Review by Sunetra Chakravati,4/28/2015 12:44:54 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Stunning screen | Unique design
Simplified UI | Pitch-perfect performance
Incredibly expensive | No expandable memory | Themes not there yet | ‘Edge’ doesn't do much
- By Sunetra Chakravarti
Samsung have been at the wrong end of a lot of jokes in the past year owing to the less than exciting sales of the S5. They sold a bucket load of S4s in the first three months of its launch. 40 million to be exact. They sold a similar number in the first seven months of the launch of the S3 and just to prove naysayers wrong, aspire to sell 70 million from their S6 range.
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have created more buzz than the S5 ever could. And with good reason. TBoth phones are absolutely stunning and while the S6 is very beautiful, the S6 Edge is an absolute stunner, with a superlative set of specifications.
Manufacturers in the past have dabbled with alternate designs for mobile phones, indeed LG's latest flagship has an arc in its design. But Samsung have gone beyond that and have sort of succeeded with it.
But the real test will be in the numbers sold.
No more plastic.
The Galaxy S5 was criticised for its particularly nasty plastic body and the choice of unappealing colours it came in. I remember the faux leather plastic dimpled back and how the pearlescent white colour of the review sample did it no favours. The thought still makes me cringe a little bit.
You will find no plastic on this curvy beauty. All glass and metal, at first sight, the phone appears bigger than what it is owing to the curved edges. Hold them side by side and the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge are almost the same size but you will immediately see that the edgy one has a far bigger screen. We are not talking the difference between an A4 and an A5 sheet of paper, but the iPhone screen is 4.7” while the S6 Edge is 5.1”.
From the top/bottom when viewed side by side, you will again be hard-pressed to spot the difference between the fruity one and Samsung’s latest baby.
With the S6 Edge, the only fly in the looks ointment is the camera lens which sticks out quite a lot at the back. Squarely in the middle of the top half of the phone, in an otherwise seamless piece of glass, it is the only tiny detail that we thought Samsung could have thought about a bit more.
We loved the edge on the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge a few months back and we love it on this one too.
Instead of two sharp metal sides, you get Gorilla Glass 4 dropping off the sides of the phone, waterfall like. You can get the phone to display the time at night like a sliver of a bedside clock as well as program upto five contacts so the edge glows a different colour when they are trying to contact you. Oh, and you get to allocate the colours yourself.
That is it. There is nothing else that the edge does, apart from looking very cutting edge and cool. We are sure that once delvelopers get to sorting apps out for it, and even games, the edge will be the only reason you buy this phone but until then it is more of a beautiful distraction than anything else.
Watching videos off Netflix, BBC iPlayer or even Youtube is an absolute joy. The incredibly high 577ppi, the QHD curved panel and the 2560X1440 resolution is the best in the industry and this is what makes mdia guzzling a joy. Sound quality through the speaker grill at the bottom is spot-on and when we went back to another more linear phone to watch videos, we sort of craved for the smooth edges of this one.
Terrible. The 2600 mAH battery is no match for the double-edged screen and this is where Samsung have fallen down on its own double-edged sword. The Super Amoled display is a battery guzzler like none other and a 20-minute video stream on auto brightness off Youtube made the charge drop from 89 percent to 78 percent.
The wireless charger does restore 15 percent of charge during a quick 10-minute juice up but given how Samsung had panned Apple earlier in the year for the abysmal batteries on their phones, it is definitely not good.
The amazing camera that was on-board the Galaxy S5 is still there but has been spruced up so that double tapping the home button launches the camera in .7 seconds. During our review it was closer to 2 seconds but it is easy to get pernickety about these details although in a real world scenario, it will not matter as long as it launches in under 5 seconds.
Tap the mode button to select one of eight options that include the ever-handy auto mode alongside pro mode which includes all the usual DSLR features where you can adjust ISO, white balance, focus etc. There is also selective focus, panorama, slow-mo, fast-mo, virtual shot and a download mode where you can download a range of camera apps frm Samsung's bespoke app store.
Auto mode pictures came out sharp, free of noise and perfect for taking pictures on the go.
video recording at 4k is an added bonus and worked without a glitch.
Overall, the camera was one of the best things about the S6 Edge.
Samsung's bespoke user interface overlay on stock Andorid has had a massive spring clean. It is non-cluttered, easy to manouevre around and thankfully devoid of too many pre-loaded apps that Samsung's previous devices came saddled with. There are still preloaded apps here but ones you are more likely to use.
You get a folder of Microsoft's apps: Skype, OneDrive and OneNote, every app that Google has out at the moment is packed into another folder as well as Samsung's own S Health, S Voice, S Planner and bafflingly a selection of German apps on our review sample.
It still has more duplicate apps than we would need and obviously nothing can be better than a stock Android 5.0 Lollipop experience.
Our initial verdict gave it 5 stars but during our use over the past few weeks, we have come across a few niggles that we cannot shake off.
Yes, the Edge is revolutionary in design, but currently it is just that. It does not revolutionise or change the way we use smartphones. Additionally, it also makes the phone very tricky to hold during conversations as you are in danger of setting off the speaker midway through your chat.
The battery is good but not as good as Samsung's wall huggers advert campaign would have us believe. The phone is not water or dust proof as its predecessor was and there is no microSD card slot and the battery ain't removable.
Samsung have gone beyond what we belive is the norm as far as design and aesthetics are concerned and the S6 range is undoubtedly its best devices ever.
Samsung are finally taking Apple on their own turf and matching and bettering everything that Apple have achieved with their phone, but in doing so, they have watered down the really stand-out features that the Galaxy S5 sported and at least on the S6 Edge the cons even though minor tip the scales enough for it to not be a 5 star phone. It makes us a little sad, because we really though tit would be- but cannot shy away from facts.