Samsung recently added two new models to their Galaxy S line. Undeniably, this is the smartphone line that has gained them much popularity and success. Because of this, Samsung manages to steal the international market for the phones they add to the Galaxy S line. With the announcement of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, there is much to look forward to with the quality of work the phone manufacturer is able to provide. Especially with the Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung has completely revolutionized themselves by creating a phone with curved glass display on both edges of its 5.1-inch Corning Gorilla Glass 4 screen. Not to mention, the phone is powered by an octa-core Exynos 7420 processor with 3GB of RAM. With this in the background, the Galaxy S6 Edge manages to be a powerful device. Additionally, the phone is equipped with a 16MP rear-facing camera and a secondary 5MP camera in front. The phone is available with 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB internal storage options along with four color options to choose from—Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, White Pearl and Green. Upon unboxing, the Galaxy S6 Edge is available with Android 5.0 Lollipop OS and TouchWiz UI.
Samsung has released a litany of new devices in recent months, but none has come with the fanfare of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. The Galaxy S6 Edge is the South Korean manufacturer's newest flagship device, following shortly after the mainstay Galaxy S6 on which the Edge is based. As the name suggests, the device takes cues from the previously released Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, and the result is an undoubtedly unique, highly polished device.
Look and Feel
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is one of the more unique smartphones on the market, with dual tapered edges on either side of the device creating a striking aesthetic impact that takes a moment to get used to. The curved edges of the display help to create the illusion that the Galaxy S6 Edge is thinner than it really is, though it's certainly still sleek and light.
In a very welcome change from Samsung devices of old, the S6 Edge boasts premium construction all the way around. Though the plastic material used for most of Samsung's previous smartphones and tablets was reasonably well-made, the switch to Gorilla Glass with a sleek aluminum trim truly projects an air of premium quality befitting the phone's status as a flagship device.
Beyond simple aesthetics, the dual-curved front serves another purpose as well. It's intuitively comfortable, and although it takes a moment to adjust, it feels more natural to hold than the more traditional phone design. It's not all positives, however, as the Gorilla Glass construction effectively makes the S6 Edge a fingerprint magnet. It's still a striking design, but it's difficult to keep it looking pristine.
It's not just the design that's eye-catching, as Samsung has packed a positively stunning display into its Galaxy S6 Edge. The 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display boasts a superb 1,440 x 2,560 resolution that translates to an absurd density of 577 pixels per inch. The result is an extraordinarily crisp, sharp display that stands as one of the best ever employed in a smartphone. Though it's difficult to visually identify the subtle differences between the Quad HD resolution and lesser Full HD panels, it's hard to argue with the end result.
As a Super AMOLED panel, the image quality is every bit as excellent as expected. Colors are bright and vivid, and the S6 Edge boasts superb contrast to help the display truly pop. The color temperature is slightly lower than the original Galaxy S6, resulting in slightly cooler color tones. The maximum brightness is nearly identical to the Galaxy S6, measuring in at a fantastic 553 nits. This allows the display to be seen clearly even outdoors or under bright overhead lighting.
A top-shelf display does little good if it isn't paired with the hardware to make the most of it, but fortunately that's exactly what Samsung has done. The Galaxy S6 Edge is powered by Samsung's own brawny 2.1-gigahertz octa-core Exynos 7420 processor, which is paired with a Mali-T760 graphics chip and three gigabytes of RAM. When it comes to storage capacity, the absence of a micro-SD card slot means customers are limited to on-board storage choices of 32, 64 or 128 gigabytes. The lack of expandable storage is a disappointing change for Samsung, though the larger capacities are likely more than sufficient for most users.
In terms of real-world performance, the S6 Edge's hardware provides it with plenty of processing power to handle almost any task. The Quad HD display might be expected to stunt the phone's performance considering the sheer pixel density, but the Edge's hardware is generally up to the task. Routine tasks are handled effortlessly, and most applications hum along with little to no lag. Heavier loads such as graphics-intensive games can give the hardware momentary problems, but in general real-world performance is relatively seamless.
All of that power should be expected to drain the Edge's 2600 mAh battery quickly, but that's not necessarily the case. The Galaxy S6 Edge won't be winning any awards for longevity, but its eight-plus hour battery life is more than sufficient considering the exceptional display and powerful hardware. Even better, the Edge features quick-charge technology that allows the phone to be fully charged in just over 80 minutes. This is a welcome addition, considering the phone is unlikely to last a full day with frequent usage.
The Galaxy S6 Edge's tapered design is largely about aesthetics, but not entirely. Samsung has found several innovative ways to use the tapered edges to display various information, such as stock tickers, news feeds, time and date information and a number of other downloadable options. The edges are also used for a feature aptly named People Edge, in which up to five custom contacts are displayed on one of the tapered edges for quick access from the lock screen. When one of the five contacts calls the phone, the curved edges will illuminate a certain color to provide a quick and simple notification of who is calling. This feature is particularly effective when the phone is resting screen-side down, as the lights will reflect off various surfaces to produce a distinct effect.
Perhaps the most exciting new feature is the fingerprint sensor, which is integrated into the home button. After a brief setup process, the home button can identify the user's fingerprint with a simple press rather than last year's convoluted swiping motion. In addition to the newly reworked fingerprint sensor, Samsung has also redesigned the TouchWiz interface to be simpler and more streamlined. Combined with an iteration of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop that looks and feels close to stock, the S6 Edge functions very well and is quick and simple to control. This also provides benefits when it comes to one-handed usage, as the Galaxy S6 Edge is surprisingly easy to use with one hand for many common tasks. For users who are more inclined to customization, a new Themes feature allows for downloading of various theme designs that alter the wallpaper, icon design and placement, color accents and more.
Smartphone cameras have gotten a bit of a bad rap, and Samsung seems to be on a mission to undo the negative reputation. The South Korean corporation has always dedicated itself to providing excellent cameras in their devices, and this is no exception. The 16-megapixel rear shooter included in the Galaxy S6 Edge is, in a word, exceptional. The improvements begin with a wider aperture lens that allows the camera to collect more light, particularly in low-light situations. Samsung has also included very effective optical image stabilization technology, as well as a back-illuminated sensor and infrared white balance that ensures every shot comes out as well as possible. On the video side, the Galaxy S6 Edge features gorgeously sharp recording in 60 frames per second at resolutions up to Ultra HD. The result is one of the finest cameras ever included in a smartphone, and one that will undoubtedly be a major draw for would-be photographers.
As for audio, the Galaxy S6 Edge is certainly loud. Its bottom-mounted speakers can crank out a superb sound volume of 75.4 decibels, which ranks among the best on the market. Unfortunately, the quality of the sound is a bit suspect. As is typical of most smartphones, music sounds somewhat thin and brittle through the on-board speakers. The Edge does provide a simple, elegant TouchWiz music player, as well as a whole host of editing tools that matches the software found on many other high-end phones. The quality and options for audio don't quite measure up to the stunning visual quality of the camera, but it's hardly disappointing.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is the pride of the South Korean manufacturer's smartphone line, and with good reason. Though it's not quite perfect and the tapered design may not be a hit for everyone, the device hits all the right notes for a premier smartphone. The premium construction and design is nothing short of luxury, and the display is one of the best available on the market. The hardware won't blow anyone out of the water, but it's more than sufficient for all but the most hardcore power users. The newly streamlined TouchWiz interface is highly effective, though it lacks the detailed customization options available on some competing phones. It's hard to say whether the primarily subtle changes from the original Galaxy S6 are worth the higher price, but there's no arguing that the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is an exceptional piece of technology.
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