Following on the heels of HTC’s announcement, Samsung has now taken the veil off the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. While the Galaxy S5 promised a new look and feel from Galaxy devices past, the GS6 finally pushes that vision forward, trading in the plastic-is-fantastic approach for a premium design that melds an aluminum frame with a glass back.
Samsung’s material choices have received a much needed refresh, but much of the Korean giant’s iconic design language still bleeds through, for better or worse depending on your tastes. The Samsung standard home button is still present and accounted for and, despite its more premium upgrade, there’s still no mistaking the phone for anything other than a Galaxy. Whether the Galaxy S6’s redesign is a big enough jump forward is open to interpretation, though it certainly seems to be a step above its plastic clad, dimpled back predecessor.
Of course, for every step forward there are a few points of sacrifice to be made. The new design ditches the removable battery that has long been a staple of the Galaxy brand, following in the footstep of devices like the Galaxy Alpha. Another potential point of contention is the lack of a microSD slot.
Turning to the Galaxy S6 Edge, you’ll find largely the same design as its brother, meaning the same metal and glass body. The non-removable battery and lack of microSD also carry over to the Edge model. Unlike the Note Edge, the curves here are more about aesthetics than adding extra functionality, but that’s not to say the GS6 Edge doesn’t offer anything new. There are two main features that the dual curves bring. First is People Edge – you can assign colors for up to five contacts, and when you put the phone face down, you can know who is calling because you see the colors from the right edge. The other special feature is the ability to show notifications and bits of info on the edge, giving users a quick way to see texts, calls and more, without the need to open the case.
5.1-inch Super AMOLED
2560 x 1440 resolution, 577 ppi
16 MP rear camera with OIS
5 MP front-facing camera with 90 degree wide angle lens
Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS + GLONASS
LTE cat 6 300/50
WPC and PMA-compatible wireless charging
Android 5.0 Lollipop
143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
Black, white, gold, blue
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge also share the same specs, aside from dimensions and battery size. Both phones are powered by a 14-nm Exynos 7420 processor with 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM. You’ll also find a 5.1-inch QHD AMOLED display within both devices, though the GS6 Edge display is slightly different thanks to the dual-edge design. Some of the other specs include a 16MP rear shooter with OIS, a 5MP front cam and storage options ranging from 32GB to 128GB (UFS), with 100GB of OneDrive storage thrown in for two years. The GS6 has a 2550 mAh battery, whereas the Edge model is marginally larger at 2,600 mAh.
You may have noticed the battery is slightly smaller than the last-gen Galaxy S, though Samsung does introduce some interesting changes that should improve the charging experience a little. First, there’s wireless charging compatible with both the WPC and PMA standards. Second, the phone now offers fast charging tech that can give you a charge good enough for two hours of video playback in just 10 minutes, and can fully charge the phone in about 80 minutes.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 not only promised a revamped design, but we were lead to believe that there would be some changes heading to Touchwiz as well. While the software looks nearly identical to older TouchWiz builds at first glance, it is important to note that Samsung has scaled back the number of apps included this time around. Overall, the UI is true to the spirit of Samsung’s Touchwiz, but much of the bloat has been scaled back and should hopefully adequate to smoother performance and more out-of-box storage space. There’s also the edition of themes, which should allow users to mix things up a bit (as seen in image directly below).
There’s also a few new handy camera features like a new auto HDR mode, tracking autofocus that tracks moving objects like kids in a shot, and a new double tap the home button feature that launches up the camera in 0.7 seconds. Of course for a really good look at what to expect, you’ll want to check out our hands-on look at the Galaxy S6.
Few details on pricing or exact release timeframes have been unveiled just yet. Of course, the phone was just announced, and so it should only be a short matter of time before the first details surface. We’ll be sure to update the post as soon as we learn more.
Be sure to check out our other great Samsung Galaxy S6 coverage for an even better look at what to expect: