Samsung S6 Edge long term review

I’ve had an S6 Edge long enough now to form a view, and it’s been a love/hate relationship.

The good:

The hardware is gorgeous. It’s one of the best looking phones out there (and I’m including the iPhone). It feels well put together – the buttons feel solid, the vibrate is smooth (compared with the awful buzzing racket that some of them make *cough* Google Nexus 6 *cough*) and the screen is great.

It’s got all the processor, memory and resolution spec you might need, but it’ll still fit in a pocket. The battery charges in next to no time – I don’t think it’s needed more than an hour and a half even from near empty.

It has every gizmo known to smartphones as of 2015 when it came out. It can take your pulse, track your steps with surprising accuracy and the fingerprint reader, once you get the hang of it, works a treat.

The bad:

Battery life is pretty poor. The battery is underpowered for the other specs, and that’s only partly offset by the rapid charging. The Google app seems to be the worst offender if you use Google Now and location history, draining more than it seems to doing the same work on a Nexus phone. If you have all that stuff switched on, it can easily account for half of your battery use. OK, so you can turn if off, but that starts to defeat the object of having a smart phone in the first place.

The edge screen, while a major factor in the looks is largely pointless. The edge lighting feature only works with the Samsung apps, so if you prefer gmail, a different SMS client, or want it to work with other messaging apps you’re out of luck. The information stream would be more useful if it defaulted to notifications and lit up as they arrive, much like the ambient display of Nexus phones.

The ugly:

TouchWiz. I’ve used HTC and Nexus Android phones and have to say that TouchWiz is far and away the ugliest Android interface I’ve used. Luckily a combination of the right colour theme and an alternative launcher (I use Nova) mitigate that almost completely.

And the big one:

Here we are in late February and still no sign of Android 6, when 6.01 is already out on Nexus devices. Worse than that, Nexus devices are getting regular monthly security updates and Samsung are way behind schedule.

So in short, it’s a case of nice hardware, shame about the software. The same phone running stock Android would be just about perfect. It’s a shame Google took the approach of a premium phablet in the 6P paired with a budget smaller phone in the 5X, forcing a compromise between size and performance. The S6 doesn’t compromise on that score, but its other flaws let it down.

in Mobile

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