Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review
|Review: August 2015|
Last updated September 2015
In a nutshell: The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is the best Android phone money can buy, and is a showcase for innovation and futuristic style. In our opinion, it beats the iPhone 6+ hands down. It's super expensive, but if you want the very best that smartphone technology can offer in 2015, the Edge+ really does have the edge.
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You already know how these reviews go. We say something like, "The future is here," and you respond with, "OMG, this phone is awesome." We drool over the awesomeness for a while, then we say, "But it's probably too expensive for you to buy," and you move on to another phone. OK, so let's do that.
Design - edge effects
The original Galaxy S6 Edge was arguably the best-looking Android phone ever. Many people think that it's the best-looking phone ever. There's no doubt about it, it's stunning. And the concept of the Edge+ is simple - take the Edge and make it bigger.
Stretching the screen from 5.1 inches to 5.7 inches makes it bigger than the iPhone 6+, and the the same size as the Galaxy Note 4. The only screen bigger is the Google Nexus 6. But the screen of the Edge+ dominates in a way that is quite different to those other phones.
Let's state the obvious. The screen is not simply edge-to-edge. It wraps around the left and right edges. It turns the screen into an almost living, breathing component. The effect is beautiful and mesmerising. Everything about the phone is beautiful, from the curved Gorilla Glass 4 on the front to the flat glass on the back, and aluminium alloy on the sides. Once you've played with an Edge, you won't want to go back to a conventional phone experience. The Edge+ incorporates subtle improvements to the original Edge design, with small changes to the way the screen fits the metal body.
We said that the curved screen is like a living thing. That wasn't just hyperbola. The edge brings new functionality of its own. The curved edges of the screen can display the date & time and a weather report, and flash alerts for emails, texts and calls (the Apps Edge.) You can also set up 5 key contacts, each with their own colour code (the People Edge.) The edge of the screen will then light up in that colour if that person calls. The contacts are easily accessed by dragging from the edge towards the centre of the screen. It's fun, it's useful, and we like it. You also have the option to choose between left and right as the edge screen to display information.
Question - is this the best screen you can get on any current phone? We say, yes. The Super AMOLED screen of the Edge+ generates vibrant colours and an enormous brightness range, with black pixels emitting absolutely no light. The screen has a quad HD resolution 2560 x 1440 pixels and a pixel density of 518ppi (compared to 326ppi for the iPhone 6).
There's no denying that the Edge+ is a big phone to hold in your hand. That's kind of the point. It'll be too big for some. Yet it's les than 7mm thick, and not too heavy to handle.
Question - is this the best-looking phone ever? We think that's an easy one to answer. It's a simple, "Yes."
Inside, very little has changed since the original Edge. In fact, the specification is almost identical to the Galaxy S6. The phone runs Android Lollipop 5.1, and the RAM has been upgraded from 3GB to 4GB, which should make apps open and close a little faster, and assist with multi-tasking. The phone comes in a choice of 32GB or 64GB storage, and because there's no microSD card slot, we'd urge you to choose the 64GB option. After all, it would be crazy to buy the ultimate phone and then run out of memory, wouldn't it?
The processor is the same super-fast 64-bit 8-core Exynos, giving the phone probably the fastest processor currently available.
Other features to note are the fingerprint sensor and heart rate sensor. These are tied in neatly to Samsung's S Health app.
The Galaxy S6 has one of the very best cameras in any smartphone - better than the iPhone 6 Plus in our opinion. The Edge+ uses the same camera. It's a 16 megapixel HDR camera with optical image stabilisation and ultra-fast autofocus. Video capture is at ultra HD 4K resolution.
The front camera is outstanding too, having 5 megapixels and HDR mode. There are loads of options to enhance those all-important selfies.
But a good camera isn't just about having lots of advanced tools for camera geeks to play with. It's important that the camera opens quickly and can take good point-and-shoot shots with no fuss. The Edge+ does this too. Even with HDR mode enabled, the camera can focus and capture an image very quickly, with no effort from the user.
We think that it will prove to be one of the very finest camera phones on the market in 2015.
The Edge+ supports Cat 9 LTE, for super-fast 4G data speeds. It's fast enough to support live broadcasting from the video camera. In addition it can handle fast Wi-Fi, plus Bluetooth, USB, NFC, MHL and ANT+.
Uprated battery power
In our original Samsung S6 Edge review, we mentioned the lack of battery power. The Edge was fitted with a modest 2600mAh battery, but the Edge Plus has a much heavier duty 3,000 mAh battery, which helps to address this issue. It should easily give a full day of use between charges.
The Galaxy Edge Plus supports wireless charging, and is very quick to charge. 90 minutes is enough to power up from a flat battery to full charge when connected by wire, and 120 minutes is needed for full wireless charging.
Conclusion - over the edge?
The Edge+ is quite probably the most desirable smartphone to date. Samsung has thrown all of the company's most advanced technology at it. The curved screen and metal finish shout out words like 'premium' and 'incredible' and 'stunning.' It's got the best looks, the best screen, the fastest processor, and one of the best cameras, of any phone on the market. It's the best Android phone you can buy, although the lack of expandable memory is its one failing, in our opinion.
Is it better than the iPhone 6 Plus? By any rational measure, yes. Irrationally, some may still prefer the iPhone, but that's their choice.
So you should totally buy it, except that, it's super expensive. You can buy the 32GB version on a £41 a month contract, with a £99 upfront charge, and that's a good deal. The 64GB version costs £44 a month.
You can now pick up a Galaxy S6 or an iPhone 6 for £30 a month on pay monthly deals, so is the extra worth it? We can't possibly say. This is the bit where you either walk away and look back with regret, or else reach deep into your pockets and spend more than you probably planned. Life's tough, isn't it?
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus features include:
- OS: Android Lollipop 5.1 with TouchWiz user interface
- 16 megapixel camera with LED flash, f/1.9, autofocus, optical image stabilisation, digital zoom, 4K video recording
- 5 megapixel front camera with 1080p HD video recording
- Display: 5.7 inches, Super AMOLED, 1440 x 2560 pixels (Quad HD)
- Music player, FM radio
- GPS, Glonass, Beidou positioning
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, instant messaging, email
- Processor: Exynox 64-bit octa-core processor with quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57, 4GB RAM
- Memory: 32GB or 64GB
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, micro USB, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, MHL, ANT+
- LTE 4G, HSPA+, EDGE / GPRS
- Size: 154 x 76 x 6.9 mm
- Weight: 153g
- Battery: 3000mAh battery with wireless charging
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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus user reviews
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Average rating from 3 reviews:
Reviewed by will
on 26th Sep 2015
this phone is total rubbish it keeps freezing up finger scanner doesnt always work battery isnt that great there's much better out there for what you pay for this
Reviewed by David
on 8th Sep 2015
I was 9 months ago a true Samsung fan having used all the Note phones but due to signal problems moved to a iPhone 6 plus, signal far better, Thought i would give the new Samsung Edge plus a try, a day later and the phone went back,
dis-likes, as the phone is so thin the edges feel like thin rails so not very grippy, probably didn't have the phone long enough but the battery was poor for the amount i used it,with no access to the battry department you may need a juice bar, but may have got better in time! dare i say it to my eyes the screen is to good. I like premium leather cases for my phones and with the edge phones they are very limited to say the least i did get the Samsung flip case but this made the whole thing look cheep, again screen glass protectors are a problem.
Likes, The Camera is awesome ,ultra fast loading. That's it didn't think i would ever say this but have been covered to the iPhone.
Reviewed by ROB
on 5th Sep 2015
got mine yesterday gold 32 gig. its a nice slim phone with great build quality far cry from the samsung plastic days. it's super fast with no lag any where runs like a jet. the screen is awsome the ui has been cut down and feels much better than the old ui. it's pretty much an s6 with a bigger screen. battery life is about the same as the galaxy s6 not as good as the note 3 i had but then it should get better with a few charges. it looks much better in real life than what you see on the web. overall am well pleased.