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Review: 6 things to know about the Galaxy S6 Edge+

JR Raphael | Aug. 31, 2015
Samsung's latest curved-screen smartphone looks great, but does that make it a better device?

In fact, as far as hardware goes, everything not specific to the Edge+'s curves or size is consistent with the other flagships — including the excellent display quality, the easy-to-use fingerprint sensor and the generally impressive performance.

5. The software on the Edge+ is almost identical to what's on Samsung's other current flagship phones, save for a few unnecessary extra features.

It's not just the hardware that carries over from one phone to another: The Galaxy S6 Edge+ also runs the same basic software seen on the regular Galaxy S6, the regular Galaxy S6 Edge and the Galaxy Note 5 (minus the stylus-specific additions).

The only area in which the Edge+ veers from Samsung's standard setup is that, like its smaller sibling, the device has a handful of extra features meant to highlight its unusual display. And just like on the regular S6 Edge, those features feel like a stretch — like Samsung was struggling to come up with a way to justify the curved screen's existence.

Most of them are gimmicky things you'll never use — like a weird tiny bar you can activate to see notifications and news headlines while the rest of the display remains off — and the couple that could be useful have nothing to do with the curve itself and could just as easily be accomplished using third-party apps on any device.

The most beneficial of the bunch is probably the "night clock" option, which shows a small dim clock on the side of the screen when the display is off. It's certainly nothing transformative, but it could potentially come in handy if you like leaving your phone by your bed at night.

6. For most people, the Galaxy Note 5 is going to be the better option.

Look — I get it: It's easy to become enamored with the Galaxy S6 Edge+. Its curved-screen design really does look cool, and if you consider the device only briefly or without context, it seems like the more memorable phone of Samsung's plus-sized pair.

Once you start using the device in the real world, though — and comparing it directly with the almost-identical Note and its flat front and curved back — it becomes clear that the Edge+'s design doesn't make for the most ideal experience. You're gaining form at the expense of function, which is a costly tradeoff to make.

And speaking of cost, the Edge+ is actually more expensive than the Note 5, too, so you're also paying in a literal sense.

If you're just head-over-heels in love with the Edge+'s design and don't mind the downsides that accompany it, then this might be the device for you. Curve-related quirks aside, it's a top-notch phone with a lot of compelling qualities.

 

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