Our Full Review of the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus
The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge heralded a new era for Samsung because they finally shipped smartphones that actually looked incredibly beautiful and elegant. Their previous flagship offerings, such as the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4, were met with widespread criticism because they looked dull and uninspired. The Galaxy S6 series changed all of that as Samsung ditched plastic and went for metal and curved glass. Last month they expanded their S6 design philosophy to the Galaxy Note 5 and the newly announced big brother of the Galaxy S6 Edge, the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. We’ve spent the last two weeks using it as our daily driver and we’d like to share with you guys our full review.
Before anything let’s have a quick refresher on the technical specifications of the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus Spec Sheet
- Exynos 7420 octa-core processor
- 4GB of RAM
- 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED dual-edge display, 2560 x 1440 resolution
- 32/64GB of storage
- 16-megapixel rear camera with OIS
- 5-megapixel front camera
- 3G, LTE Cat. 6
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, NFC
- Android 5.1 Lollipop, TouchWiz UI
As you guys can see, it’s a beast. It packs the latest and greatest internals and you can definitely feel it when you fire up the phone and start using it for anything (and everything). Anyway, let’s jump into the review!
It Looks Stunning But…
There’s no denying the fact that the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus is probably one of the best looking smartphones in the market today. The way the light bounces off the metallic build, the gorgeous display, and the curved edges makes it very different compared to all other devices in this category.
To achieve this elegant and thin look, Samsung gave up two features that have endeared the previous generation of their giant smartphones — the micro SD card slot (expandable storage) and the removable and interchangeable battery. On top of that, the S6 Edge Plus is priced at the high end of the premium spectrum with the base model selling for well over Php40,000.
We also noticed two issues with the over-all design. The speaker grill on this device is at the bottom and while it’s quite loud when used as external speakers, it’s actually very easy to cover when you’re using the phone in landscape mode playing games.
Another is that this device is just a ridiculous finger-print magnet. We highly recommend that you guys get a skin, case, or bring a piece of cloth to constantly wipe this because it will always get smudges.
Holding the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus is also not as comfortable as one would like. The thin curved edges really bites into one’s palms. Grip also isn’t the best as it does get quite slippery to hold due to the metallic and glass construction.
Clearly Samsung sacrificed a lot of tried and tested hardware build principles to achieve this look. And this is most evident in the dual curved display.
Display: Beautifully Curved but Not Really Useful
Samsung makes the best displays on smartphones. Their Super AMOLED screen is vibrant, rich, and just better compared to all the other Android smartphones we’ve handled and reviewed in the past. They brought that technology to the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and added the dual curved edges which they first introduced with the Galaxy S6 Edge.
“The dual edge display feature is purely aesthetic in value…”
Does it look great? Yes. Does it add any significant value? No. Does it have any issues with usage? Yes.
The edge display feature is purely aesthetic in value because the features in brings to table aren’t really stuff that you would normally use and look for. In fact it does have some downsides when it comes to gaming. The content of the game bleeds to the lower and deeper portions of the curved edges. This makes it tapping controls a little bit harder and inefficient and we felt this the most when we were playing Clash of Clans.
Other than the bleeding issue, the display is perfect. Color reproduction is spot on and the images are rich, vibrant, and detailed. When it comes to display quality, we really believe that Samsung is clearly the best.
Performance: Best in Class
The Galaxy S6 Edge Plus powered through every single thing we threw at it with no problem. Sure there were occasional slow downs (but very minor and rare), but over-all this thing is really a beast. Anything from Marvel Future Fight, Mortal Kombat, to Clash of Clans were buttery smooth. We also had no issues with multi-tasking and media editing applications.
In terms of software specifically made to make the most out of the curved edges, we only found ourselves using the People Edge feature. This is where you can swipe from the edge of the display to show pre-selected contacts or apps for easy access. All the other stuff like the light-up when faced down and the display when turned off were features we rarely used.
Camera: Another Best in Class
When it comes to Auto Mode, we feel that the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and the Galaxy Note 5 are at the top of the Android heap. Sure you can take much better shots using the Manual mode of the LG G4, but 95% of the time you just want to press one button without having to adjust so many settings just to take a picture. With that in mind, the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus (and the Note 5) are for us, the undisputed kings.
Here are some sample shots of the rear-facing camera.
Here are some sample shots of the front facing camera.
In terms of video capture, the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, like the Galaxy Note 5, can take 4K Video. However the 32GB non-expandable storage is simply not enough for one to take a lot of 4k recordings. We only managed a little over a minute of footage with the space that we had left after filling the device up with our songs and a few movies. :/
PS: We’re just having trouble uploading some sample recorded videos but we’ll do so in a later time once our Internet connection stabilizes
One feature we had fun playing around with was LIVE BROADCAST. It lets you livestream the content of your phone to a pre-selected and logged-in YouTube channel. Only limitation is that you can only stream with 426×420 resolution. This is probably a great feature that aspiring mobile gamer YouTubers can take advantage of once Samsung has perfected it.
Battery Life: Above Average
The battery of the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus lasted us the whole day, and this is with occasional Clash of Clans raids at certain parts of the day. Screen On Time for us was constantly at the 5 hour mark which can already be considered above average.
For the times we used the phone heavily, all we needed to do was to plug it into the fast charger to keep it topped up in the afternoon so that we wouldn’t have any problems later on in the evening.
Verdict: Style Over Substance
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus is a “statement device”. We think that it’s for people who prefer style over substance. It’s a beautifully made device and the specifications are beastly. However the dual-edge screens don’t add any significant value to the user experience. It was really just something there to make the phone look better and to help Samsung build a reputation of making classy, nice looking, and premium flagship offerings.
Do we recommend it? We would actually push for the Galaxy Note 5. However if that’s not your cup of tea (you don’t like the S Pen, etc) and you have extra cash to burn, the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus might be for you.