The Galaxy S6 edge+ is not Samsung's first foray into the world of the extra large smartphone or phablet – Samsung's Note range already has that covered – it does however set new standards in styling, proving that a smartphone doesn't have to be a black glass rectangle.
First things first, the Galaxy S6 edge+
is just plain awesome to look at, and at first it's a novelty to use; but it's not long before the design actually works against the functionality of the phone. The curved screen can make it tough to hold onto, however in the long run it's worth dealing with to have access to a vibrant, crystal-clear display, top-of-range internals and a fantastic camera.
What makes it different?
Obviously if you've already used the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, getting your hands on the S6 edge+ will not be quite as exciting, but if you haven't, it's certainly something different to get your hands on.
The curvature of the screen and glass plays a bit of a trick on your mind at first, and the continuity of the display over the curved edges is really a joy to behold.
As with any of the S6 range, the display is still amazingly crisp, clear, bright and vibrant.
With its curves, using the S6 edge+ means that you may have to relearn certain aspects of usability –
as was the case on the original model –
scaling up that design to 5.7-inches presents both positives and negatives. The curved screen requires thinner metal edges on the sides of the phone when compared to the Note 5, but the increase in overall scale means there's just a bit more to hold than the smaller S6 edge. That gives you a little more to grip onto, which is welcome, but the sheer size of the phone mean that unless you have shovels for hands you'll find it difficult to manage one-handed.
The main reason for buying the S6 edge+ –
which let's face it offers high-end specs at a high-end price –
is that curved screen. So let's concentrate on the features that make the most of the main attraction of this phone.
The edge+ screen software helps users manage three areas –
it's got a slide-in edge that's accessible at any time, which can be customised with shortcuts, favourites and apps; a clock and information ticker which appear on the edge when the rest of the screen is off; and notifications for when the phone is face-down on a surface.
The features you'll use the most is the 'People Edge' and 'Apps Edge', which are accessible at any time within any app by swiping in on a predetermined area of the screen.
People Edge gives you quick access to your five favourite contacts, with shortcuts to call, message or email.
The Apps Edge is very similar to the People Edge, however with Apps Edge you can add shortcuts of up to five of your favourite apps to the phone's 'edge'. You can also personalise which side of the screen edge you wish to swipe in from, very handy for a larger phone which, as I've mentioned, is not the easiest to manage with one hand. Apps Edge is a great way to switch to frequently-used apps, saving you the time of jumping back to your home screen and finding them there. You can learn how to use both Apps Edge and People Edge with these helpful videos
The 'Information Stream', which is accessible with a back-and-forth swipe on the edge while the phone's screen is off, brings up a list of customisable widgets and info. News, social media, weather, updates and more can be selected.
One thing I did notice was that this feature can be accidentally triggered when pulling the phone from your pocket. If this really bothers you, you can turn off the feature but the likelihood is I'm taking the phone out of my pocket to check the notifications so it can be strangely convenient.
Edge Lighting will light up the edges of the phone when a call, email or other notification arrives and the phone is screen side down. You can match colours to your favourite contacts using the People Edge settings.
As a side note there's and additional cool little feature that lets you reject an incoming call and reply with a text message by pressing your finger on the heart rate monitor.
The S6 edge+ is easily the best looking smartphone of the year to date. The curved screen is something that will likely become the norm over the next year or two and the premium feel to the handset most definitely sets it apart in the current market.
It's got brains to match the beauty too; with the best of internal specs and a top notch camera.
As the design becomes more evolved, so too will the functionality and features associated with the curve. The current Edge Software features are useful, but I can't say they're the defining features of this next generation device. Here's hoping that Samsung stay ahead of the curve on these developments.
Interested in discovering all that the Galaxy S6 edge+ has to offer? Buy it here.