Not so long ago a device with a 5.7-inch screen would be considered a monstrosity – a near tablet, hence the coining of the phrase phablet. However, with the prevalence of 5.5-inch devices nowadays, particularly in the midrange device space, the size no longer feels quite so outrageous. Perhaps all of this was partly behind the decision by Samsung to offer two larger devices this time around when it would traditionally just offer the Note series. The second device, which will be on sale alongside the Galaxy Note 5 in some markets (not in the UK that strangely neglects to receive the Note), is the Galaxy S6 edge+.
It’s very easy to explain what the S6 edge+ is. It’s a Galaxy S6 edge with a 5.7-inch screen rather than a 5.1-inch screen. It is Samsung’s new luxury flagship, almost unashamedly brash in its size, specifications, finish and cost. On the specification sheet the device, of course, ticks every box. Superfast, Samsung-sourced octa-core processor? Check. A near ridiculous 4GB RAM? Check. Fingerprint reader? NFC? Superfast LTE? Fantastic 16MP camera? Naturally. It has all of the things that were present on the smaller sibling with the added bonus of a larger screen; the edge+ also has a 3,000mAh battery to make the form a bit less of a compromise over function.
The biggest talking point of the phone is its screen, of course this is bearing in mind that its glass front and back, metal edge and impeccable fit and finish are also good talking points. A showcase for Samsung’s display prowess, the QHD Amoled panel that curves away at both edges is probably the best screen available on any phone right now. The colours are bright and the software is perfectly tuned to ensure that even when you’re outdoors you can still clearly see what’s on the screen (a traditional Amoled weakness).
Bragging rights aside though, how useful is the curve? This is particularly important as the Note 5 is essentially a S6 edge+ without the fancy screen, but with the added utility of a stylus. As on the regular S6 edge, its use is limited. The feature for alerting to calls with a specific colour edge when the phone is face down feels like the only thing that couldn’t be achieved with a regular screen. The night clock, swipe accessed contacts, apps and various tickers could in theory work just as well on the Note 5 as they do on the edge+. There’s no denying that sweeping in on the curve feels good – our favourite third-party launcher Action Launcher 3 provides this for apps too – but it’s not a completely unique experience.
Find out more about our opinions of the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ in issue 57 of Android Magazine, available for instant download now.