Samsung revolutionized the smartphone industry in 2012 with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S3, receiving over 9 million pre-orders in 2 weeks from 100 carriers throughout the world. Since then, the iterative releases of the “Galaxy S” series have been somewhat lacking and bland, converging to become nothing more than differently sized “Galaxy Note” devices. This year, though, Samsung decided to release 2 versions of it’s Galaxy S6 device; the regular Galaxy S6, and the Galaxy S6 Edge.
The S6 Edge rocks almost identical features to the regular S6, save a slightly larger battery and the whole point of the device, the contoured display on both ends of the phone. These curves are definitely stylish in my opinion (though that is subjective), and it adds a little bit of “WOW” factor without being completely over the top. There are pro’s and cons and things in between, but now I think I want to get to talking about specific parts of the device.
Wow, just wow. The Galaxy S6 Edge uses the absolute best display I have ever seen on a smartphone. With a 577 ppi 2k Super AMOLED display, the device looks crisp and sharp, featuring more accurate color representation from other flagships on the market. The curved edges add a strange paper-like feeling to the device, especially when scrolling through text on a web page. The letters seem to slip off in a waterfall-like manor, and there is a very new and unique feeling that comes along with using a device that does that. With every feature comes a chance of a downside, however, and the curved screen seems to attract glare from somewhere in the room at all times, even when it seems that there is no light source available.
The regular edition of this device would not have this strange hindrance, but for me personally the appeal of the device outweighs the slightly awkward screen glare.
You know that old saying “Form over function”? That is the epitome of this device. I’ll get more into that later.
This thing is an art piece. It’s beautiful in every sense of the word. But again, this doesn’t mean this is the most user-friendly device. For the first few days, the smooth curves and beveled edges overwhelmed my senses and clouded my rationale. We keep asking for thinner bezels, but is there a point where they become TOO thin? This is the first device I’ve encountered that was actually significantly difficult to pick up because of it’s lack of mass to actually hold on to. Now, the curved glass may also have something to do with this, since your fingers slip right off when you try to pick up the phone lying face up, but honestly. This thing became really, REALLY annoying to pick up off my desk.
Along with the picking up the device comes one handed use. Holding this thing feels like you’ve got a live grenade between your fingers. The actual amount of phone you can grip is very small, and If you try to use the rounded glass as a grip, you’re either going to drop it, or activate some feature on the phone that you didn’t want to use at all.
Beyond that, the build quality is phenomenal, and the anodized aluminum and glass on the back of the phone really makes you feel like you’re getting what you paid for. The glass backing is cool to the touch and makes premium an understatement. I know I shouldn’t be that worried about aesthetics, but this thing is about as visually pleasing as it gets.
Ok, I haven’t tried the LG G4 yet. BUT. The camera in this device is ONE of the best phone cameras you’re going to get. Images are crisp and sharp, and low light images are great, which is not something you can say often. In fact, I could realistically see someone buying this phone just for the camera. I found myself using it all the time, when I normally wouldn’t pull out my G3. This might be due to the fact that double-tapping on the home button opens the camera faster than you can say “open”. It’s a really useful feature that allows you to get those last-second shots without having to fumble around with your phone for 30 seconds.
I think some pictures would speak louder than words, so go ahead and see for yourself!
I don’t really know what else to say here, but you get what you paid for when it comes to the shooter on this baby.
I forgot to take a screenshot of the usage, but the battery was “ok” at best. Even when in use as a secondary phone, it wore down about as fast as my G3, which has exceptional battery life. It certainly lasted the day, but I would have been a bit happier if it was able to last through the night. You can’t use an extra battery for this phone as the back is non-removable, but battery packs are getting pretty inexpensive and there are quite a few solutions that would fit into any budget. Since I am reviewing the phone itself, though, I would give the battery life a 7.9 out of 10. Not great, but not terrible either.
Ok, ok. I know you have to have to make features to highlight the edge screen when you use a curved display. You have to have something to use it for, right? Unfortunately I didn’t find a lot of use for them. I could be the 1% that doesn’t but I really didn’t find a good use. Lets go through the features now.
I admit that this feature is cool, although not too practical. Essentially what happens is when you have the phone lying down on it’s face the side slides color across the edge of the screen to let you know when a certain contact is calling. I used it, and I admit it’s neat, but using it correctly requires lying the device face down, and that’s something I’m personally not comfortable with. I mean, why would you lie the device on it’s screen when you could just have it resting on it’s back, where it gets plenty of use anyways? I could maybe see this in practice if it was on your bedside table while you were sleeping, but if it were me I would have to put a piece of plush or something under it. Check out this gif I made for it and see for yourself.
Ok, this one is handy, but it’s not like you couldn’t do it on a normal device. Essentially you swipe in from the side and lets you interact with your “favorite” contacts. I GUESS it feels better to do it with the edge screen, but again, I think they just needed features to show off. It does look very pretty, though, and I appreciate the design.
Probably the most useless (to me at least) feature on the device. I suppose it could be handy to have the phone only use a tiny bit of the screen to save power, but I tried lying in bed and using it and the feature, and still couldn’t see the time. If your bed is taller than your side table it would be useful but otherwise not so much.
Yes, that is my cat’s foot. She was excited.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
Ok, I’m done. But seriously, Samsung included a total of 6 “Samsung” apps on the device. That is seriously a miracle. With how long people have been complaining about this stuff I’m SO glad a manufacturer did something about it. Keep on doing it, Samsung. I hope others follow suit.
I know I was kinda harsh, but I still really like this phone. The only thing that started to bug me after a while was the lack of mass to hold on to, but that could probably be solved pretty easily with a case, which I would put on it anyways. The screen and camera are absolutely fantastic, and I applaud Samsung for making a new design. As far as if this will catch on, I think it’s a little early to tell. What I think will happen is the curved display technology will be built upon to eventually lead to flexible screens which could have many more uses. Regardless, It’s a great first dip into the mobile curved display market, and I’m excited to see where Samsung can take this next.
Thank you 1000 times over to AT&T for the unit! The service was exceptional the whole trial period and we appreciate it so much.