Samsung Galaxy s6 Edge Plus Review: Living larger on the Edge

s6 Edge plus_edge Hero

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[/blockquote]You know before I even considered to get this phone as my daily driver, I instantly wrote it off as being a gimmick device without justification. In my period of using the s6 Edge Plus, I’ve learnt that utility isn’t always defined by an abundance of features. So, is the Samsung Galaxy s6 Edge Plus worth the hype? Lets check it out in this review. [section label=”Hardware”]

HARDWARE

If you thought the name was a mouthful– just wait until you get it in your hand. With a 5.7 inch display, the s6 Edge plus is one the bigger phones around and with half an inch of screen real estate when compared to it’s smaller sibling the Galaxy s6 Edge. It retains the same Quad-HD screen AMOLED display technology with Gorilla Glass 4 and improves on the already excellent outdoor visibility, trust me when I say its just one of the best displays money can buy in 2015.

s6 Edge plus_edge Hardware3

 

Likewise, the spec sheet on the Edge Plus will be more than sufficient to make the phone last the next couple of years without a hitch. Packing a 64 bit Octa-core Exynos 7420 SoC Processor coupled with a Mali 1760MP8 GPU, the S6 Edge Plus is assured not to lag. Let’s not forget the 4GB of RAM with a sealed 3000 mAh battery, you cannot go wrong with this device, be assured of a speedy and fluid Android experience.

As with the case with the original Galaxy s6 Edge, the Edge Plus lacks Micro SD expansion, but strangely enough this time round it is also missing an IR blaster which means no TV remote control functionalities. Nevertheless, the aluminum and glass chassis is just a large version of the otherwise identical s6 Edge. The same dual edge display, the same physical home button, the same speaker and port layout at the bottom not forgetting the finger-print senor embedded in the home screen that works well. It is important to mention that none of this is really a bad thing. Apart from the fact that you will at times muff the volume from the speakers especially if you are in landscape screen orientation or gaming mode.

The s6 Edge was one of the best looking phone we’ve ever seen when we reviewed it back then and not much has happened to change our minds since then. My only complaints about the overall design of the s6 Edge Plus is the speaker placement which is incredibly easy to cover and its is nervously less conformable to hold than the Galaxy Note 5 that was launched along side it. Thanks to the curved glass, there is not really much room on the sides to hold onto and the Note 5 actually reverses this design to make it fit better in the hand and feels smaller that its large display would let on.

Those looking to enjoy some FM Radio on the go– I have bad news for you. Since the Galaxy s3 Samsung did away with FM Radio receivers in their high-end smartphones. Just like me you will stuck with streaming FM Radio apps like TuneIn Radio Pro to enjoy your favorite local FM Radio station. [section label=”Software”]

 

SOFTWARE

 

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The software experience on the s6 Edge Plus falls inline with the rest of Samsung’s 2015 flagship line-up. Which is to say its leaps and bounds better than anything we’ve from this company prior. TouchWiz running on top of Android lollipop 5.1.1 and finally adds considerations to improve user experience without much detracting from the clean experience stock Android has to offer.

It is still a little bright and punchy by default but you can install themes that re-write everything– from the notification panels, your icon pack and keyboard to really make it best fit you. I had to change mine to the Stock Android Marshmallow 6.0 Theme (shown above) which is free in the Samsung Theme Store. Features like multi-window are still here of course, and Samsung still builds its Flip board briefing panel onto the homes screen, you can disable it if you don’t want it of-course but it’s actually becoming one of my favorite parts of the software. I did constantly find myself wishing there were software tweaks taking advantage of the Edge display though.

The Edge/s

The Edge Settings, Apps Edge and People Edge Displays

The People and Apps edge are handy for quick access to frequent items and the ambient ticker can be a great way of viewing information and notifications without depleting battery life. But, my biggest complaint is that only one edge is useful at a time. It is great that you can change the position of the People Edge from one to the other, but whichever side you don’t choose just acts like the rest of the display. This was forgivable on previous devices, like the Galaxy Note Edge , but with three iterations in, I expected a little more from such unique hardware.[section label=”Camera”]

CAMERA

s6 Edge plus_edge Camera

On the other hand, the camera is nothing short of breath-taking. The S6 Edge Plus uses the same sensor found on the Galaxy s6, s6 Edge and Note 5, with 16 megapixels at your disposal and an f/1.9 aperture for pulling in more light in providing better depth on the photos. You can capture RAW images if you like, but regardless which format you shoot in, photos are full of color, detail and depth. Even in low light where most cameras struggle, the s6 Edge Plus manages to impress with images without excessive noise or blur.

The front facing camera uses a wide-angle lens capable of capturing full body selfies and group photos and of course either camera can be initiated almost instantaneously with the double press of the home button. If you are primarily looking to use your phone for its camera, it really does get much better than this.

GALLERY SAMPLE PHOTOS FROM THE THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S6 EDGE PLUS

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[section label=”Performance”]

s6 Edge plus_edge UXPERFORMANCE

In daily use, the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, has been one of the fastest devices I have yet tested. Whether am flicking through home screens, jumping between multiple apps, even multi-tasking, the S6 Edge Plus remains smooth and consistent, and while some others in the industry have reported poor memory management on their devices, I have had no such problems when using this device.

Call quality on both mobile network and VoIP calls (Skype or Facebook calls) has been good as well and the Edge plus has a strong antenna to both find a retain a network. Using Africell’s 4G-LTE network I was having seamless speeds of up to 8 Mbps in certain areas of Kampala.

Gaming is a seamless as you would expect given the phone’s strong spec list, though what really surprised me whenever I would fire up Asphalt 8 or Monument Valley that the phone never heated up even after hours of Gaming at a time in fact the only time I could get it to warm up was when I was rapid charging it– which should take an hour or less to top off that 3000 mAh battery. And while 3000 mAh may sound a bit small to power a large high-density display, battery life on the S6 Edge plus was yet another pleasant surprise. I have been regularly hitting between 4.5 to 5 hours of screen on time even in those days of excessive gaming.

s6 Edge plus_edge gaming

 

Photography by Samson Baranga
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