Samsung has unveiled its latest flagship handset and its sibling. The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is the first handset from the mighty manufacturer to feature a wrap-around screen that flows over the edges on both sides, hence the name.
The Galaxy S6 edge, at first glance, is obviously unique with its bezel-free edges thanks to that curved screen. But with a different battery and a premium price on the S6 edge it's different to the Galaxy S6.
We went hands-on with the smartphone to see if this is about to start a screen-wrapping revolution.
Samsung is already well-known for its screen manufacturing smarts with TV, tablets and smartphones created in-house to name but a few. More recently it's been shocking the world with curved TVs and smartphones. The Galaxy Note Edge was well received thanks to its curved screen that offers controls on the side. But does the Galaxy S6 edge offer anything more with its curved screen?
The screen itself is a 5.1-inch Quad HD display meaning a 577ppi resolution. We've been using the Samsung Galaxy S5 for sometime and this jump up in resolution is clear and impressive. Colours are punchy as you'd expect from Samsung's Super AMOLED but brightness is well balanced for clear whites and dark blacks.
So is that "dual curve" edge of any use? Yes it is. You can set colours for certain contacts and when the phone is face down you'll see a glow in that colour so you know who's calling. It can also be used as a ticker to display news and social feed. Even at night it's useful as a night clock which isn't too bright and can be viewed side-on in bed.
You have the lack of bezel on either side which makes the screen feel larger. But we have to wonder, with that extra screen, won't battery life be affected? In our short time with the device this wasn't possible to test. Although the S6 edge does have a slightly larger battery than the S6 so Samsung has clearly thought about this.
Designed from scratch
As we expected from Samsung's rumoured Project Zero design restart for the Galaxy S6, the handset is different to the previous Galaxy S smartphones. It now has a far more premium feel like the Note Edge or Galaxy Alpha. Aside from that curved screen it also offers a metal build and is encased, front and back, in Gorilla Glass 4.
Being entirely covered in glass you might worry about breaking but Corning's latest Gorilla Glass should make for a solid handset. Although we'd still be worried about dropping it, especially as the glass does make it feel less grip-friendly in the hand than previous models. That said the metal frame is cut well so it almost feels like it bites your hand, in a good way, so it won't slip.
The various colours of the handsets offer a shimmery effect that, in the case of gold, looks different in various lights.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is slightly thicker than the S6 at 7mm rather than 6.8mm but this is probably due to the larger battery.
Samsung has gone all out when it comes to battery life with this handset. Charging should now be easier than ever thanks to wireless charging capabilities being built into the handset. But that no longer means sacrificing charging speed.
The handset can charge fast, really fast. Samsung says this is the fastest charging smartphone out there. It takes 10 minutes of charging to get 4 hours of use. From zero to 100 per cent should be done in half the time it takes the iPhone 6, says Samsung.
Samsung says both WPC and PMA wireless charging are compatible with the handset so charging should be easy anywhere.
The Galaxy S6 edge has a slightly larger battery than the Galaxy S6 at 2,600mAh rather than 2,550mAh. This is to help with that slightly larger screen and should result in similar performance across handsets.
The downside to all this is that the battery is no longer removable and you won't find microSD expansion anymore.
Power and performance
After much talk about which chip Samsung would go for the Galaxy S6 edge is here being powered by a 14nm 64-bit Exynos octa-core backed by 3GB of RAM. In our hands-on time with the smartphone we struggled to make it hiccup.
DDR4 means 80 per cent better memory while 14nm chips mean 35 per cent more energy efficiency, says Samsung.
Everything we did, including jumping between video apps, was buttery smooth without any need to wait. But performance isn't much of an issue these days as most phones are fast enough to keep up with nearly any task. Battery life efficiency while running at that level is what we wonder about. In our short time with the handset we couldn't test this but were assured by Samsung this is it's most efficient handset yet.
Samsung has overhauled its cameras for the Galaxy S6 edge. The plan, it says, was to create a snapper that just works easily without the user having to think too much. For those that want more options those are available too.
The camera is always ready to go and with a double tap of the home button it can open in 0.7 seconds.
The sensor is still 16-megapixels like its predecessor but that, and the 5-megapixel front-facing cameras have been updated to feature Auto HDR and an aperture of f/1.9 for better low light shots. It also uses a low light feature to combine multiple photos to find the brightest image, this worked well both on the front and rear cameras.
Samsung has added an icon that lets you access everything right there without the need to scroll. This is a big step up from the last phone. There is also a professional mode for those feeling a little more creative.
Like with its camera Samsung has also made its software more simplified. No longer are you expected to uninstall a host of Samsung apps you may not want. Now it's opted to ship the handsets with far less pre-installed in the hope that users will download Samsung apps if they want or need them.
TouchWiz is skinned over the top of the Android Lollipop operating system which gives that Samsung look. It's colourful, easy to use and comes with pretty much the same system as the recently updated Galaxy S5 is packing.
Smart Manager is a useful new addition that allows for a one button tap clean of the handset's memory to keep it running efficiently.
We like the ability to tap the heart rate monitor on the smartphone's rear and have it automatically send a text reply to a caller. Although we doubt we'd actually use that much.
Mobile payments are now possible with the handset thanks to NFC, Samsung's Knox security and fingerprint reading. We'll have to wait to give this a try. Samsung Pay has been introduced to allow payments with the mobile that isn't limited by NFC, anywhere that accepts cards can take it.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is certainly the most premium smartphone the company has produced so far. Wireless and fast charging are likely going to be a very attractive selling point for a lot of users. As is the future-proofing of it coming with Cat 6 LTE and tap to pay.
But does that wrap around screen offer enough to warrant a higher price tag? The price of these handsets are so high anyway we imagine lots of people won't mind spending a little more for the frankly gorgeous curved display.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge will be available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz and Green Emerald in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB variants from 10 April.