Take a look at Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge
Following countless leaks and endless rumors, yesterday Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones. The pair of S6 phones succeed the Galaxy S5, Samsung’s prior flagship announced one year ago, and will be available across the world starting on April 10th. The Galaxy S6 Edge will be priced higher than the standard S6, though Samsung isn’t saying exactly how much either one will be at this point.
“Industry experts are saying today that Samsung have finally made a smartphone worthy of its high price tag”
The S5 was largely considered a misstep by Samsung: its advanced display and plentiful features were overshadowed by its plasticky build and ho-hum design, and during the course of 2014, Samsung’s smartphone profits fell dramatically as a result. Clearly Samsung does not want a repeat of the Galaxy S5 and 2014.
So consider the S6 phones complete reboots of Samsung’s top-end Galaxy, a back to the drawing board approach that has resulted in the most visually stunning devices Samsung has ever produced. Where the 2014 S5 looked almost identical to 2013’s S4, the S6 and S6 Edge have all-new designs that look and feel significantly different than the older Galaxy devices.
Samsung is essentially splitting its flagship model into two distinct, but very similar designs. The Galaxy S6 has a flat display, metal frame, and glass front and back panels. Its counterpart, the S6 Edge, has all of the above, but throws in a curve to the sides of its front and rear glass, giving it a distinctive character. The curved glass is similar to the curved display and glass Samsung utilized on the Note Edge, but it’s not as aggressive and is found on both sides of the phone instead of just the right. Needless to say, the S6 Edge is the far more interesting looking and feeling phone of the pair.
Both of the new phones are made entirely of metal and glass: the cheesy and cheap-feeling plastics that have dominated Samsung’s products for years are no where to be found. This change can’t be overstated: Samsung finally has made flagship products that look and feel like they are worth the premium price tag they command. The flat S6 will be available in white black, gold, and blue, while the S6 Edge can be hand in white, black, gold, and green.
Samsung’s lead designer on the project says the company spared no expense when it came to materials that they could use in the new phones. The front and rear glass panels are Gorilla Glass 4, and the metal frame is significantly nicer than the plastic used on Samsung’s prior phones (and even the metal frame used in the Note 4 and others released late last year). With Samsung competing in the high-end market against Apple and HTC, both of which use premium materials in their devices, it’s important that Samsung shows it can hang. For the most part, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge do.
Samsung didn’t just focus on design for the new phones either. In typical Samsung fashion, the Galaxy S6 phones are packed with the latest technology: an octacore Samsung Exynos processor (for the international version, Samsung would not confirm what processor the US models will use); 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED displays; 3GB of RAM; 32, 64, or 128GB of internal storage; 16-megapixel cameras with optical image stabilization; a new fingerprint sensor in the home button that no longer requires a swipe; an infrared heart-rate monitor that Samsung says also helps the camera obtain accurate white balance; integrated support for both Qi and PMA wireless charging; fast USB charging that’s 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5; a speaker that’s 1.5 times louder than the S5’s; and integrated support for Samsung Pay, which uses either NFC or MFT (LoopPay) technology for transactions.
But while Samsung certainly improved upon the Galaxy S5’s design in dramatic ways and upgraded the phone’s technology at the same time with the S6, it didn’t come without cost. Hallmarks of Samsung’s phones, such as removable batteries, microSD card slots, and waterproofing are nowhere to be found on the S6 or S6 Edge. That will likely upset some die-hard users and Samsung loyalists that relied on those features, but it’s clear that Samsung prioritized the phone’s design and its look and feel over things that appeal to a smaller segment of its customer base. Samsung also trimmed back the software features, claiming that there are 40 percent fewer features in the Galaxy S6 than the S5. Overall, the software feels largely the same as before, however. (It’s based on Android 5.0 Lollipop.)
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