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5 Reasons To Buy The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

Forbes logo Forbes 14-08-2015 Jay McGregor, Contributor

The Galaxy S6 Edge+. Image Credit: Ian Morris© Provided by Forbes The Galaxy S6 Edge+. Image Credit: Ian Morris

The leaks were right after all, the Edge+ is just a bigger, bolder, version of the Galaxy S6. But is it worth your hard earned $$$?

If you’re unfamiliar with by buying guides, don’t forget to check out my upcoming run-down of the Galaxy Note 5, and every other major smartphone launched in recent months.

1. Bigger and better?

Bigger, yes. Better? Perhaps. One thing is clear, the S6 Edge+ is just a larger version of the S6 Edge. Everything else remains largely the same. It has the same Exynos 7420 processor, slightly more RAM (4GB instead of 3GB), the same Super Amoled quad-HD display (2k), glass-panels and curved-edged design. What has changed, however, is the screen size, which has been bumped up to 5.7-inches and the battery has had a slight upgrade…

2. Bigger battery

The larger, 3000mAh, battery is particularly welcome, because of the S6 and S6 Edge’s disappointingly small power packs, which led to average battery life. There is reason to be happy with the Edge battery performance – wireless charging. The Edge+ supports the Qi and PMA standard, both of which are becoming more widely accepted – download the “Powermatt” app to get a breakdown of charging spots near you. There’s also the faster charging, which can give 4 hours of power after a 10 minute charge.

But, with the larger battery, comes a larger power-hungry display: and, since the display is the largest drain on battery life, the Edge+ might suffer similar problems with less than impressive lasting power. I’ll know more once I put it through the review machine, but a small jump from 2600mAh to 3000mAh (on the Edge+) might not be enough to fend off the ‘lasting-power’ criticism. It’s also smaller than the Note 4, which means despite being the same size, it has a smaller battery.

One thing, however, is for sure-  the curved edges do more than just drain battery.

3. Curves

The S6 Edge+. Image Credit: Ian Morris© Provided by Forbes The S6 Edge+. Image Credit: Ian Morris

The dual-curved display is flat-out good looking. It’s an impressive feat of display technology: credit must go to Samsung. The curves do have some minimal uses too, including lighting up when the device is face-down, so you can see if someone is calling.

You can also quickly access pre-set contacts from the Edge, and set tickers to scroll along the side with weather or news information. The Edge+ is also getting some exclusive ‘edge’ functionality called “Apps Edge”, which replaces your contacts with frequently used apps. This, I imagine, will be rolled out to the S6 Edge soon, although Samsung couldn’t give me a date.

Unfortunately, that’s about it. The Edge has rightly faced criticism for not including enough features. Whilst Samsung has updated the software with some extras today, nothing stands out as particularly impressive. Recent patent applications, however, do suggest that Samsung has something up its sleeve – so there’s hope yet.

4. Camera

The Edge+ brings the Edge’s excellent 16MP rear-facing camera. This is the standout-feature of the Edge+ (don’t be distracted by the curves), and a triumph in smartphone camera photography. Samsung’s S6 and S6 Edge deservedly climbed their way to the top spot for ‘best smartphone camera’ – the Edge+ shares the podium since it uses the same technology. The Edge+ camera gets some new live broadcasting features and something called a “video collage”, which is essentially a slightly more in-depth video editing tool.

With the Edge+ camera, you can take pictures quickly with its fast autofocus and shutter speed (less than a second), record 4K footage and filter your face beyond recognition with Samsung’s many editing options. There’s also the Note’s impressive low-light performance, which again outperforms its rivals. Check out my camera shoot-out between the S6 and the LG G4 here.

5. Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay on the S6 Edge+. Image Credit: Ian Morris© Provided by Forbes Samsung Pay on the S6 Edge+. Image Credit: Ian Morris

Samsung’s Apple Pay rival will be launching “soon” according to Samsung, presumably when the Note 5 and Edge+ go on sale next month. With it comes the traditional NFC (near field communication) payment system that’s used in Apple Pay, but also Magnetic Secure Transmission (Acquired via Loop Pay), which is the same technology used to swipe your credit card.

This has, as Samsung describes it, “near universal acceptance” as most vendors currently use it. That means your Edge+ will be able to make payments at most stores that accept card, on day one, without having to install new till technology. This is a huge advantage over Apple Pay, which requires tills to have NFC, many of which don’t.

Cons

I’ve noted multiple times over the last two weeks, there’s little in the Edge+ to distinguish between its smaller sibling or, indeed, the jointly released Note 5. This is a larger device, that’s largely the same.

Fans waiting for something extra to be on offer will be disappointed. In particular, those of you who were hoping to see the return of expandable memory and a removable battery – after the very public backlash – will be sorely disappointed.

I have some reservations about the size of the battery, too. I’m yet to put the Edge+ through the review machine, but it’s clear that a 5.7-inch device, with such a large display surface area (thanks to the curved edges), may require a larger battery than 3000mAh.

Yes, the slimmed down TouchWiz and efficiency of the Exynos 7420 offsets some of the smaller battery woes. But since Samsung didn’t go for the rumored 7422 processor (the embedded package on package memory solution that’s even more efficient), then I imagine the Edge+ will perform similar to the S6 in terms of battery life.

Finally, the price. Although Samsung hasn’t announced the exact price yet, the Korean company told FORBES contributor Gordon Kelly that it will cost more than the reduced S6 and S6 Edge. Expect it to cost around $900 for the 32GB model.

That’s a lot of money for an Android phone in 2015. Some may say that the top-end camera, curves and Samsung pay make up the extra expense, when you compare it to cheaper Android devices from Motorola and OnePlus. I’d counter that by saying that Android Pay is coming for all Android phones, the curves don’t do much and you can still find an excellent camera in Motorola’s far-cheaper Moto Pure.

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