There has been a lot of talk surrounding Samsung’s latest Galaxy phones. While the Galaxy S6 has been widely praised by industry reviewers, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is more of a lightning rod. In most practical ways, these phones are the same. The Edge simply includes an extra tiny screen by using a curved glass front that extends down one side of the phone. The aesthetic is striking, but since there isn’t room to display much, many consider it to be mostly a novelty.
Still, the Edge was popular enough among early adopters to beat the manufacturer’s early sales expectations, selling out in the first quarter of 2015, according to Forbes. “Not only has the Galaxy S6 Edge sold out,” writes Ewan Spence, “but it is proving to be the more attractive handset, selling in an almost one-to-one ratio against the vanilla Galaxy S6 handset.”
It’s clear that some people like it and some don’t see the point. So, will this design innovation take off across the industry or should Samsung take the Edge off?
There isn’t much you can do with the Edge. These are the built-in defaults (which you can tweak) that are available for display:
- Briefing feed: general phone notifications
- Yahoo News: a personalized crawl of headlines
- Yahoo Sports: any scores you want to see
- Yahoo Finance: stock updates
- Twitter Trends: popular Twitter hashtags of the moment
The Night Clock
The most well received feature of the Edge is its patented “Night Clock” mode. With this feature you can see the time displayed at any time. Tech Recipe explains that this is a helpful feature because one of the most common uses of smartphones is to check the time. It can be inconvenient to turn your phone on if you wake up in the middle of the night because the screen’s brightness may be too much for your eyes.
Sure, this isn’t exactly unveiling sliced bread, but it is a helpful tool. Not only is the screen usually too bright in the middle of the night, but it leads to the temptation to send an email at 5:00 in the morning or check Facebook. By not forcing you to activate your phone to check the time, the Edge protects you from yourself.
For many, however, there is a deal breaker. Digital Trends explains that the S6 and the S6 Edge are nearly identical in terms of hardware and software, but the Edge has the “wow” factor. However, you may not be willing to pay the additional costs for the few extra features. And, perhaps most importantly, the rounded glass screen makes the phone more susceptible to shattering it you drop it.
At this point, almost everyone who owns a phone has watched the screen turn into a spider web after an accident. It’s not a good feeling. However, if Samsung or other manufacturers can find a way to incorporate a rounded edge without sacrificing durability, this feature might have a future. But if not, it will likely become a one-off option that you’ll look back on as a great marketing campaign.