Detailed review Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Out of the first 100 people to see this review, at least 50 wouldn’t bother to click it, but flood Facebook’s comments with carefully chosen and “creative” posts that ridicule Samsung. Well, Samsung only has itself to blame for that.
Nevertheless, for those of you who are really interested in reading this Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review, we just ask to keep an open mind. I will not go into how important the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge for Samsung, or that the company’s sales are falling and these two devices absolutely have to be on the scene. I’m just going to get on with it right away.
Build and design
To say that the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is a looker would be a huge understatement. There is currently nothing comparable on the market. The LG G Flex 2 may be curved, but it only really stands out from certain angles. That is not the case with the Galaxy S6 Edge. Whether it looks good or not depends on personal preference, but if you have this with you, people will no doubt notice.
I’m not a big fan of the glass on either side of the unit as it just means there’s a lot more to break. Smartphones are usually strongest on their sides, but that part of this phone is covered by the bezel. But again, you are going to be extra careful with a device that costs Rs. 58,900 right?
I won’t say it’s the sturdiest device out there, but it’s as premium as it gets. If Samsung’s goal was to take on the ‘premium-ness’ of the iPhone, the S6 Edge is the one to take it on. Not the Galaxy S6, mind you, the S6 Edge.
It takes a while to get used to the all-new feel that a dual-edge display brings to the table, but you’ll get used to it.
I wrote in my Moto Turbo review that a QHD display on a 5.2-inch display hardly makes sense. So it shouldn’t make sense on the S6 Edge’s 5.1-inch screen either. Somehow Samsung makes this display feel and look so much better than anything else. Yes, I see Apple fans arguing with me about the benefits of Retina, but really, the Super AMOLED here is hands down the best display on a compact smartphone today.
As always, the colors are on the warmer side, but 577 ppi combined with great viewing angles, thanks to the Edge, makes this the best smartphone display today.
While the curve on each side makes viewing angles feel better, the fact that your video and images also curve around the sides may be a concern for some. It hardly makes a difference to the overall experience though, so I won’t complain.
No bloatware right? Well, that part is pretty much true. While there are quite a few pre-installed apps on this phone, it would be wrong to categorize apps like WhatsApp and Microsoft’s OneDrive etc as bloated. Wish I could delete what I wanted? I sure do.
I don’t really have a problem with Touchwiz as a UI, but many things can be considered useless. Flipboard takes over the screen controlled by Google Now on the stock launcher, but it’s nowhere near as seamless. Since it’s a third-party app, it can’t be that seamless after all. It’s not stitched into the launcher like HTC’s Blinkfeed or Google Now. So if you swipe to that screen, your phone will stop for a second or two while Flipboard boots up.
Not everything is bad though, the addition of a Theme Store is good. While the Theme Store doesn’t equate with themes at this point, it just means Samsung has room for improvement here, with developers or even users coming in with custom themes.
Many called the edge display on the Galaxy Note Edge a gimmick, but the addition of a separate one presented some interesting propositions. Developers could do a lot with that screen, in fact Samsung’s own features for the Note Edge were quite useful too. You won’t realize all this unless you compare the Note Edge to the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
There is no separate panel here, it is just one panel with curved glass, which greatly reduces the functionality. There’s not much you can do with the edge other than some quick calls and different colors for some preset callers. While the Edge adds a lot to the phone’s appearance, it doesn’t offer much functionality.
If we ever do a story on “X reasons to buy the S6 Edge,” this and the next segment would be at the top of the list. The Exynos 7 octa SoC handles the performance part well, even better than the Moto Turbo. Does the S6 Edge get hot? Yes it does, and you will feel it, especially in the hot summers we have here.
However, the phone doesn’t seem to slow down the processor that easily. During extended periods of gaming, the S6 Edge doesn’t seem to slow down the processor for the first 15 minutes. Even after that, the effects of throttling are not as apparent as on most other smartphones. If you are a big gamer and play high-end games on your phone, you will love the S6 Edge.
The Manhattan and T-Rex tests on GFX Bench heat up the S6 Edge, and if you run the AnTuTu test right after that, you’ll notice a drop in the score. However, this score will still be higher than the Moto Turbo and Nexus 6, which is saying something.
When this is done in an air-conditioned room, the heating is less and the phone can run at its best for a little longer.
The only performance issue I can point out is that some apps kept crashing unless I restarted the device or closed all applications manually. The problem is obviously a RAM management issue, which is software related. That’s good news because it allows Samsung or Google to fix it via a software update.
Despite its peak performance, none of the above reasons is the main reason to buy the Galaxy S6 Edge. What you should buy it for is the 16MP rear camera. Yes, the 5MP front camera is pretty nice too, but the rear camera is the real hero of this device.
There is an image in the gallery below, which was taken from a car traveling at 60 km/h. Without the title on that image, you wouldn’t be able to tell it was taken in such circumstances. That’s how fast the S6 Edge’s camera locks in focus. The same can be done using the iPhone 6 but what explains the fuss about this being better than the iPhone?
Well, everything else. The S6 Edge takes clearer photos than the iPhone 6 and handles details better (that comparison follows, by the way). Plus, it’s just as good as the iPhone 6 in white balance. In a recent comparison between the Galaxy S6 Edge and the Xiaomi Mi4iwe noticed the similarities in the white balance algorithms.
So, to answer the questions, yes, it has a better camera than the iPhone and is the best camera Samsung has produced to date. The camera can get even better in the hands of a pro, who can take advantage of Samsung’s Pro Mode for the camera.
On a 2,600 mAh battery and a QHD display, we never expected the Galaxy S6 Edge to be a battery beast. However, it passed our tests. With normal use, the S6 Edge lasted about all day. With about an hour of gaming, lots of calls and texts, and boatloads of camera use, this phone couldn’t last us all day, but it got us through it once we got the hang of gaming.
In the Geekbench 3 battery test, the S6 Edge lasts more than seven hours, while it is good for 12 hours in our own battery test. It’s enough to last a normal day, but not as good as the Moto Turbo, which lasts even longer. However, it is better than the iPhone.
Another thing worth mentioning about the battery is the fast charging aspect. The fast charging here is the fastest we’ve seen in any smartphone. The S6 Edge fully charges in less than an hour and regains enough juice in a 10-minute charge to last at least two hours.
With the metal and glass design, Samsung let go of its removable back cover and SD card support. While the former may annoy some users, the lack of SD card support doesn’t bother me much. With Android’s dismal SD card support, there’s not much you can do with it anyway. The little you can do often requires a strong user approach from your smartphone.
However, if you are not a power user, 32 GB or more should be enough for you. Out of the 27 GB of usable space, say about 10 GB for local music and 5 GB for games? Then you still have 12 GB of space for other apps and stuff.
If Samsung’s goal was to take on the iPhone 6, this is the phone to compete against. The Galaxy S6 Edge outperforms the Apple iPhone 6 in terms of performance and cameras, something no Android phone can boast of. If you’re looking for a flagship smartphone to buy, the Galaxy S6 Edge should definitely fit the bill.
What it doesn’t do is manufacturers like it Xiaomi, which will continue to enjoy their popularity in the budget segment. While the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is a vastly superior smartphone, it is also much more expensive than the Xiaomi Mi4† One plus one or even the Motorola MotoTurbo for that matter.