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The Samsung S6 Edge won plaudits, but does a bigger version bring anything new?

The original S6 Edge gathered the most attention earlier this year, but does the Edge Plus bring anything new to the table?
Nov 22nd 2015, 6:00 PM 12,476 11

Score: 8/10

Verdict: Bigger is certainly better, but not everyone will be enthused about the price or minor improvements.

So much can change in twelve months. This time last year, Samsung released the Note Edge, practically the Note 4 except one side of its screen was curved.

At the time, it felt more like a test to see what worked but it led to the S6 Edge which has (rightly) garnered the most praise and attention of Samsung’s two S6 devices.

Now it’s decided to release a bigger version of it called the Edge Plus as a way of making up for the Note 5′s absence (which hasn’t been released here). It comes with a few small tweaks but does it warrant a look?

Style over substance?

If there was at least one thing the Edge Plus (and the original S6 Edge) has going for it, it’s style.

While the curved display certainly makes it look appealing and have a practical function, side swipes are much easier to do and are almost fun, the important part is it doesn’t distort anything on screen. Everything continues to look normal no matter what you’re doing which is great.

Combine that with an aluminium frame and glass backing makes one of the most stylish devices out there.

The only problem is since it’s now has a 5.7-inch screen, it doesn’t lend itself as well to one-handed use.

If you’re uncomfortable with a larger screen size, there’s little here that will help convince you to change although the curved display means your thumb will be able to reach more of the screen than you would initially think.

Edge+ rotate

Minor adjustments

While the outside is bigger than before, the inside is virtually the same as the S6 Edge apart from two changes. The display and two quad-core CPUs are the same, but it now has 4GB of RAM and a 3,000 mAh battery.

To be fair, you can never have too much RAM and 4GB is good to work with although it TouchWiz can suffer from the odd crash or freeze.

Unlike other phablet devices, the battery life will last you a day but no more. It does charge up quickly, but that is scant consolation for those who aren’t near a charger until late in the day.

edge plus fingerprint

The camera is unchanged as well, but it was already one of the best out there, prioritising more vibrant photos instead of more realistic ones, and performing well in low-light conditions.

It’s packed with enough features like selective focus and pro mode allowing you to be more creative with your snaps. Even without that, the auto mode is more than enough for most users to take some great photos.

Edge in name, same in nature

Much like the specs, the software is virtually untouched from the S6. In comparison to other Android versions, TouchWiz is still an interface that requires a bit of time to get to grips with due to the number of differences from stock Android, but like the S6, its decision to tone down the bloatware apps and features it usually offered is a wise one.

The curved screen only really comes into play for three different reasons. The first is calls, putting it face down and getting a call will see the sides flash a certain colour, letting you know if it someone you know well or an unknown number.

The second is quick info like time (which only comes into effect during certain times, usually nighttime) or ticker notifications while the final one is quick access.

Gear plus side

Considering this was already in place last year with the Note Edge, it doesn’t feel like much advancement has been made. Swiping the side menu open brings up preselected apps or popular contacts but that’s about the height of it.

It does feel a bit like 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s at this point. A good idea with potential but you feel like more could be done with it. That may be a harsh assessment considering both have only two devices to work with, but you can only hope that Samsung will build upon this idea with future devices.

Should you buy one?

That answer boils down to the same problem faced by those deciding between an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, or a Nexus 5X or 6P. Do you want a bigger screen than usual? If the answer is yes and you’re on the outlook for a premium Android device, there are few that can match it for specs and style.

If there’s a major criticism, it’s that very little has changed from when the S6 arrived back in April. It’s a refinement but only in a very specific sense and while it already had a great foundation to work with, this is a way to keep things ticking along until the next Galaxy S device arrives.

Pros

- Great design and screen.
- Specs are still high end.
- Fantastic camera.

Cons

- Very little has changed compared to the original S6 or Edge.
- Edge software under-utilised.
- Very expensive.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus costs €899 (PAYG or unlocked) and is available in Three, Meteor, Carphone Warehouse,

Read: So what do you need to know before shopping online? >

Read: Pepsi (yes, that Pepsi) is trying to fund its own cheap smartphone >

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Quinton O'Reilly

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