Camera

Once you experience this camera phone, you won’t want to use anything else.

Always a delightful reputation to have, Samsung has proven time after time that they have an intimate relationship with the cameras on its phones. Quite simply, they really do care about the performance, which has become abundantly clear in our various photo comparisons. Last year’s Galaxy S5 continued the trend, only to be improved by the Note 4 later on, so it’s no surprise that the love is going to be extended here to the Galaxy S6 edge.

On the surface, the S6 edge boasts the same 16-megapixel 1/2.6” Sony IMX240 sensor used by the Note 4’s camera, but it’s been fashioned with an even wider f/1.9 aperture lens. Going with this wider aperture lens, it means that the sensor is able to draw in more light – something that’ll prove most useful for low light photography, naturally. Adding to this, the handset’s camera is paired with optical image stabilization, BSI, LED flash, and a new infrared white balance to perfectly adjust the shot to the present lighting conditions.

The camera app itself is also extremely fast to launch – you can even call it up by double-pressing the home button at any time, which takes less than a second to get running. The reason why the camera app is so quick to start is because it never gets cleaned up from the system memory, so it's always running in the background. Thankfully, Samsung promises that this isn't supposed to introduce any battery or performance issues, thanks to its software optimizations.

In keeping true to its word, Samsung has also retained the same new design principles of the new TouchWiz with its camera interface – one that’s refreshingly clean and minimalist with its layout. In fact, most of the interface is dominated by the viewfinder, only to be flanked on the sides by its on-screen shutter key, mode change, and various settings/effects icons. In selecting a mode, it’s been broken down to auto, selective focus, panorama, slow motion, fast motion, virtual shot, and pro.

The latter, needless to say, is a new one that greatly gives us all of the controls that are necessary to appease enthusiasts. In particular, it’s just a fancy classification for full manual control – allowing us to adjust parameters for ISO, white balance, exposure compensation, and now focus as well. Best of all, you can even save the settings for use later on. Aside from that, there are plenty of downloadable ones through the Galaxy App Store to further offer depth to the camera experience.

Image Quality


Dreamy, that’s the choice word that best describes the incredible, high-polished quality put out by the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge’s new camera. For the general folks out there, its use as a practical point and shoot camera will impress many by its fantastic results from automatic mode. Details has always been a strong point for many of Sammy’s high end phones, so it’s not shocking to find a lot of emphasis here once again, which is further accentuated by its not too overly sharpened composition.

In addition, it handles dynamic range decently – to the point that it casts a neutral exposure with most shots. Although, HDR mode definitely adds a touch to shadows and highlights to further draw out details that would otherwise be lost. Color production is quite natural looking, so it’s neither too warm, nor too cold in the process.

Outdoor settings where lighting is abundant is one thing, but for many phones, their cameras crumble under the intense pressure of low lighting photography. As we’ve detailed already, the S6 edge aims to squash any of those concerns with its wider f/1.9 aperture lens. Paired with optical image stabilization, the S6 edge is a beast under low lighting conditions.

Indeed, there’s that certain degree of diminished quality when compared to its performance when lighting is insufficient, but it’s minimalized here with the S6 edge. Details, surprisingly enough, are still defined in its shots, which are further accompanied with a delightful white balance setting. Noise is usually of concern in this scenario, but thankfully enough, the S6 edge doesn’t exhibit much of it – resulting in nighttime photos with a solid balance.

By itself in automatic mode, the S6 edge is adept in capturing macro shots or close-ups – giving focus to the subject in the foreground, while softening the background in the process. However, by using its selective focus mode, the bokeh or out of focus effect is subsequently intensified. This, obviously, leads to the ability to have the focus set to the foreground or background post shot. Frankly, the results are quite good.

One new mode that catches our eye and makes its debut with the Galaxy S6 edge, Virtual Shot, offers a new experience in the form of a 360-degree capture. All that’s needed it to move the phone around your object, where it then stitches it all together to produce a 360-degree sample. And from there, we can interact with the object because it taps into the phone’s sensors for navigation. Seriously, though, we find it more gimmicky than anything else.

And finally, the panoramic mode of the S6 edge won’t disappoint either, since the final production is at a very high resolution. Panning in a steady motion to one side, the S6 does an outstanding job in stitching things together for a complete panoramic shot – with minimal distortion or artifacting evident. In fact, the powerful hardware allows the S6 edge to quickly churn out a final image in a short period of time.

Never one to disappoint, the Galaxy S6 edge’s camera ensures that you’ll be delighted beyond belief by the kind of images it’s able to produce. Impressively enough, the high-quality results provide versatility in the form of cropping photos post-shot, seeing that there are no compromises in its quality. Best of all, it’s a well-rounded camera that handles all sorts of shooting conditions – including the dreaded low light.


Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 2.3
2.8
No data
No data
Samsung Galaxy S6 2.2
2.4
No data
No data
HTC One M9 3.75
No data
No data
No data
Sony Xperia Z3 3.2
No data
452
395

Video Quality


Memorializing a moment with a still shot is one thing, but video earns a higher degree of value. Those favoring video capture above all, the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge doesn’t disappoint in its abilities to record the moment. Not only is there a wide degree of shooting modes, such a UHD, QHD, 1080p at 60 FPS, 1080p at 30 FPS, and 720p at 120 FPS to name a few, but the results from each are to die for.

If capturing as much detail is utmost importance to you, then you’ll be enthralled by the amount of fine detail captured by the S6 edge’s UHD video mode. There’s such a great deal of detail captured by it, that the digital zoom offered by the camera proves effective enough to an extent. Other agreeable qualities include its smooth auto-focus, minimal artifacting when panning, gradual exposure adjustment, and mostly clear audio recording.

Going with 1080p recording instead, we still can’t complain about the compositions. Naturally, 1080p at 60 FPS gives the entire package that “extra” level of motion, but details tend to be somewhat softer toned. In contrast, the 1080p recording at 30 FPS is better at keeping the visuals sharper looking.

When conditions are ideal, we can’t argue the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is undoubtedly a perfect video recording machine. Under low light conditions, though, there’s that tangible level of diminished quality, but it’s still better equipped at handling the occasion better than most phones. Yes, noise becomes an apparent thing in our recordings, but it’s still usable because of the decent exposure – allowing certain details to manifest.


Multimedia

The internal speaker might be tepid in comparison to other things, but the S6 edge is still a multimedia power house fitting for watching videos.

For those of you choosing instead to stick with the TouchWiz music player, as opposed to Google Play Music, you’ll be presented with the same design changes already established with the updated TouchWiz experience. Simplicity, that’s the core principle of the music player, which now favors a cleaner look than before. We wouldn’t say that it’s as dazzling as say, the new Sense 7.0 music player, but it the toned down approach helps to give it a more streamlined feel.

Pounding out 75.4 dB of power through the speaker placed on its bottom edge, higher than the 73.7 dB reach of the S6, it’s undoubtedly strong toned, but it too lacks any bite behind its punch – so the entire thing sounds a bit subdued and thin. However, adjusting the settings for Sound Alive, it’s better able to deliver a robust package.

Resorting to listen to music using a pair of headphones, the 3.5mm jack outputs 0.536 V of power. It’s a good level for any Samsung-made smartphone we’ve reviewed, but it still trails the awesome firepower channeled by other phones like the HTC One M9 or iPhone 6.

Editing tools are diverse through the Gallery app, enabling us to do all sorts of editing on the fly with the Galaxy S6 edge. Come to think of it, the selection is what we’d expect from most high-end phones nowadays, but there’s nothing really exclusive or unique about the tools at our disposal. Sure, we have things like cropping, filters, and shaping effects, but the added option of making collages is an added treat – a feature that’s rarely seen through stock Gallery apps.

Nothing can replicate the movie-watching experience we get from an actual movie theater, but for a mobile device, the Galaxy S6 will capture and impress. When the display is set to adaptive mode, it’ll automatically adjust the color saturation of videos to make them even juicier looking through its high-res Super AMOLED display. And just as before, the Pop Up Play option is there to have a video continue playing in its own window – while being able to do other things in the process, like surfing the web.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 0.53
Samsung Galaxy S6 0.54
HTC One M9 1.022
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 75.4
Samsung Galaxy S6 73.7
HTC One M9 72.8
Sony Xperia Z3 74


FEATURED VIDEO

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: 3061; 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: 6967; 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: 265; 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: 3061; 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: 1168; 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: 3061; 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: 3061; 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)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.