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My week with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is, in a word, gorgeous. With this phone and its smaller and slightly older sister, the S6 Edge, Samsung has out-Appled Apple. The two iPhone 6 models look great but the Edge S6 rivals from Samsung are even better. The phone may be overpriced, but if it’s fashion you want, than this is the phone for you.

It begins with the wrap-around Edge screen. It’s not all that practical, but it is eye catching.  And Samsung did an excellent job delivering a large 5.7 inch screen in a slim and light-weigh package. The entire 2650 x 1440 Super AMOLED screen is gorgeous. The back if the phone is also made of glass, though it looks like metal.

Samsung also sent me a new Note 5 to review but I’m gong to pass on that, Fellow Forbes blogger Gordon Kelly did an excellent job describing the difference between the new Note 5 and the new S6 Edge+.  For me, there is no contest. Unless you really want the stylus and the productivity software that comes with the Note, I’m voting for the Edge because of how it feels in your hand.

As with the smaller Edge, Samsung has cut back on its tendency to stuff its machines with bloatware. This isn’t exactly a barebones Android, but it’s a lot closer to pure Android than earlier Samsung phones. The lack of bloatware plus the fast 8-core Exynos processor contribute to a snappy experience and a phone that is responsive to the touch. There are no unnecessary delays when launching apps.

 One thing this phone does have is a finger print reader that actually works. It takes awhile to train it to recognize each finger that you want to register (you can do just one or all 10) but it’s a lot more reliable than Samsung’s first attempts to read fingerprints.

Excellent camera

The camera is best-of-breed. It’s the first camera phone that’s almost good enough to tempt me to leave my Sony RX-100 at home. And I love the fact that you can activate the camera just by double tapping on the (physical) home button, even from the lock screen.  I can think of lots of pictures I’ve missed with other phones because of the time it took to find and click the camera icon. As per specs, the rear camera is 16 MP with Auto real-time HDR. The front facing “selfie” camera is 5 MP. Scroll down to the bottom for a sample picture of my dog Yuri.

I didn’t do formal tests but I got a full day’s battery life nearly every day that I used the phone with plenty of calls, web access, email and texting. Based on my experience with lots of smart phones, I’d put this near the top of the pile.  It has a generous 3,000 mAH battery and comes with a standard charger but you can purchase a wireless charger that, according to Samsung, will recharge the phone in two hours.  The phone measures 6 x 3 x 2.7 inches and weighs 5.4 ounces.

Price — the one reason not to buy it

After a week with the phone, I came away wanting it. But I’m not going to buy it for one simple reason. It’s too expensive compared to less stylish but able phones from Motorola, LG and others. If we were still in the days of phone subsidies this phone (or maybe an iPhone 6+) would be a no brainer but if you have to pay the full price, it will set you back quite a bit. At T-mobile the 32GB version costs $780. At AT&T it’s $815.  Verizon charges $768.

Here’s a sample picture of Yuri, taken with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+.

Unedited photo (except cropping and resizing) of my dog Yuri taken with Galaxy S6 Edge+