Bigger, again: Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge+ reviewed

In the Plus, Samsung has found a way to squeeze 400mAh more juice in, equating to a 3000mAh battery found inside this phone, likely due to the bigger screen size allowing more to be thrown behind it.

Through testing, we found much the same life on offer, with a maximum of a day available on the S6 Edge+ provided Bluetooth wasn’t being actively used. That said, it was a more comfortable day, and if you had to, you could probably stretch those last few hours using Samsung’s ultra-low power saving mode, if need be, provided Bluetooth wasn’t on.

Battery life without Bluetooth.
Battery life without Bluetooth.

In fact, the moment you switched on Bluetooth and used something like a smart band and a pair of wireless headphones — which is definitely a possibility given how common these things are these days — we saw the battery life fall, dropping to 35% in four hours.

Over the course of a day, we found with Bluetooth on that you could not, in fact, reach a full 24 hours of life, but rather something closer to a work day. As a point, our test had us run from 7.30am to around 11.30 at night, ending with 14 percent at that time. That’s over 12 hours of use, and in a regular working environment, means you’ll be charging it when you get home, which many of us do anyway.

Now you might baulk at the idea of not quite a day of life being useful, but this is normal for flagships these days, and as a note, this life is actually better than what we manage on Bluetooth with the regular sized Galaxy S6 Edge, telling us the extra 400mAh is making a difference in some way.

Overall, it’s not the best battery life we’ve seen, but for a phone produced by Samsung this year (2015), it is easily acceptable and one of the company’s strongest efforts. Obviously, the bigger the battery the more the impact when you’re talking about a Samsung Galaxy-class phone.

The battery loses a bit of life when Bluetooth is switched on.
The battery loses a bit of life when Bluetooth is switched on.

Where Samsung has excelled, however, is the inclusion of new technology, because there’s a decent spot of that here.

We are, of course, talking about the Category 9 modem thrown in here, the first of its kind in Australia and capable of downloading at a whopping 450Mbps, which is not only faster than every mobile connection in the country, but will deliver almost 20 times faster than what the government says every home will have access to using the current fibre-to-the-node National Broadband Network.

Category 9 compliance also includes support for Category 6’s 300Mbps maximum, and in our tests, that’s the closest our speeds would get in Sydney where the Edge S6+ was tested on Telstra’s 4GX network.

In fact, our speeds maxed out at 150.88Mbps, well below the 300 guide of Cat 6, but still in the same technology area, as Category 4 maxes out at 150Mbps.


According to a blog post by Telstra, 450Mbps is technically achievable, though we’re waiting on a confirmation from a company representative to find out if anyone will see it. For now, just be happy knowing that the mobile broadband speeds are lightning fast, and just like us, there’s a good chance you’re going to consume all your data trying to find out how “fast” fast is.

So don’t. Seriously, we have to waste data for these speed tests, but you don’t. Your wallet will love you for it.


There are other solid features, too, such as the support for high-resolution audio, which is a little let down due to a lack of a microSD card, meaning you’re stuck with either 32 or 64GB of storage, which won’t be enough for many FLAC albums all things considered.

The fingerprint sensor is also decent, and Samsung appears to have tightened up some of the interface woes with setting it up from last time, so that’s nice to see, too.

And that edge screen? You can still see news, notifications, and weather if you rub the edge and bring it up when it’s lying down, but it doesn’t do much beyond the apps and contacts slider from the side.

It's the same camera... and a fairly similar phone: Galaxy S6 Edge+ on the left, Edge S6 on the right.
It’s the same camera… and a fairly similar phone: Galaxy S6 Edge+ on the left, Edge S6 on the right.

At least the camera is just as solid as it was on the S6 Edge, and there’s even been an improvement made that the current S6 Edge lacks: RAW support.

Found inside the settings of the S6 Edge+ is an option to switch on RAW when you’re shooting in the “pro” mode, providing up to ISO800 and shutter speed control for people who want it, which could be a few.


When using this mode, be sure to note that RAW files will consume a lot of space, and a lack of a microSD slot will definitely hold back this phone from being all it can be since you’ll run out of storage very quickly, but at least it’s here, while the S6 Edge waits for it with an eventual Android update.

Beyond that, the camera performance is spot on, and just like that S6 Edge from earlier in the year, the Edge+ sports one of the best phone cameras around.

Image from the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ camera
Image from the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ camera

It’s just so good, bright, clear, sharp, quick, lovely, and easy on the eyes, and if you’re a picky mobile photographer, there is just so much to admire about the progress Samsung has made with the camera in the S6 Edge+.

You’ll find some decent focus control up close and from far back, good colours, clear results, a fair amount of light being let in thanks to that F1.9 lens, and fast shots, with the only thing missing being a zoom ring, left out of a device like this due to keeping it thin.

Seriously, if you want optical zoom in a smartphone, Samsung makes phones for that, and the S6 Edge+ isn’t one of them.

Image from the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ camera
Image from the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ camera
Image from the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ camera (100 percent crop)
Image from the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ camera (100 percent crop)