Samsung is offering not one but two big high-end smartphones this year — and while the Galaxy Note 5 is the more prominent product of the pair, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is an eye-catching alternative.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ (try saying that five times fast!) follows in the footsteps of Samsung's regular Galaxy S6 Edge: It adds a curved display to an existing formula. It's striking and distinctive, to be sure, but what's it actually like to use? And is it worth owning? With an off-contract price ranging from $719 to $888, depending on the carrier and model you select, these are questions you won't want to take lightly.
After using the phone alongside the Galaxy Note 5 for the past several days, here's what I've discovered — and what I'd advise.
1. The Edge+ is basically just a bigger version of the original Galaxy S6 Edge — with better stamina.
If you've seen the original Galaxy S6 Edge (or read my review of that device), you more or less know what you're getting with this newer model. In terms of physical form, it's the same exact phone — only larger, with a 5.7-in. screen instead of 5.1.
That aside, you've got the same glass back, the same metal frame and the same glass front that slopes subtly over both sides. If you put the regular Edge into a magic enlarging machine, this is what would come out.
The only significant difference is that the Edge+ lasts a lot longer on each charge; while the regular Edge skimped a bit in the battery department, I've had no problem making it through full days of moderate to heavy use on the Edge+ without running out of juice.
2. The Edge+ is pretty much the same phone as the Note 5, too — only without the stylus and with the curves reversed.
If the Edge+ looks extra-familiar right now, it should: It follows the same basic blueprint as the just-launched Galaxy Note 5. The two phones share the same size, same design elements and same internals. In fact, the only thing setting them apart is the fact that the Note includes a stylus and has the curved glass panel on its back instead of its front.
The Edge+ (at left) has the curved glass panel on its front; the Note (at right) is curved on its back.
The placement of the curved glass is an interesting point, especially when it comes to real-world use. When I tested the original (smaller) S6 Edge this spring, something seemed strange to me about the form — the way the phone felt when I picked it up, held it and used it. But I couldn't put my finger on what exactly was weird.
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