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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge First Impressions

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Martina Osztovits), 04/02/2015

S6 with curved edges. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has curved edges on both sides of the display. This does not only look good, but also brings several additional features. Otherwise, the configuration is the same as that of the Galaxy S6 and uses high-end materials. Unfortunately, the extra costs for the curves are quite steep.

For the original German preview, see here.

With the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, things have really changed for the Koreans. It is not just, as was the case in the Galaxy S6, that aluminum and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 is used instead of plastics, but the display is also rounded on both sides.

In terms of technology, the test device comes with a fast Exynos 7420 processor from Samsung, which is now supported by 3 GB of RAM. While the 64-bit OS Google Android 5.0.2 would actually support a larger RAM capacity, the manufacturer has refrained from using more. Regarding storage options, models are available with 32, 64 and 128 GB. For each doubling of storage capacity, the price increases by 100 Euros (~$108). Since Samsung has dispensed with a memory card slot, it is not possible to add memory cheaply. This is reminiscent of the bad price policy of the major competitor, Cupertino.

The competition does not have such curved displays. LG follows a different approach with its curved panels. Only the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edge features at least one curved display edge, but it is still a separate display. It is in the S6 Edge that for the first time, the edges of the main display are actually curved.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (Galaxy Series)
Graphics adapter
ARM Mali-T760 MP8, Core: 700-772 MHz, OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL 1.1, DirectX 11
Memory
3072 MB 
, LPDDR4
Display
5.1 inch 16:9, 2560 x 1440 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, 10-point multi-touch, Dual-Edge, Super AMOLED, Corning Gorilla Glass 4, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash, 32 GB 
, UFS 2.0, 25.3 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combined stereo jack, Sensors: proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, position sensor, hall sensor and heart rate monitor, digital compass, barometer , Head-SAR: 0.334 W/kg, Body-SAR: 0.954 W/kg, GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, NFC, WiFi-Direct, Miracast, OTG, wireless charging (Qi and Powermat), Infrared sensor
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1 (A2DP, AVRCP, DI, HFP, HID, HOGP, HSP, MAP, OPP, PAN, PBAP, SAP), GSM/GPRS/Edge (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900 and 2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 6 (700 (bands 12 and 17), 800 (bands 18, 19, 20 and 26), 850, 900, 1800, 1900, 2100 and 2600 MHz (all FDD-LTE), AWS over LTE)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7 x 142.1 x 70.1 ( = 0.28 x 5.59 x 2.76 in)
Battery
10 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3.85 V, 2600 mAh, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 18 h
Operating System
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Camera
Webcam: 5 MP, main camera: 16 MP (flash, autofocus, f/1.9, UHD video
Additional features
Speakers: Mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, Power adaptor, data cable, headset, TouchWiz, S Voice, S Health, Peel Smart Remote, meinGalaxy, Microsoft Apps, Smart Manager, S Planner, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
132 g ( = 4.66 oz / 0.29 pounds), Power Supply: 59 g ( = 2.08 oz / 0.13 pounds)
Price
849 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

First Impressions

We like the shape of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and the design with both display edges curved is actually unique in the smartphone market so far. Not only is the shape exclusive, but also the materials. The Korean manufacturer has forgone plastic, and uses a robust aluminum frame, whose corners are vaguely reminiscent of the Moto X. The display as well as the rear side are protected by scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The case appears to be very stable. It does neither creak nor twist when force is applied.

In terms of features, the RAM capacity is 50% larger than that of the S5. Unfortunately, the USB-3.0 port was replaced by the predecessor 2.0. The communication features are up-to-date and promise high transfer rates. Regrettably, the new generation is no longer IP certified, which is reserved for the upcoming Galaxy S6 Active (we reported). In addition, the battery is now fixed, and you will look for a microSD slot is vain. Sadly, Samsung has omitted familiar and proven features here.

Size Comparison

152.9 mm / 6.02 inch 75.9 mm / 2.99 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 164 g0.3616 lbs146.3 mm / 5.76 inch 74.6 mm / 2.94 inch 8.95 mm / 0.3524 inch 149 g0.3285 lbs144.6 mm / 5.69 inch 69.7 mm / 2.74 inch 9.61 mm / 0.3783 inch 157 g0.3461 lbs146.5 mm / 5.77 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 152 g0.3351 lbs142 mm / 5.59 inch 72.5 mm / 2.85 inch 8.1 mm / 0.3189 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs142.1 mm / 5.59 inch 70.1 mm / 2.76 inch 7 mm / 0.2756 inch 132 g0.291 lbs137 mm / 5.39 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 9.8 mm / 0.3858 inch 170 g0.3748 lbs138.1 mm / 5.44 inch 67 mm / 2.64 inch 6.9 mm / 0.2717 inch 129 g0.2844 lbs

Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge use the same cameras, which are premium features in this smartphone generation, since they were improved by the manufacturer. The front camera now features a resolution of 5 MP, while in the Galaxy S5 it was only 2 MP. Although the main camera's resolution of 16 MP is identical with that of the predecessor, its performance has greatly improved. In low light environments in particular, the camera can now shoot good images. This is partly because the camera now offers an f/1.9 aperture. It is a big challenge to avoid overexposure with such light-sensitive lens, but the Galaxy S6 Edge has done a good job in this aspect. The camera in the Samsung smartphone is one of the best currently available in mobile devices.

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Display

Compared to the S5 predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has the same 5.1-inch display size. Once again, the excellent Super AMOLED technology is used that has been further improved. The spec lists a higher resolution. With QHD (2560x1440 px, 16:9), the test model features the same resolution as the Galaxy Note 4 and reaches a high pixel density of 576 ppi. Brightness distribution and brightness are very good and emphasize the superb first impression.

352
cd/m²
332
cd/m²
331
cd/m²
342
cd/m²
343
cd/m²
334
cd/m²
333
cd/m²
340
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 352 cd/m² Average: 338 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 343 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.2 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 2.37 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
87.77% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.41
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
HTC One M9
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 128 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto X 2. Gen 2014
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
-47%
-54%
-13%
-55%
-139%
Brightness middle
343
358
4%
474
38%
520
52%
259
-24%
275
-20%
Brightness
338
364
8%
458
36%
511
51%
263
-22%
278
-18%
Brightness Distribution
94
82
-13%
85
-10%
88
-6%
91
-3%
89
-5%
Black Level *
0.4
0.61
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.2
5.28
-140%
6.32
-187%
3.92
-78%
6.52
-196%
10.99
-400%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.37
4.65
-96%
6.36
-168%
4.33
-83%
3.05
-29%
8.29
-250%
Gamma
2.41 91%
2.48 89%
2.43 91%
2.46 89%
2.31 95%
2.16 102%
CCT
6425 101%
7690 85%
8218 79%
7384 88%
6226 104%
6731 97%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
87.77
58.81
-33%
Contrast
1185
852

* ... smaller is better

Performance

Because of  alleged heating problems of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, the Korean's own SoCs are also used in Europe. With the Exynos 7420, the company offers a powerful 64-bit-capable high-end SoC with eight cores. The faster Cortex-A57 cores clock up to 2.1 GHz and the Cortex-A53 series clocks up to 1.5 GHz. The latter should enable energy-efficient operation. If needed, all four cores can calculate simultaneously. Apart from the higher clock, the processor is very similar to the Snapdragon 810, but Samsung already uses the modern 14 nm lithography. This does not only bring thermal advantages, but also the performance is nothing to sneeze at.

In the first benchmarks, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge partially outclassed its competition. The lead is especially big in AnTuTu v5. However, 3DMark shows that the integrated GPU ARM Mali-T760 MP8 cannot completely keep up with the Qualcomm Adreno 430. We will examine the differences in more detail in our in-depth review.

AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
72094 Points ∼73%
OnePlus One
47123 Points ∼48% -35%
HTC One M9
55374 Points ∼56% -23%
Apple iPhone 6
49093 Points ∼50% -32%
Google Nexus 6
51812 Points ∼52% -28%
LG G3
36792 Points ∼37% -49%
ANDEBench PRO
3D (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
37.8 fps ∼29%
OnePlus One
24.6 fps ∼19% -35%
HTC One M9
32.88 fps ∼25% -13%
LG G3
24.7 fps ∼19% -35%
Platform (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
191.9 Points ∼3%
OnePlus One
140.6 Points ∼2% -27%
HTC One M9
154.1 Points ∼2% -20%
LG G3
149.3 Points ∼2% -22%
Storage (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
7878 KB/s ∼8%
OnePlus One
7193 KB/s ∼7% -9%
HTC One M9
5862 KB/s ∼6% -26%
LG G3
7714 KB/s ∼8% -2%
Memory Latency (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
5030 KOps/s ∼62%
OnePlus One
6738 KOps/s ∼83% +34%
HTC One M9
2302 KOps/s ∼29% -54%
LG G3
6940 KOps/s ∼86% +38%
Memory Bandwidth (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
10467 MB/s ∼50%
OnePlus One
5485 MB/s ∼26% -48%
HTC One M9
7609 MB/s ∼36% -27%
LG G3
5031 MB/s ∼24% -52%
CoreMark-PRO/HPC (Base) (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
4366 Points ∼68%
OnePlus One
2464 Points ∼38% -44%
HTC One M9
2296 Points ∼36% -47%
LG G3
2539 Points ∼40% -42%
Device Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
10328 Points ∼40%
OnePlus One
7169 Points ∼27% -31%
HTC One M9
7158 Points ∼27% -31%
LG G3
7344 Points ∼28% -29%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
4843 Points ∼16%
Samsung Galaxy S5
2885 Points ∼9% -40%
OnePlus One
2095 Points ∼7% -57%
HTC One M9
3499 Points ∼11% -28%
Apple iPhone 6
2889 Points ∼9% -40%
Google Nexus 6
3141 Points ∼10% -35%
LG G3
2323 Points ∼7% -52%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1329 Points ∼28%
Samsung Galaxy S5
941 Points ∼20% -29%
OnePlus One
878 Points ∼18% -34%
HTC One M9
1163 Points ∼24% -12%
Apple iPhone 6
1619 Points ∼34% +22%
Google Nexus 6
1043 Points ∼22% -22%
LG G3
941 Points ∼20% -29%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
19260 Points ∼22%
Samsung Galaxy S5
15198 Points ∼18% -21%
OnePlus One
13167 Points ∼15% -32%
HTC One M9
10432 (min: 10432, max: 10786) Points ∼12% -46%
Apple iPhone 6
9137 Points ∼11% -53%
Google Nexus 6
18113 Points ∼21% -6%
LG G3
12939 Points ∼15% -33%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
23954 Points ∼5%
Samsung Galaxy S5
19530 Points ∼4% -18%
OnePlus One
18074 Points ∼3% -25%
HTC One M9
34429 (min: 34429, max: 34485) Points ∼6% +44%
Apple iPhone 6
22509 Points ∼4% -6%
Google Nexus 6
25480 Points ∼5% +6%
LG G3
17029 Points ∼3% -29%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
22723 Points ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy S5
18367 Points ∼8% -19%
OnePlus One
16692 Points ∼7% -27%
HTC One M9
22783 (min: 22783, max: 23171) Points ∼10% 0%
Apple iPhone 6
16985 Points ∼7% -25%
Google Nexus 6
23368 Points ∼10% +3%
LG G3
15911 Points ∼7% -30%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
19.84 MB/s ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy S5
1 MB/s ∼0% -95%
OnePlus One
10.42 MB/s ∼4% -47%
HTC One M9
13.91 MB/s ∼6% -30%
Google Nexus 6
1.49 MB/s ∼1% -92%
LG G3
1.44 MB/s ∼1% -93%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
77.43 MB/s ∼45%
Samsung Galaxy S5
8.5 MB/s ∼5% -89%
OnePlus One
18.27 MB/s ∼11% -76%
HTC One M9
20.66 MB/s ∼12% -73%
Google Nexus 6
7.85 MB/s ∼5% -90%
LG G3
20.98 MB/s ∼12% -73%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
139.12 MB/s ∼36%
Samsung Galaxy S5
19.05 MB/s ∼5% -86%
OnePlus One
159.72 MB/s ∼41% +15%
HTC One M9
123.81 MB/s ∼32% -11%
Google Nexus 6
18.46 MB/s ∼5% -87%
LG G3
23.83 MB/s ∼6% -83%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
319.25 MB/s ∼35%
Samsung Galaxy S5
83.53 MB/s ∼9% -74%
OnePlus One
223.64 MB/s ∼25% -30%
HTC One M9
235.14 MB/s ∼26% -26%
Google Nexus 6
25.78 MB/s ∼3% -92%
LG G3
167.46 MB/s ∼18% -48%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1337 Points ∼22%
Samsung Galaxy S5
712 Points ∼11% -47%
OnePlus One
760 Points ∼12% -43%
HTC One M9
1043 Points ∼17% -22%
Nokia Lumia 930
526 Points ∼8% -61%
Apple iPhone 6
2567 Points ∼41% +92%
LG G3
1097 Points ∼18% -18%
WebXPRT 2013
Offline Notes (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
929.4 ms * ∼19%
Samsung Galaxy S5
1313 ms * ∼27% -41%
OnePlus One
1799 ms * ∼38% -94%
HTC One M9
1132.1 ms * ∼24% -22%
Nokia Lumia 930
1226 ms * ∼26% -32%
Apple iPhone 6
499.1 ms * ∼10% +46%
Google Nexus 6
1158 ms * ∼24% -25%
LG G3
1227 ms * ∼26% -32%
LG G3
1124.3 ms * ∼23% -21%
Stocks Dashboard (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
648.5 ms * ∼17%
Samsung Galaxy S5
1016.7 ms * ∼27% -57%
OnePlus One
1488.1 ms * ∼40% -129%
HTC One M9
1087.6 ms * ∼29% -68%
Nokia Lumia 930
1189 ms * ∼32% -83%
Apple iPhone 6
348 ms * ∼9% +46%
Google Nexus 6
1231 ms * ∼33% -90%
LG G3
1183 ms * ∼32% -82%
LG G3
1078.1 ms * ∼29% -66%
Face Detection (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
830.5 ms * ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy S5
2774.4 ms * ∼23% -234%
OnePlus One
2123.9 ms * ∼18% -156%
HTC One M9
2237.3 ms * ∼18% -169%
Nokia Lumia 930
2515 ms * ∼21% -203%
Apple iPhone 6
1685.3 ms * ∼14% -103%
Google Nexus 6
1736 ms * ∼14% -109%
LG G3
2277 ms * ∼19% -174%
LG G3
1785 ms * ∼15% -115%
Photo Effects (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
371.8 ms * ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy S5
2568.9 ms * ∼29% -591%
OnePlus One
945.7 ms * ∼11% -154%
HTC One M9
1585.1 ms * ∼18% -326%
Nokia Lumia 930
1004 ms * ∼11% -170%
Apple iPhone 6
964.5 ms * ∼11% -159%
Google Nexus 6
898 ms * ∼10% -142%
LG G3
1202 ms * ∼13% -223%
LG G3
1106.7 ms * ∼12% -198%
Overall Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
634 Points ∼28%
Samsung Galaxy S5
237 Points ∼10% -63%
OnePlus One
273 Points ∼12% -57%
HTC One M9
287 Points ∼13% -55%
Nokia Lumia 930
300 Points ∼13% -53%
Apple iPhone 6
570 Points ∼25% -10%
Google Nexus 6
340 Points ∼15% -46%
LG G3
314 Points ∼14% -50%
LG G3
313 Points ∼14% -51%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Samsung Exynos 7420 Octa, ARM Mali-T760 MP8, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus One Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC One M9 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia Lumia 930 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 6 Apple A8, PowerVR GX6450, 128 GB eMMC Flash
 
Google Nexus 6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084, Qualcomm Adreno 420, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

Max. Load
 38.9 °C
102 F
38.7 °C
102 F
37.3 °C
99 F
 
 38.5 °C
101 F
38.4 °C
101 F
37.1 °C
99 F
 
 37.5 °C
100 F
37.2 °C
99 F
35.6 °C
96 F
 
Maximum: 38.9 °C = 102 F
Average: 37.7 °C = 100 F
33.2 °C
92 F
36.8 °C
98 F
37.9 °C
100 F
33.3 °C
92 F
36.2 °C
97 F
36.3 °C
97 F
33.4 °C
92 F
35.4 °C
96 F
35.1 °C
95 F
Maximum: 37.9 °C = 100 F
Average: 35.3 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  38.4 °C = 101 F | Room Temperature 22.1 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.7 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 38.9 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 37.9 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.8 °C / 84 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Energy & Battery Life

The power consumption of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is slightly higher than that of the predecessor, especially in the load scenario. However, the differences are not huge, so the battery life should be similar to the Galaxy S5 (2800 mAh), if it was not for the smaller battery with a capacity of 2600 mAh.

On the other hand, the Galaxy series smartphones can also be charged without cable now. However, charging will take less time via cable since Samsung supports Fast Charge. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.5 / 0.9 / 1.3 Watt
Load midlight 3.8 / 6.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 870

Preliminary Verdict

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Test model courtesy of Samsung Germany.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Test model courtesy of Samsung Germany.

Like its slimmer Galaxy S6 sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge aims for the smartphone crown. The completely new design is definitely well made. Apart from high performance, the buyer gets a good camera. Samsung has greatly made up ground and is at least on par with competitors like the iPhone 6 and the Lumia 930.

The storage solution of the Korean's is a disadvantage. Although there are three different options, an upgrade is expensive and can increase the price of the smartphone to up to 1049 Euro (~$1135); an almost absurd amount. Therefore, we miss the possibility to enhance the storage capacity with a microSD card even more.

In addition, we expect a shorter battery life due to slightly higher power consumption and a smaller battery. The overdue integration of wireless charging can only slightly compensate for this.

The new S6 models are a step in the right direction anyway. Samsung has come up with many ideas, but unfortunately has also omitted proven features.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge First Impressions
Daniel Schmidt, 2015-04- 2 (Update: 2018-05-15)