Thursday, 23 April 2015

GALAXY S6 EDGE REVIEW PART THREE SYNAPSE CIRCUIT


SYNAPSE CIRCUIT
GALAXY S6 EDGE REVIEW
PART THREE


Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! It’s great to see you as always! I hope that you are well and enjoying the wonderful spring weather! How are your tech projects coming along? Let me know! I am knocking around on G+ and you can let me know what you are doing!

I am going to continue with the Synapse Circuit penultimate definitive 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

PART TWO: AFTERTHOUGHT


I am really enjoying the heck out of the Galaxy S6 Edge. I still don’t like that I can’t remove the Flipboard homescreen – the feed is okay but the actual application and the resulting widget is so much better. I still think that the homescreens should scroll infinitely. That said, I can issue a command via the S Voice which stops me from having to scroll. Cool!

The new fingerprint scanner... Hmmmm... You know what? I think I actually prefer the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy Note 4 which I presume is the same one on the Galaxy S5. Why? Great! I am so glad you asked... ...if you have read my views on the subject of fingerprint scanning you can skip the following...

I feel that a vast majority of reviewers are either lazy or don’t quite have enough brain cells to understand that unlocking a handset should be made difficult as possible for the non-owner to gain access. When I see reviewers saying, “It’s not as instant as the iPhone,” I have to laugh! Look, if you fall asleep, let’s say on public transport, and your iPhone or easy to unlock with your fingerprint phone is on display the chances are that someone could use your finger – if in a deep sleep – to unlock it. One tap and bingo! The thief is in! Hurrah! No!

The reason why I prefer the Galaxy Note 4 fingerprint scanner is that it can take up to 3 swipes before I can unlock it with my fingerprint. If someone tried to swipe my finger whilst asleep the chances are the action would wake me. The Galaxy S6 Edge (and Galaxy S6) is pretty much instantaneous like the iPhone – I have remembered the position of my thumb and it could be that anyone trying to use my thumbprint whilst I am asleep (or in a drunken stupor... hee hee...) won’t be successful. I’ve had to practise getting my thumb in the right position! I think I’ve perfected it!

I appreciate how fast the Galaxy S6 Edge is; it’s just a fraction faster than the Galaxy Note 4 in some instances such as launching the music app Caustic 3 and the default web browser.

I love the screen! The beautiful screen is on full brightness (that’s how it was when I took it out of the box) and it doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on the battery. Whites are pristine and black is space deep! When I place the Galaxy Note 4 next to the Galaxy S6 Edge there is a difference. There’s a slight yellowish tinge or tint to the Galaxy Note 4. It’s no big deal if you happen to own a Galaxy Note 4 or wish to get it instead of the Galaxy S6 Edge / S6.



Despite hoping and wishing for a bigger screen on the Galaxy S6 Edge I am quite happy with it. I love my Nexus 6 (I think it is Google’s finest effort to date) and Galaxy Note 4 (and Galaxy Note 2) but the 5.1” screen on the Galaxy S6 Edge makes it very easy to operate with one hand. Knowing me I would have gotten the Galaxy S6 Edge if it had a bigger screen! I still think that Samsung could do a Galaxy S6 Edge (and Galaxy S6) Max! No, it won’t eat into the Galaxy Note series as the S Pen does make a tremendous difference. Besides, Samsung has put out the Galaxy Mega which boasts a 6” screen!

Still, I would imagine that 5.1” is the threshold for former iPhone users crossgrading or ditching the iPhone (in these computer exchange shops) to either this, the Galaxy S6 Edge, or the standard Galaxy S6.

I still find myself marvelling at the way the Galaxy S6 Edge has been put together. I can see that it is going to be one bitch of a handset to repair should I be unfortunate to need a repair.

While I don’t miss a removable battery I still have it in mind that a handset should be thicker rather than thin. I have big hands and it would make handling a lot easier without the protective flip-case. Also thinking of repair in mind... Would the Galaxy S6 Edge (and Galaxy S6) be easier to repair with a removable battery? Again, despite watching those ‘How much punishment can the Galaxy S6 Edge take’ videos up on YouTube I treat it with kid gloves! I am very grateful that the flip-case protects the 16MP camera lens!

Going back to TouchWiz... Another thing I would like to see on it (TouchWiz) is the ability to customize the icons (with a long press) as I reckon it would be pleasing to use some of the Lollipop themes. The next little niggle is just that – a little niggle – is a wish for Samsung to have supplied some Lollipop based wallpapers. If I have time I will make a few and make them available. And while I am at it I would like to have the ability to change the way folders look and to be able to create folders within the application drawer. Yes, I am well aware of the new ability to download themes for the Galaxy S6 Edge / S6 TouchWiz but I can’t say that I have seen anything that appeals to me. If you have seen my screenshots of my handsets you’ll know that I like my screens relatively simple and uncluttered. I’ve customized my Galaxy S4 to suit the SpeakToIt Assistant, for example, and my Galaxy S6 Edge is going to be based on the S Voice. Ah! Yes, I wish I could personalize the S Voice like I can with the Assistant app!

That’s about it for this afterthought!

IN USE


Once the nano-SIM was inserted into the top of the Galaxy S6 Edge it was all systems go! The flip-case really does make a tremendous difference in the handling of the handset; once again my big manly fingers overwhelm this blonde (Gold Platinum) beauty. So, the first thing I would urge you to do is get a protective case of some sort. Yes, the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 is built withstand most of what everyday life can throw at it but the Gorilla Glass 4 covering the back makes these handsets incredibly slippery! Whilst getting ready to insert the nano-SIM I rested the Galaxy S6 Edge on the arm of my couch and it started to slide down like the T1000 of the Terminator movies.

I have now mastered the fingerprint scanner to unlock it in one go! Hurrah! I would imagine that the next Galaxy handset be it the coming Note 5 and / or S7 will feature an eye reader; this is already happening on other handsets. I reckon Samsung will add an iris scan in addition to the fingerprint for extra security! We’ll see... Let’s continue with love affair, shall we?

Making a call was a good experience as the earpiece is quite loud and I was able to hear the person on the other end of the line in a typical noisy street.

The speaker at the bottom of the phone is mighty loud but it’s not like you’re gonna stand on a street corner and become a mobile (a great unintentional pun) soundsystem. By all means plug it into a small rig and become a street entertainer! There are some great music making and DJ apps available on Android of which the Samsung Soundcamp digital audio workstation is amongst them.

LIQUID


That 14 nanometer 64-bit Exynos 7420 system-on-a-chip coupled with the 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM makes interfacing liquid smooth! Oh, I guess that Android 5, Lollipop has something to do with it too! Google has done remarkably well with Android 5; it would have been something if Samsung made it possible to use the wonderfully designed icons that are part of the new “Material” design for the Android operating system. I still think that TouchWiz on the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 is a little too light! I have still stuck with it instead of installing my favourite alternative launcher, Nova. If you don’t know what a launcher is just enter the term “launcher” into the Google Play Store search engine. You may be astounded that you can make your handset look as you want it. Yes, as mentioned previously, Samsung has allowed the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 owner to download themes to change how TouchWiz looks. I personally don’t find it very appealing as I would just want some minor changes to the TouchWiz user interface overlay. I will quickly list them if you have just skipped ahead to this part of the review. You’re so naughty! Lol!

1. The ability to remove the Flipboard homepage completely.

2. Infinite scrolling of the homepages.

3. To add applications from within a folder thus saving me from having to use the application drawer each time.

4. To change the appearance of an icon with a single long press.

5. To be able to change the appearance of the folders as I do like how the folders look on the Galaxy Note 4!

6. A better looking and functioning keyboard.

That’s about all the changes I would like to make for TouchWiz; I reckon it is feasible to achieve in a update.

MULTIMEDIA STAR

Above: HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 13: Fans take a selfie with actor Chris Evans using the new Samsung Galaxy S 6 edge at the release of "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" at Dolby Theatre on April 13, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Samsung) Thanks to Samsung for use of pictures. I can't wait to see the new Avengers movie: Age Of Ultron! Gosh!

Consuming media is a joy on the Galaxy S6 Edge as the screen is absolutely gorgeous with rich colours that frankly put all other screens in the shade – even the Galaxy Note 4! On full brightness the whites come out looking better than what a detergent can do for your white articles of clothing! Web surfing was / is awesome! I can read text clearly, zoom in and out with great accuracy and pictures / graphics look great!

Watching video is such a lovely experience too! The dual edge screen does take a bit of getting used to when watching videos – it’s not 3D – nowhere near – but there is a sense of depth there. I like it a lot! Oh, I must say how quickly the Galaxy S6 Edge orients itself to landscape or portrait viewing very, very quickly!

As you may or may not know, I dabble in music composition (Electronic) and using Caustic 3 is a very satisfying experience. The speaker is loud enough and represents the spectrum of tones quite well. Yes, it could be better still had Samsung added another speaker to make it stereo but as it goes I am not going to always use the built-in speaker to compose music.

PHOTOGRAPHY / VIDEOGRAPHY

Above: Piccadilly Circus at night taken with the Galaxy S6 Edge

Ever since the Galaxy S I was massively impressed with the camera! I have to confess that I get a thrill whenever Samsung announces a new Galaxy S (and Galaxy Note) in anticipation of the camera. Because of the cameras on past and present Galaxy handsets I take great pleasure in taking pictures / video around London (or any other town) to unwind and appreciate my surroundings – to record it. I have nearly always been pleased with the results. In my mind the camera functionality is what made the Galaxy S3 a roaring success and it has gone from strength to strength!

The 16MP main camera on the Galaxy S6 Edge is superb and features an optical image stabilizer to get the best picture in low lighting and general conditions! Again, you can launch it without unlocking the handset by double clicking on the “home” button; the camera is there in an instant! I have always been a point and click photographer (in the lose sense of the word, lol) and I found the camera to be very, very intuitive to use. I launch it, aim and take a still or shoot a video. I found that the ‘auto’ setting was / is enough for me. I was expecting the camera interface to be unhelpful as I have gotten used to the camera on the Galaxy S4 (which has been recently updated) what with the way the camera modes are presented but using the camera on the Galaxy S6 Edge is child’s play. The modes are there and you can download more via the Galaxy App Store. I won’t go through all the modes as they are self-explanatory but there is a ‘Virtual Shot’ that gives you a little 3D walk-around an object and the ‘Selective Focus’ allows you to change the point of focus after the photo has been taken.

There’s a ‘Pro’ mode for those who know a thing or two about photography or not... ...you can change things like the iso value, contrast, colour balance, white light balance and more! It is so easy to navigate the possibilities that it lends itself to experimentation and these experiments could teach you about the fundamentals of photography if you, like me, just rely upon the ‘auto’ settings.

And if that’s not enough you have an onboard picture editor that can really add something artistic to your photos.

I found the quality of the results to be very, very pleasing. There is a great amount of detail in the shots. The one thing that I would wish for is optical zoom as digital zoom loses a lot of detail and there’s so much noise present.

There’s a ‘Tracking Auto Focus’ to keep a moving subject / object in focus for what should be obvious reasons.

I do like that I can activate a shot by saying “Cheese”, “Smile”, “Shoot” or “Capture”.

VIDEO
Video is pretty much the same from the Galaxy S5. 4K video has the same 5 minute limitation which is just as well as 4K video recording eats up a lot of megabytes! 5 minutes is actually quite a long time to record a subject. Hmmmm... I wonder why there is a 5 minute limitation... Not to worry...

The downside of recording UHD 4K 3820 x 2160, QHD 2560 x 1440 and FHD 1920 x 1080 (60 frames per second) is that you can’t use HDR, video effects, video stabilization, taking pictures while recording video and tracking auto focus. These settings come back with FHD 1920 x 1080 (30 fps)! I also observed that the ‘Smooth Video’ option is not present on the Galaxy S6 Edge (and presumably the Galaxy S6) as it is on the Galaxy Note 4.

The voice command for video is “Record video”.

I found the quality of the video be quite outstanding. I did notice a little focusing issues as the ambient light would fluctuate. The focussing issues aren’t as noticeable as with other smartphone cameras that I have used over the years. This is why I avoid HTC handsets as they have yet to put a decent camera in one of their handsets. I am hoping that I can get a hold of the One M9 to see if there is any improvement.

RESULTS

Here are some pictures that I have taken using the Galaxy S6 Edge – I hope youlike them!

Below are links to videos shot with the Galaxy S6 Edge on YouTube! The videos are unedited in any way. I am quite pleased with them and I hope you will be too!


Night video


The video above goes up to 4K


Dusk, the Sun going down...


Street at dusk...

NOTE: I have comment on the Android review sources online that has put the iPhone camera as a standard for the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 to match or surpass. I don’t understand it. For a start the iPhone camera is 8MP and while it delivers good results it’s never going to beat the cameras on the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note models as the current standard is 16MP which makes for a more detailed picture that you can use in professionally printed documents. I felt that I had to clarify that for those who are confused.

MEMORY LOSS
When Samsung made it clear that there was going to be no way of extending the storage capacity through using a microSD card it divided the loyal Samsung user. I have to admit that I was a little stunned! But the handsets do come in the following configurations:

32, 64 and 128 GB. At the moment I don’t know of any retail outlet offering the 128GB version. I received the 64GB version and after the pictures and videos taken I still have over 50GB left. So, the microSD card is not an issue. If you look at the iPhone situation it starts with 16GB as a standard.

Let’s not forget that with Google Drive you have 15GB to store your pictures, video and file formats such as MP3, WAV, PDF and so on. Then there is Dropbox with 2GB! And as default, Microsoft OneDrive offers a whopping 100GB for 2 years! What happens after the 2 years? I don’t know. I assume there will be a charge to keep the 100GB or if you take out another contract after those 2 years with the Galaxy S7 Edge (presumably) the 100GB will roll on... I will cross that bridge when it comes...

I have to say that I wish that it wasn’t Microsoft offering the sumptuous 100GB as I find it (Microsoft) flaky. Yes, I hate how Microsoft operates! I have a genuine copy of Windows 7 Pro and according to Microsoft this isn’t the case. Internet Explorer was horrid and it caused me to wipe the drive and reinstall! It’s true, I should have done a back-up; fortunately the computer was new and I didn’t lose anything valuable other than time to reset it. As a result I don’t trust Microsoft. I envision that one day I go to retrieve my files from OneDrive and receive an error message instead. Did I tell you that I hate Microsoft (sometimes)? There’s never a real person at Microsoft Customer Services to speak to when things go wrong which is just as well as the person on the other end would turn blue. I will give it a try. I don’t like how invasive Microsoft is when signing up for the OneDrive service; your asked for your name and address like it is going to make any difference should you lose your files through its negligence. Microsoft gripes over!

I would recommend using a USB-On-The-Go stick for good measure / piece of mind. But so far I have quite a lot of storage on the actual internal storage.

See Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6Solutions for external storage

BATTERY
As with the exclusion of the external memory slot I was also taken aback with the non-removable 2600 mAh battery! What??? 2600 mAh??? While other handsets have gone towards over 3000 mAh I was very intrigued... Through using the Galaxy Note 4 with its fast charging battery I had a suspicion, shortly before the official announcement, that 64-bit processor and 3GB RAM would mean more efficient use of the battery. I am pleased to say that is the case!

On standby the phone doesn’t need charging for up to 3 days; of course, nobody will leave their phone on standby and not use it. Well, I actually do with the number of handsets I have! I find it interesting to see how battery power can deplete when a handset is just sitting there doing nothing. Trust me! I’ve had handsets that start with a full charge and they are ready to charge again after 4 or 5 hours!

I did push the Galaxy S6 Edge battery some... I did things like watch YouTube videos one after the other, take pictures, record video, used the DAW (digital audio workstation) Caustic 3, surfed the Net and by the end of the day I had enough battery to get home, 27%. That’s about a day of using a daily driver more than I usually would. After a Samsung update the battery when I initially first set-up the Galaxy S6 Edge I did notice that the battery seemed to have improved on what was already a pretty good duration in the first place.

As with all manufacturer claims on the battery there’s no accounting for individual use. I found that using the camera can deplete a battery rapidly and more so than watching videos. I am not a game player but I know that playing CPU and RAM intensive games can deplete a battery rapidly too.

I can honestly say that I am very pleased with the duration of the battery. From a 10 minute charge you do get around 4 hours usage – depending on what you are doing and how often!

The Galaxy S6 Edge can charge wirelessly so you don’t have to worry about cables and whatnot! I am curious about the cost of the official wireless charging mat. And I also envision that coffee shops will have wireless charging as a standard very shortly. In any event it is no effort to carry the mains charger with me to plug into the walls of coffee shops. It’s not unusual to be sitting next to an electrical outlet when enjoying a hot beverage or an alcoholic one in a pub.

However, you can get a mobile charger like the free one that EE is giving away and it’ll cost around the same or slightly over the cost of a spare battery.

The power saving mode is ever present and I doubt that you will need to use it. I haven’t so far!

Check out some battery solutions here:
Battery Solutions for the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6


CONCLUSION

I think that Samsung has done incredibly well to come back with not one but two powerful and very stylish premium crème de la crème of handsets! Samsung, in my experience thus so far, is one of very few manufacturers that offer more of a complete package: power, speed, excellent camera and all round functionality. You can still open two windows with containing different apps like YouTube and Gmail for example.

There’s no getting away from the fact that these handsets are a little more expensive than usual but you do get what you pay for! iPhone fanatics have been silenced once and for all! I always placed power, functionality above premium materials but I can’t complain about how the Galaxy S6 Edge (and Galaxy S6) is put together aside from being slippery. From what I’ve been observing in the announcement and wake of the Galaxy S6 & Galaxy S6, iPhone owners are upgrading to these fantastic new Galaxy models. I guess it’s those iPhone users that may not have a Mac sitting at home or even have an iPad who are choosing Samsung this time around. It is not surprising in the least. The Galaxy S6 Edge looks like something out of this world and it is highly functional too! Dare I say that the iPhone trade-ins will continue? See the iPhone 6 & 6 Plus continue to get CEX’D up!

It feels great to have a unique 64-bit handset with 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM while other manufacturers are using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 and standard RAM. But I will test such handsets in due course.

I think that the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 are the ones to beat. The Galaxy S6 Edge is what I would want to own as a consumer.

SCORE


I have to give the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge a Synapse Circuit Double Platinum for the design, materials and components. I do enjoy using the S Voice as an alternative to Google Now to interface with handset. I will keep TouchWiz for now or until the guys behind the Nova launcher announce that they can incorporate S Voice as they have with Google Now. If I said “Google Now” 9 handsets will go off! Lol!

The camera is superb and that is where the other Synapse Circuit Platinum comes from.

There is also a Smart Manager that takes care of the battery and shows battery usage where you can go into ‘Power Saving’ mode should you need to.

There’s a ‘Device Security’ that gives you a little piece of mind that you haven’t installed a maclious app. I would have liked to specify what application has access to my location and contacts, etc.

Monitor the use of RAM and end applications taking up too much RAM if performance is being affected.

There is also a ‘Storage Monitor’ that allows for the maintenance of the internal storage drive. Unnecessary files can be deleted if you are low on storage – which shouldn’t happen!

The Smart Manager isn’t bad at all. Just remember that files that are cached make applications like the web browser load your favourite pages faster and you don’t have to delete them.

There you have it! I love the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge! It’s the best phone that Samsung has made and possibly the best phone in the world right now!  It is certainly one of the fastest if not the fastest! What a trail blazer!

FROM THE TOP!
Here are the links to part one and two: One & Two

Thank you so much for reading Synapse Circuit!

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