Following numerous leaks and countless teasers, Samsung has formally introduced the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones. The pair of S6 telephones succeed the Galaxy S5, Samsung’s prior flagship introduced one 12 months in the past, and might be accessible internationally beginning on April tenth. All 4 main US carriers plus US Cellular have dedicated to carrying each the S6 and the S6 Edge, whereas smaller carriers reminiscent of Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and MetroPCS will solely supply the S6. The Galaxy S6 Edge can be priced increased than the usual S6, although Samsung isn’t saying precisely how a lot both one shall be at this level.
The S5 was largely thought-about a misstep by Samsung: its superior show and plentiful options had been overshadowed by its plasticky construct and ho-hum design, and in the course of the course of 2014, Samsung’s smartphone earnings fell dramatically consequently. Clearly Samsung doesn’t desire a repeat of the Galaxy S5 and 2014.
So contemplate the S6 telephones full reboots of Samsung’s high-finish Galaxy, a again to the drafting board method that has resulted in probably the most visually beautiful units Samsung has ever produced. Where the 2014 S5 regarded virtually similar to 2013’s S4, the S6 and S6 Edge have all-new designs that feel and appear considerably completely different than the older Galaxy gadgets.
Samsung is actually splitting its flagship mannequin into two distinct, however very related designs. The Galaxy S6 has a flat show, steel body, and glass back and front panels. Its counterpart, the S6 Edge, has the entire above, however throws in a curve to the perimeters of its entrance and rear glass, giving it a particular character. The curved glass is just like the curved show and glass Samsung utilized on the Note Edge, nevertheless it’s not as aggressive and is discovered on either side of the telephone as an alternative of simply the best. Needless to say, the S6 Edge is the much more fascinating feeling and looking telephone of the pair.
Both of the new telephones are made solely of metallic and glass: the tacky and low-cost-feeling plastics which have dominated Samsung’s merchandise for years are not any the place to be discovered. This change can’t be overstated: Samsung lastly has made flagship merchandise that appear and feel like they’re well worth the premium price ticket they command. The flat S6 will likely be accessible in white black, gold, and blue, whereas the S6 Edge will be hand in white, black, gold, and inexperienced.
Samsung’s lead designer on the venture says the corporate spared no expense when it got here to supplies that they might use within the new telephones. The entrance and rear glass panels are Gorilla Glass F, and the steel body is considerably nicer than the plastic used on Samsung’s prior telephones (and even the steel body used within the Note A and others launched late final 12 months). With Samsung competing within the excessive-finish market in opposition to Apple and HTC, each of which use premium supplies of their units, it’s vital that Samsung reveals it may well dangle. For essentially the most half, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge do.
Samsung didn’t simply give attention to design for the brand new telephones both. In typical Samsung vogue, the Galaxy S6 telephones are full of the newest know-how: an octacore Samsung Exynos processor (for the worldwide model, Samsung wouldn’t affirm what processor the US fashions will use); H.M-inch QHD Super AMOLED shows; 3GB of RAM; 32, sixty four, or 128GB of inside storage; sixteen-megapixel cameras with optical picture stabilization; a brand new fingerprint sensor within the residence button that not requires a swipe; an infrared coronary heart-price monitor that Samsung says additionally helps the digital camera get hold of correct white stability; built-in help for each Qi and PMA wi-fi charging; quick USB charging that’s S.H occasions quicker than the Galaxy S5; a speaker that’s M.H occasions louder than the S5’s; and built-in help for Samsung Pay, which makes use of both NFC or MFT (LoopPay) expertise for transactions.
MICROSD SLOTS, REMOVABLE BATTERIES, AND WATERPROOFING WERE SHOWN THE DOOR
however whereas Samsung actually improved upon the Galaxy S5’s design in dramatic methods and upgraded the cellphone’s expertise on the similar time with the S6, it didn’t come with out value. Hallmarks of Samsung’s telephones, similar to detachable batteries, microSD card slots, and waterproofing are nowhere to be discovered on the S6 or S6 Edge. That will possible upset some die-arduous customers and Samsung loyalists that relied on these options, but it surely’s clear that Samsung prioritized the telephone’s design and its feel and look over issues that enchantment to a smaller phase of its buyer base. Samsung additionally trimmed again the software program options, claiming that there are forty p.c fewer options within the Galaxy S6 than the S5. Overall, the software program feels largely the identical as earlier than, nonetheless. (It’s based mostly on Android H.zero Lollipop.)
It’s straightforward to see the place Samsung took its inspiration for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge: the design is strikingly just like the iPhone S in lots of locations, and the options that Samsung did focus its efforts on are all issues the iPhone has had for years. Look on the S6 from sure angles and also you’d instantly assume it’s an iPhone. Put your thumb on the house key and the cellphone unlocks nearly immediately, similar to an iPhone. Even the digicam mount protrudes out from the rear of the telephone, stopping the S6 from mendacity flat on a desk, identical to an iPhone S. (The flat S6 appears to be like just like the lovechild of an iPhone A and an iPhone S, whereas the S6 Edge is a bit more distinctive.) Samsung has be recognized to repeat Apple’s design earlier than, which led to report gross sales and report-breaking lawsuits. It’s laborious to say if the Galaxy S6 will result in any lawsuits, however the similarities between it and the iPhone S are plain.
SIMILARITIES TO THE IPHONE S ARE UNDENIABLE
Of the 2, I’m significantly drawn to the S6 Edge. While the usual S6 has a really generic design that would have come from any variety of cellphone makers out of China, the Edge’s curved sides look cool and make it simpler to swipe throughout the display screen. The curves aren’t overly dramatic and the symmetrical design is much better than the Note Edge’s aspect panel. Also in contrast to the Note Edge, Samsung isn’t actually utilizing the curved sides to show particular data. It nonetheless has the bedside clock function (activated by swiping backwards and forwards on the curved a part of the display screen), however the information tickers, app launcher, and notifications panel are gone.
Design concerns and copycat accusations apart, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are certain to be nice telephones in their very own rights. Samsung made them 2mm narrower than the S5, which doesn’t sound like a lot however does wonders for one-handed maneuverability. In my temporary time with the 2 telephones, efficiency was fast and snappy and it was straightforward to entry all the cellphone’s options with simply my thumb, one thing I haven‘t been capable of say for Samsung’s earlier gadgets.
Perhaps most spectacular is the brand new digicam. Samsung says it has listened to criticisms levied towards its previous cameras and has improved the S6’s digicam to handle them. It’s exceptionally fast, will be launched from anyplace with a simple double-faucet on the house key (Samsung says it begins up in zero.S seconds, and I haven’t any motive to dispute that declare), and takes sharp, properly-uncovered images. It additionally has automating focus monitoring for transferring topics, a primary for a cell machine. And Samsung claims that the infrared sensor on the again of the cellphone used to measure your coronary heart fee also can pulls double responsibility to enhance white stability high quality when taking pictures. I have a sense it can see way more utilization helping the digicam than it is going to measuring coronary heart charges when the S6 hits shops. Most of these claims will want additional scrutiny as soon as we’ve got a evaluate unit of the Galaxy S6 to check, however my first impressions with the digicam are actually good.
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge each assist Samsung’s new cellular funds program, referred to as Samsung Pay. It makes use of know-how Samsung acquired by its LoopPay purchaseto allow you to make purchases at any retailer that has a regular bank card swiper. It additionally works with NFC faucet-to-pay programs and is authenticated with the fingerprint sensor within the cellphone’s residence button. Between the 2 techniques, Samsung says it is going to be accepted at ninety % of shops. Samsung Pay will work with each MasterCard and Visa, in addition to American Express, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and D.R. Bank. It’s very clearly Samsung’s reply to Apple Pay, however it gained’t be obtainable till later this summer time, a couple of months after the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge hit retailer cabinets.
Samsung can also be saying a model of the Gear VR that may work with each the S6 and S6 Edge. It’s 15-% smaller than the Gear VR for the Note A, and it has enhancements equivalent to USB charging. Samsung continues to be calling it an “Innovator Edition”, which implies it’s not likely designed for use by on a regular basis shoppers. (Presumably, customers will nonetheless be capable to purchase it fairly simply, nevertheless, similar to the Gear VR for the Note A.) I wasn’t in a position to take a look at the S6’s Gear VR, so we’ll have to attend and see if it’s an enchancment over the older mannequin.
THE S6 AND S6 EDGE ARE DRASTIC IMPROVEMENTS OVER THE S5, BUT TIME WILL TELL IF THEY ARE ENOUGH
With gross sales falling and earnings happening together with them, Samsung wanted to do one thing a lot greater and higher this 12 months than it did with the S5 final 12 months. For most intents and functions, the S6 and S6 Edge are simply that: they’re dramatically nicer and higher telephones than Samsung has ever produced. But it’s exhausting to not say that that is the cellphone the S5 ought to have been a yr in the past, and Samsung continues to be going to be taking part in meet up with Apple. The S6 and S6 Edge are definitely nice telephones, with stable efficiency and eventually a design that Samsung will be happy with. Whether or not that’s sufficient to place Samsung again on high stays to be seen.