It finally arrived. After much anticipation, the Samsung Galaxy S6 (SGS6) was unveiled in the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona. And here’s what you need to know:
It’s all about the looks
Most of the things we know about it turned out to be true. The SGS6 is as beautiful as we could have hoped. And as attested by the praise of multiple news and blog posts, the Samsung’s flagship is as premium as it is elegant.
Moving away from its plastic past, the SGS6 went with an anodized aluminum frame, with front and back glass panels made from Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass 4.
And the specs
The internal specs are as impressive as its good looks. Apart from the screen edges and batteries, both SGS6 and the Edge variant have the same specs. Both phones use a 5.1 inch Super AMOLED display uses Quad HD 1440 x 2560 resolution with an eye popping 577ppi. Ensuring images and text are crisp and bright.
To power the SGS6, Samsung elected to use its own 14-nm Exynos 7420 octa core chipset equipped with a Mali T760 GPU to handle graphic duties, and 3GB of RAM for multitasking. Sadly, because of the design and materials used, a compromise was made to exclude the microSD card expansion slot and forego the removable battery.
Other specs include a 16MP main camera with quick launch and OIS, a 5MP front camera and 32/64/128GB storage options with 100GB of OneDrive, free for two years. The SGS6 has a 2550 mAh battery, while the Edge variant has 2,600 mAh.
Samsung Galaxy S6 / Edge key specs:
- 5.1 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display; 1440 x 2560, 577ppi; Gorilla Glass 4
- 14-nm Exynos 7420 Octa Core chipset: Quad Core 1.5 GHz ARM Cortex A53 + Quad Core 2.1 GHz ARM Cortex A57
- Mali-T760 GPU
- 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM
- 32/64/128GB of storage (no microSD card expansion slot)
- 16 MP main camera with f/1.9, OIS, Autofocus, LED flash, Real-time HDR, 4k video
- 5 MP front camera with f1.9
- WiFi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS + GLONASS
- 2550mAh battery / 2600mAh for the S6 Edge; non-removable; Fast Charge
- Fingerprint scanner
- Android 5.0.2 with TouchWiz
- Dimensions: 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm, 138g
- Colors: White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and a Blue Topaz
The Edge variant has little difference from the SGS6, the battery capacity (Edge has 50 mAh more) and the dual curved display. The dual curved display almost has no other purpose besides aesthetics, except for two main features. First is the People Edge . With it, you can assign colors for up to five of your contacts. Also, when you put the phone face down, you can know who is calling because the right edge lights up colors. The other is the ability to show notifications and info on the edge, giving users a quick way to see texts, calls and more.
Better fingerprint scanner
The fingerprint scanner on the Note 4 was a frustrating affair. Swiping was a hit or a miss. On the SGS6, it was replaced with just placing your finger on the home button (ala iPhone 6). And, I am happy to say, that it reportedly works well.
The new flagship uses a 16MP Sony sensor with fast aperture of f/1.9 and an optical image stabilizer. The camera app interface was also simplified with features that are easier to access, plus a new manual mode. Another interesting feature is that users can quickly access the camera by pressing the home key twice.
We mentioned before that Samsung might considerably tone down TouchWiz on par with stock Android. And I guess that rumour was just partly true. TouchWiz did get a face lift (notice the icons, and some other things) and it is still feature packed (now supports themes), but maybe not as much as before. Samsung did remove most of its own apps from the SGS6 (save for S-Health and S-Voice), but it also added some Microsoft apps.
Samsung came out guns ablazing with the Galaxy S6. With its aluminum frame and glass panels, the Galaxy S6 has a lot going for it. It is is elegant and tasteful, with specs and software to match. Past mistakes have been rectified and improved. And TouchWiz may finally be fast and (almost) bloat free.
Whether you believe me or not, this is what the industry needs. Someone has to at compete and make this a two man race. And it looks like Samsung responded to the call.