By force of circumstance, Samsung adventure in a galaxy far away, with its new flagship, the Galaxy Edge S6 . The foil Galaxy S5 could not do anything last year face the supersonic iPhone 6 and Chinese smartphones that have taken off Not to falter again The South Korean manufacturer is therefore trying a new formula by replacing the body, engine and software. Lifts off for the Galaxy S6 Edge?
A design and high-end manufacturing
So far, the Galaxy S has never conspicuous by their design or the quality of their manufacture. With chromed plastic and sliced her back tray of chicken , the Galaxy S5 was fake.
Samsung has finally ended his bad habits this year. The Galaxy S6 (Edge) has a design and manufacture reflecting its status as a high-end device.
The frame is made of metal, a first for a Galaxy S Both sides are they fully covered with glass A brilliant bevel makes the junction between these two parties. The finishes are exemplary.
While the Galaxy S5 looked like a mid-range smartphone, the Galaxy S6 (Edge) is truly out from the crowd with its premium clothing. We know why we spent over € 700 just by holding it, which was not the case with its predecessors.
This new envelope but involves changes that may disappoint some users. The glass back very easily takes fingerprints and will fare worse than the plastic case of fall.
The abandonment of the plastic also sign the abandonment of the seal The assembly also makes it possible to replace the battery and micro SD card reader goes out the window These are changes that do not sound like the ears of everyone. Depending on what you want in a smartphone, it will be a loss, or not. Let’s say that the Galaxy S5 has a fighter’s profile, while the Galaxy S6 (Edge) is urban.
A beautiful screen, but …
To support further his dapper character, Samsung declined his flagship in a version with curved edges to screen, the Galaxy Edge S6 – it is this model that we test.
The Galaxy Note Edge had a brimming screen, but only on one side (it was actually a second screen while long) and it has been produced in small quantities. The screen of the Galaxy S6 Edge extends him on both sides. The effect is certainly pretty. The curved edges give a little relief to the image. Next, the screen of the iPhone 6 is sadly … flat.
This screen is overflowing all the more striking that it is of excellent quality. Its definition Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) provides a course made ultra precise. The Galaxy Edge S6 can boast a resolution of 577 dpi, against “only” 326 ppi iPhone 6 and iPhone 401 dpi 6 Plus.However, impossible to see with the naked eye more on the Samsung smartphone.
With the Super AMOLED technology, the Galaxy S6 Edge display is high-contrast and very deep blacks. Brightness is capable of exceeding 600 cd / m2, a record according toAnandTech , which means that even in direct sunlight, the screen remains readable.
Colorimetry, which is usually the weak point of AMOLED displays is excellent here. The colors are very loyal, but to quibble, we regret that the white is not a little white (iPhone 6 does better on this point).
If this screen is a great technical success is unfortunately less so on the ergonomics plan.The machine is well in hand, but the screen that extends to the banks oblige to show more tact to avoid unwanted tapping.
When we want to press with the thumb on the Menu button on the top left of the applications, sometimes the thenar (the part of the hand below the thumb) pats the same time or earlier on a button bottom right.
And if you prefer opening the applications menu of a lateral move, bend slightly complicates the task. We need look no further edge of the screen with his finger to fully open the side panel. Certainly, the visual effect is nice (it’s like going to this menu to look behind the visible interface), but it is less convenient to carry.
The curved edges pose no problem reading in general. Sometimes we fall on texts which “flow” on the banks because their margin is not important enough. I do not mind reading, but the effect is not very happy. For videos in full screen, overflow on the sides adds nothing and takes nothing.
Samsung offers a few special functions well for the edges of the screen, but nothing very useful. The EtiquEdge function displays shortcuts to contacts by dragging a finger from the edge on the Home screen. It is also possible to place there a widget for Kick, Samsung’s football application.
When the screen is off, the board can display some information, such as time, weather, received emails and RSS feeds. This requires performing a back-and-forth along the fast side shields. A funny not always well recognized gesture. Anyway was more quick to turn the entire screen.
These small additions fail to justify the interest of this overflowing screen or to forget his worries ergonomics. Ultimately, this curved screen does not exceed the stage of the technology demonstration pretty but useless.
A processor and a GPU that provide
Unlike last year, Samsung has not chosen a system on chip (SoC) and Qualcomm took him well given the setbacks of Snapdragon 810 that overheats. The Galaxy Edge S6 is equipped with Exynos 7420 homemade, which is also the first mobile SoC engraved in 14 nm . It consists of four Cortex A57 cores running at 2.1 GHz and four cores at 1.5GHz Cortex A53. Mali GPU is clocked at 772 MHz T760MP8. 3GB RAM DDR4 support come all this.
The Galaxy S6 Edge Performance is top-flight. Navigating the system (Android 5.0.2) is fast and fluid – even happy given the characteristics of the processor. No game he had a problem, and load times are fast. Video playback 4K (a definition that can backup with integrated photo sensor) is perfectly fluid, which was not always the case with its predecessor.
Without a flawless wireless connection
The wireless connection of the Galaxy S6 is at the forefront. It supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1 + 4G (LTE-A), provides a hub infrared emitter to control a TV and wireless charging.
Wi-Fi performance does not change compared to the Galaxy S5, which is not already disappointing because they were excellent last year. Connected to an AirPort Time Capsule 802.11ac (a few meters from the terminal and an overloaded wireless wave environment), it reached 150 Mbit / s maximum (average of 90 Mbit / s). This is the same level as the iPhone 6.
Samsung uses different modems according to the operators and countries. Chipworksdiscovered a home modem, Shannon 333, but Qualcomm chips are also used. Anyway, the Galaxy S6 supports 4G + (LTE-A) Category 6 (up to 300 Mbit / s) at least. We achieved a record result on the Bouygues Telecom network in Lyon: 92 Mbit / s. The maximum that we could measure with the iPhone 6 out of writing MacGeneration is about 60 Mbit / s.
Still on the wireless, the Galaxy S6 can be recharged by simply placing it on a consistent basis. It supports the Qi standard, the most widely used in mobile terminals. We were able to check the operation of the charging with Qi charger Koolpuck . Recharging is much longer than with a cable (it requires twice the time as measured by FrAndroid ), but still appreciates this friendly technology.
We come to the autonomy of the unit. The Galaxy S6 is equipped with a battery 2600 mAh, 2800 mAh against the Galaxy S5. This lower capacity (and the extra pixels to manage) unfortunately has a negative impact on autonomy. While the Galaxy S5 held without problems one and a half or even two versatile in use, the new smartphone rather hold a day.It’s not really bad, and cutting some functions is reached and a half day, but it is still down compared to the previous generation … and there is more opportunity to replace battery.
The ultra power saving mode, which pass the screen in black and white and keep only the essential functions, is always present to extend autonomy for several hours in an emergency.Still, Samsung can not make fun of iPhone owners about autonomy.
A fingerprint reader works
The Galaxy S5 fingerprint reader was a calamity: he had carefully sweeping his finger on the home button to get it recognized. The gesture was not practical and recognition frequently failed.
Samsung has happily corrected that with the Galaxy Edge S6. Now simply place their finger on the home button, as you would with the Touch ID sensor of the iPhone. Recognition is as good as that of the iPhone; there are very few mistakes and the operation is very fast.
An excellent camera
For once, the number of megapixels of the new Galaxy S camera does not increase, but improvements have been made, to the point of making one of the best in the market. The 16 megapixel sensor opens at ƒ / 1.9.
The camera, which takes advantage of the optical stabilization, can engage with a double click on the home button. A handy shortcut to take a snapshot from life, especially as the trigger is ultra fast.
The rendering of the photos is excellent. The images are very detailed and vivid colors without being false. In low light, the noise is reasonable.
The camera has a Pro mode that allows to finely control the shooting by adjusting the ISO, white balance, etc.
The Galaxy Edge S6 is also capable of shooting 4K (3840 x 2160 px) and slowed to 120 i / s in 720p (that is worse than the iPhone 6 that make the 240 i / s in this definition).
A more homogeneous system
Incredible as it may seem, Samsung boasted putting 40% of functions within the Galaxy S6 Edge that the Galaxy S5. But this is actually good news, as the S5 overflowing with gadgets functions. Air View, which displayed information when mousing over an item, or Browse Air, which paraded elements by hand gestures without touching the smartphone, have disappeared and we did not complain.
The functions that have survived are hidden in the settings. Digging a little, we can activate the highly effective Download Booster, which accelerates downloads by combining Wi-Fi and 4G, the Smart Stay practice that keeps the screen on as long as we look at him and silently by placing the phone face against table.
A major effort was also made to the TouchWiz overlay. We no longer have the impression of having two systems in one. The overlay of Samsung more harmoniously coexists with the standard elements of Android Lollipop.
The multi-window mode is well integrated; in the multitasking view, a button displays an application on only half of the screen. You can also manually resize an application by dragging a finger from its top left corner.
Samsung has also eased off on the integration of applications … but now promotes those others. Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, onedrive, OneNote and Skype are preinstalled. If we do not use it, you can disable these apps (but not uninstall completely, at least not just).
Themes that change the font, icons, sounds and wallpaper are available. They are not all successful and the selection is fairly limited for the moment, but we appreciate the customization effort.
Samsung has learned the lessons of the failure of Galaxy S5. Its two principal errors, a cheap manufacturing and an ugly overlay software, have not been repeated.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is impressive. We had never seen an Android smartphone together a screen, a finish, a camera and a processor of such quality. Samsung signs there unquestionably his finest smartphone.
However, the curved screen so pretty also plays tricks on the camera. He puts some ergonomic concerns and adds nothing of functional standpoint. The Galaxy S6 “standard”, which shares the same specifications except the brimming screen, is an account after a better choice (his note would have one more point), especially since it is sold € 150 cheaper.