March 1, 2015

Samsung announces the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

The Galaxy S line had a few issues it had to address and the new S6 does take care of many of them. The S6 is a huge departure from previous Galaxy S devices, first off it uses glass and metal construction that finally makes it feel like it is worth the price tag. Secondly, it no longer has a removable back cover, removable battery, or expandable storage. The ugly dimpled plastic back that was found on the S5 has been replaced with a nice feeling glass back. This design choice does have some similarities to the iPhone 6, but it still looks different enough that you know it's a Samsung device.

As far as upgrades go, the S6 sports a Samsung Exynos octa-core processor (for international versions of the device with US versions not yet confirmed), 3GB of RAM, a selection of 16GB, 32GB, and 128GB of internal storage, as well as a 5.1 inch QHD Super AMOLED display. The fingerprint scanner on the home button has been replaced with a touch version similar to the iPhone's Touch ID instead of the annoying swipe version on the S5. It also has a 16MP rear facing camera with optical image stabilization, as well as a improve heart rate monitor that also helps with the white balance on the camera as well as checking your heart rate. The S6 also features Quick Charge and has built-in Qi and PMA wireless charging capabilities. The S6 Edge features the same specs except for a screen that is curved on both sides. With the new designs, the S6 and S6 Edge are no longer IP rated so they are not waterproof like its predecessor.

Both the S6 and the S6 Edge will ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop with a new version of TouchWiz which is slimmed down and carries less bloatware than previous iterations. Samsung claim that it will carry 40% fewer preinstalled applications than the TouchWiz in the S5.

It's easy to see that Samsung made the design a high priority for the S6, there are premium materials all around while some features that people loved in the past and have become iconically Samsung such as having a removable battery and microSD support have been left out.

The S6 has a rounded edge with a slight taper taking ideas from the Note 4. The camera protrudes from the back quite a lot. The Note 3 and 4 as well as the S5 have the same issue so it's nothing surprising. The S6 Edge features a curved display similar to the one found on the Note 4 Edge but the distinctive curve is now found on both edges of the screen. This makes the sides a bit thinner and the power and volume buttons are now pushed further towards the back of the device.

The camera also features optical improvements as well as the inclusion of optical image stabilization. A big problem that with previous Samsung cameras, the camera start time, has been addressed in the S6. It has been cut down to 0.7 seconds and can be opened by double tapping the home button.

Samsung has made great changes to the S6 compared to the rather lack luster S5 so it will be interesting to see how it performs. With profits going down in 2014, Samsung really needs something great to turn them around and the S6 might just do that for them.

Martin Tam is an editor and the Director of Video Production at [blank]’s Universe. He is also a technology enthusiast that particularly enjoys computers and photography. He enjoys breaking things and sleeping in his spare time.