Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review: Samsung supersizes its sexiest phone's screen -- and price tag

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The Good Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a compelling design, top-tier specs and excellent battery life. Its second menu for the curved display adds some useful shortcuts.

The Bad One of the most expensive handsets on the market, the Edge+'s usefulness doesn't live up to its sky-high price. Fans of removable batteries and microSD card slots will be disappointed that this has neither.

The Bottom Line Buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ if you love the idea of a wraparound screen; otherwise, you'll be able to find less expensive phones that do nearly as much.

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8.8 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Performance 9
  • Camera 8
  • Battery 9

Editors' note (March 28, 2017): Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, the follow ups to 2016's excellent Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Priced at $750 (£689 and AU$1,199), the Galaxy S8 features a beautifully curved 5.8-inch screen with an ultra-narrow bezel; facial recognition as an alternative way to unlock the phone; and Samsung's nascent Bixby voice assistant. The S8 Plus costs a bit more -- $850, £779 or AU$1349 -- and comes equipped with a larger body and battery, but is otherwise identical.

Samsung has instituted an eight-point battery test on its new phones in an effort to reassure customers that it has addressed the issues that plagued its exploding Note 7 last year. To see how the Galaxy S8 and S8 Edge stack up against their predecessors, check out CNET's side-by-side comparison.

The original Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review, published in August 2015 and updated since then, follows.

The 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Edge+ isn't just a larger version of the 5.1-inch Galaxy S6 Edge, but it's close. It has basically the same hardware guts as the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 including a strong 16-megapixel camera, 4GB of RAM and an octa-core processor of Samsung's own design (that means it has eight computing chips for completing tasks). Like its brethren, the Note 5, S6 and S6 Edge, the Edge+ has a snazzy metal-and-glass design and omits the popular removable battery and microSD card slot found on its predecessor. The Edge+ also lacks the Note 5's signature stylus, leaving potential buyers a choice between inviting curves or scribble-friendly practicality.

With the introduction of the current generation of Galaxy phones in March 2016, Samsung fans need to take a close look at the new lineup. A CNET Editor's Choice, the Galaxy S7 delivers the goods in spades with a polished design, awesome camera, long battery life, microSD slot, and water resistance. And the supersized Galaxy S7 Edge, an Editor's Choice in its own right, comes equipped with an even bigger battery and screen, a curved screen with "edge" software navigation, and a sky high price tag.

That noted, the Edge+ remains a cool-looking phone that belongs in the canon of prior-generation smartphones. Buyers craving a phone with waterfall sides and a large, bright screen who can find the S6 Edge+ at a discount should consider it. Everyone else should move on and choose between the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

Editors' note: What follows is the original review of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.

Where can you buy it, and for how much?

The phone comes in gold, silver, black and white, though different regions may carry different colors. Prices vary by retailer and country, but the Edge+ costs more than the Note 5 overall.

In the US, the Edge+ is available in gold and black but not silver or white on the AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon networks.

AT&T: Full retail: $720 (32GB) or $815 (64GB). Next 24 (30 monthly payments): $0 down and $27.17 (32GB) or $30.50 (64GB). Next 18 (24 monthly payments): $0 plus $33.96 (32GB) or $38.13 (64GB). Next 12 (20 monthly payments): $40.75 (32GB) or $45.75 (64GB).

Sprint: Full retail: $792 (32GB) or $888 (64GB). Two-year service agreement: $350 (32GB) or $450 (64GB). Lease program (24 months): $0 down and $30 (32GB) or $35 (64GB) per month, until you pay off the balance or upgrade. Easy Pay (24 months): $0 down and $33 (32GB) or $37 (64GB) per month.

T-Mobile: Full retail: $780 (32GB) or $860 (64GB). 24 monthly payments: $0 down and $32.50 (32GB) or $99 down and $31.67 (64GB).

Verizon: Full retail: $768 (32GB) or $864 (64GB). 24 monthly payments: $32 (32GB) or $36 (64GB).

US Cellular: 32GB version only. Full retail: $770. Two-year contract: $300. 20 monthly payments: $0 down and $38.45.

Design and build

  • 5.7-inch display; 2,560x1,440 pixels (518 pixels per inch)
  • Metal and glass construction
  • 6.1 by 3 by 0.3 inches (154 by 76 by 6.9mm)
  • 5.4 ounces (153 grams)

If you're familiar with the Galaxy S6 Edge's curved screen and thin edges, you already know this supersized Edge+'s shapely silhouette. The glass (and display technology underneath) wraps around the left and right edges and meet along the back of the spines.

What's more important than the interesting shape is the fact that the curved sides look beautiful, and seems to make this feel like an entirely different, far more sophisticated, phone than a straight-sided one. The screen seems more immersive than the Note 5's, the curvature pulling you into the action of what's on the display. Maybe it's still some of the novelty, maybe there's a deeper psychology at play. Strangely, the effect is more pronounced on the smaller Edge+, possibly because this phone is personally a little large for my hand.

When you aren't using it, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge's sidebar menu disappears from view. Sarah Tew/CNET

At any rate, the Edge+ feels slimmer than most at its narrowest part (the middle), but a little inherent sharpness along the sides makes it easy to grip. The comparatively thicker corners round out to help carry through the themes of curviness and physical dimension.

Despite the wraparound sides, the screen measures a full 5.7 inches, all of which is fully usable and viewable (unlike the original Note Edge, which had an always-visible strip of navigation screen that you couldn't turn off). Above the screen, you'll see the 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a cluster of sensors. Below it sits the physical home button and integrated fingerprint reader, with its two touch-sensitive sidekicks, the Recent and Back buttons. Press and hold the home button to launch Google Now.

Flip over the Edge+ to find a smooth, reflective backing and 16-megapixel camera mount, flash and heart-rate reader. The camera module does slightly pucker out, but that's also because the rest of the phone is so thin and flat.

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