Living with the Galaxy S6 Edge: Is that curve worth the cost?

Samsung launched two Galaxy S6 models this spring, but let's face it: The spotlight was really on the curvy, attention-grabbing S6 Edge. I know I was dead-set on trying that one-of-a-kind smartphone as soon as I could. However, I couldn't help but wonder if it was really, truly worth the $100 premium to turn heads and score a couple of clever features. Moreover, would that design actually hold up in the real world? There was only one way for me to find out. I spent several weeks with the Edge to see whether its curved display would grow on me, or if I'd be desperately wishing I had made the safer choice and snagged the regular S6. As it turns out, the answer was a bit of both.

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Apple Music is here. Finally. Now that the company steered the streaming service to a successful launch, it now has to prove to the world that it's actually something worth paying for — after all, there are like 80 other streaming-music services (maybe not, but it feels like it) fighting for the subscription revenue in our wallets. Apple's master plan: Make Apple Music a one-stop shop by kitting out it with gobs of features. We'll follow up with a longer write-up once we've had more than a few hours to play with it, but for now, let's take a quick peek at what Apple came up with.

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ICYMI: Bendy Batteries, Spray-Painting Drones, and More

Today on In Case You Missed It: The flexible battery that takes its style notes from kirigami (origami's hipper cousin); a VR musical visualizer that will have you tripping like it's 1998; and a tutorial for a DIY spray-painting drone that may not fly so well now — but try and diss it when it's painting your 11-foot ceilings. One of the collaborators on that last project is the graffiti artist who defaced Kendall Jenner's billboard using a drone—so you know, I'm a fan.

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Own-brand devices appear to be all the rage at the moment, or at least for two of the UK's major carriers, they are. EE's recently launched new smartphones, a tablet and a 4G action cam, while Vodafone too is yielding a steady stream of bespoke handsets and slates. And now, just as EE's dipped its toe into the mid-range with its Harrier smartphone, Vodafone wades into the same waters with the Smart Ultra 6, its "most powerful" own-brander to date. Available from today, the mouthful of a phone is fronted by a 5.5-inch, 1080p display, with a 1.5GHz octa-core Snapdragon 615 humming away inside. For landscapes and selfies you've got 13- and 5-megapixel cameras, and in other key specs you're looking at 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, a 3,000mAh battery and Android 5.0 Lollipop running the show. Not too shabby, considering the £125 pay-as-you-go price.

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The best iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus battery cases

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the full article below at TheWirecutter.com.

We've spent more than 140 hours testing 21 different battery cases (18 for the iPhone 6 and three for the iPhone 6 Plus), and we think the best battery case for most people is Anker's Ultra Slim Extended Battery Case. It provides an above-average 117 percent of a full charge to the iPhone 6one full charge plus another 17 percentand at only $40, it's by far the least expensive. The result is the highest ratio of charge percent per dollar and the lowest cost per full iPhone recharge out of all the models we looked at. It's also the lightest and thinnest battery case we tested.

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Google's Android Open Source Project (AOSP) rolled out in 2007 with the goal of creating a unified framework for mobile operating systems and, in turn, expediting the development of mobile products. The core of the code was open to everyone, but to help guarantee quality products -- and promote its own services in the face of Apple's iOS -- Google also organized the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). Companies who pledged allegiance to this group effectively committed to certain standards of quality for any resultant Android hardware and software. Membership in the OHA, however, is not a requirement for AOSP and so numerous forked (read: compatible and non-compatible) versions, like Amazon's Fire OS, have been developed over the years. We've pinpointed just a few of these to highlight the vibrant -- and often political -- undercurrent of Android's alternate identities.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have: the forks of Android life.

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For such a quiet tech show, this week's Computex in Taiwan may have been a watershed moment that will affect nearly every PC, phone and tablet you'll see in the next few years, if not decade. The new USB Type-C port may have debuted on flagship devices like Apple's single-port new Macbook and Google's Chromebook Pixel, but the new, smaller, reversible kind of USB is shaping up to be the connector of the future. This week ASUS joined the USB-C party, and in a reassuring vote of confidence, Intel announced that its newest iteration of Thunderbolt will take the same shape. Thunderbolt 3.0 will, at a minimum, double the data speed found on USB-C cables. It might not work wirelessly just yet, but the single-cable future is coming. However, change isn't always easy.

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Nintendo may have quashed rumors that its next-generation "NX" console will run Android, but that isn't enough to stop the speculators. After all, the company has a history of denials that weren't entirely forthright. Remember how the console maker downplayed talk of a supersized 3DS in early June 2012, only to announce that very device weeks later? Yeah. Whomever you believe, the scuttlebutt raises a big question: Just what would Nintendo do with Android? Would it see much of a benefit versus handling everything in-house? If Amazon's experience building a heavily customized version of Android is any indication, the answer is yes -- but it wouldn't be the cure-all that you might hope for.

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Here's what our readers think of the Apple WatchLong-awaited and eagerly anticipated by many, the Apple Watch finally arrived in April to fairly positive reviews. In our own write-up of Apple's first wearable, we admired its construction, calling it the finest we've ever seen from a smartwatch and similar to "something made by Tag Heuer or Cartier." In use, we found it "straightforward, if not always intuitive" with good notifications and comprehensive activity-tracking abilities. However, we had our reservations, noting that while it was the nicest smartwatch available, it wasn't very revolutionary and as such: "It's probably not compelling enough to buy one." But many of you did buy one, and you let us know in your reviews whether you were amazed by its capabilities or merely found it acceptable for a first-generation product.

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I was supposed to review the Apple Watch. That was the plan, but then, when Engadget had its first chance to test the device, I was on vacation. Specifically, I was in France, where I ran the Paris Marathon, my sixth 26.2-mile race in five years. As it happens, our Editor-in-Chief Michael wrote a fair, thorough review on his own, and he cut a fine figure in that stop-motion walkthrough video, too. If there's one thing he didn't go into detail on, though, it was the Apple Watch's performance as a fitness device. Some background there: Michael is one of those naturally skinny people with a stupidly fast metabolism who doesn't need to work out to stay trim. Which is a good thing, because he hates working out. That's why, when I finally had the chance to try out the Apple Watch myself (a $649 stainless steel model), I chose to focus on its abilities as a fitness gadget -- a fitting decision, considering my running habit was what kept me from reviewing the watch in the first place.

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A look at two alternatives to those $200 Beats headphones

Thanks to Beats, there's no shortage of $200 headphones on the market. But what about cans coming from folks known for their speakers rather than their rhymes? Given their heritage in the audio space, I had high hopes for both the Klipsch Reference On-Ear Premium headphones as well as Polk's Hinge Wireless Bluetooth cans. At first glance, they're pretty comparable: Both are foldable on-ear models with plush carrying bags and tight iOS/OS X integration. As it turns out, the similarities fell away quickly once I actually put them on my skull.

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The most striking part of the just released (on the web, iOS and Android) Google Photos is how familiar it feels if you've already been using Photos in Google+, or before that, Picasa. The biggest change I noticed early on is that by separating Photos from its attempt to launch yet another social network, Google is starting focus on stuff that both benefits its users, and that it does well: cloud storage and using information to narrow down searches. Now, it's a perfect fit for how most people use cameras everyday, from the ones in their phones to point-and-shoots (but maybe not your DSLR). With unlimited storage and machine learning that can link photos by the people in them or where they were taken it's ready to make sense of your massive image library.

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It's true: Shazam's adding more useful features to its application, as was reported by Reuters back in March. Now, the famed discovery software can identify more than music, movies, TV shows and commercials, which has been the core functionality to date. With this new version, introduced today, Shazam is capable of recognizing packaged goods (like a Blu-ray or themed toys), books and magazines, as well as other merchandise that's typically available at physical retail stores. To use it, the only thing you have to do is open the app on your iPhone/Android smartphone, fire up the camera and, lastly, point it toward a compatible item's Shazam-printed logo or QR code.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For two years, Pebble was the smartwatch company to beat. In 2012, it raised over $10 million on Kickstarter for its simple, monochrome e-paper wristwatch, putting itself and the crowdfunding site on the map. But things move quickly in the technology world. Google has since come out with Android Wear, prompting a slew of smartphone companies to suddenly turn into watchmakers. Not to be outdone, Apple joined the fray as well, positing its own wearable as a timepiece premium enough for high-end boutiques. So when Pebble debuted the Time, its second-generation $199 smartwatch, on Kickstarter three months ago, it was facing much stiffer competition. Surprisingly, that too made crowdfunding history, raising more than $20 million in just over a month. Did 78,471 backers make the right decision? I attempt to find out.

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There's no denying that virtual and augmented reality are on a roll lately. Oculus, HTC and a host of others have committed to producing quality VR experiences and Microsoft's Hololens put the buzz back into augmented concepts. That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. If you want to find out what's really going on in those circles, as well as IoT and wearable tech, you may want to head to Silicon Valley next month for the 2015 Augmented World Expo (AWE). The event includes more than 20 workshops, 200 interactive demos and over 100 talks by some of the best in the business. The folks at AWE have been nice enough to offer $19 Expo-only tickets for our readers (code: ENGADGET19), but for one lucky soul, the pot is quite a bit sweeter. We have a pair of Epson Moverio BT-200 smart glasses, along with two all-access VIP tickets to the expo for the winner this week. Just head on down to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning Epson's latest augmented tech and unfettered access to the Augmented World Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California, June 8-10th.

Winner: congratulations to Ron S. of Bernalillo, NM!

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