Conforming to market demands almost exclusively created by the Samsung Note series, Apple created two devices with two different screen sizes. So Samsung went ahead and released 4 devices with two different screen sizes and that’s mainly because of the success of the Galaxy S6 edge. It’s clear that the design is popular and rightly so, because it is still one of the best looking phones out there. For Samsung, it’d have been obvious to offer choice in screen sizes with the exact same form, so we have the S6 edge Plus, which was released alongside the Note 5. It’s bigger, but is it better? Let’s find out.
First up, to get a fair idea on the new Samsung devices, read our reviews here –
The most striking thing about this phone is, of course, its design. The dual curved edge screen, same as the smaller variant, creates such a unique look that it often gets noticed in the public. It catches the fancy of a lot of people and the best thing is, they know it’s the edge. The gold variant with its reflective finish has quite the bling yet is very subtle, but certainly look forward to finger prints on this one. Personally, I prefer the white silver or the sapphire black color, which I loved on the S6 edge.
The build quality is also the same high end premium stuff we’ve gotten used to, since the S6. Metal for the sides, glass for the front and back, the machined curves and ports, every single detail gives you an assurance quality, which is a big departure from what they used to do. Well, it’s time to get used to the new Samsung.
However, when it comes to feel, the S6 edge+, although bigger, has the same caveat as the S6 edge. The metallic strip on the sides? It’s still thin and not great for a perfect grip. While the larger size helps a lot in this aspect, when compared with the Note 5 (which also has dual curves but at the back), it is clear what we are losing out on. Nevertheless, it’s a minor complaint because the larger size compensates quite well. Also because of the larger size, the weight is evenly distributed, no top-heaviness here, but yeah, the phone will still be bigger than your skinny jeans’ pockets.
The hardware is pretty much the same if you’ve already seen or used the S6 edge, but for those who haven’t, here’s the rundown.
The front is dominated by the big curved screen which thankfully doesn’t reflect much. The other parts on the other hand are meant to reflect some shine back, by design. Above the display you have the usual sensors and a really good 5 MP front facing camera. Below the display are the standard combination of Samsung navigation shortcuts, with the addition of biometric fingerprint recognition on the home button. The thin metal strip houses the power lock switch on the right and the volume rockers on the left side. The top houses the SIM slot, the IR LED and the secondary mic while the 3.5mm jack, the micro USB port, the primary microphone and the speakers are at the bottom.
The back houses the 16 megapixel camera, the flash, the color spectrum sensor and the heart rate monitor. Way below the Samsung logo are some bits of regulatory information and “Made in India”. That’s right, Samsung assembles its flagship phones in India now, which is why they were able to bring this to market so fast.
Let’s get back to the display now. This 5.7 inch Quad HD screen is the same as the one on the Note 5, which, in our opinion, is one of the best in business. The display complements the design very well and offers a paper-like resolution that is great for watching videos with vibrant colors as well as reading monotonous text on a white background. It’s the same great display with the same great saturation, contrast and viewing angles with brilliant outdoor visibility at very high levels of brightness AND great indoor visibility at very low levels of brightness that makes it usable in darkness. Seriously, this is one of the best displays ever, and yes, the tints that the curves added on the S6 edge are almost non existent on the S6 edge+.
The other “bigger” component on the S6 edge+ is the battery. The 3000 mAH unit is definitely much better than the 2700 mAH unit on the S6 edge.
Surely, the S6 edge was not great in terms of battery life, it needed a charge before the end of the day, but thankfully, the S6 edge+ is not the same. We got about a day or more worth of heavy usage, with a screen-on time of more than 4 hours with medium to heavy usage. From our in-house battery test, it scored a respectable 12 hours and 45 mins charge rating and you can take a look at the complete battery test results here.
While the camera unit also remains the same as the S6 edge, like the Note 5, it gains one crucial feature, RAW imaging in the Pro mode. You might have seen how disappointing it was on the S6 edge earlier, not being able to reduce the sharpness aspect of image processing, but now, with RAW, we can do just that and more. The camera, generally, performs great in every lighting condition, including low light. You know the specifics, it’s got a 16 megapixel sensor attached to a f1.9 aperture lens that lets in more light and has a shallower depth of field. It also takes sharp pictures like these –
As you can see, the camera is top notch and all the tricks like the double tap on the home button for a quick launch of the camera or placing your finger on the heart rate sensor for a selfie are well intact, adding a UX dimension to the device’s quick performance. Just like the others, this too records stable 4K video, aided by optical image stabilization.
When it comes to raw performance, the S6 edge+ is hard to beat, because it features one of the fastest chips on the market, the Octa core 7420 with a whopping 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. We ran the usual benchmarks to reiterate our findings in real world performance and it was pretty accurate. The phone is fast and speedy, just like all the new Samsung devices. Never lags, never waits to load even the heaviest video files, but a rare few times, it just stops responding, which brings us to software.
Samsung needs to roll out updates for the S6 edge+ firmware for two things, mainly. One, the fingerprint sensor, which is supposed to work great like the one on the S6 Edge, but doesn’t and forces you to soft reset the phone, if you have 2FA enabled on your Google account. Second, the phone stalls and stops responding to input for a fair few seconds. There is no trigger for this, it just happens randomly once or twice a day. Apart from these two issues, there is no other complaint with the software. It’s got the same edge screen features (app edge is new, but what’s the home screen or the multitasking view for) which almost always go unused and all the goodness of the new and fresh Touchwiz are intact. As mentioned earlier, the new UX tweaks are what make Touchwiz really good, like the double tap on the home button to launch the camera or super fast finger print recognition. Yes, it’s a combination of the hardware and the software working together and we are finally seeing it happen in a Samsung device, that too, in a delightful manner.
So, who is the S6 edge+ for? Well, if you liked the S6 edge for its design but wanted a bigger screen, the S6 edge Plus is for you. It’s a big and beautiful phone with a splendid camera. Also generally, it gives tough competition to the other big sized flagships out there, but you might also want to consider the Note 5 (a couple of thousands pricier) if you are looking for a Samsung device specifically. It might not get you all those eyeballs, but has more features like the S pen, if you really need it, and slightly better ergonomic design.