Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review: Return to Glory
Samsung finds form in the soft lines of its Edge smartphone
- Curved 577ppi display
- Near stock Android
- Powerful computing innards
- 16 megapixel camera
- Long lasting battery life
- Improved finger scanner
- No support for expandable memory
- Priced at a premium
Price$ 1,149.00 (AUD)
A new breed of Galaxy flagship has gone on sale with the S6 Edge. It is the first smartphone in the world to have its screen curve on both sides, introducing some features of note as a result and redefining what was previously possible in smartphone design.
Editor’s note: The Galaxy S6 Edge shares most of its hardware and its software features with the Galaxy S6. Although the vast majority of this review is original, parts have been lifted from the S6 review as our findings on the shared features have not changed.
All of the hallmarks that make the Galaxy S6 an attractive smartphone can be found on its Edge sibling. Tempered Gorilla Glass 4 covers its faces and the application of multiple nano-coatings results in its colour shifting tones along with the whims of light. Metal has been used for the chassis and this leaves the smartphone feeling solid, while attention has been paid to fine details, such as its buttons and ports.
The S6 Edge has the same screen as its sibling. It spans 5.1-inches, has a high 2560x1440 resolution and a market-leading 577 pixels-per-inch. A case can be made for the high pixel density when it comes to displaying the detailed photos captured by its camera, or for using the smartphone in its virtual reality headset.
What separates the S6 Edge is the curve of its screen. No other smartphone in the world has two curving edges and doing so requires the screen's glass be heated to 800 degrees Celsius.
We find the curving screen better suited to the S6 Edge than the iteration used on the Note Edge phablet. Applying the effect to both sides upholds the smartphone’s symmetry and this makes it both more comfortable to hold and more attractive. The screen subtly folds half-way down the sides until it is stopped by the bevelled edges of an aluminium chassis.
Swipe inwards from the edge display and five of your favourite contacts appear. They can be associated with specific colours, and when the smartphone is face down, the edge display doubles as a stylised notification light.
Information can stream down the screen in the same fashion as the Note Edge. Yahoo powers news tickers for sports, stock prices and news; a Twitter pane serves up continuous tweets; and a notification pane publishes updates from applications of choice. In this regard, the Edge display’s functionality overlaps that of the notification blind built into Android.
Downloading more panes is possible, though the range remains limited in number as it is early days for the ecosystem. And by early days, we mean only three additional panes could be downloaded at the time of writing.
Viewing these notifications can be done without turning on the screen. Quickly run fingers up and down the edge display and only the pixels needed for the ticker will turn on. Such a feature makes it possible to stay in the know discreetly during an office meeting or a child’s recital. The only sign of lag experienced using the S6 Edge happens when waiting for the edge display to illuminate.
All of the curved display’s features can be turned off. Being able to turn it off makes the S6 Edge an appealing smartphone for business and personal use. Not everyone will want to be bombarded by information of all sorts. Some might want it purely for the cut of its screen.
Select convenient software features found in the Note Edge are not found in the Galaxy S6 Edge. Music controls are not relocated to the curved display, nor is the shutter key for photos. Not offering all of these features keeps the software of the two S6 variants in line with one another; an important factor if software updates are to be released uniformly across the range.
Lighter software, faster hardware and details on the camera over the page
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Fake heads and robot probes: testing smartphones prior to launch
- Rumor suggests the Note8 will be a bigger S8+ that adds a missing feature
- Xiaomi's Mi6 has the Galaxy S7’s looks, the S8’s power, and iPhone 7’s camera for half the price
- Samsung DeX turns your Galaxy S8 into a shockingly good desktop PC
- Find My iPhone helps nab a thief at Coachella with 100 phones in his backpack
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPSolution Architect - Integration - Bespoke ProjectQLD
- FTProject Administrator - Telecommunications InfrastructureNSW
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Policy OfficerNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst/Project ManagerQLD
- FTTesting and Quality Assurance AnalystNSW
- FTService Desk AnalystNSW
- CCCRM DeveloperACT
- TPBusiness Analyst - AgileQLD
- FTHTML DeveloperNSW
- CCService Delivery Analyst -Port MacquarieNSW
- CCSoftware ManagerVIC
- FTFirewall EngineerNSW
- TPTeam Leader Project And Quality AssuranceVIC
- TPSenior .NET Developer (Angular or React)NSW
- CCSenior Full-Stack Developer (Digital Transformation Project)QLD
- CCCitrix SpecialistNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)ACT
- FTWindows EngineerWA
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTScrum Coach / Agile CoachACT
- FTSQL Server Database DeveloperSA
- FTSpatial technical officerACT
- FTInformation Security ManagerACT