Samsung swings for the fences with the launch of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge
Very rarely does the launch of an Android phone spark as much interest and drive speculation as much as the launch of a new iPhone, Samsung however, is the exception.
Over the years, Samsung have become masters at creating hype and sparking conversations around the launch of a new flagship smartphone. Expectations are always high, speculation rife with “I hope it has…”
While the hype machine is always on the max setting, when the actual device gets announced, people tend to be…disappointed. With the Samsung Galaxy S5 the product did not measure up to consumer expectations. With the S6, there was a lot at stake for Samsung, with declining market share and sales below what they had expected, the launch of the Galaxy S6 would be a crucial moment for the South Korean company.
Samsung did not disappoint.
With leaks having sprung up all over the internet stating that Samsung would release not one, but two new flagship devices, the tech community was abuzz with speculation.
When the day finally arrived, it turned out that the rumours were indeed true.
On March 1st 2015, at the Samsung Unpacked event in Barcelona, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge were announced.
Sporting a glass front and back, with metal around the edge, the new flagship devices were a much needed departure from the plastic, much recycled design of previous Galaxy S smartphones.
Samsung had finally made a smartphone that was worthy of being a flagship.
At the launch of the Galaxy Note 4 in Cape Town in 2014, I said that Samsung’s latest phablet was a much needed improvement on the previous generation Note. The Note 4 was a device that showed the beginning of a new Samsung, one that showed restraint, attention to detail and most importantly, focus. The Note 4 made me cautiously excited about Samsung again and I’d hoped that they would continue on the path that had begun with the Galaxy Note 4.
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge not only refined the focus and attention to detail that was seen on the Note 4, they showed us that Samsung is capable of change (for the better) and that they are capable of beautiful design.
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge were built using the same materials and the same internals, however that is where the differences end. The physical differences are immediately apparent (hello dual curved display), but the Samsung DNA is the same.
The Galaxy S6 is essentially the vanilla version of the 2 new flagship devices. It features a glass front and back with a metal ring around the edge. It also sports a 5.1 inch, 577ppi, quad HD display; a 16MP OIS rear facing camera and a 5MP front facing camera (with HDR on both cameras). There is also an improved fingerprint sensor in the home button, wireless charging (FINALLY) and Samsung Pay (Samsung’s own answer to Apple Pay). The S6 also has a 2550mAh non-removable battery and weighs 138g.
The Galaxy S6 Edge is a far more exciting beast to behold. That dual curved display is guaranteed to spark some interest when you’re using the device (or when it’s just lying on the table minding its own business).
It too has a glass front and back, however, due to the dual curved display, there is far less metal to be found along the edge of the device. The S6 Edge has the same internal specs as the Galaxy 6, the only major differences being the dual curved screen as well as the weight (the S6 Edge weighs 132g) and it has a slightly bigger battery than the S6 (the S6 Edge has a 2600mAh non-removable battery).
Both devices come with either 32GB, 64GB or 128GB built in storage. Neither device has expandable memory (bye bye SD card) nor are they waterproof like their predecessor.
Both devices though, do come with an updated version of Samsung’s Fast Charge, with the company claiming that you can get up to 4hrs charge in 10 minutes and a complete charge in half the time it takes to charge the latest iPhone. And if you’re tired of having to choose between either a white or black (and sometimes gold) phone, both devices come in 4 different colours.
Samsung were smart with these devices, not only in the materials they used to build them, but also in showing some uncharacteristic restraint when it came to the software and UI.
The S6 will appeal to someone looking for an understated, refined smartphone, while the S6 Edge will appeal to the slightly more daring user, the person looking to standout in the crowd but still be able to handle any task thrown at them.
Which one would you choose?
In our opinion, these are easily the best looking devices that Samsung have ever made, and if the on-paper specs translate well to everyday performance, then the S6 and S6 Edge could very easily become our favourite Samsung devices. And in case you’re wondering, yes they do bear a striking resemblance to the iPhone 6 from certain angles, but we don’t see that as a bad thing. Apple is known for their design and attention to detail, and that’s something that Samsung’s devices have needed.
If this is the future of Samsung Mobile, then colour us intrigued.
Keep an eye on GoTrend for our hands on review and local launch information.
In the meantime, you can check out the full specs of both the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge below.
(We have reached out to Samsung South Africa’s PR team for information regarding pricing, network availability and cost. This article will be updated once we have that information.)
Galaxy S6 Edge
LTE Cat.6 (300/50Mbps)
5.1’’ Quad HD(2560×1440) 577ppi, Super AMOLED
5.1’’ Quad HD(2560×1440) 577ppi, Super AMOLED, Dual edge
Quick Launch, Tracking AF, Auto Real-time HDR(Front & Rear) , F1.9, Low Light Video(Front & Rear), High Clear Zoom, IR Detect White Balance, Virtual Shot, Slow Motion, Fast Motion, Pro Mode, Selective Focus
Ultra Power Saving ModeDownload BoosterS Health 4.0
Microsoft Apps(OneDrive 115GB for 2 years, OneNote)
S Finder, S Voice
Google Mobile Services
Chrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube
WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), HT80 MIMO(2×2) 620Mbps, Dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Mobile hotspot Bluetooth®: v4.1, A2DP, LE, apt-X, ANT+
USB: USB 2.0