Samsung’s recently released Galaxy S6 Edge makes my day-to-day phone, an HTC One M8, look positively fat.
Put the two phones side by side and the S6 Edge is noticeably thinner and more streamlined. The screen is a lot clearer, colours are more vivid and it makes the One M8, itself a bloody good phone, look old and outdated, which I guess it is in the fast-moving world of smart phones.
I’ve been playing around with the S6 Edge and vanilla S6 for a couple of weeks now and I have to say I’m impressed by what Samsung have produced. The camera is second-to-none (I’ve been told it’s the best smart phone camera on the market at the moment and I’m inclined to believe that) but it seems that Samsung has learned some lessons from its previous Galaxy editions and put them into the S6 Edge and S6.
Sporting a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 16MP rear and 5MP front facing camera, and wireless charging, the S6 Edge and S6 are the business when it comes to cutting edge tech. The screen is amazing, producing vivid and bright colours and the S6s also have a fingerprint scanner for when you want to extra high on security. Personally, I found the fingerprint scanning a bit touch and go if I didn’t place my finger in exactly the right position when it was scanning. Another nice feature is the heart rate monitor which uses the same sensor that scans your fingerprint. Something I liked on the Edge was that you could have its edge lighting illuminate when you got notifications.
The S6s seems free of the bloatware that previous iterations of the S-range were cluttered with. One of my biggest complaints with the S3 (that was the last S-phone I owned) was that it had too much Samsung software that just couldn’t be deleted (in fact, Android itself suffers from that problem, too, forcing apps on me that I’ll never use but can’t delete easily).
It’s good to see that with the S6 phones, Samsung hasn’t weighed them down with unnecessary apps and software. The home screen of the phone has a ticker-style notification area that recommends apps that are useful for the phone but I didn’t download any of them. I wanted an uncluttered, bloatware free phone. If I wanted to download the Facebook app, which I did, I clicked on the FB icon that was on the phone which then started the download.
Another thing I like about the S6 range is that they feel like quality phones now, and not the plastic encased previous generation models that, despite their high-end price felt cheap, especially when compared to phones like the iPhone and the HTC One M8.
OK, the S6s do have design similarities to the latest iPhone range but it’s good to see metal and glass used rather than cheap plastic. People are paying a lot of money for these phone so they expect high-end finishes. The S6 and S6 Edge certainly deliver on that front.
In terms of performance, the S6 and S6 Edge are exactly the same phone, except the Edge has, rounded edges, hence the Edge moniker. Call quality was consistently good and the phone was responsive (my son seemed to thing there was a slight lag when swiping from screen to screen but I couldn’t see it, but then I have old eyes). I didn’t experience any lock-ups or hangs that forced a re-start.
One thing I didn’t like – and Samsung has gone the way of Apple – is that battery is non-removable battery. I suspect it’s a weight-saving things but frankly, I’d prefer to be able to replace the battery when it dies, not have to send it off to a service centre to do it.
Then there’s the camera. It is, in a word, amazing: Perhaps the best camera phone I’ve ever used. Pictures were clear, video was crisp. It’s almost as if Samsung have designed the camera first, then bolted a phone on afterwards. The camera is definitely the hero here. It really is that good and I was impressed with the quality of images. I’ve posted some I took here.
After spending time with Samsung’s new S6 phones, I can say I was really impressed with what Samsung has delivered here.
The build quality was superb and the rear facing camera was second to one and I can honestly say if I was going to buy myself a new phone (and I was prepared to pay close to $1000 for a new one), the S6s would definitely in the mix (Note, though, you are paying considerably more for the Edge’s rounded profile.)
Thanks to Samsung NZ for providing an S6 Edge and S6 for review purposes.