it a broader appeal, and hopes it will fly. I’m excited at what improvements Samsung will do with this device, or if they will continue making it at all. The downside to owning a Samsung device is always how long it takes for updates to arrive on their units. It would be nice if Samsung released as soon as Google releases a newer version of Android, but of course, that’s still a hard task.
That aside, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a smartphone you’ll love to own for the next year or so. It’s pricey, yes, but you get all the headline features that will empower you until the next one arrives.
What do you think? Is it worth to get this device? Comment below!