Samsung made a bold move this year, as while the flagship Galaxy Note 5 has been announced it’s not coming to the UK for the time being, instead UK customers get the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.
It’s big and it’s powerful just like the Note 5, but with two curved screens and no S Pen it’s different enough that it could just as easily put buyers off as attract them. The real question though is whether it’s any good. For an answer to that read on, as we give our first impressions of the device.
More than most other phones the screen is the star here, as the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a dual-curved display, which is to say that the screen curves off at the left and right edges.
It’s a neat trick and it looks good, but thankfully it also adds some features. You can for example put a selection of your favourite contacts and frequently used apps on one edge so they’re never far away. But while things like that are handy there’s still a sense that Samsung hasn’t done quite enough to justify curving the display, beyond the fact that it looks pretty.
Curves aside the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a gorgeous screen. It’s a big 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 528 pixels per inch, so it’s phablet sized, making it ideal for movies and games, it’s super sharp and being Super AMOLED it’s also bright and vivid.
All in all we’re inclined to say that it’s one of the best smartphone screens around, though you can get a similar experience in a smaller size from the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
With a metal frame and a glass back this is clearly a premium handset. In fact along with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge it’s probably the best looking phone Samsung has ever made, trumping the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 thanks to its curved screen.
The glass back can be a bit of a fingerprint magnet, but that’s a small issue against an otherwise stunning phone. It’s very slim too at just 6.9mm thick and while it’s not water or dust resistant that’s a trade-off we’ll take for a phone which looks this good.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420 processor with four cores running at 2.1GHz and the other four clocked at 1.5GHz. That’s the same chip as the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have and while you might lament the fact that this newer phone doesn’t have a newer processor it’s still just about the most powerful smartphone chip around.
Plus the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ actually does have beefed up innards, as it also has 4GB of RAM, up from 3GB in Samsung’s earlier 2015 flagships, so it’s a multi-tasking beast and on paper at least probably the most powerful phone on the planet.
Whether it is in practice is harder to say, but there certainly doesn’t seem to be any slowdown when operating it.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ has much the same camera as its smaller sibling, which means a 16 megapixel sensor on the back with optical image stabilisation and 4K video support and a 5 megapixel snapper on the front.
The S6 Edge has a top tier camera and we expect the same here, but not much has been changed or improved. However the Edge+ does at least add the ability to live stream videos to YouTube and save photos in RAW format, both of which will surely be appreciated by some users.
There are a couple of key features to highlight on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+. First up there’s its fingerprint scanner, which is a speedy and reliable alternative to more traditional security options.
Then there’s Samsung Pay, which hopes to compete with Apple Pay and the impending Android Pay in the contactless payments sector. While it’s unlikely to be as popular as either of them it certainly seems as good, with neat features like the ability to use it even at checkouts which don’t have NFC.
Battery life, memory and connectivity
There’s a 3,000 mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, which is pretty small for a phablet but in early tests it actually seems fairly capable, so we’re cautiously optimistic.
For memory there’s a choice of 32 or 64GB built in, but there’s no microSD card slot, so what you buy is what you’re stuck with. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ doesn’t really hold any surprises. If you’ve used a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge you’ll know exactly what to expect here- the same thing but bigger.
That might be a little harsh, as the Edge+ does have more RAM, a larger battery and a few camera tweaks, but it’s essentially very similar.
That’s no bad thing though, as the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is one of the best phones of 2015 and now phablet fans get to experience a slightly improved version of it. Galaxy Note fans might be a bit disappointed that this year their best phablet option comes without a stylus, but get used to the difference and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is easy to love.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ Specification
Dimensions: 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9mm
Screen size: 5.7” (1440 x 2560)
Screen Resolution: 1440 x 2560 display resolution
Pixels Per Inch (PPI): 518
Processor: Octa-core application processor
On-board Memory: 32/64GB
Camera: 16MP (rear) 5MP (front-facing)
Operating system: Android 5.1
3G / 4G LTE: Yes / Yes
Bluetooth / NFC: Yes / Yes
Battery capacity: 3000mAh
Colours: Black Sapphire, White Pearl, Gold Platinum, Green Emerald
Launch Date: September 4th