You’ve seen one smart phone, you’ve seen them all, right? Well, maybe not so much. While all the major brands seem to be copying each other on a regular basis, it can feel like it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd. The S6 Edge is certainly something different, and it might just convert you to Samsung.
See Me, Feel Me
I often have review phones – pretty flagship devices from a range of brands to play with for a couple weeks. Friends, family and colleagues are used to this and often these devices go unnoticed. This was not the case with the S6 Edge. When using the phone anywhere, people always commented and wanted to see it. Regarded by everyone as a sight to behold, the S6 Edge certainly is gorgeous.
Of course it comes down to the curved screen. The shape of the phone itself is similar to that of previous Samsung devices, but it’s that curved front screen that really sets it apart. It makes the phone look chic and modern in a whole new way – plus the fact that it offers excellent visuals certainly doesn’t hurt.
The phone itself is lightweight at only 132 g and fits in the palm of most hands thanks to the 142.1×70.1x7mm body. But again, it’s the 5.1″ screen that sets it apart. Thanks to its 1440×2560 pixel resolution, images and apps look sharp and clear. Plus, there’s just something about the curved design that makes people ooh and ahh.
In contrast to the curved front, the back of the phone can feel a bit sharp when you first start carrying it around. Then again, most consumers will probably throw it in a case, softening the feel of the back. Even without a case, the phone is comfortable to use and incredibly convenient. Strangely, the phone has a uni-body – no more removable battery packs. Still, the S6 isn’t waterproof like its predecessor, something that feels strange now, even more so with the unibody. I don’t generally put my phones in water, but it was strange to see Samsung remove this feature.
The home button is now multi-functional. Sure, it can send you back to the home screen, but it also works as a fingerprint reader, allowing you to unlock the phone with one of four stored fingerprints. Personally, I did both thumbs and index fingers so that I could access the phone with either hand while holding it or while resting it on my desk. Additionally, you can double click on the home button to bring up the camera, making it even faster and more intuitive to capture that perfect photo. But more on that later.
While the screen is beautiful, the Edge functionality (ability to see messages and other notifications using just the edge of the screen) feels like a not-so-great gimmick. It isn’t intuitive to use as you need to stroke the edge to make it appear. Thereafter, its uses are rather limited – scrolling is one directional and you can only see that you have messages, not the content thereof. It can be useful when receiving a call while the phone is upside down to see the color of the side of the phone to indicate if the call is important, but it ended up feeling like a wasted feature to me.
Do I make you (h)appy?
Samsung is known for filling their phones with useless, permanent bloatware. With tons of apps slowing down the machinery, it’s a common complaint among Samsung fans. However, the S6 Edge simply doesn’t have this. Sure, there are some Samsung apps, like the Health application as well as music and video players. However, gone is the truly horrific bloat. With the exception of the Google standbys that came pre-loaded, I had to choose to install anything else I wanted, picking only the apps I know and love.
As a result, the phone feels much cleaner and slicker on the inside, free from useless apps that take up space and serve only to cause frustration. Of course I then filled it with my own apps of choice, but it still feels responsive and insanely fast.
As usual with Android devices, Google makes set up an absolute dream. I could find all my usual apps and get them exactly where I like on the home screen. It was a breeze to set up, although be warned that all that initial set up and downloading can make the handset rather warm. I didn’t experience the same heat again – even when playing games the phone stays rather cool. Perhaps it’s just during downloading and installing that the phone warms up intensely – it cooled down quickly, though, once installation was complete.
Thanks to Google, my usual vocabulary was already known by the phone, removing any autocorrected “Ducking” in messages. However, auto-correct wasn’t a big problem with the phone as the standard keyboard is pretty fantastic with excellent touch calibration – I hardly ever typed out gibberish the way I often do on other standard phone keyboards.
For some reason, I couldn’t get excellent battery life out of the S6 Edge, though. I tried to play with power settings, and it’s not that the battery is bad, but it simply doesn’t last more than a day. If you use it for playing lots of games, even less. It does solidly last for the day, even with plenty of camera and social media time, but it simply didn’t blow me away with its lasting power. Then again, thanks to quick charging times from the wall, I could easily top up when necessary without waiting hours for the phone to get back up to fully charged.
Make it snappy
In the narcissistic world we live in, of course I need to talk about the selfie capabilities of the phone. I wish that I could be sarcastic and mocking, but the camera on the S6 Edge was beyond phenomenal. No matter the light, no matter the setting, every picture turned out perfect. The primary camera is 16 MP, 2988×5312 pixels. But it’s not just about the clarity, there is something in the perfect autofocus and the way it detects light that makes every picture better than I could have ever predicted. Even when partying and drinking, I simply couldn’t take a bad picture – here you can see (no filters used).
First up, the main camera (the cat picture was taking with full zoom so as not to disturb them, hence the lower quality):
— Zoe (@Moonstormer) April 22, 2015
And here are some selfies:
Plus, this video was shot using the S6 Edge:
Beyond taking excellent quality videos, the camera is quick and easy to use. It is easily the biggest selling point for me with the phone – the whole device is excellent, but it’s the camera that truly sets it apart from any other smart phone I’ve used.
- Dimensions: 142.1 x 70.1 x 7 mm (5.59 x 2.76 x 0.28 in)
- Weight: 132 g (4.66 oz)
- Display type: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
- Display size: 5.1 inches (~71.7% screen-to-body ratio)
- Display resolution: 1440 x 2560 pixels (~577 ppi pixel density)
- CPU: Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57
- GPU: Mali-T760MP8
- Memory: 32/64/128 GB, 3 GB RAM
- Primary camera: 16 MP, 2988 x 5312 pixels, optical image stabilization, autofocus, LED flash; Video: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], HDR
- Secondary camera: 5 MP, [email protected], dual video call, Auto HDR
- Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 2600 mAh battery
- RRP: R15 999.90
Last Updated: April 28, 2015