Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ full review
Samsung made a splash in the smartphone market with the curved screen Galaxy S6 Edge. Well there's an even bigger model now so here's our full Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review. Also see: Best new phones 2015 and Samsung Galaxy S7 release date, price and specs rumours.
The S6 Edge+ was announced in August at Samsung's Unpacked 2015 event along with the Galaxy Note 5. This would normally be launched in September at IFA but it was seemingly brought forward to avoid a clash with the iPhone 6S - and other rivals in Berlin.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review: Price and competition
The original Galaxy S6 Edge was one of the most expensive phones we've ever seen at launch price. Well the Edge+ beat it with Samsung initially selling it at £749.
For a while it was reduced to a cheaper price than the smaller Edge at £599 but it's now £629 from the official Samsung store. That's not too bad but it's still one of the most expensive phones around. However, head over to Amazon and you can pick one up for just £519, a relative bargain.
That's £100 cheaper than the iPhone 6S which comes with half the storage but you need to consider that the Galaxy S6 can be purchased for under £340 which can only be described as a bargain.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review: Design and build
There's not a great deal to say about the design and build of the Galaxy S6 Edge+ since it is really just a bigger version of the original model. It retains the same look and feel compromising of a rounded metal frame and glass on the front and back.
It's one of the most stylish phones around but we haven't found it as comfortable as the regular Galaxy S6 due to the slightly sharp metal running down either side in order to house the curved edges of the screen - this hasn't changed much on the Edge+. It's still thin at 6.9mm but the Edge+ model being even larger makes it all the more unwieldy.
Despite increasing the screen size, Samsung has managed to make the Edge+ 0.1mm thinner than the Edge. There's a larger battery too and yet the phone is only around 20g heavier. This is some impressive engineering from Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review: Hardware and specs
As alluded to, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is larger than the original model. If you thought a 5.1in screen was a bit small, the Note range is no longer your only option if you're a Samsung devotee. The Edge+ features a 5.7in display which matches that of the new Galaxy Note 5 – it's quickly becoming the standard size for larger phones with the new Nexus 6P also offering this screen size. Also see: 100 funny things to ask S Voice
The display still uses Samsung's Super AMOLED technology and uses a Quad HD resolution (1440 x 2560). This does mean a drop in pixel density from 577- to 518ppi but we're talking seriously high numbers here so it's still awesomely crisp.
Also see: Best smartphones 2015.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is one of a handful of phones announced with 4G of RAM which is plenty of memory - an extra 1GB compared to the Edge which power users may find helpful. On the storage front you might be sad to hear there's still no Micro-SD card slot and the 128GB model has been dropped from the line-up, leaving just 32- and 64GB choices. As mentioned earlier, getting 32GB as standard is good when compared with devices like the iPhone 6S.
Samsung has stuck with the same Exynos 7420 processor which is unsurprising since the smaller S6 Edge hasn't been around for too long. The chip is 64-bit, octa-core (quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 and quad-core 2.1GHz Cortex-A57) plus there's a Mali-T760MP8 GPU. Performance seems just a slick as the Galaxy S6 Edge and the benchmark results reflect this.
What's even more impressive than the above numbers is the battery life on offer here. In our test the Galaxy S6 Edge+ lastest a whopping eight hours and 39 minutes with a score of 5192. The nearest contenter to date is the Honor 7 which managed just over seven hours.
The larger physical size means there's room for a 3000mAh battery inside and the Edge+ also offers wireless charging which is something we always want to see from a high-end handset.
We didn't think Samsung would drop any of its usual extra features so while the Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a fingerprint scanner in the home button and a heart rate monitor, the IR blaster has been dropped with the firm promoting new features such as 'Live Broadcast' although we don't really see the need for this with apps like Periscope. There's also 11ac Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX, GPS and 4G LTE support.
With such high-end specs on the existing Galaxy S6 models, it's not really a shock that things haven't changed for the Edge+. This means there are still top-notch cameras at 16Mp at the rear with optical image stabilisation (it still sticks out a few millimetres but is one of the best on any smartphone), a single LED flash and support for 4K video at 30fps. There's also still a decent 5Mp camera at the front.
With so many specs remaining the same, the key difference is the screen size and battery life (although more memory is welcome and it's a shame to see the IR blaster gone) here so Samsung is delivering for all of you out there with a craving for an S6 Edge in a larger model.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review: Software
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ comes pre-loaded with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and Samsung's own TouchWiz interface – as you would expect.
What we wanted to find out is whether Samsung has made any advancements or upgrades with the edge screen technology. We were somewhat disappointed with the original S6 Edge since you had to choose which side you wanted to use and there was limited functionality.
Unfortunately, not much has changed but you can position the tab with with to access the People Edge where is most comfortable on the edge. There's also the added feature of accessing your most used apps with via the People Edge on top of contacts.
We were hoping for more.
There's little in TouchWiz that's stock Android, it's really just the recent apps menu. Otherwise Samsung has opted for its own way of doing things. That's fine for fans of the UI but others may be put off.
Bloatware is much less of an issue these days but the Edge+ comes with a number of apps which can't be uninstalled. This includes a folder full of Microsoft apps and Samsung's own such as S Health and S Voice.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: Specs
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
- 5.7in Super AMOLED dual edge screen Quad HD (1440 x2560)
- Exynos 7420 Octa-core processor
- 32/64GB storage
- 4GB RAM
- 16Mp rear camera with OIS
- 5Mp front camera
- Heart rate monitor
- Fingerprint scanner
- 11ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth with atpX
- 3000mAh battery
- 6.9 mm