Samsung Galaxy S6 edge: What can that screen edge actually do?

Samsung has launched its Galaxy S6 edge smartphone to much excitement. The complete redesign sees Samsung using glass and metal at last, plus there’s improved battery charging – everything we’ve been asking for then. But there’s also that edge.

READ: Samsung Galaxy S6 edge hands-on: A bezel-free revolution begins

Is the edge just a fancy look? Is it a fad that costs more than the normal Galaxy S6 but doesn’t add much, other than cost? The simple answer is no, it’s much more.

We’ve spent some time playing with the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, with the company’s top engineer, to find out more.

Take it to the edge

Either side of the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge has, as the name suggests, a screen that runs over the edge. This means you immediately lose the bezel and get this gorgeous smartphone that sits comfortably in the hand and offers plenty of screen space on that 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED with 577ppi.

But there’s more.

Caller haste

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One of the main features of the edge is its ability to help you recognise callers and respond quicker than ever. If the handset is face down the edge with glow a colour that you’ve associated with a person’s contact details. You get up to five colours you can apply to contacts which can be easily changed with a quick side swipe at the top right of the screen.

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But just recognising the caller is only half of the offering. This works in conjunction with the heart rate reader on the rear. You can set an automated response so without even turning the phone over you can reply while rejecting the call. Put your finger on the heart rate monitor and the call will end with your pre-written message sent out. Each message can be different for each person. At first we thought this was just a fad but the more we used it the more we realised we may actually take advantage of this feature in the long run.

Ticker tape

Another feature the edge offers is a news feed. By displaying information from your various news and social media feeds the handset lets you see what’s going on at a glance. It does this with the rest of the screen asleep meaning it will help save battery while keeping you notified.

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The notifications can be swiped through and individual messages will be displayed by running text across the edge.

Night clock

If smartphones hadn’t already replaced bedside alarm clocks this should offer the final nail in that coffin. The night clock mode allows the handset’s edge to display the time throughout the night with the phone sat flat on the bedside.

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The brilliance of this is that you won’t have to sit up or move the phone to read the time as it’s displayed clearly on the side of the edge. We say clearly but that doesn’t mean bright, it’ll be enough to see but not lit enough to keep you awake.

Just the edge

This could be just the tip of the iceberg for the edge with potential for more apps that take advantage of the edge. Since it’s touch sensitive and works with the screen locked we’re excited to see what comes in the future.