Phones

Samsung S6 edge+ has the right curves

The S6 edge+ is a powerful device that makes videos, photos and games look amazing. However, the lack of a microSD card slot means you have to be choosy with what you store in it.
The S6 edge+ is a powerful device that makes videos, photos and games look amazing. However, the lack of a microSD card slot means you have to be choosy with what you store in it.PHOTO: SAMSUNG

New flagship mobile has stunning profile and better camera features, but no stylus

Last year, Samsung offered two large-screen Galaxy Note devices differentiated only by a curved display. Everything else, including the camera, display, processor and S Pen stylus, was the same.

This year, the company has done more to make the two 5.7-inch phablets in its line-up - the Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 - stand apart from each other.

The Note 5 has the S Pen stylus and no curved screen , while the S6 edge+ has the curved screen, but lacks a stylus.

The S6 edge+ is 0.1mm thinner than the S6 edge, and fits nicely in the palm of my hand. It helps that the curved edges on both sides of the device create a smaller side profile, which makes gripping the phone easy.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $1,188 (32GB), $1,288 (64GB)

    PROCESSOR: 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7 14nm (2.1GHz quad-core + 1.5GHz quad-core)

    DISPLAY: 5.7-inch QHD Super Amoled display 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, 518 pixels per inch

    OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

    MEMORY: 32GB/64GB, 4GB RAM

    CAMERA: (Rear) 16-megapixel OIS, f1.9, (front) 5 megapixels, f1.9

    BATTERY: 3,000mAh with fast and wireless charging


    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The S6 edge+ might be seen as a bigger Galaxy S6 edge, although it has several new features that the latter lacked.

The camera on the S6 edge was already a good one. The S6 edge+ goes one better with a feature called Pro Mode, which is for those who want more manual control of the camera settings, or be able to save images as uncompressed RAW files.

Like the Note 5, the S6 edge+ has a Live Broadcast feature that allows a user to stream a live recording from the camera. Invites to friends can be sent out via SMS and, once the broadcast hits YouTube, additional invites can be added.

The S6 edge's People Edge menu, in which five contacts can be accessed with an inward swipe from the edge of the screen, has been improved. The S6 edge+ has Apps Edge, which allows five commonly used apps to be listed on a pop-out menu.

Wireless charging is already present in the S6 series. However, the S6 edge+ offers more in this area by allowing faster charging, through either the provided fast-charging adaptor or with a new wireless fast-charging adaptor.

The S6 edge+ has a bright and crisp quad high-definition display, and a compact and thin device profile for a phone of its size. It is 0.1mm thinner than the S6 edge, and fits nicely in the palm of my hand. It helps that the curved edges on both sides of the device create a smaller side profile, which makes gripping the phone easy.

The S6 edge's stunning curved screen design is amplified with this larger phone. The rounded edges are more pronounced, which makes navigation smoother because of the larger screen.

The phone lacks a stylus, which might disappoint some users. However, given the recent issue of Galaxy Note 5 users damaging their devices after inserting the S Pen incorrectly into their holders, the lack of a stylus on the S6 edge+ might not be a bad thing for those not equipped to handle the accessory.

By flagship phone standards, this device is up there with the best on the market.

Still, one cannot help but feel that the construction of the phone is lacking in some important areas.

For example, Samsung has continued with the use of a non-removable battery. There is also no microSD card slot to increase the storage space. What is the point of having a powerful multimedia device that makes videos, photos and games look amazing, when there is a limit to what users can store on it?

There is also the question of why it costs $100 more than the Note 5.

Perhaps the strong demand for the S6 edge earlier this year made Samsung think that consumers were willing to pay a premium for an updated design. But the S6 edge+ has fewer features than the Note 5, such as the lack of a stylus.

Also, compared with last year's curved Galaxy Note Edge, the curved screen of this phone does not measure up in terms of performance. For example, some of the curved features introduced on the Note Edge, such as dedicated apps or having camera functions on the edge, have been removed, leaving a smaller set of features.

• Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ is the most beautiful smartphone on the market, but the Galaxy Note 5 offers more value for money.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2015, with the headline 'Samsung S6 edge+ has the right curves'. Print Edition | Subscribe