Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge- When is a Galaxy no longer a Galaxy?
Do you remember when your first smartphone was an iPhone but you then decided to move to Android? Android represented freedom to do all the things you couldn’t get by staying in the comfortable “it just works" world of Apple. Samsung stood out as a safe bet for an Android Phone. The Galaxy S series were "iPhone class” but let you swap batteries, cut weight by using lighter plastic, add cheaper memory with external SD cards, watch high definition video on a TV while charging, and let you change SIM cards easily. The Galaxy was for the working man who valued utility and function over form and looks. Then came the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. The Swiss Army knife becomes a stiletto. The edged screen and heavier metal case is both beautiful and sexy- definitely an eye catcher and conversation starter. But all the other "freedoms" that made people buy a Galaxy S before are gone- no removable battery, no MHL video output, and no external SD card Most people didn't know they had MHL video technology on the Galaxy but losing the external battery and the SD card is a big change for loyal Galaxy fans. Samsung now uses the new UFS technology for internal flash memory which promises to be very fast for running apps but doesn't really help you to move content off the phone.
You start noticing other things like you need a pin-like tool to change your SIM card. Hey wait, that pin-like tool is just like the one Apple uses with their iPhone. Hey wait, I can’t remove my battery on my iPhone either. The iPhone doesn’t have an external SD card slot or MHL output, but at least I can buy Apple Lightning dongles to connect to SD cards or HDMI TV's. In Samsung’s attempt to regain market share after disappointing Galaxy S5 sales, Samsung sought to further emulate the iPhone, and it seems to have done the trick. Galaxy S6 Edge sales are doing extremely well despite the iPhone 6/6 Plus are breaking sales records. So in the end, perhaps most people care more about fashion than cramming in every last feature possible. As smartphones get thinner, companies need to choose what features goes and what features stays. However as Samsung decides to go after Apple, other companies like Huawei, Xiaomi, LG, HTC, and Lenovo have filled the void with their flagship products still supporting features Galaxy S products used to have. Will they decide to follow Apple and Samsung’s lead or stick with modest iterations on existing designs. Time will tell. I began my journey by picking up the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge at a small Chunghwa Telecom store while traveling in Taipei, Taiwan. Chunghwa Telecom is one of the main mobile service providers in Taiwan.
I took some pictures of opening the Galaxy S6 Edge box while at a Starbucks in Shin Yokohama, Japan. Starbucks are everywhere in Taiwan and Japan and look just like the ones in the US.
The Galaxy S6 Edge curved screen really strikes your eye when you take it out. Without the traditional sharper edges, it's actually a little difficult to get out of the box.
Other than the phone, the box contains the standard earphones, USB cable, and user manual. The most important accessory though is the power adapter- this fast charger is key to survival with the Galaxy S6 Edge so don't lose it!
The curved edge really makes the phone stand out although I have found my palm sometimes brushes against the curved edge, creating unwanted screen interaction. Samsung does offer some specific applications like information feeders and giving off different colors for different contacts to take advantage of the curved edge but I find them of very little use. The biggest advantage of the curved edge is style and to make your phone standout in an increasingly crowded market of Android phones that all look the same.