Samsung's subtle features make the Galaxy S6 edge interesting, but the ability to use your regular apps without side effects is a legitimate concern.
The big change Samsung implemented when moving from the Galaxy Note Edge to the Galaxy S6 edge wasn't the addition of a second curve over on the left. The big change was the single panel with a single purpose. The edge of the phone wasn't a separate experience that sometimes played nice with the rest of the interface anymore, and that's a huge deal when you think about it out loud. This experience is going to apply to every app, from movies and games to ordering your next meal to thumbing through your favorite book. While having that display just sort of melt off the side into your hand looks great in the videos and seems like a natural companion to all of the fly-in panels we see in Material Design nowadays, it was recently pointed out in our forums that this experience could easily disrupt reading if not handled correctly. While none of us have been able to flip through an entire novel on the Galaxy S6 edge just yet, we've got a reasonable idea of how this whole experience is going to pan out.
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The biggest thing to keep in mind when thinking about how the Galaxy S6 edge works is how different this phone is from the Galaxy Note Edge. The curve on the Note Edge is extreme, where the curve on either side of the S6 edge is subtle. The biggest reason it's as noticeable as it is in photos has way more to do with the way the aluminum frame dips around the corner to meet that curve, but when you see the actual curve next to the Note Edge you see things aren't quite as extreme as the imagination tends to lead many to believe.
Using the phone in portrait, the biggest difference you'll see in using the Galaxy S6 edge over the Galaxy S6 is when you pull a menu in from the side. This animation gains a little bit of depth as a result of the curved display, which just serves to make things look a little cooler as you run through your favorite Material Design apps. Just about everything else is going to feel the same in portrait, and that has more to do with app design than anything else. Just about every app out there leaves a healthy amount of padding on the left and right side of their apps, which means the actionable parts of the experience are in the same place they'd be on every other phone. The only obvious exception to this would be games, most notably titles formatted like Sky Force 2014 that require your finger dance across the entirety of the screen to reach your objectives.
Perhaps more important than how your fingers interact with the display is how your eyes will perceive what is being displayed. As that 2560x1440 resolution display slopes over curved glass, most users will notice no changes at all in the stunningly high quality images this phone is able to create. Eagle-eyed users will notice slight distortions in color as the display curves, but it's far from a deal-breaker. We're not taking Moto 360 rainbow patterns or anything here, the differences are incredibly subtle and largely conditional. Text, for example, isn't likely ever to suffer as a result of this curve effect. Even in portrait, with a reader app sending text over both curves as you flip through an article or book or magazine, Samsung's display is going to blow you away just like the Note 4 display did.
While it's going to take a full review to be absolutely sure, reading on the Galaxy S6 edge doesn't seem like it's going to be a problem. It's pretty clear that Samsung wanted to make sure this new experience didn't sacrifice basic functionality, and everything we've seen so far suggests a high degree of success in that mission. It doesn't make choosing between the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge any easier, but it is nice to know that there's not an obvious downside to choosing one over the other so far.