For the first time, Samsung is launching two versions of the brand new Galaxy S6 generation. We had the chance to see the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge before the official presentation in Barcelona – and loved it.
Under the name “zero”, Samsung worked to perfect the “new flagship” project. From looking at the result, simply starting at zero was clearly a good strategy. The Galaxy’s Edge S6 and S6 are two truly impressive representatives of their craft.
The Galaxy S6 Edge in particular will make the hearts of design and technology fans beat faster: with the slight curve on both sides of the display, which extends over the edges of the case, it has a unique, almost organic shape and is stable and pleasant to hold. The front and back are equipped with Gorilla Glass 4 and are surrounded by a fine, rounded metal frame. Nevertheless, the S6 Edge weighs only 132 grams; the Galaxy S6 is a bit heavier at 138 grams.
The curved display area can be configured for both left- and right-handed users and – as with the Galaxy Note Edge – can be assigned special functions, such as the time and weather. You can also assign different colors to five contacts. If the S6 Edge is lying with the screen on the table, a caller can be identified by the flashing color of the screen frame.
Visually, the Galaxy S6 doesn’t live up to its big brother; despite having the same high-quality materials and perfect workmanship, it looks more like a “normal” smartphone. Its advantages: it provides a large visible display area – and will probably be cheaper.
The optical core of both innovative models is the 5.1-inch OLED screen. Thanks to its quad-HD resolution, the Galaxy S6 models will offer the finest displays on the market at 577 ppi at the time of launch. The presentation of the test devices was also simply spot-on with brilliant, intense colors – and the display is incredibly bright for an OLED model. Whether the immense promised radiance of 600 cd/m2 is actually reached must be shown in later tests. It seems obvious after the first sighting that this is possible at some times, but less with large-scale presentation. No matter – the displays are bright at any rate.
When it comes to technology, the duo are hardly distinguishable from each other with the exception of tiny differences in battery capacity, differently arranged slots for the nano SIM card and, of course, the curved display. Android 5.0.2 ran on both test devices, on a 64-bit Exynos platform with 3 GB LPDDR4 RAM. The processor type and speed, however, were not mentioned. LTE Cat 6, ac-WLAN with MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1 conform to the latest connectivity standard. Is also equipped with numerous sensors including an improved fingerprint variant, which worked very well in the first test. New earbud headphones and a powerful speaker that is now placed on the device underside will make for great sound.
However, there are also losses. The Galaxy S6 phones do not have a micro-SD slot. Instead, both models will offer the choice between 32, 64 and 128 GB of fast internal UFS 2.0 memory. The storage policy of Apple likely served as an example, since their iPhone-6 models offer just this – and have always done without a card slot. Also, the duo is not dustproof and waterproof as the S5 predecessor is – and the battery can no longer be exchanged by the user.
Very positive: the camera can be started at the blink of an eye by pressing the home button twice, has a resolution of 16 megapixels, features an optical image stabilizer and, thanks to an F1.9 aperture, is supposed to be more sensitive to light. There are also new features: thanks to “autofocus tracking”, the marked auto focus area is tracked when in motion, and time-lapse and slow motion videos allow more creativity during shooting. The area for the modes and the menu appears tidy and now also offers a Pro version, in which the user can adjust all camera functions by hand. Even the main menu of the Galaxy S6 models has been revised: it makes do with much fewer entries and pre-installed apps. Good thing, because the user will get along better from the beginning.
Not only are the devices excellent, but their prices are as well: the initial cost point for the Galaxy S6 with 32 GB is in the range of a Galaxy S5 at time of publication, i.e. at about 700 euros (including inductive charging station). If you go for the top Galaxy S6 Edge model with 128 GB, however, you will have to shell out a four-figure sum – the EIA is a whopping 1,048 euros. However, you don’t have to consult a fortuneteller to guess that the new S6 will sell like hot cakes – but also that the official launch prices are not set in stone.
If the serial models of the Galaxy S6 Edge and the Galaxy S6 deliver what the great first impression promises, then the competitors had better be ready – at least the Edge version marks a small smartphone revolution
Samsung also introduced accessories at the presentation of the Galaxy S6 models.