Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+: Three hits, three misses

Consumers have to ask themselves if they are willing to pay $800 for a smartphone, regardless of how good it is

Samsung launched the Galaxy S6 edge+ at a New York event Thursday.

Samsung launched the Galaxy S6 edge+ at a New York event Thursday.

Samsung Electronics' latest flagship smartphone has some great hardware in a compact chassis for a device with a 5.7-inch screen. But there are some missing features and the price tag is eye watering.

WHAT WORKS:

Design

Until this year, the appearance of Samsung's smartphones was a big weakness with their plastic looks. But that has changed this year with first the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, and now the Galaxy S6 edge+. The smartphone was launched on Thursday alongside the new Galaxy Note 5. With a mixture of a metal frame and glass back, all four are a big improvement and the new design makes them look like the high-end products they are, as opposed to resembling a $200 smartphone.

Screen and size

Samsung has decided to stick with a 5.7-inch screen with a 1440 by 2560 pixel resolution on its large screen smartphones, and it remains a big reason to get the Galaxy S6 edge+. The higher resolution makes more sense on the larger screen size. The curved sides can now be used to access favorite apps and contacts, making the curve more than just a cool-looking design feature.

While the screen size is the same, Samsung has succeeded in making the device smaller without making it feel fragile. The S6 edge+ measures 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9 millimeters and weighs 153 grams. That makes it smaller and lighter than the iPhone 6 Plus, which measures 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 millimeters and weighs 172 grams. What makes the difference even more impressive is that the Apple device has a smaller screen at 5.5 inches.

Performance

Under the hood, the S6 edge+ has inherited a version of Samsung's own Exynos processor from the existing Galaxy S6 models, with four cores running at 2.1GHz plus another four running at 1.5Ghz. The processor is based on a 14 nanometer manufacturing process, which should help improve performance and lower power consumption. That combined with 4GB of speedy memory as well as fast integrated storage results in excellent performance.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK:

I want my smartphone to be waterproof...

Since the S6 edge+ is based on the existing Galaxy S6 models, some of the things that users found annoying about those smartphones remain, including that they're not waterproof. Although this feature has fallen somewhat out of favor industry-wide, it's still offered on recent devices from Sony and Motorola Mobility.

...and to have a microSD card slot

Up to 64GB of integrated storage is plenty for most users, but the flexibility of having a microSD card still has some value even in our increasingly cloud-centric world. This is again a feature that has split smartphone vendors. The likes of OnePlus and Xiaomi are siding with Samsung, while microSD card slots are still available on recent phones from Sony, LG Electronics, HTC, Motorola Mobility and Huawei Technologies.

Product positioning

There is no denying the S6 edge+ is an engineering tour de force, but all that fancy hardware comes at a cost. The price tag in the U.S. for the 32GB version will be about $800, and that's a lot of money for a smartphone, particularly since Samsung's competitors are increasingly focusing on smartphones that cost below $400 and that offer very good performance in most regards.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Android OSconsumer electronicsSamsung ElectronicsAndroidsmartphones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?