When it comes to the S Flagship from Samsung, history has always only provided one model, this year there are two flagship models. The Galaxy S6 is an amazing phone and deserves its title as a premium handset. The Galaxy S6 Edge, with is gorgeous curved edge screen manages to somehow make itself more premium than the S6. The S6 is Premium but the S6 Edge is PREMIUM!
Right out of the box the S6 Edge is striking. Over the last few years there have only been a handful of phones that I have been taken aback with as soon as I opened the box. The HTC One, my iPhone 6 Plus and now the S6 Edge. The combination of Gorilla Glass 4, matte aluminium and that amazing screen that curves around the edges gives it that all out wow factor. The S6 Edge commands centre stage and demands that you admire the innovative design that challenges what the world though possible when it comes to smartphone design. Samsung has done a lot over the years but for me this is Samsung’s finest moment, 2015 is the year that Samsung has defiantly stood toe to toe with Apple and shown that they are at the forefront of innovative design.
Just like the S6, the battery is internal and there is no expandable storage. What you see is what you get but there is a good battery inside and storage that starts at 32GB. For years I’ve wanted Samsung to do more than iterate and this year they have done it. Sure they had to compromise in order to achieve it but I’m more than comfortable with that.
All of the simplicity and improvements that have gone into the S6 are packed into the S6 Edge so there is little need to go too far in depth, suffice to say there are some highlights. TouchWiz running on Android 5.0 Lollipop is the best version so far. Bloatware is removed and the entire interface has been simplified. These changes increase speed and responsiveness whilst delivering the most intuitive Samsung experience to date.
The same Oct-core processor that powers the S6 also powers the S6 Edge. The 16MP camera with optical image stabilisation and the ability to shoot 4k video is baked in and works very well. Daylight shots are vibrant and rich in detail, however night shots remain problematic.
Where the S6 Edge comes into its own of course, is that gorgeous screen that curves at the edges. The screen size is exactly the same as the S6, 5.1 inch AMOLED with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, 577ppi. The S6 Edge and the S6 have the best screen on the market today. The screen seamlessly curves at the sides and melts beautifully into the metal. Every time I looked at the screen I was amazed at this design feat.
At first the idea of a curved screen sounded like nothing more than a gimmick to me, with no real practical application. Once I spent time with the S6 Edge it became clear that the curved design is no gimmick, it really does change the experience and for the better I might add. Holding the phone in the hand gives a much better feel and with it tapering away it makes the phone feel even thinner than it already is. When using the S6 and the S6 Edge at the same time, the S6 Edge has this amazing ability to create a better sense of connection to the device. It’s hard to explain but somehow it feels like the phone just pops more than the S6 and becomes that bit more interactive. By not having an entirely flat screen everything just has that little bit more depth that enhances the visual appeal.
There is some useful features to be found on the edge. Want to know the time or if you have notification without waking your phone up? Easy! Just swipe down then up on the edge and you will see the time and any notification icons displayed only on the edge while leaving the phone asleep. A feature that I really loved was the ability to assign five contacts as favourites and give them a colour. When they contact you the edge of the phone will flash in the colour of the contact so you know immediately who is calling and can then decide whether to answer or not. You can also assign quick reply messages for times where you can’t take a call from that contact. Place the phone face down and when they ring and you see the flashing, a quick tap of the fingerprint scanner will reject the call and send the designated txt message reply to the contact.
With a price tag of $1,349NZ (or available through a telco with a subsidy), the S6 Edge is a substantial investment. Featuring the same specs as the Galaxy S6 but costing a few hundred more, the S6 Edge could be a hard sell to some. Look beyond the price though and it’s clear that the S6 Edge is the best phone that Samsung have ever produced. The design is striking with the curved edges adding depth and real functionality to the phone. As it stands today, if you want the best premium smartphone available then there is only one choice, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.