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Review: Updated: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
3:02 am | November 18, 2015

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones | Comments: None

Review: Updated: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

Introduction and design

I usually don’t like to use the tired old refrain that Samsung copies a certain manufacturer’s plans – but there’s something familiar here.

A brand releases a top-of-the-line phone, and then decides to make a phablet version by adding a ‘Plus’ to the end. That’s precisely what Samsung’s done here, and there’s very little difference between the S6 Edge+ and the original Galaxy S6 Edge that debuted a few months ago.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Apple’s seen some great success by bringing out a larger variant of it’s normal phone – it’s not sold in the same numbers, but it’s given Apple fans that were getting a bit tired of having to compromise on screen something to pick up.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

Samsung clearly thought it could do the same thing – and even went as far as using the S6 Edge+ to replace the Note 5 in some territories, offering a phablet without the stylus.

One can only assume that places like the UK just weren’t bothered about having a stylus to add into the mix, and therefore Samsung just took its best phone and made it a bit bigger.

The price, understandably has risen as well – but not by as much as previously. Like the Note 5, the South Korean brand has whacked a premium onto its latest phablet to allow for the larger battery and screen size, as well as a little bit extra in the RAM department.

I was slightly holding out hope the price might not rise by much, and almost instantly after launch Samsung dropped the price of its larger handset to under £600 in the UK – which is a pretty good price for all this tech.

Design

I can’t help but love the curved side of the Samsung Galaxy Edge screens. While not as impacting as the Note Edge’s single display from 2014, the fact everything melts into the side of the phone adds something that most other phones simply can’t.

It’s a clever way of Samsung making a phone without bezels, in terms of appearance anyway, while maintaining the sides needed to hold the thing. The edges themselves are utterly redundant, despite what Samsung is trying to tell us, but in terms of pure aesthetics, this phone really has no equal.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

I’m actually surprised at the job the brand has done in terms of making the S6 Edge+ a decent phone to hold. The metallic rim is comfortable in the hand, and the smooth glass creates an effect that goes some way to offsetting the high cost of the phone.

Despite packing a 5.7-inch screen, I was actually able to stretch my thumb right along the screen a lot more than I was expecting, again thanks to the curved display. It’s still a phablet though, and as such you’ll need to use a two-handed grip a lot more than with the normal S6 range.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

Design-wise though, Samsung’s done phenomenally well again. Sure, it’s just a larger version of the S6 Edge, but that’s no bad thing. That phone was well-crafted, and the larger device doesn’t add in any creaks or wobbles – it’s solid in the hand, thin enough to not feel chunky and yet still has elements like dual wireless charging that add something extra to the mix.

I suppose you could fault the camera protrusion, but given the quality of the snapper (more on that later, but it’s worth checking out) I can’t say I’d rather Samsung had made things flat just to preserve the look of the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

Given a lot of people will be upgrading to this from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, it won’t feel like much of a hindrance.

An ‘upgraded’ Edge and a bigger battery

OK, let’s get one of the big issues out of the way: the Edge display on the sides of the phone is just useless beyond being really nice to look at.

The big three things it does are: letting you interact with your favourite chums with a swipe sideways, keeping your favourite apps within easy swiping distance and giving you information when the phone is off.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

I’d like to start by talking about that last point actually: the idea is that a couple of cheeky strokes of the phone on the edge display will show you the time, date, interactions on social networks and news from Yahoo. It utterly, completely fails to impress for one simple reason: you have to rub it so hard to get anything to pop up.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

Imagine trying to summon a tired, hungover genie and you’ll have some idea of the issue. After stroking up and down two or three times (if you’re lucky) you’ll get said information… but the same thing could have been achieved by just tapping the home button and firing the screen up.

When you look at Motorola’s Active Display, which fires when you just wave your hand over the screen, this is just terrible form from Samsung.

The other elements of the Edge screen are equally useless – I set up my favourite apps and top people, and tried to remember to use the side of the screen to access them quickly. I never did – it’s just not an intuitive gesture.

There were a couple of times when I saw I had a message from my partner that glowed a different colour on the table when I had the phone face down in front of me, which would have been useful in a meeting or somewhere that constantly looking at the phone would be rude, but it wasn’t an earth-shattering moment.

The other new functionality here is the ability to poke and send little notes to other Edge users (called OnCircle) – but that’s such a niche amount of users that I nearly didn’t mention it.

Imagine the stuff Apple Watch users can do to one another, but with fewer choices and people to do it with. You’re there. This is a feature that’s destined to go the same way as ChatON, Samsung’s failed own-brand WhatsApp.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

Simply put, it’s a stretch to use the Edge screen for anything worthwhile. There are some cool parts in theory, but in reality the large screen is a bit too cumbersome here. Swiping one-handed isn’t the easiest given the bigger dimensions, and I was constantly worried I’d just flip it out of my hand.

While we’re here talking about the display though, let me just remind everyone: it’s brilliant. Yes, it’s the same resolution as seen on the S6 Edge, and at 5.7-inches it’s theoretically less sharp.

But it’s not perceptible. It just makes everything look clear and crisp, and no matter what you’re looking at it’s colourful, rich and sharp. The display on the Galaxy Note 5 was rated as the best on the market, and the same one seems to have been used here.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

The larger size has also been used by Samsung to add another line of icons, making better use of the QHD screen compared to the S6 Edge.

So just be aware that the Edge display is on there for aesthetics. Samsung may improve that in the future, but with such a subtle curve I doubt it.

Higher battery

While I don’t want to ruin the battery testing coming up, I’m glad that Samsung has decided to bite the bullet and increase the power in the S6 Edge+.

The smaller ‘normal’ S6 Edge has a tiny 2600mAh unit, and it’s just not big enough. That phone just about manages the day but it’s not comfortable – if it wasn’t for the fact the other handsets on the market were equally as bad, Samsung would have been in all sorts of trouble here.

The extra size on the S6 Edge+ has thankfully been used for a bigger 3000mAh battery, which should mean the phone will last a little bit longer, given the screen resolution is the same, the software slightly better optimised and, generally, the power of a phablet is used properly.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

Apple’s iPhone 6S Plus has a much better battery life than the smaller and lower-res iPhone 6S, which bodes well for what Samsung’s done here.

(Although I’ll offer a small spoiler – it’s actually somehow worse. Check out the battery section to see why).

Fingerprint scanner

Apple launched the fingerprint scanner onto the wider world with Touch ID in the iPhone 5S, and it’s not looked back since. It wasn’t the first out there to do so, but it was the first biometric authentication that was easy to use and didn’t mean you needed to compromise speed of unlocking.

Samsung tried the same thing with the Galaxy S5, but that was a swiping method and it, well, sucked. This time around, the S6 Edge has a very simple ‘click and hold’ method of opening the phone, and it’s virtually faultless.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

The speed with which you can unlock your phone is amazing, and the obvious benefit is that you’re now more secure than ever before – lose the phone and you’ll be safe, especially if you enable the reams of locating and wiping services Samsung offers through its secure Knox platform.

There were a few instances when the Galaxy S6 Edge+ didn’t want to accept the fingerprint – more than I was expecting, given the performance of the S6 Edge and its flawless unlocking – and I needed to enter the backup password, which is a bit disappointing.

When Samsung Pay lands, this element comes into its own, as a simple swipe upwards from the home button into the screen (even with the display turned off) will start the payment method, which will be ace when you’re trying to quickly pay for transport or shopping on the go.

Given Samsung also lets you pay using the magnetic stripe on the side of card readers, and it’s got that hardware built into this svelte body, it’s impressive.

Specs and performance

In terms of specs, there’s very little that you’ll find different on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ compared to the original S6 Edge, which is something of a disappointment.

Not in terms of actual performance – it’s mostly brilliant, but that’s a common theme with most smartphones out there now – but for the spec fans, and especially those upgrading from 2013’s Note 3 powerhouse, they’d expect the very, very best on the market.

If you can get past such spec snobbery, the S6 Edge+ performs very well. The extra 1GB of RAM boosts the internal grunt to 4GB, and combined with the octa-core Exynos 7420 chipset inside you’ve got a very competent and powerful phone.

The internal storage could be a little bigger, especially given the fact there’s no expandable MicroSD slot to give you a little more memory to play with. 32GB will probably just about suffice – providing you don’t fill it with loads of 4K video, that is.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

The lack of microSD and removable battery still irks some people – but the former is offset by the fact this phone uses advanced internal storage, meaning it’s much quicker and more stable than microSD expansion. Even having the card in can slow down Samsung phones, so I can see why the brand went down this route… but it doesn’t mean I like it.

You’ll probably want to stack this thing full of movies, games and other assorted large files – it can handle Hi-Res audio as well – so while it’s a good thing Samsung didn’t go all-out crazy and make a 16GB option, the 32GB doesn’t seem that solid, especially given you’ll be taking a million pictures with the excellent camera.

There’s also the issue of nearly 7GB of onboard storage being munched by the operating system, which at least is down from the 12GB madness of previous phones. If you want to be safe, go for the 64GB Galaxy S6 Edge+, but remember that’s even more money to fork out.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

I’m not criticising Samsung for offering a 32GB version as the base model – it needs to try to have one option at a price that’s vaguely accessible – but you could run out of space relatively quickly in two years.

Samsung doesn’t want to make a 128GB version of this phone, which is really odd when you consider the smaller phones have the variant – surely it would be an easy process to use the same components?

In general use, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is one of the finest-performing smartphones I’ve ever used. That’s not really surprising, since it’s got a tremendously powerful octa-core CPU that’s fused with an industry-leading 4GB of RAM.

Note users, the demographic Samsung is aiming this phablet at, might baulk at the fact they’ve not got a next-gen processor in there, but in reality it’s not needed.

One of the big fixes is the lack of ‘home screen rebuilding’, where you’d often press the home key to exit an app, only to have to wait a few seconds for all your icons to pop up again. It’s a common issue that’s plagued Samsung phones for years – including the S6 Edge and others from 2015 – and to seemingly get rid of it should fill users with confidence.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

In fact, there’s very little you can’t do with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, as it really is the phone that demands you try to do everything and everything with it.

Movies, in particular, look sensational on the 5.7-inch screen, and it’s testament to the Super AMOLED technology that Samsung uses that you don’t notice any fuzziness from stretching the smaller S6 display up to this size.

It shows that QHD resolution (1440 x 2560) is easily enough for a smartphone – 4K screens just aren’t needed yet, as at 800-odd DPI I’m sure the human eye can’t distinguish the sharpness.

I’ll probably be saying the same thing about 8K phones in three years time, but for now, Samsung has got it spot on.

The Super AMOLED screen allows for greater depth in colour, richness and sharp images – and now that you’re able to tweak the colour settings more than any other phone around, you won’t get a bad movie experience. The phone is light enough to hold for extended periods, and with Bluetooth 4.1 onboard with apt-X the sound quality is never going to be an issue.

However the external speaker isn’t much to get excited about – compared to the likes of the Sony Xperia Z3 and the HTC One M9, it’s miles behind in terms of being able to pump out tunes or movie dialogue with precision.

The audio performance of this phone is still remarkable though. Stick in a lossless file, throw on a pair of decent headphones and the amount of detail you’ll get is chilling. Every sound is warm, the range is wide and even standard Spotify-streamed MP3s sounds good on there.

It’s the same with gaming. While there’s always a worry about the battery running down, in testing Samsung’s always remarkably good about keeping the power levels up, no matter what task is running on the screen.

That bodes well, given that the S6 Edge+ has a huge amount of power for gaming of all levels. Casual games look stunning on the Super AMOLED screen and the Mali GPU inside is capable of running heavy frame rates despite the larger amount of pixels to drive.

With the extra RAM on board, the speed of this thing is off the charts – you’ll never be able to properly use it, unless you’re getting VERY specific with your apps and finding some that need oodles of power – putting it just a sliver behind the Note 5 in raw performance.

In our GeekBench 3 testing, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ scored a whopping 4949. That’s more than the iPad Air 2, the new Tab S2, the Nexus 6P and the Galaxy S6 – and way ahead of anything else (bar the new iPhones).

The phone does warm up with some more graphically intensive games, but it’s not searing levels, which is good (the fact we’re lauding phones for not burning hands these days is something of worry… but that’s a story for another day).

Battery life

The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+… AKA the most boring nature documentary ever. It’s also the section of the review I’m least looking forward to writing, as it’s a whirling, twisting snake of a thing to define.

The reason is the battery life is just so flipping erratic. One day it’ll be brilliant, and then it will piss out all the juice because I listened to Spotify for a bit. I’ve even delayed writing this review to try and get it to settle, but nothing has really helped.

Let’s work off the empirical data: the Galaxy S6 Edge+ was subjected to our standard video run down test, where the phone was charged to 100%, and then a Full HD video was run for 90 minutes with the screen on full brightness. That yielded a result of 23% battery life lost, which is rather a large number when compared to similar handsets.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

For instance, the Note 5 managed to only drop 14%, where the Samsung Galaxy S6 dropped 16%. I can only surmise that the S6 Edge+’s larger curved screen was drawing more power than the flat variants, which is irritating as it doesn’t do a lot more.

That said, it’s not terrible performance – the iPhone 6 Plus ran the same video and dropped 27%, and it has a lot fewer pixels to drive, so to achieve even this Samsung has done well, though Apple has since topped it with the 22% drop of the iPhone 6S Plus.

But let’s get down to real world usage, and that’s where the Samsung gets confusing. Watching YouTube videos, playing games and generally messing around with the web browser doesn’t hurt the battery too much, as it seems these actions block the phone from connecting up to the Google servers, which, according to the stats, are the reason that the phone is munching down so much battery.

As you can see from the grabs, there’s not a lot of difference between the normal usage and the power saving mode, which means it’s general use that’s killing the battery – dropping the motor, dimming the screen etc isn’t going to help much here.

The issue appears to live with the Android OS itself, something I’ve seen on multiple phones since Lollipop landed. There’s a constant connection to the Google servers to check for Play Services, and the Android OS is often one of the biggest culprits when it comes to taking those precious percentage points.

82% left isn’t too bad for the morning, with the phone off charge for a few hours. However, just over eight hours left for 80% battery isn’t enough… a good phone will manage at least 15%, and while I am listening to Spotify, it’s in offline mode and therefore shouldn’t be streaming down a load of data and eating the battery.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

Most days I’ll need to do a top up charge at about 8PM to make sure I’ll get through the day, which is annoying as it means I can never be confident in the performance of this phone. I read someone else claiming they could return from work with the phone at 60% battery life, which utterly perplexed me.

The only way that would be possible is if the phone was left quietly on a desk, doing literally nothing all day, and minimal interaction on the way to and from work. S Health would have to be disabled (as the step tracking must be chewing the battery a little bit too) and, generally, you’d have to avoid using this amazing piece of machinery you spent so much money on.

But then yesterday I spent two and a half hours out on a run, alternating between podcasts and Spotify, with step tracking enabled. While I wasn’t using the phone to track the run, it was still constantly in use and the screen kept turning on in the rain too.

Then I returned home and spent most of the day fiddling with the handset on the bed / sofa, trying desperately to recover through looking at inane nonsense on the internet and checking my stats. I even streamed some music to a Bluetooth speaker for a while – and despite this I still had nearly 25% battery left when going to bed.

The easiest way to say it is this: the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a very ‘loose’ battery life, with the phone running low on power very easily if the wrong combination of apps / activities are performed in the same day.

But give it a task, like watching video or playing a game, and it will do as well as many other handsets out there. Keep it solid and the battery will hold out, but most of the time you’ll be a bit annoyed with it.

That said, the fast charging is simply brilliant. Even if you’re getting a bit critical a quick pop onto the charger (make sure it’s the one that came in the box) will see the battery juice back up in no time. Seriously… you can plug it in, head to the toilet, make a cup of tea (not at the same time) and come back to find up to 20% battery life restored.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

The wireless charging is great too – throw the S6 Edge+ down on any pad and it will start powering up. It’s cool and buying a charging pad for work will sort you out in terms of keeping the charge up.

It’s not good enough that the S6 Edge+ has a poor battery, especially when it doesn’t have the excuse of being a tightly-packaged phone to fall back on. That extra heft should have been used to pack a massive power unit in there, and the battery life should be decent to reflect that.

Fast and wireless charging do help to offset that issue, but we want prevention, not cure here.

Camera

The camera on the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is the same 16MP offering found in the normal S6 range, and that’s a simply brilliant thing. It’s by far my favourite camera to use at the moment, with crystal clear images, a boatload of modes to play with and some great snaps coming from all corners of the day.

The first thing I love is the speed with which the camera will open up. A double press of the home button will open up the camera, which is ace and gets you ready to take a picture wherever you are.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

The good thing about this is you’ll consistently know how to fire the camera – other phones require a swipe on the screen, you need to have an element of orienting yourself before the camera is ready.

This is a double-edged sword though, as you’ll find that the camera can activate in your pocket, or if the fingerprint scanner is being a bit dodgy you can accidentally fire up the snapper instead.

It’s rather annoying given the whole point of the exercise is keeping everything slick and simply in one place, but it’s not the end of the world. I’d rather have a fast and reliable camera over everything else.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

In terms of actual use, the S6 Edge+ is very simple to use. The main auto mode has the usual Samsung tweaks, meaning real time HDR (where the screen will show the image with high dynamic resolution, mixing together multiple exposures to get the best pic, as you swing the phone around) and simple notifications to help you decide how best to take your pictures.

If you want to get a little bit more creative there are multiple modes to play around with too. My favourite is the most boring: Pro Mode. It’s perfect for those like me, those that like to take a slightly more ‘arty’ and considered photo but have zero idea what they’re doing when messing around with the settings.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

Trying to do the same thing on a DSLR will always result in over-exposed and blurry photos, but the simple sliders on offer here make it a snap to get a good image just by messing around with different options.

For instance, the white balance helps really enrich the snaps, while being able to manually adjust the focus to such a fine level will let you aim properly at the subject. It’s worth playing around with some of the effects and then saving them as a custom mode, to make your own filters.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

Speaking of which, the S6 Edge+’s camera does come with some effects… but none that you’d really consider to be really useful. There’s no basic black and white mode, for instance, so it seems that the effects are all aimed at the social media-loving users. You can set the levels of each filter, and improve the vignette too.

I can’t stand the vignette thing that is getting more and more prevalent. Anything that seeks to alter a photo in such a way isn’t really helping make people become better photographers – and that’s what all smartphones should be aiming for.

Helping us to understand better what composition is, how the light levels can affect your snaps etc is what we need.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

It’s probably a bit snobbish to think that, but there’s more Samsung could do here. Being able to alter the exposure by sliding the finger up and down the screen when focusing does help a lot, but it’s something that’s been around for a while (and we won’t get into the similarities with Apple’s camera UI).

The front facing camera is strong again from Samsung, with the 5MP sensor bringing bright and clear pictures to play with – and being able to tap the heart rate monitor on the back to take said self portrait is probably the easiest way of doing things I’ve seen yet.

I’m not a fan of the trend you see on other phones of using a gesture to take the picture, no matter how fun it is, as it can disrupt the scene you’ve taken. The other option is to never take selfies… but that’s too much of a wonderful dream.

To summarise: the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a brilliant camera, taking the best from the S6 range and adding in a large screen to help see what you’re snapping. It’s fast, accurate and captures colour superbly… definitely one of my favourites to use.

Camera samples

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

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Competition

Nexus 6P

Nexus 6P

The Nexus 6P is one of the closest competitors to the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+. Both phones have 5.7-inch QHD screens, both have high-end specs, both have fingerprint scanners and both have a premium build.

The Galaxy S6 Edge+ wins out in a number of areas though, with a more stylish design, a stunning curved screen, a better camera, wireless charging and an extra gigabyte of RAM.

So is Samsung’s phablet better? Not necessarily. While the Nexus 6P doesn’t have amazing battery life it will comfortably last a day, which is more than I can say for the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.

The 6P is also cheaper and it runs stock Android, which is both preferable to TouchWiz and guaranteed to get prompt updates. In fact, it’s already on Android Marshmallow, while the S6 Edge+ is stuck on Lollipop.

Moto X Style

Moto X Style

The Moto X Style is another Android competitor with a 5.7-inch QHD screen. Unlike Samsung’s though it’s not curved.

Still, there’s plenty to like here. It runs almost stock Android, making for a cleaner, less bloated interface than the S6 Edge+ has and while it only has a hexa-core processor and 3GB of RAM the Style still offers solid performance.

Despite the name it’s perhaps not quite as stylish as Samsung’s phone and it’s more awkward to operate, as the curves on the S6 Edge+ actually make the screen more manageable. But with Moto Maker customisations you can make the Moto X Style your own and it’s a fair bit cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.

iPhone 6S Plus

iPhone 6S Plus

While the iPhone 6S Plus may not exist if not for Samsung making phablets popular, it’s arguable that Samsung was inspired by it in the creation of the Galaxy S6 Edge+, as like the 6S Plus it’s basically just a larger version of another phone.

There’s a lot to choose between Apple and Samsung’s latest phablets though. For one thing the iPhone 6S Plus has just a 5.5-inch screen, which would barely even be considered a phablet in Android land.

It’s also not as sharp as the Galaxy S6 Edge’s display and the two phones are similarly expensive. But overall it’s almost as high-end, just as stylish and rocks iOS 9, which, if Apple’s OS floats your boat, is all you need to know.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

S6 Edge

An extra gigabyte of RAM, a larger screen and a higher price are all that separate the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ from its smaller sibling. So is it really a better buy? That depends mostly on whether or not you want a phablet.

The battery life on the S6 Edge+ is if anything marginally worse, which combined with a higher price mean it’s certainly not a better phone. But the 5.7-inch screen does set it apart and while there’s not a huge difference in performance the extra RAM does seem to have been put to good use in ensuring you don’t have to wait for the home screen to rebuild when exiting an app.

These are the two most stylish phones Samsung has ever made and while they’re both flawed they’re also both great buys, you just have to decide how big you want your screen to be.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Note 5

The Note range is Samsung’s main line-up of phablets, yet this year Samsung made the bizarre decision not to launch the Galaxy Note 5 in the UK, so if that’s where you call home and you want a phablet Galaxy flagship the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is your only option.

There is talk that the Note 5 might be landing in early 2016 though and both phones are available in some regions.

Samsung has done a pretty good job of differentiating these two phablets, which makes it all the more perplexing that one of them wasn’t launched in the UK. The Note 5 may not have a curved screen, and as such doesn’t look quite as good, but the S Pen stylus gives it a more useful trick up its sleeve, as it actually serves a purpose.

The Note 5 also has better battery life than The S6 Edge+, making it a superior phone overall, though everything else from specs, to camera, to features is much the same.

Verdict

Samsung’s done really well in some respects with the Galaxy S6 Edge+, and not so well in others. The phone is a joy to use for so many things, and yet there are still far too many elements that don’t quite hit the mark to consider this a leading phone.

There’s also the issue of how you rate a phablet – many of us think it’s just that little bit too big to use in normal life, but for those that like a larger screen, it’s perfect.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

However, there are some things that phablet users should expect, not least because they’re always paying more for the privilege of having a bigger phone: the battery should always last longer, the screen should be the best around and the power is normally among the best on offer.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ delivers on a lot of this, but doesn’t do as well as I’d hoped given the larger dimensions.

We liked

That’s not to say that there aren’t loads of good bits with this phone – there’s nothing better than having a powerful phone that has a brilliant camera, yet still looks the business.

In terms of aesthetic appeal, the S6 Edge+ is definitely one of the best around. The curved edges look great, feel great to slide your finger around and help create the bezel-less display that so many concept artists are desperate to see.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

They’re completely non-functional, with the elements Samsung is using them for proving to be a bit pointless (or something you could put on a flat screen). That said, I’d still choose the curved Edge phones over the normal variant each time.

The camera is brilliant on the S6 Edge+, much like it was on the smaller phones released earlier this year. The speed with which you can get a great picture is awesome, and everything from zooming to colour reproduction to clarity is just top notch.

I’ve had a few arguments with other writers about which phone has the best camera… all I can say is that it doesn’t matter which is best, it’s just brilliant that we have so many options that are worth getting excited about.

The TouchWiz UI will still divide opinion, and I can see why a number of Samsung users aren’t a fan of it… but in reality it’s cleaner than ever before and doesn’t take so much of the phone’s effort on the Edge+, so that gets a tick from me.

The price has already dropped to a more palatable level as well – not bad for a new phone.

We disliked

The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is still something of a worry for me – it should be a lot better, given the larger size of the phone.

Getting merely to the end of the day isn’t what we expect from phablets these days, and that’s not even a given here. Samsung’s done something odd here, given there’s a bigger battery, no more pixels to drive and no extra power bar a sliver of extra RAM – so why can’t the battery last longer?

I can only assume that it’s the Lollipop OS taking the reins and causing the phone to connect to servers too often. Being out of Wi-Fi range seems to hurt it most, with 3G / 4G connections sucking down too much power.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

The size of the phone will be a hindrance to some, mostly because the larger screen stops your finger from getting across the display easily – but that’s a compromise most will be willing to make should they be thinking about buying this phone. It’s worth thinking about if you’re looking at this compared to the smaller S6 Edge though.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a brilliant phone, packed to the rafters with some brilliant bits… and they mostly add up to an awesome whole.

I’ve spoken at great length at how I’m a bit disappointed with the battery here, but that’s only because I expected such great things from it. It’s perfectly manageable, and is slightly better than the smaller version, and you’ll be able to work with it easily. However, it definitely could have been better.

But once that point’s cleared up, the rest of the phone is great. The camera is awesome, viewing everything on the large QHD screen (backed up by strong Super AMOLED technology) is a lovely experience and, in short, there’s no other phone I’d reach for when doing a number of tasks.

Is it a Note 5 replacement in the territories that are being given this instead of the S-Pen enabled model? Not really… the stylus does add something to the mix, where the S6 Edge+ is a just a big version of a normal phone, which doesn’t seem that exciting.

If you looked at the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and found it to be too small, this is the perfect phone for you. Otherwise, I’d just stick with the smaller version, as it’s cheaper and does largely the same job. The S6 Edge+ is good, but not a great standalone phablet.

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