You probably have seen them flood the tech news websites and phone shops the past few months, but let me give you my simplified take on the brand new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. We are not all tech nerds, so for those people out there just hoping for a simple explanation as to why they should or should not buy these two new flagship phones, here is to you.
As with the HTC One series and for a while the iPhone, year after year we kept seeing the same or almost similar designs. This also counted for Samsung with their Galaxy S3, S4 and even S5. But as Blackadder’s Baldrick said many times: “Sir I have a cunning plan!” Well thank the smartphone gods, because Samsung have decided to listen to Baldrick and changed their design completely! Not one but two successor’s to the Galaxy S5. First I let you marvel at the above cover picture of the S6 with flat screen and S6 Edge with a double edged screen!
Nice aren’t they? Yes the smartphone world has moved on to curved screens. This not the first one, LG did it with the Flex model and Samsung brought out the Galaxy Note Edge late 2014, but for a flagship phone a revelation nonetheless!
Now I will not dazzle you in nerdy specifications about these phones, instead we are going to get straight to the reasons why you should or should not buy one of these phones. Just like if Frodo were to obtain the one ring and dropped it into the fires of Mount Doom all within 1 hour of the movie. So without blaspheming the most amazing film trilogy ever made too much let us start with the positives. One key thing to remember is that both the S6 and S6 Edge are from a specification and software standpoint the exact same phones, the main difference is the curved screen and price.
Positives S6 & S6 Edge
+ by far the sharpest, most stunning screen on any smartphone (rich colours)
+ very fast processor and speeds
+ beautifully crafted design of metal and glass giving it a real premium look and feel
+ wireless charging 1,5 times faster than previous models
+ a slimmed down software version of Samsung’s own Touchwiz UI with a clear influence of Android Lollipop 5.0 and less bloatware
+ very decent sound coming from bottom speaker, no speaker on the back preventing muffled sounds
+ software on the S6 Edge is perfectly customised for the curved screen
+ fingerprint scanner improvement (like the iPhone) instead of scrolling your finger you just hold the button for a second
+ fantastic camera and shutterspeed, also in low light situations
Negatives S6 & S6 Edge
+ battery life is barely a day with heavy use, actually worse than its predecessor the S5
+ because of the curved screen fingers tend to touch the screen unwillingly on the sides, making holding the Edge a little tricky at times
+ the Gorilla Glass 4 rear is so shiny that fingerprints and smudges show up all the time
+ the price, an iPhone whopping €849,- for the S6 Edge and €699,- for the S6 at 32GB size entry models
+ a majority of the design is a direct copy of Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (especially the bottom)
+ the S6 is a lot easier and more comfortable to hold that then Edge, due to the curved screen and the S6 having rounder bezels
+ no removable back cover anymore, no option to change batteries (unlike its predecessors)
+ no micro SD slot for additional memory available anymore (unlike its predecessors)
Out of these negatives I would like to visualize and comment on a few as I believe that they will be key deciders in your purchasing thinking.
First up is the copied design of the phones compared to the iPhone 6. Please see the image below and I am sure you can see the resemblance. If not please go to Specsavers.
Next up something that might not worry some but personally this would really grind my gears. (Thank you Peter Griffin) It is of course the before mentioned shiny glass rear of both phones giving away a huge amount of fingerprints and smudges. And if reflected in the sun, bright enough to make a satellite malfunction. Here is a good example.
The S6 comes in four colours, white pearl, black sapphire, gold platinum and blue topaz.
With a slight difference the S6 Edge comes in the colours, white pearl, black sapphire, gold platinum and green emerald. Now if you want to make sure those smudges and fingerprint stay to a bare minimum then pick the white pearl or gold platinum coloured versions.
Last but not least do not forget that you are going to squeeze out barely a day of battery life with these beasts.
But let us weigh everything evenly and conclude that these really are two beautifully crafted, top notch flagship smartphones. If you want quality in build, camera, software, design and display then these will satisfy anyone. Main concerns would be the price, Samsung have now entered iPhone priced waters and I am not sure how many people are going to find that plain sailing.
The battery is rather disappointing and the shiny glass rear will be an issue for a lot customers. I still prefer the leathery look of the Galaxy Note 4. Without a removable rear, exchangeable battery and lack of a micro SD slot, Samsung have taken away the two key aspects that the Galaxy series was renowned for. With that move probably losing some fans as well. In comparison to the competition I would seriously look at the iPhone 6 Plus, HTC One M9 and the upcoming LG G4. Don’t forget the current Galaxy Note 4 either as it has the stylus, removable rear cover and micro sd slot that the S6 and S6 Edge do not have. It is also a lot cheaper.
So if you are Bill Gates and have money to burn then get the S6 Edge, otherwise stick with the S6 and you will be cheaper off than with an iPhone 6 (Plus).
Rating Galaxy S6 = 8.7/10
Rating Galaxy S6 Edge = 9.0/10