The year 2014 is coming to a close, and so we find ourselves turning towards the new year as we await the next generation of Android flagships. One of the first major devices to hit in 2015 will likely be the Samsung Galaxy S6, given that the Galaxy S5 launched in February of this year and the Galaxy S4 launched in March of 2013.
We more than likely have at least a few months left before the Galaxy S6 surfaces, though at least one rumor suggests it could debut at CES — though we’d say that the likelihood of this is next to nothing. As it’s early days, we still know very little about the GS6, but rumors are starting to surface in greater number and we imagine that they will only increase in frequency in the weeks and months to come.
With that in mind, we have gathered up all the best-known current rumors relating to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and will continually update this post as we hear more. Keep in mind that these are rumors and thus we wouldn’t take this post too seriously until we get a bit closer to the arrival of the GS6. In other words, read this post only if you enjoy speculating as much as we do!
In the past Samsung has promised on more than one occasion that it would go back to the drawing board with its next Galaxy phone, and each time we’ve ended up with a phone that largely sticks to the same ole’ Samsung formula with minor tweaks (leather stitching, dimpled backs, etc).
For the Galaxy S6, Samsung is again promising its biggest changes to the brand yet. But this time, there’s actually some evidence that they may be more than just talking big. More than one rumor floating around claims that the GS6 will have a metallic body, perhaps a full unibody design.
We’d imagine we’ll see a metal framed Galaxy S6 at the very least, though it’s certainly possible a fully metallic design could be in the works.
How believable is this though? Actually, it could happen. Samsung has been actively experimenting with full-metal designs on some of its lower and mid-range devices and even the Note 4 had a metallic frame. The problem here is that we’ve also heard reports that Samsung has had QA issues with the production of unibody cases, which makes us question whether or not Samsung could really pull off a full unibody case for one of its core flagship devices. We’d imagine we’ll see a metal framed Galaxy S6 at the very least, though it’s certainly possible a fully metallic design could be in the works.
Beyond the use of new material, there’s at least one report claiming that Samsung will introduce vibrant colors to its metallic GS6, such as the yellow hue seen above. It’s hard to say how accurate this particular claim is, though it’s at least possible.
Another rumored change to the Galaxy S6 is that it could feature a design with a dual Edge-like display. While some publications suggest this rumor has no real basis, others claim that the phone will not only feature dual edges that are less dramatic in angle and easier to grip than the Galaxy Note Edge — but that this design will apply to all Galaxy S6 devices and will not be a special variant.
Completely countering that last claim, one of the most recent rumors from Phone Arena suggests that the Galaxy S6 will ship in a dual-edge metallic model with higher end specs and a lower-end-spec’d all-metal version.
GS6 will allegedly offer a curved edges that are much more subtle than what’s found on the Note Edge.
So how likely is the idea of a dual-edge display? Given the existence of the Galaxy Note Edge, we’d say it’s possible that such a variant could exist. As for the Galaxy S6 featuring an edge display by default and not as a special variant? We find it hard to believe that Samsung would be able to produce that many curved displays without running into serious production issues, though it’s possible Samsung has made big changes to help prevent this from being an issue in 2015.
Regardless of what alterations Samsung makes to build material, colors and display, right now the rumor mill suggests that Samsung won’t be changing much when it comes to the front layout. This means we’ll likely see the return of Samsung’s physical key layout, though we can’t say we are particularly surprised by this.
Just for kicks, here’s a concept video showing off what one fan envisions for the future of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge:
We still don’t know much about the display for the Galaxy S6, but at least one rumor claims that the ‘standard’ Samsung Galaxy S5 will have a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display, and will not make the jump to QHD. That means this display won’t be nearly as impressive as what’s found on the Note 4, but it should still provide a more than “good enough” viewing experience.
Think that’s too big for a non-phablet flagship or angry about the lack of QHD? The same rumor claims that the Note Edge-like Galaxy S6 will offer a 5.3-inch QHD AMOLED display — though that model will have dual-edges which may either be a turn on or turn off, depending on your personal taste.
GALAXY S6 SPECS
We’re still not sure what to believe when it comes to specs for the Galaxy S6, either. While it seems likely that Samsung would push the latest processor package available, especially in light of the announcement of Note 4 variant with a Snapdragon 810, we hear that the ‘basic’ Galaxy S6 configuration may only feature a Snapdragon 801.
While this processor is probably more than enough if the GS6 is really offering just a 1080p display, we have a feeling consumers would be let down, considering that means there’d be really no speed/performance differences between the GS5 and GS6 other than maybe RAM. The Galaxy S6 Edge-like model, on the other hand, is said to offer a Snapdragon 810 with 4GB RAM. There’s even whispers that Samsung could pack in an Iris scanner, something Samsung has been talking about since long before even the Galaxy Note 4’s arrival.
So how likely is it that Samsung would really only push a Snapdragon 801 this time around for its “base” model? It’s possible, but we don’t think it’d be a smart move. Thankfully, the PA report that’s claiming there will be a Edge and standard GS6 with greatly varying specs is the only rumor we’ve heard that suggests Samsung won’t offer the Snapdragon 810 by default for the Galaxy S6.
Regardless of what processing package Samsung chooses for the GS6, you can expect that it will pile on as many extras as it can: fingerprint readers, HRM, NFC and so forth — at least judging by their past actions.
A sample image taken with the Note 4.
We haven’t heard much about the Galaxy S6’s camera as of late, though back in November it was suggested that the phone wouldn’t see Samsung’s ISOCELL technology and would instead offer the IMX240 sensor (like the Note 4) at either 16 or 20MB, with the likely inclusion of OIS technology. At the time, it was also said that we would see a 5MP front camera.
There hasn’t really been any rumors yet that specifically relate to the Galaxy S6’s software or how TouchWiz might evolve in the latest iteration of the Galaxy line. That said, we can expect Android 5.0.x Lollipop with plenty of special Samsung features thrown on top.
The Galaxy S5 saw a back to basics approach that didn’t pack on as many features as the past iterations of TouchWiz, but it was still arguably bloated with tons of extras. We doubt this situation will change much with the GS6, but fans of TouchWiz probably won’t be too upset by that.
Unless falling sales force Samsung’s hand, it’s likely we won’t see the Galaxy S6 until sometime around the Mobile World Congress timeframe — whether that’s a few weeks before, after or right during that window. We already mentioned that some whispers of a CES unveil have been reported, though we wouldn’t pay them much mind. Of course, we could be wrong.
As you can tell, there’s a lot of uncertainty about the Samsung Galaxy S6 right now. Will it have a QHD display on all models? What size will it be? Snapdragon 801 on a base version, or Snapdragon 810 all around? Regardless, a few consistencies between all rumors we have heard include the push towards a metal design and a “change in vision” from past Galaxy S handsets. This hopefully means the end of dimpled backs and faux leather, and the push towards something newer and exciting. Only time will tell for sure.
What do you hope to see from the Samsung Galaxy S6? Let us know in the comments. Also be sure to participate in our poll!