Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review

One of the best phones out made better

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

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Specs and performance

  • Running an Exynos 7520 octa-core system-on-a-chip
  • Packs 4GB of RAM and either 32GB/64GB of storage

In terms of specs, there's very little that you'll find different on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ compared to the original S6 Edge, which is something of a disappointment.

Not in terms of actual performance - it's mostly brilliant, but that's a common theme with most smartphones out there now - but for the spec fans, and especially those upgrading from 2013's Note 3 powerhouse, they'd expect the very, very best on the market.

If you can get past such spec snobbery, the S6 Edge+ performs very well. The extra 1GB of RAM boosts the internal grunt to 4GB, and combined with the octa-core Exynos 7420 chipset inside you've got a very competent and powerful phone.

The internal storage could be a little bigger, especially given the fact there's no expandable MicroSD slot to give you a little more memory to play with. 32GB will probably just about suffice - providing you don't fill it with loads of 4K video, that is.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

The Plus is a lot larger than the original Edge, and the interface is expanded too

The lack of microSD and removable battery still irks some people – but the former is offset by the fact this phone uses advanced internal storage, meaning it's much quicker and more stable than microSD expansion. Even having the card in can slow down Samsung phones, so I can see why the brand went down this route… but it doesn't mean I like it.

You'll probably want to stack this thing full of movies, games and other assorted large files – it can handle Hi-Res audio as well – so while it's a good thing Samsung didn't go all-out crazy and make a 16GB option, the 32GB doesn't seem that solid, especially given you'll be taking a million pictures with the excellent camera.

There's also the issue of nearly 7GB of onboard storage being munched by the operating system, which at least is down from the 12GB madness of previous phones. If you want to be safe, go for the 64GB Galaxy S6 Edge+, but remember that's even more money to fork out.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

I'm not criticising Samsung for offering a 32GB version as the base model – it needs to try to have one option at a price that's vaguely accessible – but you could run out of space relatively quickly in two years.

Samsung doesn't want to make a 128GB version of this phone, which is really odd when you consider the smaller phones have the variant - surely it would be an easy process to use the same components?

In general use, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is one of the finest-performing smartphones I've ever used. That's not really surprising, since it's got a tremendously powerful octa-core CPU that's fused with an industry-leading 4GB of RAM.

Note users, the demographic Samsung is aiming this phablet at, might baulk at the fact they've not got a next-gen processor in there, but in reality it's not needed.

One of the big fixes is the lack of 'home screen rebuilding', where you'd often press the home key to exit an app, only to have to wait a few seconds for all your icons to pop up again. It's a common issue that's plagued Samsung phones for years – including the S6 Edge and others from 2015 – and to seemingly get rid of it should fill users with confidence.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus review

A very familiar UI, but with more icons shoved into the larger screen
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ specs

Weight: 153g
Dimensions: 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9mm
OS: Android 6.0.1
Screen size: 5.7-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 2560
CPU: Exynos 7420
Storage: 32/64GB
Battery: 3000mAh
Rear camera: 16MP
Front camera: 5MP

In fact, there's very little you can't do with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, as it really is the phone that demands you try to do everything and everything with it.

Movies, in particular, look sensational on the 5.7-inch screen, and it's testament to the Super AMOLED technology that Samsung uses that you don't notice any fuzziness from stretching the smaller S6 display up to this size.

It shows that QHD resolution (1440 x 2560) is easily enough for a smartphone – 4K screens just aren't needed yet, as at 800-odd DPI I'm sure the human eye can't distinguish the sharpness.

I'll probably be saying the same thing about 8K phones in three years time, but for now, Samsung has got it spot on.

The Super AMOLED screen allows for greater depth in color, richness and sharp images – and now that you're able to tweak the color settings more than any other phone around, you won't get a bad movie experience. The phone is light enough to hold for extended periods, and with Bluetooth 4.1 onboard with apt-X the sound quality is never going to be an issue.

However the external speaker isn't much to get excited about – compared to the likes of the Sony Xperia Z5 and the HTC One M9, it's miles behind in terms of being able to pump out tunes or movie dialogue with precision.

The audio performance of this phone is still remarkable though. Stick in a lossless file, throw on a pair of decent headphones and the amount of detail you'll get is chilling. Every sound is warm, the range is wide and even standard Spotify-streamed MP3s sounds good on there.

It's the same with gaming. While there's always a worry about the battery running down, in testing Samsung's always remarkably good about keeping the power levels up, no matter what task is running on the screen.

That bodes well, given that the S6 Edge+ has a huge amount of power for gaming of all levels. Casual games look stunning on the Super AMOLED screen and the Mali GPU inside is capable of running heavy frame rates despite the larger amount of pixels to drive.

With the extra RAM on board, the speed of this thing is off the charts - you'll never be able to properly use it, unless you're getting VERY specific with your apps and finding some that need oodles of power - putting it just a sliver behind the Note 5 in raw performance.

In our GeekBench 3 testing, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ scored a whopping 4949. That's more than the iPad Air 2, the new Tab S2, the Nexus 6P and the Galaxy S6. However if you're looking for the best of the best the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge comfortably beat it.

The phone does warm up with some more graphically intensive games, but it's not searing levels, which is good (the fact we're lauding phones for not burning hands these days is something of worry… but that's a story for another day).

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.