Hands-on with the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus

The phone with a name as big as its screen

The London leg of Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event was a strange beast. A smallish venue and a couple of low-key speeches, contrasting sharply with the bombastic and somewhat self-congratulatory announcements we’ve come to expect from the Korean company. Perhaps the British arm is just a little more self-deprecating.

There were some awkward moments, with UK President Andy Griffifths tripping over his words at the crucial point:

"I've made a huge mistake"

And someone’s baby interrupting him at various points:

Followed by the specs we were expecting:

And silent, unspoken confirmation of what we suspected:

The announcement part of the event lasted just 15 minutes, while the US got an hour. Part of that discrepancy is because of the lack of Galaxy Note 5 (oh well), but that alone wouldn’t account for 45 minutes of showtime. Perhaps Samsung realised that we’d all seen the (accurate) leaks and decided not to bore us reiterating the same details, and skip straight to the hands-on.

Speaking of which, here’s ours, live from the event:

Live Broadcast, AKA SamsungScope

One of the new features on the S6 Edge Plus is Live Broadcast, which lets you do a Periscope-ish livestream – but the key difference is that you only broadcast to people personally invited by you, on a per-stream basis. You choose the friends you want to stream to by their phone number (which rules out most of my Twitter friends!) and they’re sent a link by SMS to can watch the broadcast live on YouTube. Yep, that’s right, SMS. Not email, not even WhatsApp. Proper SMS.

We said in the video above that people can’t forward the link to others – which is what we were told at the time – but we’ve since heard from Samsung that unless you specify in your YouTube settings that only the people you invite will be able to watch, they could send the link on to others.

There’s much less live interaction than Periscope, with comments posted on YouTube not showing on the video, and only the ability to do a thumbs-up or thumbs-down for the whole video, not individual points like Periscope. That’s not necessarily bad, just different. The partnership with YouTube is a big deal for Samsung and should lead to higher take-up of this feature than we might otherwise have seen.

The Edge has a new function

The much-maligned People Edge feature has been supplemented with a quick-launch bar of apps, allowing you to swipe in from the edge to see the apps you want to place there. Granted, a curved screen isn’t technically required for it to work, but it does feel pretty good to slide along the curve. It’s also a handy way of adding more apps to your main homescreen.

The nightmarish BlackBerry case is real

The QWERTY keyboard case that leaked earlier this month is indeed a real thing. We were hoping it was just a render, but no, Samsung are actually selling this:

S6 Edge Plus keyboard case

This is possibly a hint that they’re worried about BlackBerry getting into the Android market, or trying to steal BB defectors, but still – WHY? We can’t wait to see sales figures for this, but then the BlackBerry Passport sold in the hundreds of thousands so maybe we just don’t understand humans.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus UK price and availability

You can pre-register to buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus now from Samsung, and it’ll be out in the UK on the 4th of September. As yet, we don’t have a confirmed price from Samsung, but the S6 Edge is £669 for 32GB, so we’d expect £750ish for the same storage size in the Edge+. We’ll update when we know for sure.

Holly Brockwell
About Holly Brockwell 280 Articles
Tech addict Holly founded Gadgette in 2015, and won Woman of the Year for it. She's firmly #TeamAndroid, has ambitions to become a robot, and beat all other Hollies to her awesome Twitter handle.