Interface and Functionality

TouchWiz sheds many of the vast collection of features found in previous iterations, opting instead for a “less is more” approach.

Without question, the design is what’s most profound with the S6 edge – so one can only hope that there will be a dramatic shakeup with the software experience too. That’s made more poignant, especially when TouchWiz has always been about the features more than the visual presentation. Now, Samsung has talked loudly about how this latest iteration of TouchWiz — which is running on top of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop — has been toned down in the features deparment.True to Samsung's claim, this most up-to-date version of TouchWiz forgoes the exorbitant features set seen in TouchWiz past, focusing instead on features that are pertinent and meaningful to the experience. Things like Air Gestures, Air View, and a handful of others we’ve come to find in previous efforts have been pushed deeper into the settings, but can still be found, if needed. The result is a familiar TouchWiz experience, but one that's direct, without too many redundancies that previously came off as overwhelming to some people.

Without question, running on top of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop enhances the experience, not only for the fact that it’s greeted to all the new features that come in tow with Lollipop, like Pinning and Android Smart Lock, but it bears some of the visual design elements of stock Android. In fact, it’s evident in some of the gesture motions of the interface, as in the way the notifications panel springs down with a couple of flicks.

Jumping straight to the homescreen, it’s something that’s overlooked at first, but there’s a neat parallax-like effect with the wallpaper. Whether you like this or not, it’s a pleasant gesture that gives the interface a dynamic look – albeit, a subtle one at that. Come to think of it, Sammy promised that “more is less” approach with this TouchWiz, which definitely manifests in things like the simplification of its system menus, but it still can’t shed the undeniable fact that it still exudes the foundational qualities of TouchWiz past. It’s simply inescapable. However, Sammy has something up its sleeve that draws some attention.

Themes


What’s that you ask? Well, there’s now the ability to download new themes that changes the look of the interface. Going through the Galaxy Apps Store, there are various downloadable themes that not only change the wallpaper, but also other aspects of the interface – such as the color accents, icons, and layout of some core apps. In comparison to what HTC offers with its level of personalization with Sense 7.0, Sammy’s implementation is more superficial – whereas Sense goes the extra step by using stored images/photos for custom themes.

One-handed mode


Enabling one-handed usage has been among the main priorities for Samsung while refining TouchWiz, and we can say that the Galaxy S6 is a top performer in that department. Its compact size, mixed with sizable icons and other user interface elements, make for an experience that facilitates easy and quick usage with just one thumb. Of course, more advanced tasks will still require you to use two hands, but when it comes to simple stuff like checking your email, checking the weather, or calling a contact, using one hand should be sufficient.

Multi Window


Power users will be pleased to know that TouchWiz’s staple feature of Multi Window is still present and enabled from the onset, which is accessed by simply long pressing the Recent Apps button. Alternatively, we can also go through the Recent Apps menu, now arranged in Lollipop’s rolodex style, to select what two apps we want to ride side-by-side.

So, what can be gather about the new TouchWiz? Basically, it’s more toned down with its approach, but still embodies the design language of the TouchWiz that we all know on the surface. Yeah, the new option to modify the look of the interface with downloadable themes is a logical step forward, but it still lags behind the modern attractiveness we see in other customized Android experiences.

Phonebook


Again, Google’s influence is evident when we look at the Phonebook, since the layout bears the distinctive qualities that encompass Material Design. So essentially, what we have here is dial pad that employs bright colors and a cleaner, overall presentation. Functionally, though, there’s nothing extraordinarily new that we haven’t seen elsewhere.

Organizer


Diving deeper into the S6’s wealth of organizer apps, the “less is more” approach is undoubtedly consistent – both in the visual presentation of apps and their functionalities. For example, the calendar is by default set to a monthly view, but Material Design is once again made profound in the way it’s flaunting a cleaner look – one that isn’t cluttered with pull down menus.

By now, Google Now has become an invaluable feature for Android, so it’s no surprise to us that Sammy’s S Voice service has taken a back seat – albeit, it’s still something we can tap into by enabling it in the settings. After some training, where it’s able to accurately recognize our voice, we can perform simple organizer functions, but it just doesn’t compare to the all-encompassing experience of Google Now.

Messaging


Given the choice of using Samsung’s Email app or Gmail, we’d suggest going with the latter mainly because it does a phenomenal job or organizing emails. Not just that, but now that we can setup email accounts other than Gmail, it’s nice that it’s now a hub for all our emailing needs.

Taking a peak at the TouchWiz keyboard, there’s almost no change whatsoever with its layout, size, and function. Just as before, it’s great that there’s a dedicated row strictly for numbers from within the main layout, as opposed to accessing them from a secondary layout, but it would’ve been nice if buttons were a bit wider to fully make use of the space. Nevertheless, we can’t complain about its effectiveness, but other alternatives like SwiftKey are great options if you’re not a fan.

Processor and Memory

In keeping that momentum, this is the fastest phone yet in the series.

Keeping it in-house, Samsung has chosen instead to power the Galaxy S6 edge exclusively with its very own chip, an octa-core Exynos 7420 processor based on 64-bit architecture. Interestingly, it shares some commonalities with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 SoC, since the two consist of four Cortex-A57 cores running at 2.1GHz, while another four Cortex-A53 cores clock in at 1.5GHz. What’s most profoundly different between the two, is that the Exynos 7420 is manufactured using a 14nm process – whereas the Snapdragon 810 relies on a 20nm process.The result, theoretically speaking, is that Sammy’s chip should be more power efficient. More on that one later! Complementing the processor is the Mali-T760 GPU and a generous 3GB of RAM. All this talk regarding its hardware is nothing if it can’t perform flawlessly with its operations, but we’re happy to report that the cutting-edge goodies in tow make the S6 the fastest Galaxy smartphone to date.

One would suspect that employing quad-HD resolution would stall its performance, but that’s hardly the case, seeing that operations are accompanied with buttery and fluid responses. For the hardcore gamer, the S6 is arguably a choice handset to go with, ensuring that it’s unequivocally powerful enough to handle the most demanding gaming titles out there. The Mali-T760 GPU does a commendable job, but in looking at some graphics benchmarks, namely the T-Rex and Manhattan tests of GFX Benchmark, the results lag behind the HTC One M9.

As much as we’d like to say that the S6 edge is universally flawless with its performance, there’s always that nagging feeling in the back of our mind in how it’ll maintain its smooth performance long-term – more so when additional apps are installed on the phone and new services are added to the background process. For what it is now, however, we can’t deny that it’s utterly unstoppable. Comparing it to the Galaxy S6, we don’t notice any major differences with the performance and responsiveness here – they’re nearly the same.

In the past, Samsung has focused on the fact that its Galaxy smartphones offered expandable storage via their microSD card slots – a point they’ve kept on harking in its commercials. Sadly, though, they’ve made a complete 180-degree change by choosing instead to strictly stick with internal storage. Some won’t have too much of an issue with this loss, but others will miss the added versatility that the slot offers. Therefore, you’ll need to choose wisely on which model to go with; 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 69042
Samsung Galaxy S6 58382
HTC One M9 56896
Sony Xperia Z3 40437
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 2616
Samsung Galaxy S6 2237
HTC One M9 2218
Sony Xperia Z3 1571
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 5745
Samsung Galaxy S6 5751
HTC One M9 4195
Sony Xperia Z3 2938
Sunspider Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 780.6
Samsung Galaxy S6 354.5
HTC One M9 721.3
Sony Xperia Z3 863.7
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 39
Samsung Galaxy S6 37
HTC One M9 49
Sony Xperia Z3 29.3
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 15
Samsung Galaxy S6 16
HTC One M9 24
Sony Xperia Z3 12.5
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 1842
Samsung Galaxy S6 1767
HTC One M9 1413
Sony Xperia Z3 1099
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 1473
Samsung Galaxy S6 1440
HTC One M9 1209
Sony Xperia Z3 974
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 5181
Samsung Galaxy S6 5127
HTC One M9 3738
Sony Xperia Z3 2660

Internet and Connectivity


Running at full throttle, there’s no surprise that the Galaxy S6 edge is a perfect thing when it comes to surfing the web. Once again, there is choice in what browser to use – either Samsung’s very own Internet app or Google’s Chrome. Whichever one you decide to use, just know that you won’t be disappointed by their offerings and executions. For starters, the S6 edge’s quad-HD Super AMOLED display brings an unreal level of detail to the tiniest of things. Overall, the experience is accentuated by its effortless handling of complex sites, instantaneous responses with navigational controls, and speedy page loads.

A new feature brought along with its new finger print sensor, we can now use it to allow us to automatically sign into certain sites Therefore, rather than having to input your user name and password, all that’s necessary now is to use the finger print sensor to sign in. Naturally, it’s there for the convenience, but it’s still nevertheless something we appreciate – though, it works for most web sites, but not all.

Sammy doesn’t disappoint, as the Galaxy S6 edge, being a flagship thing and all, is geared with a healthy arsenal of connectivity features. Being a GSM-enabled smartphone, it benefits from having a high degree of compatibility with an abundance of networks around the world. Throw in its expansive LTE band support, in conjunction with category 6 downlink, this model will deliver theoretical download speeds of 300Mbps.

Beyond that, it shares all of the cutting-edge connectivity that’s the standard fanfare with most of today’s high-end phones – they include aGPS with Glonass, Bluetooth 4.1, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, NFC, DLNA, MHL, and a microUSB 2.0 port.

Samsung Pay


The Samsung Galaxy S6 will be the first phone to feature Samsung's new Pay service, which, as you might guess, is an alternative to Apple Pay. Right now, Samsung has completed deals with Visa and MasterCard, but it's yet to expand that partnership to other major players, such as American Express, Bank of America, or Chase. However, the company reassures that it's working on it. Easily the most interesting thing about Samsung Pay is the new Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) proprietary technology, which is said to widen Samsung Pay's compatibility with shopping terminals significantly. In addition to NFC for making contactless payments through terminals that support near field communications, Samsung Pay will also be able to communicate with traditional magnetic stripe terminal, thanks to MST.

Users will be able to use Samsung Pay to buy various goods in a quick and secure way, plus the whole process is promised to happen rather quickly. For example, should you wish to pay for something using Samsung Pay, you'd simply need to swipe of from the bottom bezel in order to bring up the Samsung Pay app (or just tap the icon, we guess), choose the desired card for the payment, authenticate using the fingerprint sensor, and from there, everything should be done in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, the bad news is that Samsung Pay will not be available to use with the Samsung Galaxy S6's launch, as the service will be enabled sometime during the summer, first in the Unites States and South Korea, followed by Europe and China a bit later.

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90 Comments

1. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

Personally I prefer Edge over regular S6. Especially in emerald...sexy beast.

5. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

I think if the price would be the same everyone would go for it. But the $150 you need to cash for something that is just an aesthetic difference it's going to be a tough pill to sallow for most of the people. But if you have the money, I understand that you would rather get the edge.

9. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

I'm only dreaming about getting it in the following months, but I believe people must support advanced innovation in technology, and S6 Edge is definitely something new. :)

32. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Might get a unlocked Emerald Green if it supports AT&T bands. Nothing is set in stone yet though. (:

48. j2001m

Posts: 3060; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

It is faster than the s6

61. tdslam720

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Why the massive difference in benchmarks between s6 and edge?

64. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Either the S6 is defective or PA did the tests on bad conditions. Both have the same SoC and should have similar results.

69. coolrx

Posts: 11; Member since: Apr 15, 2013

IMO, with better design and perfomance(a little) than s6..., s6 edge should have a rating higher than the 9.3 rating s6.

14. QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

NO REMOVABLE BATTERY AND MICRO SD = NO SALE

15. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

20. guil.power

Posts: 45; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

Just buy the 128GB model instead, trust me, SD cards slows your phone and drains your battery faster.

31. maherk

Posts: 6681; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Even if Samsung offered the S6 with 2TB of memory and a 15000mah battery, he will find a reason to hate on it, since it's a Samsung device. He trolls on every S6 article with the same old cr@p.

41. jmonteiro829

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

I don't really have a problem with the battery being non-removable but I already have multiple high end SD cards and the fact that they are charging a huge premium to get more storage is a hard pill to swallow. This will turn many away when Android has other options. Not bashing.... everyone has their own opinion.

50. j2001m

Posts: 3060; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

It means nothg about how fast your sd card are, by just adding an sd card reader the note4 r and w slower the then 1+1 and way slower than the iPhone, it does big time damage to the bandwidth of any phone tha adds it, the s6 uses ufs 2.0 that needs more bandwidth to work so sd card reader can not be added, this then make it way more than 2x the speed of the iphome 6 r and w speeds and removes the lag on the phone

29. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Jesus Christ this comment once again? You really need to find better things to do than flood Samsung articles.

75. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Funny how last year you said the same thing against others vs S5 XDDDD

34. AlexA1824

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 02, 2015

Fast charging and with everything center around cloud storage no biggie to me. The S6 active is rumored to have the removable battery and sd card slot maybe that'll work out for you.

40. T.Law

Posts: 423; Member since: May 10, 2014

Please, F off!

43. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

I own both the Note 4 and OnePlus One and I found that actually use very little of my microSD card for storage (none on the OnePlus obviously). I have a Google Play Music (All Access) subscription and also listen to most of my music on Soundcloud so most of my music is streamed and not on my phone. All my photos and videos are auto backed up on Photos/Picassa/Google+ so I can safely delete them from local storage on my phone if needed. I also have 1.117TB storage on Google Drive (15GB included +2GB free from updating security settings+100GB I pay for +1TB for 2 years promotion for buying a Chromebook). As far as battery is concerned, I have invested in an external battery charger and I already have 2 Qi chargers (for my Note 4 with Qi charging back and Nexus 7 2013) that I can use. More likely I won't buy the S6/Edge because I'm a Note buyer (maybe my wife will since she's due up for a new phone), but if they did this for the Note, I would still buy it. The only thing I'm looking forward to the Note 5 would be hopefully a switch to USB 3.1 Type C.

45. cdm283813

Posts: 424; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

There is only one phone that will potentially have removable batteries and Micro SD cards. So far LG screwed up the LG Flex 2. You're just making your choices very limited. Consider those options dead until more than one manufacture brings them back in flagships.

49. j2001m

Posts: 3060; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Sd card reader do damage to r and w speeds the note 4 is lower than the 1+1 and adds lag to the phone and that's before you put the sd card I to the phone

57. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

20 milllion pre-order unit on the way. Go cry somewhere else

42. waddup121 unregistered

A 9.3 though. Hella great score for a hella great flagship device! Great work Sammy!

47. j2001m

Posts: 3060; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Can you please redo all the m9 benchmarks as they all gone down with the new update in software as the main cpu as now been underclocked from 2.o to 1.5' the test you bad a big deal about the m9 doing damage to the edge as now gone as it overheated the phone

56. SuperNova

Posts: 649; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

No one cares about HTC anymore. S6/edge is the real talk topic here.

2. derivativex

Posts: 176; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

So pa identical scores for the s6 variants but which one should have gotten a higher score?

6. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

Edge! Even more perfect display calibration, and much better battery endurance. Quite expensive, however.

3. tango_charlie

Posts: 347; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

strange. the s6 edge with its smaller battery lasted 1h longer than the regular s6.

8. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

no the s6 edge has the bigger battery. s6 2550mah s6 edge 2600mah

35. TheStanleyFTW

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 20, 2013

Damn the battery life would be BEAST if it had 3000+ mah battery (Waiting 4 Note 5) :D
Galaxy S6 edge
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2600 mAh(26h talk time)

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