Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Review

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

There's just no other way to say it--The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are beasts. We were duly impressed with how Qualcomm's octa-core Snapdragon 810 performed in the HTC One M9, and Samsung's own Exynos octa-core power plant is equally impressive in its own way. The S6 duo chewed through our usual suite of benchmarks, and in real-world use, we found it to be noticably fast. As in, we had a tough time believing the leap in responsiveness compared to the S5 from a year ago. If you're a sucker for speed, you'll be head over heels with either S6 variant. If you're a dedicated mobile gamer, however, the HTC One M9 put up better scores on our gaming-centric benchmarks.

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When it comes to design, the S6 and S6 Edge are both massive leaps forward compared to last year's S5 in our opinion. Both phones are sleek and sophisticated, and rigid without being too hefty. The S6 Edge adds a visual flair by curving each edge, but considering that you don't actually gain any screen real estate, it's hard to justify the $100 upcharge over the stock S6. Still, these are the most beautiful Samsung phones ever created.

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The cameras on these phone are also great. They're capable of exceptional clarity even in low light, and color reproduction is as good as we've ever seen from a Samsung device. Plus, the images you capture look amazing on the 5.1-inch, 557 PPI display -- if you're looking for individual pixels, you'll need a magnifying glass.

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The positive vibes continue on the software front, where the latest iterations of Android 5.0 looks refined and runs great. Of course, with an octa-core processor within, you shouldn't expect anything less. Moreover, Samsung has minimized and optimized things with this iteration of TouchWiz. Indeed, the added Samsung elements (like the fingerprint sensor and S Health) are more refined, more useful, and more tightly integrated than ever before.

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If you're looking for gripes, you won't find many. The phone feels a bit slippery without a case, and the S6 Edge doesn't offer a ton of added functionality to justify its $100 price premium. We'd bother lamenting the loss of the removable battery and microSD slot, but a 128GB option solves the latter and we're more than happy to see the plasticky shell gone from the phone's rear. If you're in dire need of a new Android phone, it's hard to look beyond the S6. The only item we'll mention is that Google I/O is coming up next month, and if you're a devout fan of vanilla Android, you may want to see what the next Nexus holds. Either way, you'll surely love the latest Galaxy, regardless of which variant you select.

hothardware editors choice 
  • Beautiful, sophisticated design
  • Stellar camera performance
  • Jaw-dropping 5.1-inch displays
  • The fastest Android phone we've ever touched
  • No microSD slot
  • Not water or dustproof
  • Slippery exterior

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