So this is the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge that should, along with the S6 without ‘edge,’ reduce the rapid reduction of the South Korean company’s market share and go up against the iPhone 6. A metal frame and glass back give the two new Galaxy S6 smartphones their signature feature and in comparison with its sister handset, the Edge gives us a slightly bigger battery, 0.2mm extra thickness but 6 grams in weight advantage.
The Edge has one of the best and most colorful screens (5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED) to date and it drops away over edge-wrapped screen but as before, we’re not sure that the benefit will be clear but we think everyone will like it. After years of plastic ‘leather’ Samsung are also raising eyebrows with the glass back. In our eyes it’s the right thing to do when you’re asking a premium price. Here’s a question though: Which phone are you reminded of when you look at the underside of the wrapped screen? Any guesses?
OK, we’re being a little hateful here because you can’t begin to blame Samsung when they’ve produced such an original, premium design with specifications that make the Samsung S6 Edge extremely competitive.
Internally known as “Project Zero” the S6 Edge is a 100% new design with absolutely nothing taken from the the S5 or Note 4. The biggest challenge here was to create device that’s thinner but, even when using glass and metal, has a natural and warm feel.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Specifications
- CPU: Samsung Exynos 7 Quadcore 14nm SoC
- Screen: 5.1-inch QuadHD Super AMOLED 577ppi
- Memory: 3GB DDR4 RAM
- Storage: 32/64/128GB
- 16MP OIS rear camera
- 5MP front camera
- 2600mAh battery
- Size: 142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0mm
- Weight: 132g
- Supports LTE Cat 6 (300/50Mbps)
- Operating system: Android Lollipop 5.0
About the display… Samsung talks about the highest resolution display to date but we’d prefer to call it the display with the highest pixel density. With 600 cd/m2 one can also talk about a previously unreached level of brightness, at least for AMOLED and it should really improve readability in bright sunlight.
Samsung can also blow their trumpet about the SoC because the Exynos 7 is the first 14nm SoC built into a smartphone. It’s clear that Samsung feel competitive enough that this can be built into all S6 smartphones and therefore ‘say goodbye’ to the Snapdragon 810. In combination with the LPDDR4 RAM and the new UFS 2.0 flash storage (that should be 30% faster than that seen in the S5) we should be seeing one of the fastest ever Android smartphones. Whether it competes with the iPhone 6 is a completely different question.
Last but not least we need to mention the updated speakers which should be 50% louder. Whether that translates to better ‘quality’ sound is something we’ll have to find out when we compare to the leader here, the HTC One.
The Best “Android Camera”?
We must not forget the camera, an absolute sensation in the S6 and S6 Edge. The rear camera with a 16 MP resolution and F1.19 aperture doesn’t only offer a ‘Smart OIS’ feature but also realtime HDR which speaks volumes about the processing performance of the in-house Exynos 7. Also interesting is the ‘Heartrate Sensor’ which can use different infra-red levels to correct the white balance!
Samsung have also taken a feature from the NX camera. Autotracking, autofocus can track a moving object and keep it in focus and it’s new for a smartphone.
The 5MP front camera also offers an F1/1.9 lens and Auto Realtime HDR. Naturally there’s no optical stabiliser here.
The camera app can be opened with a double-click on the Homebutton and it will start the app in 0.7 seconds. If you’ve seen this on the One Plus One you’ll know it’s a killer feature because it means you’ve got a much better chance of catching that blnk-of-a-moment opportunity.
The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are fitted with wireless charging capability which supports the Qi and PMA standards although Samsung point-out that they don’t recommend third-party solutions because their own solution offers a “Turbo Mode”. Within 10 minutes you’ll get a useful 2 hours of usage and in just 30 minutes the battery is 50% full. That’s a great feature.
The new Touchwiz
Yes, Samsung have put their Launcher on a de-tox. The new animations and fonts look more minimal and slightly flatter and it’s a more enjoyable experience although when you look at the App and Notifications panel you’ll recognise Touchwiz directly as nothing has changed from the predecessor. Samsung have held themselves back and shown us that less is often better.
With the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Samsuing Galaxy S6 Edge the Koreans have presented us with the possibly the best Android handsets to date and are showing us a new direction with their design and use of materials. The two-sided Edge display is the most advanced Super AMOLED screen there is; Very bright and with a pixel density that reaches an almost unbelievable 600ppi. It’s a statement that the competitors will all have to work towards.
Does the Edge Display bring any functional advantages? No. Not even one. It’s all about the design and that, in our opinion, the finest Smartphone that Samsung has ever conceived.
The new Exynos 7 SoC testifies that Samsung have a new confidence it’s a declaration of war on the long-time partner Qualcomm. Look! We’re using our own platform on our flagship model!
One of the best cameras in the market is that found in the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 which has now found its way to the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge and that’s good because an optical stabiliser in a 5.1-inch smartphonen is a big selling point.
We’ve been slightly disappointed in the past with the conservative updates that were part of the S4 and S5, but the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a strong indicator to the competition, and when the price is right they’ll have a chance to forget the sub-optimal sales figures of the forerunners.