The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus is a very strange device (and a mouthful to say). It’s the same size as the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, but lacks the S Pen and all the other Note functionality. It’s simply a larger version of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
Therein lies the major question about the Edge+. If you’re going to get a Note-sized device shouldn’t you get a Note phone? Samsung made people want giant phones by including a cool stylus. Can they do it again with a curved display? Let’s find out.
There’s no getting around the fact that the Edge+ looks awesome. Samsung’s much-improved glass and metal design looks just as great on the Edge+ as it does on the Note 5 and Samsung Galaxy S6. The curved display takes it to the next level. It looks like you’re holding a piece of futuristic material.
Unfortunately, holding the device is where the design goes from good to bad. The curved display creates sharp edges, which makes it uncomfortable to hold. This was a problem with the original Galaxy S6 Edge as well, but since the phone is bigger it’s even worse.
The device is also very slippery. Glass on the front and back look really cool, but they make it difficult to hold. When a device is made of glass you’re in constant fear of dropping it. The good news is a case can improve the comfort and gripability.
The display on the Edge+ is 5.7-inches of beauty. Samsung kept the same 2560×1440 resolution from the smaller S6 Edge, but at 518 ppi you still can’t see any pixels. Super AMOLED displays vibrant colors and deep blacks. If you prefer less saturated colors you can adjust the “Screen mode” in the display settings. The “Basic” setting displays colors that are more true-to-life.
One gripe we always seem to have with Samsung displays is the auto-brightness setting. It never seems to work quite as well as we’d like. The display is usually on the upper end of brightness, even in dark surroundings.
We already mentioned that the Edge+ is basically a blown up version of the original S6 Edge. The specs are nearly identical, save for two big differences: 4GB of RAM and a 3,000 mAh battery. It has the same Exynos Octa-core processor, same display, same cameras, same fingerprint sensor, and same heart rate sensor.
The extra RAM makes multitasking even better. Samsung’s Exynos processor remains to be one of the fastest on the market. Our only concern is how it will age. The original S6 Edge started slowing down after a few months of usage.
Battery life is much improved, as you might expect from a big device with a big battery. We typically got anywhere from 12-15 hours on a single charge. If that’s not good enough, you can use the Fast Charging cable to get up to 50% charge in less than 30 minutes. You can also use Fast Wireless Charging to get a full charge in two hours.
The Edge+ has the same poor speaker arrangement as the Note 5. While most manufacturers are switching to dual front-facing stereo speakers, Samsung gives you one small speaker. To make matters worse it’s incredibly easy to block with your hand.
We should also mention that the Edge+ doesn’t have an IR blaster like the S6 Edge. There are ways to remedy missing features like a SD card slot or removable battery, but an IR blaster is something you can’t replace.
Alright, let’s talk about the feature that gives this device its name. The Edge screen is the portion of the display that wraps around the left and right edges. Samsung uses this space for a few special tricks.
The main features of the Edge screen revolve around something called “People edge.” By swiping on the Edge screen “handle” you can see your five favorite contacts. People edge can be opened from anywhere. You can use the People edge as a quick way to contact your friends, but it’s more than that. When you have a notification from one of these contacts it will show a colored tab on the Edge screen. You can swipe on the tab to see details and take action.
The Edge screen can do other stuff, too. Like light up the side of the display when the phone is on its face, display a ticker of information with a gesture, shortcuts to your five favorite apps, or show a small clock on the edge at night. All pretty cool.
Are any of these features actually useful? The answer to that question is a resounding “sorta.” If you use Samsung’s stock dialer, SMS, and email apps, People edge is great. If you use 3rd party apps it’s basically useless. The Edge screen features are neat, but not everyone will use them.
The Edge+ is equipped with the same great camera as the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, and Note 5. We have praised this camera in the past, and it is still the best on the market.
The 16MP camera on the back uses a Sony IMX240 sensor with f/1.9 aperture and optical image stabilization.The front-facing camera comes in at 5MP. Photos look simply stunning, in nearly every condition. Samsung has really done a great job with their cameras as of late.
Even Samsung’s camera software is great. They default “Auto” mode has simple controls for beginners. “Pro” mode offers controls for ISO, shutter speed, exposure, and white balance. Samsung also offers a handful of downloadable modes and effects in their store.
Perhaps the best thing about the camera software is its speed. Double-tap the home button from anywhere (even with the screen off), and the camera will open in less than a second.
Software has not traditionally been Samsung’s bread and butter. In the past the software has been clunky, bloated, and flat-out ugly. Thankfully, they’ve toned it down a lot.
TouchWiz on the Edge+ is relatively clean and non-offensive. For the most part it stays out of the way, which is what you want from a user interface. Samsung cut out a lot of fat to get it this way.
Some annoying things are still in TouchWiz. You can’t put the Settings into a standard list if you don’t like the tabs, and the app drawer doesn’t automatically organize apps. They removed some useful options to clean things up, but what they really should have done was remove bloatware. One of the first things you’ll want to do is uninstall/disable a bunch of pre-installed apps.
Samsung has made the S Pen on the Note feel like something you need to use. It’s not just a gimmick. The same can’t be said for the Edge screen just yet. It can be very useful, but it can also be very useless.
One thing the Edge screen does do well is look great. The Edge+ is one of the coolest-looking phones you can buy right now. People are going to notice this phone when you use it. But it’s not just a fashion statement. You’re also getting a beautiful display, great performance, and the best camera on the market.
You can’t go wrong with this phone. There’s nothing else like it (except for the slightly smaller S6 Edge). Living life on the edge never felt so good.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ Rating: star_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_fullstar_empty (4 / 5)
- Futuristic design
- Beautiful display
- Excellent camera
- Speedy performance
- Battery life is good
- Uncomfortable to hold
- Poor speaker placement
- Edge screen features are gimmicky
The Bottom Line
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a flashy phone. It looks like just a fashion statement, but it has the specs to back it up. You’re getting a really good phone with some gimmicky features you may or may not want to use.