Samsung launched two new phones today – here's why one of them has a screen that goes round three-sides

Samsung’s new flagships come in two flavours – Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. You can read about the features common to both here but since the edge is the real bobby-dazzler it’s worth looking at why.

The edge is so named because instead of a flat screen, it tapers off, sloping downwards on the long sides of the phone. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, revealed last year, warmed us up for this new kind of design, though it only had a slope on the right. This one is perfectly symmetrical and stands out from every other phone on the market however briefly you look at it.

Different isn’t enough, of course, on its own. After all, there are plenty of smartphones that look different but also, you know, terrible. But the combination of immaculate build quality, high-end materials and a strong sense of style mean that the edge stands out in absolutely a good way.

 

The back, like the screen is made of Gorilla Glass 4, like the S6. But the S6 edge comes in different, though equally attractive, shimmery colours. The colours common to both are White Pearl, Black Sapphire and Gold Platinum. The S6 also has Blue Topaz. For my money, the real standout is Green Emerald, exclusive to the S6 edge.

All very well, but what’s the point of the sloping edges? Like on the Note Edge, the slivers of screen work independently, even when the main screen is blank. This is handy if you use the phone as a bedside clock but don’t want to be blinded at night. There are plenty of other uses, mostly to do with notifications. On last year’s sloping screen the Note Edge, there was even a ruler. This was fantastic as it meant the centimetres or inches side was much closer to what you were measuring than on a regular phone. Though to be honest, if you just wanted the phone for this, there were cheaper ways of buying a ruler. This wasn’t on the S6 edge, at least on the early model I saw. Let’s hope it will return.

Other features have been upgraded for the S6 edge. Now there’s a feature called People Edge. If you’re in a meeting, say, but you’re waiting for an important call from you boss, you’ll know even if the phone is face down. That’s because the edge will glow with a pre-assigned colour for each of your top five contacts.

You can choose which edge will show this information, according to how you use your handset.

On its own, a notification system like People Edge may not seem enough reason to buy the edge. But the truth is that you’ll buy it for the way it looks. The S6 is pretty attractive and a big step up from the S5. But it’s the S6 Edge that will set the pulse racing.

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