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Hands on with the new Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

Al Sacco | Aug. 14, 2015
The new Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 'phablet' packs a ton of top-of-the-line features and functionality, and it's a great-looking smartphone. However, based on first impressions, it also has a few notable shortcomings.

The GS6 edge+, which runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, also has a new "Live Broadcast" feature built into its default camera. Instead of opening up your Meerkat or Periscope app to capture and broadcast video in real time, you can now just launch the GS6 edge camera (front or back), enable the new mode and send live video directly to your YouTube channel. Though I watched a live demo of the feature, I didn't get to try it out for myself, so I can't say how well it works. It is, however, a unique addition to the Galaxy camera. 

The display on the GS6 edge+ shines, as expected. Samsung established itself as the star of the smartphone-screen space during the past few years, and the GS6 edge+ screen doesn't disappoint -- though it also doesn't have as many pixels packed into each square inch as the smaller GS6 edge. Both the GS6 edge and GS6 edge+ have 2560 x 1440-pixel quad HD, Super AMOLED displays, but the edge+ has a larger 5.7-inch screen, while the GS6 edge has a 5.1-inch display. That means the smaller device packs 59 more pixels per inch.

The GS6 edge+ also supports a faster LTE standard, LTE cat. 9, than the original GS6 edge's LTE cat. 6, though it's unclear if the chip in the U.S. version will have LTE cat. 9 or stick with cat. 6.

One of the best things about the original GS6 edge is its support for two wireless charging standards (Qi and PMA), which means you can power up your phone using the majority of charging pads and wireless power accessories on the market today. The GS6 edge+ takes that a step further, with faster wireless charging, according to Samsung. (Charging accessories must also support the faster standard to take advantage of higher speed.) The GS6 edge+'s 3,000mAh battery is 15 percent larger than the battery in the GS6 edge (2,600mAh), but Samsung says it will fully charge, wirelessly, in the same amount of time, thanks to the speed boost in wireless power support. 

Samsung also (finally) provided U.S. release date details (sort of) for its much-anticipated mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, the GS6 edge+ will be able to make contactless mobile payments at the majority of U.S. retail locations, using magnetic secure transmission (MST), or NFC, if the retailers have compatible contactless point-of-sale terminals. (Samsung should have a distinct advantage over Apple Pay, thanks to the MST support.) The new mobile payment service will be officially released in the United States at some point in September, according to Samsung. 

The Galaxy S6 edge+ has the same powerful, Exynos 7420, 64-bit octa-core (2.1GHz quad + 1.5Ghz quad) processor as the GS6 edge, which in my experience provides a smooth, seamless experience on the smaller GS6 edge. The larger edge also has 4GB of RAM, 1GB more than the original GS6 edge. 


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