Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge unboxing and first impressions

Around this time every year, I look forward to the new Galaxy S flagship, which is usually a familiar handset that is a small upgrade over the previous one. This year however, Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are completely different; a combination of style and substance has delivered what are arguably two of the finest smartphones ever made.

Samsung’s new handsets launched last Friday (April 10) so after three days with the Galaxy S6 Edge, has it left an impression on me? Will it last or am I going back to my Galaxy Note 4?

Unboxing

The revamp of the flagship is not just limited to the handset, as Samsung has switched to a sleek, cream-colored box.

In the box you’ll find:

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
  • SM-G925F Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Card
  • SIM Removal Pin
  • Samsung Quick Charger
  • microUSB v2.0 Cable
  • Headphones + alternate ear buds

The most striking thing about the Galaxy S6 Edge is the design. Samsung previously introduced curved smartphones displays on the Galaxy Note Edge but just six months later, the company’s next curved smartphone is an absolute beauty. Where the Galaxy Note Edge was a niche product and the Edge screen considered a gimmick, the dual-sided Edge Screen on the Galaxy S6 Edge has a symmetrical beauty and mass-market appeal.

The 5.1-inch QHD display offers incredibly vibrant colours and deep blacks alongside market-leading 577 pixels per inch pixel density. Beneath the display, the home button has been redesigned to be a little wider than the Galaxy S5 and that has allowed Samsung to rethink its fingerprint sensor. Instead of having to swipe your finger, you can now just tap the button. Once I got the hang of it, the new fingerprint method worked 99% of the time.

Samsung smartphones have traditionally been snappy at first but slowed down once you added content to them but the Galaxy S6 Edge is different; so far, I’ve transferred all the applications, data and other content from my Galaxy Note 4 yet the S6 Edge is still blistering fast. The Galaxy S6 achieved one of the highest scores on AnTuTu’s benchmarking service before its launch and after the first few days with the Galaxy S6 Edge, it’s clear that Samsung switching to their own Exynos processor has delivered incredible speed and performance.

Up until the Galaxy S5, the camera on Samsung smartphones was functional without being exceptional but the Galaxy Note 4 changed this as Samsung finally delivered a smartphone camera that was outstanding. This has continued with the Galaxy S6 Edge, which builds upon the Galaxy Note 4’s camera and brings super fast autofocus, rapid shutter time and f/1.9 lens that delivers excellent colour reproduction.

Two of the biggest concerns for Samsung fans with the latest handsets is the lack of expandable storage and the non-removable battery. The former is easy to fix as the Galaxy S6 Edge comes with a choice of three storage options – 32GB, 64GB and 128GB – although the 64GB is the only one widely available in the UK.

The second issue is the 2600 mAh battery, which is perceived to last less than a day on a full charge. In these three days, the battery has been both surprising and concerning.

On my first full charge, the Galaxy S6 Edge lasted 14 hours and 11 minutes with 3 hours and 7 minutes screen-on-time (SOT). On the second charge, it lasted just 7 hours and 56 minutes with 2 hours 16 minutes SOT (on 100% brightness all the time) and after dropping the brightness to 50 percent, the third charge lasted 23 hours and 46 minutes with 3 hours 31 minutes SOT.

The battery life has varied so much over the past three charges but it’s clear that the brightness of the screen has a large impact on the battery life and the Galaxy S6 Edge can certainly last an entire day if you set the brightness to 50% or less. Exactly how long you can expect the battery to last will depend on your usage but I hope to bring you a lot more info in the review in a fortnight. The handset comes with Quick Charging 2.0 and both PMA and Qi wireless charging built in so even when the battery dies, a 15 minute charge can give you around 40 percent battery life and a full charge takes less than two hours.

Overall the Galaxy S6 Edge has certainly been an interesting device that’s definitely left an impression in these short few days. It’s rare that a smartphone comes along that’s truly unique – although the YotaPhone 2 is an exception to this rule – and it’s refreshing to have a handset that’s both mass-market focused but unique enough to have you smitten. From stylish curves and design to the outstanding specs list, the Galaxy S6 Edge could be my favourite device of the entire decade so far.

Check out all the device pictures below and watch out for more from me on the Galaxy S6 Edge.

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