Samsung came out of its two different version of its flagship Android phone this year: the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy s6 Edge which you probably heard a lot about. The regular S6 are reviewed as standalone phone. It’s one of the best phones you can buy. But the edge as the name implies is a little bit physically different.
It has a curve over the edge of both sides of the glass. That cost a hundred dollars more for this version. So you better get something out of this. What exactly do you get from your hundred bucks? Internally, these phones are identical. They are the same phone, same chip, same RAM, same camera, same everything. Objectively, the only real different between them is the display and the dimensions.
The Galaxy S6 Edge is a tiny bit thicker than the regular S6, it 7mm thick and actually houses a slightly larger battery (2600mAh). Not a huge difference but worth noting. The biggest difference though from the build comes with the fell on the hand. Since the glass wraps around the sides of the phone it also means you get a less of the side of the phone to hold on to when you’re using it. You’ll find out more and more as you’re using the phone.
If I grip the phone the wrong way or squeeze it all, I am actually clicking things on the screen back. But if I was too careful to not touch the screen then you’re basically just holding on to a sharp metal edge and that got uncomfortable after awhile. There’s significantly less material to hold on the sides and because of the angles on the waist built, you’re really not holding to a metal side, you’re holding on to a metal rail to pick on and hold the phone. It does make the phone look and feel super thin. It is eye-catching but this turn into a case of feeling like a little bit too thin.
Samsung does build in some neat software feature to take advantage of the new shape. It’s not as extreme as the curve in the Note4 Edge which is only on one side but this is a little bit more convenient as you can choose which side any of this feature showed up on. You get edge lighting for incoming calls, people edge for a quick swiping to contact your favourite people, information stream to show notifications and info on the edge, and the night clock.
I found the night clock and the information stream to actually make the most sense to make advantage of the OLED display and only light the edge pixels when you have them in use so you don’t waste any battery. But it’s actually the feature that I use the least because I never felt compel to use them even though I feel like they’ll be very easy to use. But the ones I did use are the people edge and the edge lighting. They are both very cool. I have a few favourite contacts, you can swipe in only the home screen.
You can pull that tab on the home screen at any time and contact them. You can see they have a ring around their picture with the color. You are going to remember these colors when you get in contact with these people. Anytime they contact me, they are associated with that color. So if I miss a call from one of them, I get a sort of a side notification in addition to the one I’ve tapped. Nothing you couldn’t do with the regular screen but having the curve there makes this feel more natural and any incoming call from my favourite contact.
While your phone is faced down on the table will light up the edges with the contact color so you know who it is before you pick it up. I don’t want to put this all glass phone faced down that often but it was a nice thing to see it worked. That’s about it for the edge specific features. Everything else about the edge display is just aesthetics. Just the crazy way it looks. People will really like this apps suddenly feel a lot more immersive. It feels like there’s no vessel at all.
The content and images sort of spill over the sides of the phone with no barrier. This curve makes a lot of swiping more pleasant too esp. all the good Google apps, they would be more comfortable to use because of this curve. This is probably a great phone for tinder with all that swiping. It is not an aesthetically unique thing but has a little bit of benefit over the everyday use. The one thing to watch out for is the glare and distortion.
If it weren’t curve we would just be saying, “This is a phone with zero side vessel.” But the curve introduces a glare that a regular Galaxy S6 doesn’t have to worry about. There is no position that you can hold the edge and not get any glare somewhere. Distortion can be a factor with full screen media too. You’ll notice that. Long story short, when I was introduced to both the phones, the Galaxy S6 and the regular galaxy S6, I really like the edge version a lot more. But this is of those cases where the initial impression is a little bit different from the final verdict.
I originally said that the Galaxy S6 Edge could be its all standalone phone and a regular S6 is a backup in case it doesn’t work. But now because it’s a hundred dollars extra, as cool as it is, the edge screen isn’t worth the extra hundred dollars to most people. It does look really cool on a table and in the hand and does seem a lot thinner and a lot different from a normal phone but when you consider the price difference, it’s a little harder to justify. Maybe we’ll see a version of Samsung phones that aren’t a full hundred dollars more than regular parts in the future but until then. Id’ say hold off even though it looks pretty awesome.