Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
When the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge first came out earlier this year, I thought it had a neat screen that was particularly useless.
The “edge” in the name reflects the phone’s curved edges along the longest sides.
At first I thought ‘Why do we need a curved edge on a screen?” Consumers usually want more battery life, a bigger screen and more space to store their cat videos and selfies.
Samsung touted the fact that notifications could show up on the edges, so the whole screen wasn’t bothered by push alerts. It was not a bad idea. But the curved edge also seemed a little gimmicky.
Apparently, I was wrong. Consumers loved the screen so much, it’s back, bigger and better than before.
The latest iteration, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, has a name that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Perhaps the freight-train-long moniker exists so consumers remember it. Regardless, it appears to be aimed to go up against the iPhone 6+.
The screen is spectacular. Measuring 5.7 inches diagonally, it’s the most vivid and sharpest display I’ve seen on a smartphone. Although on paper it’s not as sharp as its predecessor, the S6 Edge, the reproduction is top notch.
With an infinity pool-like screen, the Edge+ easily draws attention to itself and gets noticed.
To take advantage of the edge, the phone has a launcher-like application that lurks alongside the periphery of the screen on whichever side you choose. Swipe out to quickly connect with a contact or launch a favourite app. It’s not obtrusive at all, which sometimes meant I forgot it was there and din’t take full advantage of it.
When reviewing the first S6 Edge, I would often accidentally activate edges of the screen with the palm of my hand. That happens less now with the Edge+. Perhaps the software has been improved and the handset can better detect unintentional contact or I’m more vigilant of how much more of the phone is a touchscreen rather than the frame.
RAM has been upped to 4 GB from 3 GB, while the processor is an octacore.
Nothing appears to get in the way of this phone’s processing firepower. The increase in RAM helps to soothe any concern that Samsung’s Touchwiz user interface, which is slapped on top of Android Lollipop.
The look and feel is upscale, alongside that of Apple’s iPhone 6+. The glass back looks particularly luxurious, but be warned that it’s at the mercy of change and keys in your pocket (while the front display’s Gorilla glass is much hardier).
The camera captures the best images of any smartphone I’ve used. It’s a 16-megapixel unit with a f1.9 aperture and optical image stabilization. The latter is unusual for smartphone cameras, since most use electronic image stabilization, if at all.
In this case, it’s the lens that moves to capture a sharper image, not some software guesswork.
Details are sharp, colours balanced and the shutter is quick. There’s a RAW shooting mode too that will save uncompressed image files which can be better manipulated later on.
The phone can also shoot 4K video and it can stream live directly to YouTube (not at the same time).
Speaking of which, the phone features next-generation LTE technology, enabling a maximum download speed of up to 450 Mbps. (Hint: If you’re in range of a cell tower that offers such connectivity, perform a speed test with someone on a regular connection. Chances are you’ll win).
While the handsets don’t ship with a wireless charger, the device is capable of such charging with optional equipment. Regardless, the handset is also fast-charge compatible, meaning you can juice up completely in about 90 minutes. This feature is also designed to compensate for the fact that the battery is not removable.
Samsung says it found very few users ever removed their batteries, and improving the charging characteristics is a better solution for users looking to get an electrical boost.
With a price tag that starts at $949 for the 32 GB model, this Edge+ is one of the priciest handsets out there.
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