Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge full review
Like Apple, Samsung has two versions of its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. But what's the difference? Find out in our Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S6 Edge comparison review including price, specs, hardware, design, screen, battery life, performance and more. Also see: Best smartphones 2015 and Best Android phones 2015.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S6 Edge review: Price
Now available across the UK from retailers and mobile networks, Samsung's new flagship smartphone fetch a high price. The regular Galaxy S6 is more expensive than rivals at £599 and the Galaxy S6 Edge will set you back a whopping £680 making it one of the most pricy smartphone on the market. Even more on Samsung's website but now the devices have been out for a while, you can find them for less but the price difference is still there.
So there's a reasonable price difference here so read on to find out whether it's worth splashing the cash to get the dual edge version of the Galaxy S6 or not. We'll look at design, build, hardware, performance, battery life and software.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S6 Edge review: Design
The Galaxy S6 Edge looks almost identical to the regular Galaxy S6, as you'd expect. They use a metal frame reminiscent of the iPhone 6 and Gorilla Glass 4 front and back. However, the S6 Edge has a curved screen which wraps both sides. They are both available in black, white and gold but each has an exclusive colour: blue topaz for the regular S6 and emerald green for the S6 Edge with the latter our favourite of them all.
With just a couple of colours and the curved sides separating the two on design, it's no surprise that they are almost identical on dimensions. The Galaxy S6 is a tiny bit thinner at 6.8mm compared to 7mm (7- and 7.2mm by our measurements) but it's the S6 Edge which is the lighter handset at 132g which is 6g less than its brother. It's worth noting that the thickness doesn't include the camera which sticks out on both.
Those minor differences aside, it's the regular Galaxy S6 which is far more comfortable in use. The Edge model is sharp down the sides and the metal frame doesn't sit flush with the glass next to the ear piece which cuts into your ear while making phone calls somewhat.
No matter which model you choose, Samsung's new design means no removable battery or microSD card slot plus the device is no longer dust- or waterproof. Three things which Galaxy fans will probably not like to hear.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge hands-on review: Hardware
Almost everything on the spec sheet for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge is the same. This means that either way you'll get a 5.1in SuperAMOLED Quad HD screen, Exynos 7420 octa-core processor (quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 and quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57), 3 GB of RAM and a Mali-T760 GPU.
Benchmark results (below) are understandably close although we're not sure why the Edge managed to outscore its brother across the board. Nevertheless, performance is slick on both devices so look elsewhere to make a decision.
There's also dual-band 11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 with atpX, NFC, IR blaster and Cat 6 4G LTE support with Samsung's Download Booster. The heart rate monitor remains on the back and the fingerprint scanner just requires a touch rather than a swipe.
Cameras are also the same at 16 Mp on the rear with OIS and 5 Mp at the front. You'll get Android 5.0 Lollipop with the latest TouchWiz user interface and the only software difference is what the dual edge can do. So what is the difference between the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge?
Well before we explain what the dual edge screen does compared to the regular one, there are a couple of small hardware differences to note relating to storage and battery.
While the regular Galaxy S6 comes in 32-, 64- and 128 GB capacities, the Edge only comes in 64- or 128 GB (as mentioned earlier, there's no microSD card slot anymore).
In the battery department, the Galaxy S6 Edge is 50 mAh higher at 2600 mAh. Wireless charging is a new feature and Samsung touts four hours usage from 10 minutes charging. When it comes down to it, it's no surprise that there's really no difference in energy performance with both devices lasting a couple of days. Our battery benchmark results from Geekbench 3 are closely matched.
We've already seen an edge screen on the Galaxy Note Edge but while that just wrapped around the right-hand edge, the Galaxy S6 Edge does both. Samsung understandably calls it the dual edge so this is the reason (apart from the green colour) to buy the Edge over the regular Galaxy S6. But should you?
Apart from looking great, it's more about what the dual edge can offer and after some hands-on time with the device we realised it doesn't actually do all that much. You don't get an extra bar there in regular use like on the Note Edge to show icons and the like.
You can choose which side to use so left handed users will be happy but for most features it seems silly to limit it to just one side. What if that side happens to be facing away from you because of how you put the phone down or you just like to use the phone with either hand?
Once you've chosen which side you want to use, you can get notifications on it and a clock during the night. However, the main feature is called People Edge. When switched on this adds a little grey bar to the side which you can swipe to open your favourite contacts to easily call or txt them.
That's cool and this will assign them colour codes so when a contact calls the edge screen will light up that colour so you know who it is. It sounds good but is designed to work when the device is face down on a flat surface which we're pretty sure no one does. It makes more sense with a case but we haven't seen any for the Galaxy S6 Edge
Apart from the gorgeous bezel-free look of the S6 Edge compared to the regular model, we're not convinced it's worth the extra money. There are only a handful of functions and while this may change over time with software updates it's an unknown and no guarantee.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: Specs
- Android 5.0 Lollipop
- 5.1in Quad HD SuperAMOLED dual edge screen (1440 x2560)
- Exynos Octa-core processor
- 64/128 GB storage
- 3 GB RAM
- 16 Mp rear camera with OIS
- 5 Mp front camera
- Heart rate monitor
- Fingerprint scanner
- 132 g, 7 mm
Samsung Galaxy S6: Specs
- Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Exynos 7420 octa-core (1.5GHz A-53 & 2.1GHz A-57) processor
- 3GB LPDDR4 RAM
- 32GB/64GB/128GB storage (no microSD support)
- Mali-T760 GPU
- 5.1in (1440x2560, 577ppi) Super AMOLED screen
- 16Mp rear camera with LED flash, smart OIS, real-time HDR and IR Detect white balance
- up to 4K video recording @ 30fps
- 5Mp front camera
- 4G Cat 6 LTE
- SIMtype: nano-SIM
- dual-SIM as standard: no
- 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
- Bluetooth 4.1
- GPS, GLONASS
- USB OTG
- heart-rate sensor
- fingerprint scanner
- 2550mAh non-removable battery with Qi and PMA wireless charging
- 1-year warranty
- test scores: Geekbench 3.0: 4438 (MC), 1347 (SC)
- SunSpider: 1048ms
- GFXBench: 30fps (T-Rex), 14fps (Manhattan 3.0), 6fps (Manhattan 3.1)