Samsung Galaxy S6 edge Review

Finally, a smartphone that’s more than simply beautiful. The Samsung Galaxy S®6 edge has evolved its design—both inside and out. The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge lets you:

  • Easily hold, text, call, and more with its stunning metal bezel, sophisticated glass, and two revolutionary edge screens.
  • Watch images and videos come to life on the 5.1″ Quad HD Super AMOLED®display, even in sunlight.
  • Work, watch, and game at blazing-fast speeds.
  • Capture amazing photos with the fast-focus camera and take epic wide-angle selfies.
  • Use Ultra Power Saving Mode,1 Fast Charging,2 or wireless charging3 to extend your smartphone’s battery life when it’s running low.

Galaxy-S6-edgeWow, what a difference a year makes. While last year’s S5 took many steps in the right direction(being somewhat waterproof with better material and craftsmanship), it still wasn’t there to make it a mouth-watering phone yet, like what HTC did when they first introduced their One M7, or whenever Apple introduces a new iPhone size. This year, Samsung has finally learned from both of their competitors, and made a phone that has all the good qualities of both, plus some of their own. Finally, this is the Galaxy S that you’ve always wanted and been dreaming of.

LOOKS/FORM-FACTOR/MATERIALS:

The very first thing you notice when you handle the phone, is its new design and form factor – finally Samsung has completed their transformation of getting rid of all that ugly plastic parts. Now it is just all glass and metal, and now it is truly beautiful. The metal fully wraps around the edges ofthe phone. The back is beautiful, the sides are beautiful – heck, even the buttons are beautiful. It feels great in the hand, and oozes style and sophistication. The S6 Edge is just so unique-looking – it is the most beautiful phone I’ve seen in a long time. And contrary to what people might say or what you might think, the two sloped edges are not awkward to handle, does not dig into your skin, and is not uncomfortable to grip.

SCREEN:

The very next thing you notice, of course, is the screen. I am continually pleasantly surprised at the evolution of Samsung’s AMOLED technology – it has now became the best screen in the industry, hands down. I used to defend the LCD technology of the HTC M7, and at that point it was in fact overall superior to the Samsung S4 because the AMOLED then had issues in the sun, and color reproduction(it was too saturated and not natural). But now, they have fixed those issues, and the S6’s screen is just quite simply the best. If you don’t believe it, just compare an LG/Samsung OLED TV to any LED TVs today.

I still think 5.1 inches for a screen of a PHONE is still too big, but overall, for what smartphones represent nowadays, it is acceptable – we have conditioned ourselves to accept the bigger sizes of smartphones(I remember when I first held a 4.2″ smartphone when it first came out – the HTC HD2 – and thought, “what the h3ll is this monstrosity??”).

It doesn’t hurt that Samsung boosted up the resolution to 1440 x 2560 pixels, which is approximately 577 ppi in pixel density. Although this is quite overkill right now, it’s always nice to have the latest and greatest technology – that’s the reason why we buy these overpriced phones in the first place, isn’t it? It is also very bright, and sunlit legibility is excellent. Color reproduction is quite accurate, and like the S5, you can choose different color modes to suit your liking.

BATTERY LIFE:

An important aspect to discuss is the battery life, now more than ever because there is no removable back cover to make replacing the battery easily like before, not to mention there is no microSD slot for you to add memory space to your phone. Comparatively, the S6 Edge is supposed to last a little less than the S6 regular, which I’ve read is less than last year’s S5. But I’m one of those who are always around a charger, and I always carry external battery packs in my backpack when I travel, so that’s never a concern. Seriously, who even buys an extra battery anymore – which you can only use for a single specific phone model – when your external battery can charge ANY and ALL phones and tablets?? This scenario only makes sense if your work is so demanding that you don’t have extra time to charge the phone, and need to swap batteries IMMEDIATELY. I don’t think that scenario is realistic nowadays when external batteries are so small, light, and cheap.

My S6 goes from 100% at 10 am to about 20% at 10 pm with moderate use – so no complaints there. I get home, plug it up, and there are no issues.

* What’s better this year, is the wireless charging standards are already built into the phone, so you can just buy a charging pad for about $50 and feel even more cool.

USER INTERFACE/SOFTWARE:

The Samsung user interface called TouchWiz used to be bloated and sluggish. It would slow down(navigating throughout the phone, switching between apps, and using the apps themselves) once you start installing more and more apps and put more and more shortcuts and widgets on the home screens. Worse, they would cram all their Samsung apps on you, which for the most part are inferior to their Google counterparts. They came pre-installed, and uninstallable – you can only downgrade and disable them, but you can’t take them off completely. Now, with the new TouchWiz working in conjunction with Android 5.0 Lollipop, things are a lot smoother and faster. There are also fewer of those Samsung apps – now you have the option of downloading them, but they no longer come pre-installed and wasting your space, which is now more precious than ever.

* Speaking of Android 5.0 Lollipop – it is so awesome! Not only is is simplistic, but in its simplistic ways, it is sleek, stylish, and beautiful. Google has done a great job is making everything easier to find, easier to use, easier to function. The color scheme is more coherent and consistent, and uses a basic color code that just makes sense. And it is quick, quick, quick! I know the phone itself is super-fast, but Google has done a great job is getting rid of the bloated feeling of past versions. I also have an old Nexus 4, and have enjoyed Lollipop on there for a while, so I know the speed is not just from the phone.

HARDWARE:

And speaking of the phone’s speed – WOW! So Samsung has made the S6 with just one processor this time – their new octa-core(8-core) Exynos, and it is by far the greatest, fastest, and most powerful processor I have ever witnessed. The Snapdragon 810 was supposed to be almost as fast if not equal, but I’m glad I’m finally able to try Samsung’s top of the line Exynos processor. Obviously, each new phone is/feels faster than the previous generation, but this is the first time where it’s blown me away. And I have used many really fast phones before, like the HTC m7, to the S3-S4-S5 and Note 2-3-4. But this phone blows them all a way by a far, far margin. Trust me when I say you will be very surprised, and very pleased. Here is finally a phone that you don’t have to wait for any longer – you tell it what you want to do, and it does it instantly. The S6 is like a Bugatti with its limiter taken off. This phone screams full-throttle!

* The phone comes with 3GB of RAM, and in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB versions.

CAMERA:

Finally, the camera: It is great, what can I say? This area of technology will keep continuing to progress and advance for the next 5-10 years at least, but we have already come so far. I would go as far to say that besides dedicated DSLR cameras, you would not find better compact cameras like these for under $500 from a dedicated camera. And to have it be already included in your phone is quite amazing, when you really think about it. This year, it even includes optical image stabilization, which you can see actually working as you pan/tilt/shake the camera. I used to buy $300-500 super-zoom point-and-shoot cameras for my travels back in the days of 7-8 years ago, and they didn’t come out half as good as what this camera can do. And there are built-in enhancements and edits that you can do straight from the camera that are quite robust and powerful.

So, why did I say the evolution is near complete, and not yet? Well, besides the theoretical ideal that nothing is perfect, to the practical ideal like things like the camera will continue to improve for the foreseeable future, I felt that while Samsung took some big strides forward, they also took some steps back. For instance, by making it non-plastic, they open themselves to being less experienced in sealing it up, so they couldn’t make it waterproof anymore. In the same vein, they can no longer make the back plate removable to replace the battery(although it is not impossible – you can actually get around it, but then you would void Samsung’s warranty). And I’m guessing they didn’t have enough research time in the metal production assembly to be good enough yet to include holes for the microSD slot.

So what can they practically improve on to make this as near perfect as possible? Make it waterproof like before(or better), and if you can’t make the back plate removable, then improve on the battery life, and allow for the microSD expansion slot. And keep improving on TouchWiz, and get the Google updates out quicker. Once those are set – and because we know you will always continue to improve on the processor(phone power and graphics power), the screen(resolution, image quality, color reproduction, brightness, sunlight legibility), and the camera, next year’s edition should make it as near-perfect as possible for the Galaxy S family, and maybe then after that you can start a whole new phone family, and bring out those bendable/roll-able screen technologies we know you’re already working on, or something even more outrageous.

If you debating whether the international version is more worth it because you can use it overseas, remember that the international version does not have all the LTE bands, so you might not get the best possible 4G speeds. But you don’t want to be stuck in a contract? Well, then, you can buy the phone at full price from the US carrier that you use most, and then call their customer service and have them give you the unlock code. Because you bought the phone whole, you are not under contract, therefore you are entitled to the unlock code. Plus, you can save buying the phone whole from the carriers – versus the international version – and save about $150+.

Overall, this is the very first Samsung phone that has blown me away. Not just in some ways impressed me, but made me very happy and please, and proud, to own a Samsung phone. The Note Edge was almost there, but after a while it became too big and heavy for me. The S6 has the perfect combination: big beautiful screen for all your needs, light-weight and compact for extended use and one-handed use; super-fast for business and gaming, good battery life to last you the whole day, and oh so beautiful that you can show it off proudly. This is a phone that you can have for many years and it will still be just as cool and just as usable several years down the line. The S6 Edge is the most unique phone(not just unique-looking) that I have owned and even seen in a long time. Get it, you will LOVE it!

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