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The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: the best in the world, or just expensive art & science?

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Econet Devices, Econet Premium

Science and art give very different perspectives to the same thing no matter how hard designers or creators try to blend the two. But that’s never going to stop people from trying. That’s the sort of thinking I get with every new phone these days. My experience with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge hasn’t been any different.

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We last spoke about the flagship phone from Samsung when we shared Econet’s announcement that it would be retailing in its stores for $1,305. That’s a lot of money for any sort of device, science and art be damned. So what does the device bring to the table that could really make it worth so much?

Design and first impressions

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Econet, Econet Devices, Samsung ZimbabweCurves and curves; that’s what they sang about the S6 Edge the first time this phone came out, and that’s what you’ll notice immediately. This striking feature is what has managed to give it the name and a mark of distinction.

Sure, Samsung already showed the world curved screens on the Note Edge, but the wrap around look on both ends of the S6 Edge is a first in its own right and adds oodles of appeal to the device.

Econet Premium, Econet Devices, Samsung Zim

It’s easily the best looking phone that Samsung has presented to date, something that’s not only brought out by the curved edges, but by the metallic body.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Econet Devices

I wasn’t one for that sort of exterior, but I have to admit that the guys from Apple (and everyone who copied afterwards) were on to something when they made that part of their mobile design approach. Samsung has been smart to copy that and leave plastic for lesser folk.

However, it’s not all metal, curves and sex appeal. The same dual curved edge design is something you can’t get out of your head, and there’s always the sense of wanting to handle it gingerly.

That can be tricky when you want to hold it in a crowded place like the vendor-filled streets of Harare. It’s only natural to worry about dropping it and damaging its expensive exterior.

Every time it’s in your palm, you are literally wrapping part of your hand around two ends of the screen which is something you don’t worry about on any other device, even it’s fraternal twin, the Galaxy S6.

Econedevices, Samsung Zimbabwe, Econet Premium In terms of handle and feel (at 132 g it feels pretty light by the way), I can’t say the metal casing with glass at the back helped either. Any extended use leaves prints on the phone that make you look like some objectophiliac with the constant polishing.

Samsung Zimbabwe, Econet Devices, Econet PremiumStill on the glass covered rear, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge comes with a disappointing protruding rear camera, something that was probably a huge compromise because of its killer camera. Still, it’s something that iPhone 6 and LG G4 fans will hold over Samsung’s head.

Samsung Galaxy Edge, Econet DevicesThere’s one speaker at the bottom (another ode to Apple?) and the traditional positioning of power and volume buttons on either side. The home screen button is where Samsung has always put it, with an improved fingerprint scan feature as well.

Samsung Zimbabwe, Econet Devices, Econet Premium

 

What about battery power and our struggle with ZESA?

Econet Devices, Econet Premium, Samsung ZimbabweThe phone doesn’t have a removal battery, it’s got a non-removal 2600 mAh unit, something that some still consider as a disappointment because of old habits and ZESA workarounds like moving around with a reserve battery.

It’s one of those things that have been done away by most device manufacturers anyways, Samsung was just joining the party.

In terms of power specs this battery is smaller than its predecessor the Galaxy S5, but the S6 Edge comes with wireless charging which is a much faster way of powering up your device. It’s been primed to work on any form of wireless charging (there are 2 main types), and you can still use your wall charger if you don’t have your wireless slab with you.

Samsung Zimbabwe, Econet Devices, Econet Premium

I easily spent a full day on a single charge, using essentials like WiFi, IM, picture snapping here and there and a bit of YouTube, and even had some power to spare (below 50%).

However the same couldn’t be said for days when the phone was used as a default console for games like Temple Run and Injustice Gods Among Us. Such heavy processes are brutal to battery life, and that old power bank you had for your last device will come in handy if that’s your sort of thing.

Samsung Zimbabwe, Econet Devices, Econet PremiumWith just basics and power saving initiated, there is a well over 1 and half days that a single charge will get you, however, this wasn’t tried against long conversations and video calling, so the outcome might be a bit different.

She shines on screen and camera

Samsung Zimbabwe, Econet Devices, Econet PremiumForget about the metal casing and curves. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge really excels on two key aspects, the 16 MP rear-end camera and its Super AMOLED display.

Sure, it’s easy to pour mega-pixels on any device these days, but that’s not what makes a great camera. There are other aspects, like image stabilization, auto-focus, the capturing of detail in low light, the speed of response you get when you want to capture that moment. That’s what every flagship phone is bringing to the table these days. But the right combination is what matters.

Samsung addressed all these aspects, and its easy to pass off as a serious photographer with shots on this device. It carries the same specs as the Galaxy Note 4 so anyone who’s had their hands on that offering will know what Samsung brought to the party here.

Colour, light balance as well as silly little details are captured effortlessly, even on the auto mode.

The video didn’t disappoint either. One cool feature is called virtual shot that gives you a chance to create a 360 degree shot of an object by rotating the camera around it.

When compared to other flagship devices, the competition on image quality these days is pretty close, but the Galaxy Edge is a worthy contender for best camera any day. The same can be said for selfie shots taken from the Edge’s 5 MP front end snapper.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge vs iPhone 6The screen is eerily sharp, and I’m not just fawning on those curves here. Geek numbers put it at 1440 x 2560 pixels, and a 577 ppi (pixel per inch) density means it outpaces anything from other guys making phones. This is a Quad HD display and though some might struggle to understand what that means from all the numbers and talk on specs, the image sharpness will easily convince anyone.

Under the hood and such?

Android LollipopThis is an Android 5.0 Lollipop device and Samsung’s TouchWiz has also been made a very visible on this device. The edge comes with Edge Apps, that let you select up to five contacts and colour code them so that you can tell who’s getting a hold of you from a peek on the edge.

All the usual nightmares about stuffed Samsung apps and the need to root your device haunt the Edge, and without expandable memory, I wasn’t impressed by the prospect of space being taken up by apps I don’t use.

Sure, the entry device is a 32 GB machine, you can upgrade by buying the 128 GB version, and the option-for-cloud argument is thrown in there somewhere, but data is still expensive locally. I’m not going to always have internet bundles to back up images to Dropbox or Google.

Econet Devices, Econet Premium, Samsung ZimbabweThe Exynos Octacore processor adopted by Samsung for the Edge serves it well, and it hardly seemed to struggle, even with a slew of apps and a couple of games lined up.

Samsung Zimbabwe, Econet Devices, Econet Premium

 

Verdict : An insanely great device with a killer price

Samsung Zim, Econet Devices, Econet PremiumRemember that talk about art and science? Well, this device is the mad scientist of mobile technology who just happens to have a weird flair for artistic elegance.

It’s easily the kickass device of the season. Everything that you’d want in a phone comes to the fore here, and it’s given other manufacturers a good reason to pump more money into R&D.

I was, however disappointed by the limited unexpandable memory aspect and a battery that could have done better.

All of that is however not an issue as much as the crazy value attached to this phone. At $1,305 it’s got an asking price that is not for the faint hearted. But then again, It’s for the well heeled, which is why Econet is selling it under its Premium banner.

If you have the money to splurge, and want to dazzle everyone with a phone that looks as well as it performs, the Galaxy S6 Edge is easily the best phone to pick up, don’t let any other brand, artist or scientist fool you.


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18 thoughts on “The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: the best in the world, or just expensive art & science?

  1. Having had the S6 Edge since April, I can agree with you on most of your points. It is a beautiful device which despite being a devices person (mostly Samsung devices i might add), i was impressed. I have never been impressed with a phone as much as this one.
    As for the non-removable battery, i thought it would be a problem having been used to older generation Samsungs. But with a change in mind, and getting a battery bank, removable or non-removable battery is no longer an issue. I even spend the whole day with juice to spare even with 4G on all day long (the phone supports 4G out of the box). Then there’s the fast charger, which works wonders charging the phone in an even shorter time period than ordinary chargers.

    With my version also being 64Gb I will never have to worry about space again, so despite originally swearing at the Samsung executives for removing removable storage, i’m all good.

    Overally, it is a good phone. Of course prices in Zim are always a little bit inflated but its an expensive phone, but rightly so.

  2. Claiming that the S6 Edge is expensive is not fare to samsung.

    The phone is not that expensive but the people who are selling it in Zim are expensive. In UK, sim free is £559.00
    Price inclusive of UK VAT at 20%
    FREE Shipping.

    When you convert that to $US at today rate of 1.57 its 880.

    Otherwise l think most points are valid especially on handling it in Harare.

      1. I get that but what l do not get is why sheep to SA first not directly to Zim when a company as big as econet can sell in volume.

        Becoming a distributor for them cannt be hard. All they need is trained up guys and some certified holding places l think.

  3. The situation here in Canada might be a bit different. Apple increased the price of the iPhone 6 to match that of the S6 edge, while the S6 regular version is about $100 cheaper on a two-year contract. I have the S6 edge and, for my money, this is a lot more phone than what you get with an iPhone.

    1. From what i’m seeing, this is just another Chinese brand (no offence) that wants to be recognized in the crowded space of smartphones. And looking at it critically, your competition is not the S6 Edge or The IPhone 6. Despite all the purported strength of the phone, its not that much different from the S6. Case in point, check out the videos on YouTube whereby the S6 Edge was crushed by a two pound hammer multiple times and cut with a knife and boiled in hot water and left in a bowl of cold water for a long time and still continued to work. So i’ll choose the S6 Edge anytime over the King Kong

  4. Thanks for the review. Being waiting for a local perspective of this device for a while and I think I love it more. The price though, the price!
    The article mentions that wireless charging is a ‘much faster way of charging the device’. I always thought it’s actually slower; its selling point being the incredible convenience. What other reviewers seem to be saying is that it has a quick charger, which is incredibly fast; as well as the wireless charger which is slower but more convenient.

    1. @SoTypeMe True. Its slower than conventional wall charging, but I only compared it to USB charging which, to be fair is slower than wall charging anyway. The only convenience wireless seems to bring right now is the convenience, which puts it as another cool add on. But with the way everyone in consumer electronics is snapping it up(even in car tech) it will become the thing every phone/tablet maker has in the medium term

  5. Well reviewed Nige. I usually stick with a brand until i’m let down in a big way. I also stick with the same device till I find an upgrade really worth going for, so storage options are always a priority (remember cloud space only makes sense whilst you’re in town or CBD!) . I still have my Galaxy Note II and would love to know your opinion regards the Galaxy Note 4…..am rather spoilt for “real estate” on the larger screens and the convenience of the S Pen! Squinting on tiny screens is therefore a no-no for me! Any past articles/reviews (by you) on the latest GN 4 offering?? Thanks!!

  6. S6 edge is the best i am selling brand new 64gb for only $850 Call 0774537003/0716375500

  7. Econet robery continues: Selling an S6 Edge for $1305.00 when much smaller players who push fewer volumes are selling for $780.00 – $850.00!

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