Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review
|Review: March 2015|
In a nutshell: Just when you thought all smartphones looked the same, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge brings a fresh new look. Featuring a double-edged curved screen with special edge display features, it's one of the best-looking phones you can buy. It's also super-powerful, with an 8-core processor, outstanding cameras, plenty of memory and the latest Lollipop flavour of Android. But make sure you're sitting down before you look at the price!
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is the version of the Galaxy S6 that everyone really, really wants. Pity it's so darn expensive. Is it worth spending an extra £100+ to get your greedy paws on this beauty? S21 checks it out.
Design - edge effects
The Edge is all about design. Design is why the Edge exists. Why make a curved screen? Because Samsung can, and because it looks stunning.
To say that the Edge is all about the screen is an understatement. The screen dominates the phone in a way that we've never seen before. Is this the future of all phones? We'd love to think so, because it's quite mesmerising.
The Edge is all glass and metal - curved Gorilla Glass 4 on the front, flat glass on the back, and aluminium alloy on the sides. It's a very beautiful and tactile finish, and we want to hold it and stroke it gently.
It's mine, you see. My precious.
The curved screen is not just cosmetic. It also adds functionality to the phone. The curved edges of the S6 Edge can display the date & time and a weather report, and flash alerts for emails, texts and calls. You can also set up 5 key contacts, each with their own colour code. 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.
We discussed the quality of the screen in our review of the Galaxy S6. We pointed out that it's the best screen currently available, with a stunningly detailed 1440 x 2560 pixel resolution, vibrant colours and almost perfect contrast thanks to Samsung's AMOLED tech. The screen is the same here, but better. Because it's curved. We already told you that.
The S6 Edge isn't quite as slender as the S6, but at 7mm thickness, that's irrelevant, because it feels slimmer and it's even lighter than the S6. The metal and glass construction projects a premium aura, and if it's wow factor you're after, we refer you to the curved screen, which we may have already mentioned. The one thing we don't like about the S6 and the Edge is the way the camera sticks out at the back.
Question: does the Edge look better than the standard S6? You bet! Does it look better than the iPhone 6 or HTC One M9? Um, not sure. The three phones have quite different looks and you'll need to decide for yourself.
The Edge comes in a slightly different choice of colours to the S6. The choice is Black, White and Gold.
Internally, everything is pretty much the same as the Galaxy S6, so read our review of that for details. As a quick reminder, there's:
- Android Lollipop with TouchWiz user interface
- 64-bit 8-core processor with 3GB RAM
- Fingerprint sensor, heart rate sensor
- 16 megapixel HDR camera with optical image stabilisation
- 5 megapixel HDR front camera
- Wireless charging
The only things that are different are that the S6 Edge is available only in larger memory 64GB and 128GB versions, and it also has a slightly larger battery. Both of these are very welcome improvements.
Release date & pricing
The 64GB Black and White versions of the Edge will be released on 10th April, just like the standard Galaxy S6. The Gold version is scheduled for 1st May. The 128GB models will come later.
As for pricing, well hold onto your hats, because you should expect to pay somewhere around £50 per month on contract to pick up one of these beauties.
Conclusion - it has the edge
At S21, we're shallow. We like the way things look, and we like the way the Galaxy S6 Edge looks. But we're also cost-conscious. We hate wasting money on things that don't work well or aren't worth it. And that presents us with a problem in deciding how to rate the Edge.
On the one hand, it's obviously a nicer phone to own than the standard S6. It looks better, it does more, and it comes with 64GB of memory instead of 32GB. That seems to justify the price. On the other hand, £50 per month for a phone is way over the top. We've criticised Apple many times for charging that kind of money.
On balance, we've decided to give the phone a 5-star rating. It costs the same as the iPhone 6, it looks (arguably) just as nice, and it has vastly superior technology - a better screen, more memory, a better camera and a faster processor. So yes, given the choice, we'd opt for the S6 Edge instead of the S6.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge features include:
- OS: Android Lollipop with TouchWiz user interface
- 16 megapixel camera with LED flash, f/1.9, autofocus, optical image stabilisation, digital zoom, UHD 4K video recording
- 5 megapixel front camera with 1080p HD video recording
- Display: Super AMOLED, 16 million colours, 1440 x 2560 pixels (5.1 inches) capacitive touchscreen
- Music player
- Integrated handsfree speaker
- S-Voice natural language commands and dictation
- GPS, Glonass, Beidou positioning
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, instant messaging, email
- Processor: Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57
- Memory: 64GB or 128GB, plus 3GB RAM
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, micro USB, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, infrared, MHL, ANT+
- Sensors: Gesture Sensor, Fingerprint Sensor, Heart Rate Sensor, Hall Sensor, Accelerometer, Geomagnetic Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Light Sensor, Barometer, Proximity Sensor
- LTE 4G, HSPA+, EDGE / GPRS
- Size: 142 x 70 x 7.0 mm
- Weight: 132g
- Battery: 2600mAh battery with wireless charging
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What is the SAR for the Galaxy S6 Edge in New Zealand?
Asked by Kathy
from New Zealand
on 14th Jun 2016
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge user reviews
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