The more expensive, exciting version of the Samsung Galaxy S6 tries to win you over with its looks. The Galaxy S6 Edge is a striking handset, taking the title as the world’s first dual curved display smartphone.
It really is stunning piece of tech, and I finally felt proud holding a Samsung in my hand again as previous devices haven‘t been the best looking phones. It started to change with the Galaxy Note 4 and then the Galaxy A range. But can the device deliver all round greatness?
Before we answer that question, here are some key features:
Curved screen, thin (7mm) profile, premium dual-glass design reinforced by a metal frame

  • 5.1″ Super AMOLED of QHD (1440 x 2560) resolution, 577ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Exynos 7420 64-bit chipset, octa core processor with four 2.1GHz Cortex-A57’s and four 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 cores, Mali-T760 MP8 GPU, 3GB of RAM
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with TouchWiz and Samsung Pay
  • 16MP camera, f/1.9 aperture, 4K video recording, LED flash, optical image stabilization
  • 5MP front-facing camera, f/1.9 aperture, 1440p QHD video, HDR
  • 32/64/128 GB of built-in storage
  • Heart-rate sensor, barometer, SpO2
  • Built-in wireless charging (Qi/PMA)
  • 2,600mAh battery

Design and Build
The Galaxy S6 range has seen a massive refresh in the design department. Gone are the plastic backs and fake metal sides, replaced with aluminium alloy rims and a glass back. For the first time in ages, nothing feels cheap on the Samsung device.
It‘s not just that the materials are top notch either, it feels much better put together than the Samsungs of the past. The diamond-cut edging brings a lustre to the metal border that‘s reminiscent of the iPhone 5, but thinner and more tasteful.
It is only slightly larger than the iPhone 6 whilst packing in a markedly larger 2.1-inch display. Even the buttons feel much better than previous iterations, being more tactile and having the right amount of spring ““ and just as impressively sculpted. The glass back is surprisingly grippy and feels much better to hold than plastic backs of the past, but it is a magnet for dust and fingerprints.
The only part of the design that looks out of place is the rear camera. It protrudes slightly to form a hump on the back and detracts from an otherwise greatly designed device. Perhaps the device should have been 1mm thicker to house the camera fully and they could have included a bigger battery (more on that later).
gs6-design2This is a little irritation in an otherwise greatly designed package. We can forgive them for the general look and build quality of the S6 Edge.
The display on the Galaxy S6 is marvellous, plain and simple. It‘s not just the flowing curves that makes it looks special ““ the Super AMOLED display will knock your socks off and is simply the best display on any smartphone in the world.
A couple of things makes it truly special. Firstly, it‘s stunningly sharp at 557 ppi with the Quad HD display. While the human eye probably can‘t see much difference with such a screen over a 1080p display, zooming into fine text with vivid details is strangely satisfactory.
Another strength of the S6 Edge‘s screen is usability outdoors. Even in direct sunlight you will have no trouble using this display. The viewing angles are also superb and nothing to worry about. A traditional advantage of the OLED screen, the dark colours, also comes to the fore again and it has true, deep blacks as opposed to IPS displays which can seem dark grey.
The curved display can sometimes slightly distort the edges of images and videos, but this is a very minor gripe once again. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has one of the best screens, if not the best screen, you can get on a phone.
Software and Performace
gs6-ui3This is always the part of a Samsung review I dread. Samsung‘s implementation of the over-wrought TouchWiz interface was always frustrating at best, and infuriatingly laughable at worst. Samsung made a big deal about making the software simpler and more responsive, so for once we were slightly optimistic.
We were happy to see that bloatware has been reduced and the slew of software “˜features‘ aren‘t automatically switched on when you first take control of the device. One major improvement Samsung has made is reducing the steps it takes to get things done on TouchWiz. It‘s now easier than ever before. Removing or uninstalling apps is very simple and apps open quickly, powered by that monstrous octa-core Exynos processor.
gs6-uiThe design has been slightly updated, but it still feels distinctly Samsungy. On the lock screen you’ll find quick links to the camera and dialer apps and a swipe of a finger across the screen will see a brief bubble animation as the handset unlocks.
The notification dropdown has been cleaned up and changed to look more like Android Lollipop. The quick toggles also work much better than on previous version of TouchWiz and isn‘t confusing and overwhelming as it was before. The settings menu was always a mess, and this has been rectified as well.
The multi-window view still works a treat and is the shining light of the TouchWiz experience. The features specifically made for the Edge display don‘t really add anything to your user experience. It is very much still a gimmick at this stage.
gs6-ui2Overall the TouchWiz experience has definitely improved. While it is still one of the least attractive Android skins and is at odds with the beautiful design, it is definitely a step in the right direction.
It has also improved in performance. There’s no Qualcomm chip here like in the HTC One M9, instead you’ll find Samsung’s own-brand Exynos octa-core chip running the show which is backed up by 3GB of RAM.
The processor is made up of two quad-core chips, one clocked at 2.1GHz for the heavy lifting tasks such as gaming and movie streaming, while the 1.5GHz chip takes over when you’re doing more mundane things such as text messaging or surfing the web.
This gives the device a lot of power, and you can feel it under your finger when sliding through the OS. We were able to whizz around Android 5.0 without any signs of slowing down.
It remains to be seen how the device ages, as this was usually when the Samsung devices of the past would start struggling as a result of the software. At this stage, though, we have seen no hiccups at all.
In short then, there’s very little the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge does wrong when it comes to interface and performance. This is a handset you can throw anything at and it’ll gobble it down like a greedy child and come back asking for more.
Battery and Fingerprint Scanner
Ever since the device was announced we were concerned about the potential battery life of the comparably small 2,600 mAh battery. Can the smaller battery deliver better battery life than on the Galaxy S5 as claimed by Samsung? Sadly, the answer is a resounding no.
The battery struggles to cope with more powerful and a higher resolution display. This time around you can‘t solve the problem with an extra battery lying in your bag ““ the Galaxy S6 Edge has a non-removable battery (and no microSD card slot to boot).
You won‘t be able to get through a full day with this device if you use the device for the usual calls, social networking and browsing. Don‘t even try playing intensive games without having a wall socket close by. What a shame.
On the other hand, the fingerprint scanner has been massively improved. Where the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 required a fiddly swipe down over the home button, the S6 Edge just needs you to rest a digit on it, just like Touch ID does on an iPhone. It‘s just as responsive as Touch ID as well.
The camera experience on Samsung devices have always been pretty good to great and this time is no different. The rear facing camera on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is excellent. It’s one of the best cameras I’ve had the pleasure of using on a smartphone.
gs6-cam1Samsung have finally made it easy to launch the camera app ““ an easy double tap on the home button. Is loads very quickly so you will never miss that shot that needs your attention right away.
All of the option you would expect is in the app and you can fiddle with all of the settings like contrast, ISO, etc. I never needed to do that though and stuck to Auto Mode. In this mode he Galaxy S6 Edge does an excellent job at recognizing your surroundings and adapting the settings to get you the best image.
gs6-cam2Virtual shot is more of a gimmicky feature, but also kind of cool. You select an object in the viewfinder that you would like a 3D view of, and then move the device around it. The phone will capture a series of images and stitch them together into a GIF. You can then look round the object by tilting your phone in both directions. It’s really fun to show off with, but the quality isn‘t always great and it can be a hassle capturing the shot in the first place.
Colour reproduction is very good but can be slightly oversaturated as with all Samsung cameras. While we really like this fact, some photographers might prefer colours to be closer to real life.
gs6-cam3Video performance is solid, too. The S6 Edge manages to capture both audio and video well and quickly adjusts focus when moving from well-lit to dark areas.
It‘s easy to dismiss the Galaxy S6 Edge as a folly, but you shouldn‘t. Yes, it is more expensive than the Galaxy S6, but the improved looks makes it worthwhile. Samsung finally realized that perceived value is as important as the cold hard facts of actual system performance.
That being said, it has great performance, a brilliant camera and a stunningly beautiful screen. If you can live with the sub-par battery life, this device should be at the top of your list if you are looking for a flagship device.
Follow Theunis on Twitter: @Theunis_BWB

  1. At last hahahaha only cos they blatantly copied the iPhone 6 design for the device itself

      1. Some say? Even a blind man could feel it’s the exact same on the outside hahaha😂😂😂

        1. I agree with regards to the metal rim, but other than that it is vastly different.

        2. I agree with regards to the metal rim, but other than that it is vastly different.

          1. So the camera is in the middle at the back wow. The speaker holes are the same. The charger port is the same (just micro usb). Earphone jack is the same. Buttons on both sides is the same. No removable battery or no micro sd support. 90% the same imo

          2. Well all smartphones follow that same recipe. Are you talking about the positions of the earphone jack and port? That’s hardly something that would make them the same. The feel very different.
            The glass back looks and feels completely different to anything on the market, and the front is still distinctly Samsung.
            “No removable battery or no micro sd support” has nothing to do with design, they’re features (or the lack thereof).

    1. Lol i see an apple fanboy here. Let us not forget that we now at a stage where there is a battle between Innovation and optimisation. All companies are at a stage where they can level the playing field in terms of hardware etc…. now is the age of optimisation where we see are devices meeting a certain users needs. It now boils down to personal preference. Consumerism is playing a huge role in our day to day. I personally like samsung products and at the same time like apple products. its a matter of choice. Whats better sirloin or rib-eye? Who cares? they’re both awesome

      1. Hahaha call me a fanboy I don’t care.
        The s5 for example has double the cores of an iPhone 6 and 3x the RAM but an iPhone 6 is still faster. Optimisation I guess. iOS doesn’t need the hardware that android does. Personally I feel my phone is faster than a s6 I used too.
        I’ve had bad experiences with all Samsung products I’ve ever owned so I totally disagree on them making quality

        1. I see Steve smiling down upon you. I love apple products too but only the macbook and iMac I think Samsung and android devices in general are better user centred. I think you have been conditioned by the apple facade. Open your eyes grasshopper. The world is moving forward do not be left in limbo

          1. Hahaha doubtful, an iPhone is the only Apple product I like. Tablets in general for example annoy me and an android tablet is way cheaper than an iPad. MacBooks and iMacs are way overpriced too, can buy a monster PC or laptop for less haha.
            I haven’t been conditioned by anything😜, an iPhone does everything I want in a phone and android doesn’t. You say it comes down to preference and I prefer an iPhone over any android or windows phone any day of the year.
            If I ever moved to android it’d be for Project Ara or whatever it may eventually be called, if it still happens.
            Samsung are just the worst android devices for me, I can’t fathom why people love them so much. Now the s6 and edge are more expensive than an iPhone, also don’t have removable batteries or micro sd support like an iPhone so I don’t know what the Samsung fanboys are now gonna hold against an iPhone.
            They also keep on hammering on how sh1t an iPhone is yet they ALWAYS compare it to an iPhone, if it’s really that bad then why always compare it

  2. Nice review as always Theunis. But now my question to you is that how does this device in terms of connectivity with other devices. like i use different products (mac computer, playstation, sony tablet) how well can it sync with these devices? stupid question maybe? and then is this bad boy water proof? I love me some shower selfies LOL

    1. Thanks! Easy to sync with PC and backups tp other Android devices very easy. It isn’t waterproof, though, you’ll need a Sony for those selfies. 😀

      1. Oh no!!!! Wish it was…. ok how about the curved screen thingy? is it not just another gimmick like curved TV’s? how often did you actually view things from the side? Did the curve add any value in your day to day?

        1. As stated in the review, there are some software features included for the curved display, but they aren’t very useful. I’d definitely call it a gimmick in terms of software, but I love the curved edges because of how it makes the device look!

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