Samsung’s latest smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have landed, and they’re the best handsets the company has ever produced. Of the two, however, the S6 Edge is by far the more interesting phone thanks to its unique curved screen that cascades off of its left and right sides.
That design element is also the reason the S6 Edge costs $100 more than the standard Galaxy S6. So what can a smartphone with a curved display do that a flat screen phone can? Let’s go to the videotape.
1. Show you who’s calling without seeing the screen
Samsung has equipped the Edge with what it calls Edge Lighting. The feature lets you place your phone face down on a table, and lights up only the edge of the screen when you receive a phone call, text, or email from one of five contacts.
You can assign each contact its own color. So if you set the color for your kid’s contact info to blue, you’ll be able to quickly tell that they are calling without having to pick up the phone whenever the side screen shines blue. Or you can set a color for your boss –– let’s say red –– so that you know not to pick it up during certain times. (Always).
2. Check sports scores, news, and more
Like Samsung’s other curved screen smartphone, the Galaxy Note Edge, the Galaxy S6 Edge includes Samsung’s Information Stream feature. Information Stream provides you with a ticker-style news feed on the curved portion of the S6 Edge’s screen.
Apps include Twitter Trends, Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, and a Notifications feed. Additional apps are in the works.
Unfortunately, unlike the Note Edge, the Galaxy S6 Edge’s Information Stream is only available when the main part of the display is turned off.
To access Information Stream, you have to swipe your finger back and forth over the curved part of the Edge’s display. Swiping up or down the the edge lets you check different feeds in your Stream.
The one thing that would have been nice for Samsung to include with the S6 Edge that the Note Edge has is the ability to scroll through your available apps using the side screen.
3. A clock
If you want to check the time in the middle of the night, but don’t want to light up your room with your phone’s screen, you can simple look over your shoulder and check the dimly-lit clock on the S6 Edge’s curved display.
That’s right, the S6 Edge will act as a tiny clock for up to 12 hours at a time whenever the main part of its screen is turn off.
4. Look super sweet
While the above features are certainly helpful, they aren’t exactly enough to make someone want to drop $300 on the S6 Edge. The main reason for the S6 Edge’s screen? It simply looks cool.
In fact, that’s exactly what Samsung representatives told me when the phone was first unveiled in February. The curved screen isn’t meant to be some kind of revolutionary design that will drastically change the way you use your smartphone.
It’s all about appearances, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Whether that appearance is worth an extra $100 is up to you and your accountant.
But after years of playing from behind the likes of Apple and HTC in terms of design, Samsung put its full weight behind improving the look and feel of its flagship smartphones, and produced an elegantly designed, futuristic handset.
If customers are willing to pay an extra $100 for a more attractive smartphone, more power to them. And more power to Samsung for having the guts to make such a handset.
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