It shouldn't come as much surprise to learn that Samsung's newest generation smartphone is aiming high in terms of design. For a flagship phone to make an impact, design and - increasingly - craft and materials have to be a cut about the competition. Right now, that technical pole position is held by the Galaxy S6 edge, thanks largely to its innovative curved glass screen. As our exclusive film shows, this is a device forged from experimentation, innovation, heavy industry and high design.
Samsung's transition to leading purveyor of cutting edge industrial design has been many years in the making. Hong Ku Yeo is Lead Designer for Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, working under Samsung's Head of Design, Minhyouk Lee. In his decade and a half at the company, Lee has overseen the overseen the entire Galaxy range, helping add to his career haul of over 20 international design awards in the process. Ku Yeo is an RCA graduate with a stint at McLaren in the UK, so knows a thing or two about making materials perform.
According to Yeo, the new S6 edge 'tested the limits of what is possible in terms of industrial design.' This is the world's first curved display, inspired rather poetically by the 'waves of the ocean', but also by the desire to put a fresh, functional feature into a handset that'll keep it one step ahead of some rather vociferous competition. In the flesh, the edge is a thing of tactile beauty. Those curves, achieved by moulding glass at 800 degrees Celsius, took a long time to perfect. They're embedded within an aircraft-grade aluminium frame that undergoes 20 separate processes to achieve the finished, highly polished and shaped result.
'The objective was to capture the reflectiveness of light and the translucency of water to add visual depth and to create lively colours that are always in motion,' says Yeo. In practical terms the curve also give you notifications, cueing up icons along the edge that can be visible even when the screen is face down. Throw in the most efficient wireless charging system yet seen on a smartphone, a superb camera and a decent suit of software, and you have a device that's bound to steal an edge on the competition. For now, at least.