REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S6 Smartphone

Category: Mobile

Samsung just unveiled the latest iterations of its high-end Galaxy smartphone, the S6 and the slightly more expensive S6 Edge. Let's take a look at the S6, how it differs from the Galaxy S5, and how it stacks up against the iPhone...

What's New in the Galaxy S6?

Samsung CEO J.K. Shin credits “relentless innovation” for the new S6 designs. Others might call it “unabashed imitation” of Apple’s iPhone. But to be fair, there are some interesting and unique features in Samsung newest flagship smartphone model.

The Galaxy S6, slated for availability in mid-April, now sports a metal unibody remarkably similar to the iPhone 6, although Samsung Group’s Younghee Lee claims his product “doesn’t bend,” a snarky allusion to unsubstantiated rumors that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus bent just from sitting in users’ pockets.

Samsung Galaxy S6

What is in both new Galaxy S6 phones is satisfying. They have 5.1-inch Gorilla Glass screens; the vertical sides of the S6 Edge curve towards the center of the phone to bring its edges within easier reach of smaller thumbs. The super AMOLED screens provide stunning color and graphics at 2560 x1440 resolutions with 577 pixels per inch. Both phones feature Samsung’s new 64-bit, 14-nanometer Exynos processors, and they’re available in five different colors: green emerald, black sapphire, blue topaz, gold platinum, and white pearl.

Another page stolen from Apple’s playbook is in the Galaxy’s 16 mega-pixel, 3456 x 4608 rear cameras and 5 mega-pixel front "selfie" camera. Just as you can access the iPhone 6’s camera while the phone is locked, you can wake up the new Galaxy phones’ cameras by double-tapping the home screen button. The phones also include a fingerprint scanner for security and a heart rate sensor for fitness buffs.

Wireless charging is another new feature on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Samsung claims that a Galaxy S6 can be fully recharged in half the time that an iPhone 6 requires.

You’ll know when your spouse is calling even if your new Galaxy is lying face-down on a desk or table. A contact can be assigned a color that will flash along the edge of the display when the contact calls or texts, even when the phone is in silent mode. The date and time can also be displayed on the narrow, wrap-around edge of the screen, so there's no need to turn the phone face-up at 3AM.

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Backward?

There are two new "features" in the new Galaxy smartphones that may not be welcomed by users. Gone from the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are microSD slots (for expanded or removable storage) and replaceable batteries. Some pundits think this is a huge step backwards, but I don't think it will bother most users. The Galaxy S6 can be configured with with 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of internal storage. The way I see it, if you need more than 32GB, move your photos, videos or music to cloud storage.

But there's a bigger issue, especially for those who are prone to dropping their phone in the bath tub. To make the Galaxy phones slimmer, Samsung also removed seals and gaskets that gave its predecessor (the Galaxy S5) a degree of water resistance. (The S5 could be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.) So plan to enjoy your S6 in water-free zones, and if you have an oopsie, refer to my article HELP! I Dropped My Phone in The…

“Samsung Pay” will also be in the Galaxy phones by summer, the company said. Samsung’s answer to the Apple Pay mobile payment platform will make use of Near Field Communications (NFC), which requires merchants to upgrade their equipment, and the Magnetic Secure Transactions (MST) technology of LoopPay, which was recently purchased by Samsung.

Pricing will not be revealed until the phones actually go on sale in mid-April. Mobile rumormongers are tossing around figures ranging between $200 and $300 for 32 GB models on two-year contracts to about $700 for no-contract (32 GB) unlocked phones.

The good news is that prices on used Galaxy S4 and S5 phones will drop dramatically. I typically stay one version behind the latest and greatest, just for that reason. Last month I got two S4's for $1 each, with contract. I expect similar pricing on the S5 models soon after the release of the S6.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S6 Smartphone"

Posted by:

MmeMoxie
05 Mar 2015

BOB, I am like you ... I prefer, to purchase a good, solid Smartphone, even though it may not be the latest and supposed, greatest.

I just got my grandson, a Galaxy S5 and he LOVES it! I have AT&T wireless service and I got the new Smartphone for nothing, I only had to pay for the sales tax. Now, this is the NEXT payment plan, where he will pay around $22 a month, for the next 24 months.

He takes excellent care, with his Smartphones, so, I do not worry. Plus, I got him an Otterbox, for added protection. I got me a LG Optimus G Pro, last year and it wasn't the latest from LG, either. My phone is working just fine and I love it.


Posted by:

Nigel
06 Mar 2015

I would certainly miss replaceable batteries.

My trusty Galaxy S2 is still working fine after 3 1/2 years, although the battery did need replacing 9 months ago. As I found battery life a little critical even when it was new, I replaced the battery with an extended one with almost twice the capacity.

The larger battery means that the phone requires a new back cover, which came with the battery, and it is a bit thicker, which was not a problem after a few days.

The extra battery life is wonderful, I wish the phone had come with a larger battery from the get go.

When I do have to replace the phone I shall probably go with the newest Galaxy phone with a replaceable battery and install a larger battery as soon as possible.


Posted by:

PeteGilles
06 Mar 2015

I bought my Note II 2 1/2 years ago because with its screen size and SD support, I didn't need a tablet, Also my original battery is showing signs of fatigue. Hence no SD support and non-replaceasble battery is a deal breaker for any future phone. I hope they don't carry that idea forward to the Note 5. UGH! In addition, not all carriers will carry all three levels of internal memory and you will pay a PREMIUM for that internal memory when buying from your carrier.


Posted by:

Kjay
06 Mar 2015

You could say they all borrow/steal from each other.
IPhone stole the bigger screen? Both borrowed the 'access camera from a locked phone' from Sony and the water resistant aspect?
I mean they all get inspiration from others.
Blackberry was the first smart phone after all.


Posted by:

Joe1
07 Mar 2015

I have a Galaxy note edge and I regularly fill up and shuffle my SD card files on and off the device because I watch videos and download radio programs as well as music playlists. No SD card , no removable battery= no interest in this product.


Posted by:

MmeMoxie
10 Mar 2015

Oh, I agree whole heartedly, with all who will NOT purchase a Smartphone without a Re-Movable Battery and NO SD expansion!!! I won't either.

That is my biggest reason, for never wanting an iPhone or really "i" anything!!! Why should I pay more for increased internal storage, when I can buy a Android Smartphone, for a cheaper price and simply add a Micro SD Card, which gives me flexibility??? Yes, with an Android Smartphone, that does NOT have an SD slot, you will pay a lot more, for increased internal storage.

Bottom line, I want flexibility when I purchase or look for a new Smartphone. This is also, becoming more difficult, since, the phone manufacturers want to duplicate the iPhone.


Posted by:

JCntry
23 Sep 2015

I went from a Jitterbug Plus phone to the Samsung Galaxy S6. Quite a leap for this senior. I love the phone most of the time. I did accidently delete all my contacts and was told I could not get them back no way, no how. So I spent hours re-entering all of the data. I love the camera which has taken the place of my REAL around the neck camera. Phone takes better videos too. I am still learning about aps, etc and I do have a leased phone from Sprint. All in all I am happy with the phone but look where I came from.....a Jitterbug!


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