The Super AMOLED screen remains at 5.1" though it's not a straight line diagonal. Still, the curve on the side is fairly minor and the left and right edges of the screen remain usable. Some view the move to QHD resolution (1,440 x 2,560px) as unnecessary and while part of the motivation is marketing, the other part is that you can visually discern the difference.
Super AMOLED displays haven't had issues with perceivable sharpness ever since they reached the 1080p threshold, but with the extra pixels, the display feels even sharper. It's a subtle thing, but it's there.
Samsung continued to improve other characteristics of Super AMOLED displays too. Brightness got a healthy bump - you can get it to around 470nits manually, but if you leave it at auto, the phone can boost its display to an impressive 750nits. That's brighter than many LCDs out there!
That's one traditional strength of LCDs gone and Samsung has nailed the color accuracy too. Viewing angles are not an issue either, it would have been very visible in the curved sections of the display otherwise.
|Display test||50% brightness||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
Sunlight legibility is better than ever, a slight improvement over the Note 4 and a decent jump from the Galaxy S5. The Gorilla Glass 4 is laminated to the AMOLED display below it so there's very little reflection.
As it happens, screen brightness on the Galaxy S6 Edge is slightly lower than on the Galaxy S6. In bright light conditions, both displays can go quite high in overdrive mode - however it's only available in Auto brightness mode.
The curved sides of the display do reflect the light differently though so sometimes there are brighter reflections there. It's not enough to be an issue though.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge features Display modes, which give you three presets that change the white balance and color saturation. You can get more accurate or bolder colors, depending on personal preference.
Also, the display has an optional high-sensitivity mode, which can detect touches even when you're wearing leather gloves. Users in colder regions will appreciate that in the later.
Samsung's Exynos 7420 chipset is paired with an LTE Cat. 6 modem. Theoretical maximums are 300Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink. If you have access to an HSPA network only, you'll get a maximum of 42Mbps and 5.76Mbps respectively.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge supports Wi-Fi ac networks for fast local net. Wi-Fi a/b/g/n at 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks are also supported, of course.
Then there's Bluetooth 4.1 LE (for smartwatches, sport sensors and such) and apt-X codec (for high-quality audio streaming).
Then there's NFC, which is used for Samsung Pay, which lets the S6 edge replace your credit card. It's also used for pairing with other devices and reading NFC tags as well.
The microUSB 2.0 port on the bottom of the phone supports fast charging and regular USB 2.0 transfer speeds. Samsung's brief flirtation with USB 3.0 won't be missed since most data syncing happens over the Internet these days.
The port does have MHL 3.0 functionality, which allows it to output 2160p video at 30fps, coincidentally the top mode for the camera. The port also supports USB HID devices, like a keyboard and a mouse.
Even if the Galaxy S6 edge is not the video source for your home theater setup, the IR blaster can be used to control your TV, AV receiver and set top box/Blu-ray player. Samsung has preloaded the Peel Smart Remote app, which also features air conditioner support.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge comes with a 2,600mAh Li-Ion battery, the same capacity as the Galaxy S4. Unlike the S4, however, the S6 edge battery is sealed inside. You can use the charger from the retail box to quickly top up the battery - 10 minutes charging for 4 hours of usage says Samsung.
The company has also enabled wireless charging, supporting the two existing standards. Qi has been used in Nexus and Lumia phones and even some McDonald's stores in Europe have charging mats. The other standard, PMA, is featured in certain Starbucks locations and is more popular in the US. The dual-standard support means it will be easier to find a place to top up your battery.
The Galaxy S6 edge Endurance rating came out to 73 hours, in other words you should get three full days of casual usage. With heavy usage you'll be looking for a charger (wired or otherwise) on the second day.
It posted some great times in the individual tests. In the Web browsing test the Galaxy S6 edge actually beat its predecessor by an hour for an impressive 11 hour run. Same with the video playback - a solid achievement considering the sharper screen.
Note that the S6 edge screen is slightly darker (200nits vs 275nits) than the Galaxy S5 at the 50% slider position we use for testing.
Anyway, at 20h the talk time is lower than the Galaxy S5 but it should hardly be a problem. The overall numbers come very close to the Sony Xperia Z3, which has a beefier 3,100mAh battery. It also beats the HTC One M9 and the Apple iPhone 6 by quite a margin.
Note that these numbers were achieved with Night Clock and other Edge features turned off. Night Clock takes an extra 3% per 12 hours, which has only a small impact on the total endurance. If you enable the other Edge features, the Endurance rating drops to 54 hours since the screen digitizer is active all the time.
Our testing procedure includes a standby battery endurance test, which is not shown in the scorecard above, but is a part of the overall rating. You can learn more about our standardized routine here.