Monday, 20 April 2015

GALAXY S6 EDGE REVIEW PART ONE SYNAPSE CIRCUIT


SYNAPSE CIRCUIT
GALAXY S6 EDGE REVIEW
PART ONE


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! It is wonderful to see you as always! I hope you had a great weekend! I sure did! I also hope that you’re making the most of your tech! Just the other day I showed someone that she is able to dictate a text message or perform word processing in the Microsoft Word equivalent, Google Docs. I just love it when people can be amazed in this day and age!

Yes, at last I am ready to give you the penultimate Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review! Synapse Circuit tells it like it is! Get comfortable... Get a hot or cold beverage and a healthy snack... Okay, get an unhealthy one if you like! Lol!

#Samsung #GalaxyS6Edge #TheNextGalaxy #UnpackedEpisodeOne2015 #GalaxyS6 #GalaxySEdge #GalaxyS6Accessories #GalaxyS6EdgeAccessories #GalaxyS6BatteryPack #GalaxyS6EdgeBatteryPack

FUTURISTIC
What can Synapse Circuit say about the Galaxy S6 Edge that hasn’t been said already? Even I struggle to not repeat myself! Out of the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge I chose the latter as the aesthetics is very, very pleasing over and above anything else on the market (at this time). As a huge science fiction fan I can’t help but be infatuated with the forward thinking design; the dual edged QHD screen resemble a jewel set in an otherworldly looking Gold / Platinum compound. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is the future today!



DESIGN
While I cannot see the resemblance between the Galaxy S6 and the iPhone 6 that some are claiming – apart from the speaker and headphone jack placement – nobody can claim that the Galaxy S6 Edge looks like an iPhone when placed side by side. The Galaxy S6 Edge is perfection! Samsung did a tremendous job to bring the Galaxy S line in from the brink... I always had faith! Almost this time last year the rather bland but wonderfully featured Galaxy S5 didn’t please everyone with the dimpled removable battery cover. Typically the Apple biased media, as well as some Android based sources, criticized Samsung heavily for the use of plastic on a premium phone. This time around Samsung has decided to offload...

Again, I am probably one of the few who appreciates a premium handset wrapped up in a durable plastic as these things have a habit of slipping when you least suspect them to. I’ve been lucky with my handsets that still look like they did when they came out of the box; other folk haven’t been so lucky... I’ve seen terrible looking iPhones with cracked glass, scratched and dented metal. And I’ve seen an array of different Samsung handsets with a cracked screen. I am amazed that these things can still function in those states. For all my epic online battles with iPhone fanatics regarding a sense of “premium” I can understand in some way why these people wax maniacal about the iPhone looking like a luxury item to justify the expense.



Well, Samsung have managed to make the Galaxy S6 Edge (and the Galaxy S6) look and feel premium to the point where the iPhone just looks like a toy! The engineering is so precise that you will find yourself marvelling at it for hours... I couldn’t find any imperfections at all! The Galaxy S6 Edge simply looks amazing! It looks like it was created by beings far in advance than us!

The 5.1” Super AMOLED QHD 1440 x 2560, 577 ppi screen is truly stunning! The colours displayed are rich and vibrant. The default setting is the ‘Adaptive Display’ which works very well thus so far. In addition there is AMOLED Cinema, Photo and Basic.

Because the handset is so remarkably thin, 7.1mm, that the headphone jack and speaker had to be placed at the bottom edge. I can’t say that I have a problem with that. It’s no big deal to place the Galaxy S6 Edge upside down to make use of headphones as the wire could bend and crack over time.

The dual colour scheme (in this case Gold Platinum) looks stunning! Usually I would avoid anything gold as it looks wrong... Too ostentatious! Here the gold / platinum combination looks out of this world!

I am not bothered about the 2600 mAh battery being non-removable or that I can’t stick a microSD card in it. Well, to be absolutely honest with you (that’s always the way of Synapse Circuit) I think if a dual SIM Galaxy S6 Edge (and Galaxy S6) can exist then there is room for a microSD card. That said, having no external storage by the way of a microSD is not a deal breaker. In case you are reading my work for the first time here are my solutions to the non-removable battery and no microSD: GalaxyS6 Edge / Galaxy S6 Solutions

CAN YOU HANDLE IT?
Because of the dual edged screen the fact that the aluminium frame is sandwiched by Gorilla Glass 4 I found the Galaxy S6 Edge a very slippery customer indeed... In addition the 16MP camera lens juts out a little so that you feel wary about placing it on flat surface in case you scratch the protective glass over the lens. You may also feel uncomfortable placing the Galaxy S6 Edge face down for the fear of scratching the sumptuous screen. I am sure by now that you have seen that the Galaxy S6 Edge can withstand a tremendous amount of punishment i.e. water resistance and a serious amount of bashing but we know all too well that a screen can crack from an impact resulting from a drop at random. You or I could be the unlucky one should a drop occur. Therefore a protective case is inevitable. The simple Samsung flip case that retails at £24.99 is a very good solution and it takes care of the 16MP camera lens protrusion. You could probably get away with not having a protective case for the Galaxy S6 but I don’t think you can with the Galaxy S6 Edge – it’s too slippery! The obvious downside is that the flip case obscures the beauty of the handset. Many iPhone users do not want a protective case for that very same reason; iPhone owners feel that they have to show the phone off. I don’t know about you but I don’t get a handset for the purpose of showing off; the flip case adds great stability when taking photos for example. I would rather have the protection than to walk around with a badly damaged handset. Perhaps Samsung could have made the protective case transparent... Still, there is a debatable better looking case with a window that might suit you better. It will cost you £39.99. The windowed flip case enables you to accept a call without opening it. I have a similar case for the Galaxy Note 4.

Usually Samsung handsets are so minimalist that a protective case goes hand in glove so to speak; you don’t feel that you’re taking away from the aesthetics. However, where the Galaxy S6 Edge is concerned you might feel that hiding its beauty defeats the purpose. As the case adds real protection to the 16MP camera and something to hold on to – again, while taking photos / videos – you will almost certainly have to get a case. Me? I have big hands and the case gives me something that I can hold on to without obscuring the screen and speaker grille at the bottom. I can hold it easier with one hand and therefore it can’t be knocked out of my hands when a passerby accidentally bumps into me. Just in case you didn’t get the underlying message: If you are clumsy and you intend on getting the Galaxy S6 Edge you should invest in a protective case.

DESIGN CRITIQUE
There isn’t really that much to criticize Samsung for with regards to the Galaxy S6 Edge design... For my large hands the handset could have done with being thicker. Perhaps a thicker handset could allow for a bigger battery (not that longevity is an issue so far) and certainly a microSD card slot. Us Androids love our microSD card slot whether we make the most of it or not it’s good to know it’s there should we need it. So far storage is not an issue as there is over 51GB of storage left on the 64GB model. I will no doubt use Google Drive, DropBox and Microsoft OneDrive for cloud storage in addition to USB On-The-Go sticks in due course.

It would have been nice to have had stereo speakers at the bottom to push air when making music for example. But stereo speakers aren’t everything if you have a decent Bluetooth speaker set-up or are intent on getting one.

DESIGN SCORE
Samsung has definitely pulled out all the stops with the Galaxy S6 Edge especially! This is the handset that we were more or less expecting last year and it didn't happen. From the Consumer Electronics Show in 2013 we were expecting the single or dual edge Galaxy S5; for reasons best known to Samsung they decided to go “back to basics”. I could hazard a guess as to why but why look back when we’ve got the superlative Galaxy S6 Edge?

Yes, I have to say it again: Apple cannot bring such great designs and execution to the market. If you happen to be an iPhone fan I would not advise you to handle the Galaxy S6 Edge or Galaxy S6 as you’d want to ditch your iPhone 6 as it doesn’t even have a full 1080p screen! You might also want to ditch your iPhone 6 Plus because it doesn’t make sense to pay over the odds for such a “phablet” that gives you so little... “Hey, look! Landscape mode,” says Apple’s Peter Schiller with great enthusiasm regarding the 6 Plus. Android has had that from how long ago???

Honestly, when you look at the Galaxy S6 Edge and the iPhone you will realize that Jony Ive isn’t the designer he and Apple make out to be. The Galaxy S6 Edge should have come from Ive! The latest iPhone models just look bland in comparison. If you as a iPhone user bleat on about “premium” then I can say that Samsung has created a higher standard of premium for both the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge scores a Synapse Circuit Platinum for the design


EMPOWERING?
Apart from feeling great about the exquisite dual edged screen design, the dazzling Gold Platinum glow and, of course, the awe inspiring 577 ppi quad HD screen, what’s it like upon booting up?

FEELING TOUCHY
No sooner had I boot up the Galaxy S6 Edge and set-up my Samsung and Google accounts I get a notification to say that an upgrade is available. I downloaded the upgrade which takes Android 5 Lollipop to 5.0.2; this is supposed to add more stability. As I didn’t take the time to try the handset without the update I can say that the overall usability is solid. Then later on there was a Samsung Push Service update and this is said to increase battery longevity. So far so good where the battery is concerned at this point in the review... Don’t worry, I will push it!

Once the Galaxy S6 Edge settled in terms of its updates I could then get to grips with the “streamlined” TouchWiz interface... Here’s what I think...

TouchWiz as it stands on the Galaxy S6 Edge and I presume Galaxy S6 is a bit of a disappointment to me. Why? I am so glad you asked! For a start it is not the same as it is on the Galaxy Note 4; by now I would have installed the Nova launcher on it if not for the fact that can scroll the homescreens indefinitely. For example, I have the Google Play Store widget on the homescreen and to get to it is a matter of scrolling to the right and it is there. On the Galaxy S6 Edge I can’t scroll infinitely. I presume that the reason why I can’t scroll infinitely is because of the Flipboard news feed. On the Galaxy Note 4 I could get rid of that homescreen containing the Flipboard feed but here on the Galaxy S6 Edge I cannot! That makes me angry as I believe that I should have the ability to set-up my phone as a want it. The Flipboard application has a widget and if I want to get the latest news it’s a click away! And it is the same with the Pulse app regarding news feeds. I would imagine that Samsung have borrowed from the HTC Sense Blinkfeed idea and it would have been great if it was left to the user to keep the Flipboard homescreen or to get rid of it.



Above: The Flipboard homescreen. Samsung, if you are reading, can you please allow users to remove the Flipboard news feed. 

At last the TouchWiz overlay can create folders by dragging the icon of an application onto another however once a folder is created you can’t populate it with apps from within the folder. Therefore organizing your apps can be a laborious chore. App widgets can be resized to an extent; it’s not 100% brilliant as the resizing is limited.

Another source of frustration is that the default apps can’t be uninstalled but disabled. Let’s say I didn’t want anything to do with Microsoft for whatever reason and I wanted to uninstall the default apps OneDrive, OneNote and Skype, I would have to root the handset to remove them completely. When the free 100GB storage with OneDrive expires how much is it going to cost me to keep it?

What I consider to be the good stuff of TouchWiz has been removed – the Air Gestures! I don’t blame Samsung for this... Uh-uh! I blame it on some of these so called central Android authorities that do not seem to understand that things like Air Gestures and Smart Gestures can be turned off when they are not needed; I had to say this again as I am left wondering as to what these Android review sources are on about of late (you may understand why further down the line)...

I don’t think that Air and Smart Gestures were responsible for causing the interface to lag. To be honest I can’t pinpoint where the lag on TouchWiz is coming from (in previous iterations). I have Air and Smart Gestures on my Galaxy S4 and there is no lag to speak of. But of course I use the Nova launcher instead of TouchWiz; it could be that I have ruled out the Air & Smart Gestures as the cause of lag. There must be another reason why TouchWiz has proven to be “laggy” in the past. So far the TouchWiz interface runs very, very smoothly and without any lag thus so far!

There are some Samsung apps that you can download if you feel the need to such as the S Note and S Translate; you have them already in the form of Google Keep and Translate. It’s good that Samsung has given the user to download these applications. It’s a bit of a shame that many of the default apps can’t be uninstalled.

S Voice is a default so you can control the Galaxy S6 Edge like you do with Google Now as an alternative. I would be so useful if Google, Samsung or any other developer could allow the user to trigger Google Now with anything other than “OK, Google” as it is a pain in the ass if you have more than one Android phone. I am curious about Cortana from Microsoft. Samsung should be developing its own virtual assistant for the future. What I like about S Voice is that I can trigger it with my own voice command to wake it. It works very well with short phrase like “Hi Galaxy” but you have to use TouchWiz in order to use it! It doesn’t with any other launcher as far as I am aware! What a shame! There again you could issue commands to S Voice rather than scroll homescreens... Hmmm...

I think I have covered just about everything in the software section... Ah! The fingerprint scanner! I guess it’s a combination of software and hardware but the fingerprint scanner works very, very well. The one small difference between the new Galaxy S6 Edge / S6 fingerprint scanner in comparison to the iPhone is that the iPhone home button is round and concave in the middle thus allowing for the fingerprint to fit into it. I found that the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S6 Edge takes a bit of getting to know how to place your finger / thumb to get an instant read to unlock. You can also set the fingerprint scanner to sign into web pages and to verify your Samsung account. I like that! You can add more fingerprints in case you want to set someone else up to have access to the Galaxy S6 Edge / S6. I wouldn't want to do that! Uh-uh! Lol!

Ah! Another thing! I found that there weren't many wallpapers to be had and I assume that this is because of the TouchWiz ability to download themes to change icons, etc.

Finally... The two rapid tap of the “Home” button launches the camera in an instant! Yay!

False alarm! Finally, I found the default keyboard to be OK but not as good as the Google Keyboard.

TOUCHWIZ SCORE
TouchWiz could have been so much more this time around... I have to wonder if Samsung ever looks at the various launchers out there. I can tell you that many users don’t even know what a launcher is as they tend not to venture outside the social networking and free voice / video calling and messaging apps to go to town with customization. I think before Samsung goes to creating themes for TouchWiz it should take a closer look at the popular launchers.

I’ve had to download Nova already as I have found this TouchWiz to be frustrating.

TouchWiz Galaxy S6 Edge scores a Synapse Circuit Silver


UNBOXING THE SAMSUNG
GALAXY S6 EDGE...

For those of you that get off on unboxings... There you go!



THE PENULTIMATE SYNAPSE CIRCUIT SAMSUNG GALAXY S6 EDGE REVIEW PART TWO IS COMING SOON...

I will cover the edge screen in part two as well as many other items! Stay tuned...

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!

Expect more reviews, news, opinions, competitions and more from Synapse Circuit!