Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review: This phone is seriously good

£600
Price when reviewed

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: Performance, software and other specifications

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a phone that is lacking little, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to the performance-critical bits.

To summarise, the main processor is one of Samsung’s own chips, an Exynos 7420 octa-core unit with four of its cores running at 2.1GHz for heavy lifting and 1.5GHz for light duties, so the battery isn’t drained too heavily by low level tasks.

Accompanying this powerhouse of a processor is 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of storage, depending on the model you choose. It’s largely the same complement as you get with the smaller S6 and S6 Edge, and the benchmark results are also in the same ballpark. As you can see from the table below, it’s up with the fastest phones around.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Geekbench 3, single-core

1,441

1,451

Geekbench 3, multi-core

4,571

5,233

GFXBench T-Rex HD (onscreen)

37fps

39fps

GFXBench Manhattan (onscreen)

15fps

15fps

In real world use, this is not a phone that, at least currently, you’ll see slowing down at any point, even under demanding conditions – installing an app and playing a resource-heavy game, for instance. That may change over time, of course, as the demands of Android grow, but it helps that Samsung has taken a much lighter approach to its TouchWiz Android launcher this time around.

Instead of ugly, square widgets littering the homescreens, the first time you switch the S6 Edge+ on, all that’s foisted upon you is the clock and weather widget, the Galaxy Gifts widget on a second homescreen to the right and Samsung’s Flipboard-driven Briefing screen, which appears on a homescreen to the left. All of these unnecessary extras can be removed, I was glad to discover, and although the phone has its fair share of preinstalled apps, many can be removed to free-up precious storage space.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: Battery life and connectivity

Battery life is just as critical a performance vector as raw speed these days, and the S6 Edge+ certainly talks a good game. It has a larger 3,000mAh battery than the S6 Edge, which I’d hoped would lead to more impressive battery life – perhaps maybe something verging on the excellent one and a half day of use I was able to eke out of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

In day-to-day use, however, the S6 Edge+ proved to be a touch disappointing. Not in that I had to charge it twice a day, but that it just wasn’t remarkable. It’s really noticeable when a smartphone comes along with longer than normal battery life, such as the Note 4, or the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact. The Samsung Galaxy Edge 6+ does not fall into that group.

My tests confirmed this to be the case, with battery capacity draining at a rate of 6.7% per hour while playing a 720p video in Flight mode, and 5% while streaming audio over 4G. Both of these figures are worse than those returned by the smaller S6 and S6 Edge smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review

It’s fair to say, though, that this is a fast charging phone. I haven’t had to time to test out Samsung’s claims that it charges faster than the S6 Edge over wireless, but it certainly tops up nice and quickly when you plug it into the mains. I saw it reach full capacity from 14% in under two hours with a third party 3A adapter, and the adaptive fast charging unit supplied in the box is even quicker, hitting 32% from zero in a mere 20 minutes.

As for wireless data connectivity, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ now supports up to Cat 9 4G (up to 450Mbits/sec download speed) on compatible networks, has dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with 2×2 stream MIMO, plus ANT+ and near-field communication (NFC), as you’d expect.

And the phone also retains the fingerprint reader from the S6 line of phones – so once Samsung Pay is firmly in place later in the year, you’ll be able to use the phone to pay for your London bus and Tube journeys, as well as purchases below £20 in shops across the rest of the country.

One advantage the S6 Edge+ has over Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is that retailers don’t even need an NFC-capable card reader. Samsung’s magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology will allow you to pay simply by holding the phone up to the mag stripe reader on any payment terminal. I haven’t had the chance to test this, since Samsung Pay is not yet up and running in the UK.

 

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ specifications

Processor

Octacore (quad 2.1GHz and quad 1.5GHz), Samsung Exynos 7420 SoC

RAM

4GB LPDDR4

Screen size

5.7in

Screen resolution

1,440 x 2560, 518ppi (Gorilla Glass 4)

Screen type

Super AMOLED

Front camera

5MP

Rear camera

16MP (f/1.9, phase detect autofocus, OIS)

Flash

LED

GPS

Yes

Compass

Yes

Storage

32/64GB

Memory card slot (supplied)

No

Wi-Fi

802.11ac (2x2 MIMO)

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 4.1 LE, A2DP, apt-X, UHQ, ANT+

NFC

Yes

Wireless data

4G, Cat9 and Cat6 (up to 450Mbits/sec download)

Size (WDH)

75.8 x 6.9 x 154.4mm

Weight

153g

Operating system

Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

Battery size

3,000mAh

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