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Samsung Galaxy S6 edge review


TOP FEATURES

1. Beautiful, striking design
2. Excellent camera
3. Uncluttered software
After a dull 2014, Samsung is back with its two big bets: Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones. The two smartphones offer some of the biggest changes we have seen in this industry in a long time, from the overall design to the materials of construction to the software functions. Samsung has certainly gone all out with its new flagship smartphones, and for good reason.

But does the curved screen of Samsung Galaxy S6 edge justify the price tag of Rs 58,900, or should you save a little money and stick to Galaxy S6? We find out in our review of Samsung Galaxy S6 edge...

Design
The design is the most striking aspect of Samsung Galaxy S6 edge. It is the first thing you will notice when you pick up the phone. The curved screens on the side are not a marketing gimmick anymore, and have created an actual design language that puts form ahead of function. The smartphone feels much more natural in the hand than any other smartphone you have ever held due to the way your fingers wrap themselves around the curved Edge screens on both sides. It just feels natural.

Though Galaxy S6 edge is a total revolution of the Samsung design language, you can still see the influence of the Galaxy S3 in the overall look, with its curved corners; this is much more apparent in the white variant than in any other colour.


Though the smartphone runs on Android Lollipop, it still has haptic and hardware keys below the screen; the physical Home button integrates the fingerprint sensor. On the back, the heart rate monitor is located below the LED flash; both are positioned beside the camera module. The camera module juts out of the flat back, making it yet another smartphone with a protruding snapper on the back.


The bottom of the smartphone houses the 3.5mm audio jack, the microUSB port and speaker grill, while the top is home to the infrared sensor and sim card slot. On the left edge is the volume rocker, whereas the right side has the Power button.


As the curved screens on the sides take up a lot of space, the bezels are pretty thin on either side of the screen. The surrounding metal frame is rather thin as well, but still does not give a look of vulnerability as Galaxy S6 edge feels very solid when held in the hand.

Samsung has used glass and metal in designing the Galaxy S6 edge, a huge upgrade over the all-plastic Galaxy S5. The glass, as we saw in our week-long usage, is scratch-proof and does not crack even when the smartphone is dropped from approximately 3-feet high. The metal, Samsung claims, is 50% stronger than the one used by rivals like HTC and Apple in their flagship models.

The Edge screen


The Edge display is what distinguishes Samsung Galaxy S6 edge from Galaxy S6. It is the whole essence of the S6 edge design and is, in fact, something that sets it apart from every other smartphone in the market.

Of course, the Edge screen is not something new to us. It was first seen in last year's Galaxy Note Edge, but this time the Edge display can be seen on both sides of the screen, not just one. But we need to make something clear: the Edge screen can work on only one side at a time. So, for example, if you have enabled the Edge display on the left side, it will not appear on the right side.


In the Edge screen menu in Settings, you will find all the features of this unique display panel. The information you can see on the Edge screen comprises: missed notifications, Yahoo-powered news, stocks and sports scores (no cricket yet) and Twitter trends. You can download more features from Galaxy Apps, but compatible features are less this time compared to Galaxy Note Edge.


To activate the Edge screen, you need to rub your finger on the spine of the smartphone. This wakes up the Edge display; swipe along the wraparound display panel to move between various functions.

You can also assign colours to your favourite contacts; when these contacts call and your phone is kept facing downwards, the whole Edge display will act as a notification panel and show the associated colour. This also works with messages and emails sent by these contacts.

The Edge display also shows the time and other details on the screen at night, so you don't have to turn on the screen just to check the time.

However, Samsung has completely killed the Edge screen's functions when the Galaxy S6 edge is active. In Note Edge, you could pick up any call, view snippets of messages and app alerts, control music, and perform other functions using the Edge screen. But not in Galaxy S6 edge.

Instead, Samsung has gone for the aesthetics with Galaxy S6 edge. With sloping displays on both sides, the Galaxy S6 edge displays on-screen items like photos, web pages, videos, etc in a more natural way. In Note Edge, for example, photos used to get cut off abruptly due to the design factor, since the left side has the metal, while the Edge screen on the right was completely independent of the main screen. This time around, the way Samsung is displaying content on the curved side screens seems a lot more natural and aesthetically pleasing.

Display


The primary display of Samsung Galaxy S6 edge measures 5.1-inch and has 2K resolution (1440x2560p), meaning 577ppi pixel density (the highest in the world). The Super AMOLED panel has toned down the inherent greenish tinge and also brought down the colour saturation level noticeably. In fact, the colours on Galaxy S6 edge look almost neutral; you can, of course, change the colour temperature to your liking in Settings.

In terms of quality, the display panel of Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is top notch in all aspects. The screen does not lose colours at acute viewing angles, nor do the colours appear washed out under the sun.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is the only smartphone in the world protected by Gorilla Glass 4 (on the front and back). We tried scratching the screen, to no avail. We also put the smartphone in the same pocket as our keys. Not a scratch.

Hardware
For the first time, Samsung has not used a Qualcomm processor in its flagship smartphone; instead, it is only selling the Exynos-powered variant globally. The 4G-enabled Exynos 7420 octa-core chipset runs at clock speed of 2.1GHz and is designed on 64-bit CPU architecture; designed on the 14nm process, this chipset is said to be more efficient than previous ones, and process tasks 35% faster. It is also said to reduce battery consumption by 35%.

To back up the Exynos 7420 processor is 3GB RAM; instead of the industry-standard DDR3 RAM, Samsung has used DDR4 RAM, which helps increase running memory by up to 80%, the company claims. Galaxy S6 edge comes with a hybrid flash storage that reduces lag by a wide
margin, Samsung says; the smartphone comes in 32, 64 and 128GB variants, with no support for microSD cards.

READ ALSO: 8 unique features of Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge

The camera on the back has 16MP resolution and is backed by a LED flash; the selfie snapper has 5MP resolution. Like previous top-end Samsung smartphones, Galaxy S6 edge comes with a heart rate sensor, pedometer and other health-related features that track your fitness data in S Health app. The fingerprint scanner is still there as well; instead of swiping on the Home button, you need to press it now, the way you do on an iPhone.

For the first time, Samsung has made the battery non-removable in its top smartphone. The 2,600mAh battery comes with fast-charging technology and supports both Qi and PMA charging standards.
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