“You got an iPhone?!” said a friend of mine rather incredulously.
After a look that could wither crops, “No, it’s the new Samsung Galaxy S6” I respond.
With the Galaxy S6, Samsung finally pulls off a device that looks as premium as is befitting a flagship from one of the world’s leading Android handset makers.
Does it bear a striking resemblance to the iPhone 6? Yes
Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily.
Design has always been an issue that Samsung Mobile has struggled with and for the past few years, it (and battery life) has been the most lamented issue amongst Android and specifically, Samsung, owners.
Featuring a octacore processor, the S6 is a powerful device capable of handling pretty much anything you throw at it, proving that you can have beauty and brawn.
The S6 and S6 Edge feature glass on both the front and back of the device and a metal rim along the edge.
It features a 5.1-inch Quad HD (2560×1440) display (with a dual curved edge on the S6 Edge) as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker grille and micro-USB port at the bottom end of the device.
You’ll find the volume rockers on the left hand side with the power on and SIM card tray on right hand side as well as an IR blaster at the top end.
What’s missing? A removable back and SD card slot.
In focusing on design, Samsung has sacrificed expandable memory and the option to swop out your battery in order to give you a super svelte smartphone.
While it is indeed beautiful to look at, the device is also the most slippery one I’ve ever used from Samsung. Within 10 minutes of opening and setting up the S6, I’d dropped the phone 3 times (thank goodness for carpet).
Samsung has opted to keep the physical home button on this device and they’ve dramatically improved the built-in fingerprint scanner. No more swiping your finger across the button, now a light press will do the trick.
As expected, the Galaxy S6 runs Android Lollipop right out the box with Samsung’s own Touchwiz skin on top.
Traditionally Samsung has been known to pile in unnecessary bloatware and too many overly colourful useless icons, animations and apps. With the S6, Touchwiz has been slimmed down. While still familiar to users of other Samsung Android devices, this iteration of Touchwiz has toned down on the unnecessary and even allows you the option of uninstalling pre-installed apps.
One of the highlights of Samsung’s latest flagship is the camera. Both the S6 and S6 Edge feature a 16MP OIS rear facing camera and a 5MP front facing camera.
When the South Korean company said that the camera on the S6 has quick launch I was skeptical, but boy was I wrong. A simple double tap on the physical home button launches the camera so quickly that I wasn’t even able to count to 2 before the camera was ready to take some pretty impressive snaps.
I was fortunate enough to be able to test out the camera on the Galaxy S6 in Samsung’s home country of South Korea.
Here are some of the images I was able to capture on the S6 (taken in Cape Town and Seoul, South Korea):
While the 2550mAh battery in the S6 is small compared to most flagship Android devices, I was able to go an entire day on a single charge.
If your battery needs a quick power top up, you’ll be happy to know that both the S6 and S6 Edge feature Fast Charge and have wireless charging capabilities.
Overall, the S6 is the best phone that Samsung has ever made, albeit it with a few sacrifices.
What I really miss though is the option for expandable memory. Unfortunately not everyone has the necessary capabilities to upload everything to the cloud. Data costs are still high in South Africa and networks don’t always have the best connectivity.
The S6 and S6 Edge were designed with the fashion conscious in mind. These are smartphones designed to stand out, so if that’s you, then this is definitely a phone to consider.
Style comes at a cost though and Samsung has priced their devices firmly in the same bracket as the Apple iPhone.
Would I get the S6? Yes. It has beautiful design, a great camera, good battery life and better than average sound (especially on the included in-ear earphones).
Galaxy S6 specs
Network :LTE Cat.6 (300/50Mbps)
Display : 5.1’’ Quad HD(2560×1440) 577ppi, Super AMOLED: ·
AP :Quad 2.1GHz + Quad 1.5Ghz, Octacore application processor
OS :Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
Camera :16MP OIS(rear), 5MP (front)
Video :MP4,M4V,3GP,3G2,WMV,ASF,AVI,FLV,MKV,WEBM, VP9
Camera Features :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
Additional Features :Ultra Power Saving Mode Download Booster S Health 4.0 Samsung Pay Smart Manager Microsoft Apps(OneDrive 115GB for 2 years, OneNote) Sound Alive+ Themes Quick Connect Private Mode 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
Connectivity :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