Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge :: First impressions

by Volker Weber

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After having played with the Edge extensively, these are my impressions:

The Edge is so incredibly desirable. And there is useful stuff everywhere. It can control your TV via IR. It can remain unlocked as long as it sees your Pebble in close proximity. Since Pebble learned to work with actionable notifications like any Android Wear device, it becomes more useful.

And yet, I can't get to terms with the software. Every app asks me if I want to open this link in Chrome or Internet. I cannot shut the duplicates down. The keyboard does not work nearly as well for me as the Apple keyboard. I am missing a few apps like Layout and Hyperlapse, some apps are much worse than on iOS. The Withings app can use the Galaxy as a step counter but it only does so in a strange way where it first has to wait for Google Health to do its thing. If you only ever worked with Android, this is a excellent machine for a very high price. The S6 matches the iPhone 6, the Edge is 50 € more than the iPhone 6 Plus.

My SIM has returned to the iPhone 6 Plus while I continue to explore the Edge.

Comments

Would you even go so far as to weaken your rule "if Android, then Nexus"? Or should that be "if Android, then Play Edition" now?

Ragnar Schierholz, 2015-04-15

Samsung is making progress, but they are not there yet.The software remains the weak point. I doubt that they will ever go pure Android. If you are looking for that, Moto seems to be the best choice.

So far I think that if you can afford an S6 or S6 Edge, you should buy an iPhone. If you can't, there are plenty of other good enough Android devices.

Volker Weber, 2015-04-15

I do not own a Samsung phone but a Nexus 5.

Some additions:
- Wireless charging is nice, but the phone becomes hot if you are using it continously
- NFC is nice. But at the moment it is more of a plaything than a useful feature. Why? Because I still cannot pay with it in germany and there are to many phones which don't support it yet (swapping contacts is a great idea, but both parties need to support it)
- The actual android version of Withings doesn't need Google Fit to count your steps anymore. If so, your version is propably outdated.
- The unlocking feature with android wear / the pebble should be available on all devices with Android 5.0.1 (maybe its restricted to beeing inside a specific wifi) but definitely with 5.1

Daniel Seiler, 2015-04-15

Try Fleksy as keyboard. It's the best keyboard I used so far. The word recognition is splendid.
I'm not a big fan of the apple keyboard as it lacks most features to type really fast either through swiping or word recognition.

Cheers
Patrick

Patrick Bohr , 2015-04-15

Suggesting fixes to the points observed probably isn't going to improve things.

There are different approaches to these devices ... and things in general.

One approach is that you get a phone and tweak and customize it to fit you - Android is a perfect fit for this approach.

Another approach is that the phone - and the experience around the phone - have been crafted, and you should go with and judge that experience on its own.

Craig Wiseman, 2015-04-15

Thanks Vowe for another good mibile phone overview.

I have gone through the S3, S4 and currently have the S5. NFC have been around since S4, so that is not really new.

Daniel is right, there is not a huge advantage of NFC yet, but as more and more phones get it, the benefits will come. Here in the US you can pay using NFC, but there are several competing systems that fragments the market.
I mainly use NFC for automation of phone functionality.
I sit down at my desk at work and swipe over an NFC tag. Bluetooth is turned off, ring signal set to vibrate, wifi is turned on, etc.
I leave my desk, get into the car and swipe another tag. Wifi is turned off, bluetooth turned on, Spotify and Waze are launched.

I really like the keyboard compared with Apple. I am using SwiftKey, which has a great prediction of what i want to type. But what i like the most is that i can type numbers and special chacaters directly, without having to switch to a separate keyboard using the "123" key, and then switch back again to continue typing letters...

On the S5 you can set the browser you want to use as default, and it stop asking you. I had the same thing with Skype, after installing the app I got a question every time I wanted to call someone if I wanted to use the phone or Skype. But by clicking "always use" that went away.

Karl-Henry Martinsson, 2015-04-15

I've just gone from S3 to S5 for me - S6 was a no go for me due to lack of sd card slot.

NFC was available on my S3, it's far from new.

I'm not a huge fan of the Samsung stock keyboard, although the row of numeric keys is nice. I've switched within a week to Google Keyboard - available for free in the Play store.

You've always been able to set browser default in Android, certainly going back to my HTC Hero days, but it is a per app preference so can be a bit of a bind when you first start using a phone.

The fingerprint reader works just fine on the S5 - perhaps it's something they improved in newer firmware as the device has been around a while now. Mine came with Android 5 Lollipop out of the box.

Ben Rose, 2015-04-15

Thanks for all the feedback.

I have used many keyboards on Android, including Google and Swift. I also use many keyboards on other devices like BlackBerry and Windows Phone. The iOS keyboard happens to work best for me. I have the added difficulty that I have to write in two languages, sometimes mixed. BlackBerry works best for that, but iOS still has the least problems with typos.

Yes, it is a per app default. You can imagine what happens if you have a dozen Android devices with a few dozens apps. It gets old pretty quickly. I would love to just delete the other browser that I don't use. Or disable it.

Is nobody using NFC to pair Bluetooth devices? That's my main use case.

Volker Weber, 2015-04-15

Craig, very good observation!

Volker Weber, 2015-04-15

Daniel, I read this as "You need the Google Fit step tracker if you don't have a Withings tracker":

https://withings.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204989077-What-is-the-Google-Fit-integration-

Volker Weber, 2015-04-15

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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