Perhaps the Galaxy Note 5 has picked up more attention because it's changed so much from the Note 4, while the Galaxy S6 edge+ is a relatively known quantity, but it still deserves some attention. Sure it's just a scaled-up version of the Galaxy S6 edge that launched months ago, but it also packs the new specs and features that came with the Note 5 — which definitely gives something to be excited about. Here's what you need to know about the Galaxy S6 edge+
It's a bit bigger than the GS6 edge
The "plus" is the addition to the name, and that gives you a good indication of the phone being a bit bigger than the original Galaxy S6 edge. With nearly identical designs the bump from a 5.1-inch screen to 5.7-inches is the only real change, but it's a noticeable one when you hold it in your hand.
It's a bit tougher to reach across the Galaxy S6 edge+ than its smaller variant, but the edge screen activation area can now be moved up and down the edge to better accommodate where you want to hold it. Of course you may just have to rely on using both hands for some tasks, but you get the upside of a larger screen and battery to go with it.
This is the same great camera as the Galaxy S6
There's been no shortage of good things said about the camera experience on the Galaxy S6 edge, and the S6 edge+ has the same setup. You get a 16MP sensor, but this isn't just about the number of pixels — it has great low light sensitivity, is supported by OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and a simple camera interface that makes taking pictures quickly and accurately a breeze. Add in the ability to launch the camera at any time with two presses of the home button, and you've got a winner.
The Galaxy S6 edge+ does have a few extra camera software features over the Galaxy S6, though — including RAW capture in the "Pro" mode, better software video stabilization, and the ability to set manual shutter speeds — between 1/24000 and 10 seconds — in the Pro mode.
Multitask all you want with 4GB of RAM
It was a pretty easy guess that phone makers would start to move toward 4GB of RAM in phones, and Samsung has done just that with the Galaxy S6 edge+. Bumping up from 3GB in the first GS6 edge, you now have just a little more room to work with when it comes to playing intensive games, running multiple apps at once and keeping background tasks active while jumping back and forth between them quickly.
But perhaps most importantly, having 4GB of RAM inside the Galaxy S6 edge+ means you have that extra bit of headroom to know your phone is ready for the future. Whether it's bigger and better apps or full software updates, one or two years down the road you can know that you have enough RAM to handle what's coming next.
Though the screen is still 5.7-inches, you can see more
Unlike previous big-screened phones from Samsung, the Galaxy S6 edge+ actually keeps the same display density as the smaller GS6 edge. This means that items displayed on the screen are the same physical size as they are on the GS6 edge, so you just get more of them on the larger screen.
It's a bit easier to see than explain, but the end result is clearly a bonus — more items can be seen at once in Gmail or Hangouts, and interface elements shrink down a bit so you can see a bit more of the important content on the screen. It can take some getting used to if you've used a previous Galaxy Note device with a big screen, but this higher density means you're really getting the most out of the 5.7-inches you have to work with.
There's quick charge, both wired and wireless
The Galaxy S6 edge+'s 3000 mAh battery may not be removable, but there are good options for charging it. Samsung's latest fast charging technology will boost your battery quickly when plugged in so long as you have the proper charger (like the one in the box).
There's also wireless charging built-in, and going a step further than the Galaxy S6 edge the S6 edge+ supports fast wireless charging on compatible chargers. You can still expect wireless to be slower than an old-fashioned cable, but you just can't beat the simplicity of just placing it on a charger for a quick power-up.
One-handed usability options
The Note series has packed additional features to help you manage the large screen by adjusting how things are displayed, and now that the GS6 edge+ has a large screen it too has the options. Jumping into the settings you'll also find two one-handed operation modes that will help manage the screen size.
First up is "Reduce screen size," which is activated with three presses of the home button. It shrinks the screen down (proportionately) to roughly half its usual size in a window, and pulls it over to either the left or right side as you choose. The window stays this size until you tap a button to restore it, so you can hopefully do what you need to do while you can reach the whole "screen" area.
Next is "One-handed input," which is a setting that permanently shifts areas of the interface down and to the right or left corner. The dialer keypad, Samsung keyboard, in-call buttons, calculator and lock screen pattern area are all shrunken to be easier to use, and they stay that way until you go back to the settings.
Both features make it a little easier to deal with the large screen, but they're both a little clumsy and are only useful for a handful of interactions with the phone. There are still lots of things that will best be dealt with using both of your hands, or at a later time when you have better control over the phone.
The S6 edge+ is ready for Samsung Pay
Just like the Galaxy Note 5, the GS6 edge+ is ready to go when Samsung Pay becomes available to the public at the end of September. The new payment system aims to let you leave your wallet at home, by storing all of your credit, debit, gift and loyalty cards securely in your phone. With a combination of NFC and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology, your payments will be accepted pretty much anywhere you can currently pay with a phone or card.
You'll have to wait until the end of September to use it in the U.S., but know that when you get a Galaxy S6 edge+ you'll be ready to go if you want to be one of the first to try out the new payment technology.
The S6 edge+ is downright expensive
The Galaxy Note 5 is in itself a hefty price jump over the Galaxy S6, and somewhat surprisingly the Galaxy S6 edge+ commands a higher price than even the new Note. The GS6 edge+ will set you back somewhere between $720 and $890 for the 32GB version, and you'll pay $100 extra if you prefer 64GB of storage.
Sure it's helpful that the carriers offer some sort of financing to spread out the cost of the phone over several months or even two years, but the total cost is the same — and that's a high price to pay for this shiny and curvy phone.