Samsung Galaxy S6 edge review: Double down

Double down

GSMArena team, 3 April, 2015.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge unboxing

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge comes with the same retail package as its flat-screened sibling. The box includes a fast-charge adapter, which Samsung says can load the battery with 4 hours' worth of battery life in just 10 minutes. The same charge time reportedly also gives you 2 hours of HD video playback. There's a detachable microUSB cable that can be used for charging and detached to transfer data from a computer.

There's also a headset with earplugs, a three button remote and flat, tangle-free cable. They look quite EarPod-y. Anyway, the earplugs have protective rubber wraps plus a spare couple. You also get a SIM ejector tool.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 edge retail package

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 360-degree spin

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is basically the same size as the regular S6. The sloping edges on its sides did not affect its width and made it a hair thicker (0.2mm), not that you'd notice. The phone is also roughly the same size as its Galaxy S5 predecessor, just a fraction narrower and 1mm thinner.

Compared to the Sony Xperia Z3 (which has a 5.2" screen and a similar metal and glass build), the Galaxy S6 edge is a bit shorter and narrower, 20g light too. As a final point of reference, the iPhone 6 (with a 4.7" screen) is a bit shorter and narrower than the S6 edge, but the same thickness and weight.

Design and build quality

Flexible screens on phones hit the mainstream in 2013, but manufacturers struggled to find a compelling use for them. Bendable phones hold some promise, but with the Galaxy S6 edge Samsung had simpler goals - make the phone look better.

The Galaxy Note Edge attempts the use its one curvy bit on the screen as a UI enhancement and some of the ideas worked great. The Galaxy S6 edge has two curvy bits - the left and right sides - though they are treated as part of the same screen.

They are not as curved as the Note Edge's right side either, but they do help side swipes to feel silky smooth. Ever since Android design guidelines started putting options in drawers off either side of the screen these gestures became much more popular. Samsung added even more functionality that works with side-swipes to capitalize on how well these gestures work.

The curved sides of the screen also improve looks. The side bezels are practically the same size, though if you look at the phone at an angle the farther curve fools the eye that the screen reaches the edge. The shape of the screen is unique on the market and subjectively it looks quite good (though some disagree).

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The unique design of the Galaxy S6 edge with two curved sides on the screen

The metal frame that is the backbone of the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is exposed on the sides. The left and right side are thinner than usual as the curved screen pushes them back. There's still enough room for the Power key on the right and Volume rocker on the left. The SIM slot had to move though.

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The metal frame on the side shrinks a bit to make room for the curved screen

The curved design changes how the Galaxy S6 edge sits in the hand. Its back is wider than its front, which feels unusual. The metal rim is about a millimeter wider than the glass and its top edge and it digs into your palm, while providing the necessary grip. It's a comforting feeling and it makes the phones feel thinner than it really is. This feeling is entirely different from what you feel when you hold the vanilla Galaxy S6 in your hand with its smooth and rounded metal frame.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 edge in the hand

The rest is a familiar story. Samsung incorporated a no-swipe fingerprint sensor in the hardware Home key below the screen. The key itself is taller than before and positioning your finger on it is fairly easy. It helps that the sensor would handle your finger at any angle.

The Home key also doubles as quick launch key for the camera - press it twice in a quick succession and in less than a second the camera is ready to take shots. This works even when the screen is off.

Above the screen is Samsung's new 5MP selfie camera with an f/1.9 lens. It's a good quality camera, though the sensor is a squarish 4:3, unlike the 16:9 widescreen sensor of the back camera.

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Hardware Home key with fingerprint sensor • 5MP selfie camera

Speaking of the back camera, it's worth noting that its lens noticeably sticks out the back. This doesn't affect handling or portability - the majority of the phone is still 7mm thick. Since its centered, it also doesn't make the phone wobble when put on a flat surface.

The Galaxy S6 edge only makes use of a single-LED flash.

Next to the flash is the heart rate monitor, which also measures blood-oxygen saturation (aka SpO2). This is used in conjunction with S Health to grab biometric data, but can also be used to trigger the selfie camera.

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The glass back of the Galaxy S6 edge • 16MP main camera and flash/HR monitor assembly

On the front and back side of the smartphone we find two sheets of Gorilla Glass 4. The glass on the back is gently curved around the edges. This makes it flow into the metal rim, which in turn leads into the curved front glass.

Currently, the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge comes in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and Green Emerald colors. The color shifts slightly depending on the color of light. The Black Sapphire color, which we have for review, exhibits dark blue hue under bright light so it's not proper black. The Green Emerald color is exclusive to the S6 Edge much like the Topaz Blue color is exclusive to the Galaxy S6.

The bottom of the phone is quite busy. The 3.5mm audio jack is there, as is the loudspeaker. They join the microUSB 2.0 port and the mouthpiece.

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3.5mm audio jack and loudspeaker have moved to the bottom • the mouthpiece and microUSB 2.0 port keep their place

The top of the Galaxy S6 edge welcomes a new component, the nanoSIM slot, which is on the side on the Galaxy S6 but the metal sides are much too thin to host it. The secondary noise cancellation mic is also on top as is the IR blaster.

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Secondary mic • IR blaster • nanoSIM card tray

Reader comments

  • Anonymous


Thank you for giving me the opportunity to contact you people. My Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is on network luck, how do I unluck it?

  • Osanlou

I love samsung phones but the one hard fact is that the old samsung edge displays get reall bad after 3 or 4 years .like appering some lines on the display