In the race for this year’s best smartphones, the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus is a worthy contender.
Sure, it may be just a big-screened refresh of this year’s Galaxy S6 Edge, but Samsung’s managed to pack the new handset’s wider, thinner frame with a litany of improvements. We’ve published an in-depth hands-on review, but here’s a condensed rundown.
Besides the larger, 5.7-inch screen, almost everything about the S6 Edge Plus is familiar — the body’s still made of glass and metal, the rear camera still protrudes rather annoyingly, and the power, home, and volume rocker haven’t budged. But the big changes are internal — the S6 Edge Plus ups the amount of RAM to 4GB, up from 3GB in the predecessing model. The battery’s been bumped to 3,000mAh — a 400mAh increase. And the handset wirelessly recharges a tad faster — empty to full in 2 hours, Samsung says.
Related: Hands on: Samsung Note 5
It’s not just the hardware that’s gotten attention. “People Edge,” an app introduced with the original Edge which placed a list of contacts on the screen’s curved ends, now lets you designate VIPs. The eponymous “Apps Edge” provides quick access to app shortcuts. And the camera has built-in YouTube support for video streaming up to 1080p, 60 frames per second.
Those enhancements don’t come cheap, unfortunately. The Edge Plus, like the original Edge, is a $100 premium over the non-curved S6. Do a larger screen, better battery, and streamlined software help to justify it? Perhaps, but it’ll ultimately come down to how much value you place on a curved screen.
Available at Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint
The Galaxy S6 Edge Plus doesn’t hit store shelves until August 21, but it’s available for pre-order in black and gold on all major U.S. carriers.
Verizon, which recently eliminated subsidies, will sell the 32GB and 64GB Galaxy S6 Edge Plus for $768 and $864 off contract, respectively. Big Red’s monthly pricing is a little more palatable: $32 a month over a 24-month period for the 32GB model, or $36 a month if you opt for 64GB.
Verizon’s offering a sneak peak of the S6 Edge Plus in select stores on August 14.
AT&T’s selling the 32GB S6 Edge Plus for $300 with a two-year contract. Doubling the storage bumps that price to $400.
Here’s how the payment plans for AT&T’s Next program break down:
New customers who trade in their old phone for a Galaxy S6 Edge Plus get a $100 bill credit and $200 buyback credit. Subscribers on AT&T Next, meanwhile, are eligible for a $200 trade in value.
T-Mobile has the 32GB S6 Edge Plus for $780 full retail. A 18-month leasing plan will run you $25 per month, or you can pay it off in 24 monthly installments of $32.50.
Sprint will begin shipping Galaxy S6 Edge Plus pre-orders on August 14. Here’s pricing across its payment programs:
The carrier’s offering a $200 trade-in credit for customers who turn in their old phone. For new two-year activations, Sprint’s supplying a gratis Galaxy Tab 4 7.0.