What is difference between S6 and Edge?

Samsung has received a lot of criticism for the features omitted from its 2015 Galaxy smartphones, but their naming schemes have also left a lot of people confused. As it stands we now have the ‘Galaxy S6’, ‘Galaxy S6 Edge’ and ‘Galaxy S6 Edge+’.

What is the difference between them? This is exactly what this guide will help you find out…

Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge is one of the smartphone world's big talking points - Image credit... [+] Gordon Kelly

Size - Smartphone Or Phablet?

The first point of differentiation is size:

  • Galaxy S6 – 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm and 138g (4.86 oz)
  • Galaxy S6 Edge – 142.1 x 70.1 x 7 mm and 132g (4.65 oz)
  • Galaxy S6 Edge+ – 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9mm and 153g (5.39 oz)

As you will see, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are much smaller than the S6 Edge+. These are 5.1-inch smartphones with very similar sizes and weights while the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a significantly larger 5.5-inch phablet.

Displays - Straight Or Curved?

While the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are both smartphones, the real twins are the S6 Edge and S6 Edge+. This is because the Edge+ is essentially just a larger version of the Edge so they share the same highly distinctive curved displays:

  • Galaxy S6 – flat 5.1-inch panel, 2560 x 1440 pixels (577 ppi), Super AMOLED display, Gorilla Glass 4
  • Galaxy S6 Edge – curved 5.1-inch panel, 2560 x 1440 pixels (577 ppi), Super AMOLED display, Gorilla Glass 4
  • Galaxy S6 Edge+ – curved 5.7-inch panel, 2560 x 1440 pixels (515 ppi), Super AMOLED display, Gorilla Glass 4

You’ll notice that because all three models sport the same native resolution, the smartphones have greater pixel density (pixels per inch) than the S6 Edge+ phablet. Don’t worry about this.

At the time of writing these phones (along with the Galaxy Note 5) have the best quality handset displays on the market. This may change with the upcoming iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, but it seems unlikely given Apple will stick with the lower native resolutions of the iPhone 6 (750p) and iPhone 6 Plus (1080p).

Consequently of more use are the differences in how the displays work because the curves on the Edges have additional functionality compared to the flat display of the S6:

  • ‘Information Stream’ (headlines scroll on the screen edge)
  • ‘Night Clock’ (time shows on the edge at night)
  • ‘People Edge’ (swiping the top right corner brings up favourite contacts), and
  • ‘Edge Lighting’ (colour specific edge lighting when favourite contacts call).

In addition to this, the larger S6 Edge+ has an enhanced People Edge so it can send photos and emoticons. The good news is these changes are also being rolled out for the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Personally I don’t think any of these are must have features, but they are a nice point of differentiation and I expect Samsung will improve them with new features over time.

Read more - Galaxy Note 5 Vs Galaxy S6 Edge+: What's The Difference?

Design - Stunning But Impractical

Perhaps the most controversial aspect to all three of these phones are the radical design changes Samsung has made from its previous design philosophy.

The Good - Gone are the somewhat tacky Galaxy plastic backs and there is also far greater attention to detail in the finishes of the new handsets with beautifully crafted edges, ports and buttons which match anything Apple has ever made. They’re a visual treat.

The Galaxy S6 Edge demonstrates the incredible build quality Samsung has brought to this generation... [+] of phones - Image credit Gordon Kelly

The Bad - Unfortunately with this added style is a loss of substance. Unlike the Galaxy S5, all three of these new models no longer offer:

  1. Expandable microSD storage
  2. A removable battery
  3. Water resistance.

There has been a lot of justifiable outcry about these regressive moves and for many at least one has proved to be a deal breaker. Samsung claims its own research found many users didn’t take advantage of these features, which is why they were removed. That may be true, but I do find the loss of these features across all three models to be disappointing.

There is also concern over the Gorilla Glass 4 backs in the new phones. Yes the potential to crack is an issue, but equally problematic is the glass is slippery to cold hands, sticky to warm hands and a fingerprint magnet. I would much prefer Samsung to use a removable metal back next time to give users the best of both worlds.

One key differentiator: the Galaxy S6 Edge+ uses harder Series 7000 aluminium on its edges which should mean it resists bumps and scuffs there a little better.

Performance - Fast Meets Even Faster

If you aren’t scared off by the features the new phones lose, then there are huge benefits to the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+. One of the greatest being their performance:

  • Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge – Exynos 7420, Quad-core 2.1GHz and 1.5GHz CPUs and Mali-T760 GPU, 3GB RAM
  • Galaxy S6 Edge+ – Exynos 7420, Quad-core 2.1GHz and 1.5GHz CPUs and Mali-T760 GPU, 4GB RAM

If you don’t look hard you might not spot the difference here: the S6 Edge+ has an extra 1GB of RAM compared to the smaller smartphones.

This is actually useful as Android has turned into a RAM swallowing beast since the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop (though that may change with Android 6.0 Marshmallow) and there is extra zip compared to the (already fast) S6 and S6 Edge.

That said none of these phones are slow. In fact, with the disastrous Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 launch, Samsung’s decision to use its own Exynos chipsets has proved inspired. The result is the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is the fastest phone in the world right now (alongside the identically specified Galaxy Note 5) with the S6 and S6 Edge right behind.

One Black Mark: despite all their power, Samsung heavily restricts background activity.

Just the five most recent apps are held in memory meaning apps often need to reload when you’re multitasking. The upside is the phones remain sharp at all times, but this shouldn’t be an issue in the first place with so much power on tap and I hope Samsung changes this in a future firmware update.

Read more - Galaxy S6 Edge Vs Galaxy S6 Three Month Review: Which To Buy?

Galaxy S6 Edge (left) and S6 (right) use the same stunning camera as the Galaxy S6 Edge+ - Image... [+] credit Gordon Kelly

Camera - Best Of The Best

Perhaps the best thing about the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ are their cameras. In fact at the time of publishing they have the best smartphone cameras on the market.

That said I won’t be dwelling on them for one reason: they all feature the same camera module (minor sensor variations aside) so you’ll get identical (and incredible) results from each:

  • 16 megapixel Sony IMX240 sensor, F1.9 aperture, OIS, LED flash, 4K video. Front facing 5MP camera, F1.9, 1080p video

For a detailed review of what makes this camera so spectacular you can read my in-depth testing (and more photos samples) here. Apple will need to have something incredible lined up for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus to retake the smartphone camera crown.

The sensor in the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ captures stunning low light photos - Image credit... [+] Gordon Kelly

Next page: Features, Battery Life, (Jaw dropping) Charging, Cost and Verdict...

Features - Numerous, But Bloated

Much like the camera the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 Edge+ share, I won’t spend a great deal of time on the software side of these phones as they are also identical.

This means Samsung’s love/hate TouchWiz UI on top of Android and a lot of bloatware - particularly following a deal with Microsoft which sees Skype, OneNote, Word, Excel and more pre-installed.

TouchWiz may still be bloated but it has useful core features like this window split which should... [+] have long been a core part of Android - Image credit Gordon Kelly

On the upside Samsung has made TouchWiz far more efficient with this generation of phones. It’s look isn’t to my taste, but it operates far more quickly and smoothly with numerous Samsung customisations in place. My favourites are:

  • The ability to arrange apps side-by-side
  • To shrink (most) apps into a small window while working elsewhere
  • A double tap home button shortcut to quickly open the camera
  • Custom ‘Theme’ support, which includes stock Android themes

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ triple tap shortcut shrinks the screen for one handed use, but perhaps... [+] too much. Image credit Gordon Kelly

Notable differentiator: The Galaxy S6 Edge+ also has a shortcut where triple tapping the home button will shrink the UI to a small, one handed view. I actually think the view is too small (equivalent to about a 3-inch display) but it is very handy when you need to quickly type with one hand on the move.

Battery Life - Bigger Is Better

Perhaps my biggest concern with Samsung’s 2015 phones is they have taken a step backwards in their battery life compared to the 2014 models. That’s not progress.

  • Galaxy S6 - 2550 mAh capacity battery
  • Galaxy S6 Edge - 2600 mAh capacity battery
  • Galaxy S6 Edge+ - 3000 mAh capacity battery

The issue is twofold:

  1. These battery capacities have actually reduced (the Galaxy S5 had a 2800 mAh battery, the Note 4 phablet a 3220 mAh battery)
  2. They run more demanding hardware

The latter requires some explanation as Samsung claims both the Exynos chipset and the new phones’ 2K displays are more efficient than their equivalents last year. That may be true for each component, but the problem is the energy required to drive pixels to their higher resolution screens is what causes the problem: apps, games, everything has to work harder.

The end result is Samsung has gone from being a leader in smartphone battery life last year to falling behind the pack this year. Whereas the Galaxy S5 would get you 1.5 days on a charge, I’ve yet to have the S6 or S6 Edge last me one full day with anything but the lightest use.

Read more - Galaxy Note 5 Vs Galaxy Note 4: What's The Difference?

In this respect the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is better. Heavy use will still deaden it before a day is up, but when used in moderation it should see you survive ok. That’s a definite win for the larger S6 Edge+, but it’s still disappointing generationally.

Charging - New Industry Standard Bearers

I wouldn’t normally give Charging its own section, but while these phones have disappointing battery life their charging abilities are mind blowing.

Firstly there’s the array of options: each model supports super fast wired charging as well as PMA and Qi wireless charging. No other phone currently supports both these wireless charging standards simultaneously.

Secondly there’s the speed of the charging because they can charge in little over an hour. That’s about 2.5x faster than an iPhone 6 (which has an even smaller battery). Even 10 minutes from flat will give you 15-20% which is enough to get you crucial extra hours usage when out and above.

Here 35% of the Galaxy S6 Edge+'s battery is restored in about 25 minutes of charging - Image credit... [+] Gordon Kelly

Which is best? Surprisingly it’s the Galaxy S6 Edge+. Despite having the largest battery Samsung has tweaked the charging performance since the S6 and S6 Edge were released in February and claims it charges 27% faster. Given how fast the S6 and S6 Edge already were this is to be commended.

Now if only Samsung had fitted them with larger batteries in the first place…

Cost - Wallet Breakers, Key Storage Differences

The Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ sit (alongside the Galaxy Note 5) at the very top of Samsung’s smartphone and phablet offerings and that is reflected in their high prices.

  • Galaxy S6 - 32GB: $579.99, 64GB: $659.99, 128GB: $659.99
  • Galaxy S6 Edge - 32GB: $679.99, 64GB: $759.99, 128GB: $759.99
  • Galaxy S6 Edge+ - 32GB: $779.99, 64GB: $859.99

A big shock is the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge prices are actually after Samsung issued a price cut and this still means these phones are priced more highly than any other Android phone with the Edge models within touching distance of Apple’s iPhones.

But perhaps an even bigger shock is Samsung - for some unknown reason - is not offering the larger S6 Edge+ in the largest 128GB capacity. Yes, this means for maximum capacity you need the smaller models! Hopefully this will change before long and Samsung will see sense.

So are these models worth their asking prices? And, if so, which one should you buy? It’s time for the...

Verdict - Compromised Game Changers

While the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 Edge+ have confusingly similar names and even more similar features, there are clear points of differentiation in terms of display, size, performance, storage capacity, battery life and cost.

Weighing up which of these elements are most important to you will determine whether you opt for one of these controversial phones or skip them altogether.

My personal recommendation? While I bemoan the downgraded battery life on all three, for me the Galaxy S6 Edge+ holds most appeal.

Like the S6 Edge it is stunning to look at and compared to the others it is slightly faster, lasts longer on a charge and charges even more quickly. The asking price is a concern and you will need to survive without the 128GB option, but if you can afford the expense I think it is the most eye catching phone currently available.

Your move Apple…

Read more - Android M Vs Android Lollipop: The Differences In Google's New Android 6.0


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What is the difference between Samsung Galaxy S6 edge and S6 Edge Plus?

Conclusion. The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge Plus has a bigger display and a bigger but slimmer body, as well as a larger battery capacity and 1GB more RAM. Aside from that though, it's pretty much the same as the S6 edge, only its display isn't as crisp and the storage tops out at 64GB instead of 128GB.

Is the Samsung S6 Edge still good?

Awesome phone. Been using it since launch, as backup phone since 2018. Changed the battery in 2020, also the display which wasn't scratched but burnt-in. Stunning display with the second highest pixel density ever made, only surpassed by the two Sony 4K phones of that time.

How old is an S6 Edge?

Samsung Galaxy S6.

Which one is better S6 or S7?

The Tab S6 features a Super AMOLED display compared to the LCD on the Tab S7. However, the Tab S7 does comes with 120Hz, which is a reason why they even put the lower quality LCD display in there. Panel-wise, the Tab S6 is better than the S7.