Samsung announces the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge

Samsung today announced the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Creating a new standard for design, craftsmanship and performance, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge seamlessly blend premium materials with the most advanced Samsung technology to offer consumers an unmatched mobile experience.

“With the all new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung is offering what’s next in mobility, along with a new standard to drive the global mobile agenda,” said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics.

“By listening to our customers, and learning from both our success and missteps, we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas. With a reimagined design, robust partner network and novel services, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge offer users the ultimate experience in smartphone options.”

Samsung revealed two handsets that have certainly set high benchmarks for snazziness. In a typically large-scale launch event, the Korean giant revealed the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 edge.

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The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are equipped with an incredibly vivid, bright and fast front and rear camera. The F1.9 lenses and high resolution sensors on both front (5MP) and rear (16MP) cameras provide the most superior image quality in a smartphone, even in the dark. In addition, Auto Real-time High Dynamic Range (HDR), Smart Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and IR Detect White Balance provide advanced light sensitivities and crisp camera solutions. Furthermore, a new “Quick Launch” feature give users fast, direct access to the camera from any screen in just 0.7 seconds* by simply double clicking the home key button. These advanced camera functions enableusers to capture their most precious and personal moments in uncompromising quality, however and wherever they want.

The S6 pair don’t have plastic backs but rumours of an all-metal back were wrong. True, the S6 and S6 edge both have metal frames instead of the metallic-looking plastic of many previous phones. But the rear is Gorilla Glass 4, like the front of the phone, so it should resist damage.

But the reason for glass on the back is that the S6 and S6 edge have wireless charging and a metal back, obviously, isn’t compatible with that. So you no longer need to plug the phone in, just rest it on a compatible charging pad and you’re away. This may not sound like much but it’s one of those added conveniences that quickly become second nature and you miss it when it’s not there.

As for compatibility, Samsung has boasted that it works with two different wireless charging standards, so you can get used to this feature in more places.

Those toughened, wireless-compatible backs look fantastic, too. Both the S6 and S6 edge come in four colours each, though not quite the same colour. Each has a shimmery, high-end gleam to it that is pretty eye-catching on its own. It also feels great in the hand.

Both phones also have extremely high-end displays, so when you turn the phone on it looks even more striking. At 577 pixels per inch, the 5.1-inch display is the highest-resolution of any smartphone.

With that many pixels you need a powerful processor to mind them all and Samsung has included an exceptional one. It’s the company’s own – not from chip-maker Qualcomm this time – and is the first “14 nanometre technology mobile processor”. In English, Samsung explains, it’s 50 per cent faster than the S5 but uses 30 per cent less power.

The new phones pack in most of the features of the Galaxy S5, such as a dedicated heart rate monitor on the back and an infra-red blaster so you can use your phone as a sophisticated TV remote.

And some functions have been upgraded – last year’s fingerprint scanner to keep the phone locked was a swipe-action model. This time it’s a touch-to-unlock procedure.

Samsung Galaxy S6

Still, some things are missing. The S5 was pretty much waterproof, but this one isn’t. And there’s no expandable memory in the S6 phones, nor a removable battery. The phones come with 3GB of RAM and a choice of memory capacities: 32GB, 64GB and 128GB.

The camera is a 16-megapixel model, with a five-megapixel front camera for top-notch selfies. Samsung claims that it’s very fast to launch, just 0.7 seconds from the moment that you double-press the home button (there’s no dedicated camera button here).

There’s also tracking auto focus so that once you’ve decided who your subject is, the camera will stay focused on it even if they move. Both front and back cameras have wide-open apertures (f/1.9) so that more light streams in, making lower-light situations more photogenic.

It certainly feels fast and responsive, and the menus have been simplified so that they don’t clutter the screen. That doesn’t mean advanced features have been ditched, just that they’re put in a Pro mode – most people will find the initial ones enough.

These simpler menus are part of a recognition that many felt Samsung’s TouchWiz interface was too complex. Apps have been simplified and slimmed down – a Smart Manager shows you how much battery life you’ll get back if you switch off background-running apps, for example.

Power consumption has been a big focus for the new phones, and the batteries are fast-charging, too. Ten minutes of charging, Samsung says, yields enough power to watch a two-hour HD-quality movie on the phone.

These are easily the most attractive, premium-feel phones Samsung has made. Many features (onboard RAM, camera pixel count, entry-level storage capacity and screen resolution) now outstrip the iPhone comfortably.

Galaxy S6 edge

The S6 edge is so named because instead of a flat screen, it tapers off, sloping downwards on the long sides of the phone. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, revealed last year, only had a slope on the right. This one is perfectly symmetrical and stands out from every other phone on the market however briefly you look at it.

The back, like the screen is made of Gorilla Glass 4, like the S6. But the S6 edge comes in different, though equally attractive, shimmery colours. The colours common to both are White Pearl, Black Sapphire and Gold Platinum. The S6 also has Blue Topaz.

Like on the Note Edge, the slivers of screen work independently, even when the main screen is blank. This is handy if you use the phone as a bedside clock but don’t want to be blinded at night. There are plenty of other uses, mostly to do with notifications. On last year’s sloping screen the Note Edge, there was even a ruler. This was fantastic as it meant the centimetres or inches side was much closer to what you were measuring than on a regular phone.

Other features have been upgraded for the S6 edge. Now there’s a feature called People Edge. If you’re in a meeting, say, but you’re waiting for an important call from you boss, you’ll know even if the phone is face down. That’s because the edge will glow with a pre-assigned colour for each of your top five contacts.

You can choose which edge will show this information, according to how you use your handset.

On its own, a notification system like People Edge may not seem enough reason to buy the edge. But the truth is that you’ll buy it for the way it looks. The S6 is pretty attractive and a big step up from the S5. But it’s the S6 edge that will set the pulse racing.


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Operating System Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with TouchWiz
Display S6: 5.1-inch QHD (2560×1440) 577ppi Super AMOLED
S6 edge: 5.1-inch QHD (2560×1440) 577ppi Super AMOLED with dual curved edges
Processor Octa-core 4×2.1GHz + 4×1.5GHz 64-bit 14nm Samsung Exynos processor
Storage 32GB, 64GB, 128GB (non-expandable)
Rear Camera 16MP, OIS, Æ’/1.9, auto real-time HDR, low-light video, high clear zoom, IR detect white balance, virtual shot, slow motion, fast motion, pro mode, selective focus
Front Camera 5MP, Æ’/1.9, auto real-time HDR, low-light video
Network LTE Category 6 (300/50Mbps)
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), HT80 MIMO(2×2), 620Mbps, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Mobile hotspot
Bluetooth 4.1 LE, A2DP, atp-X, ANT+
GPS, GLONASS, NFC, IR remote, USB 2.0
Sensors Accelerometer, ambient light, barometer, compass, fingerprint, gyroscope, hall, heart rate monitor, HRM, proximity
Charging USB 2.0, PowerMat wireless (WPC 1.1, 4.6W output), Qi wireless (PMA 1.0, 4.2W output)
Battery S6: 2550mAh (non-removable)
S6 edge: 2600mAh (non-removable)
Dimensions S6: 143.4mm x 70.5mm x 6.8mm / 5.65-inches x 2.78-inches x 0.27-inches
S6 Edge: 142.1mm x 70.1mm x 7.0mm / 5.59-inches x 2.76-inches x 0.28-inches
Weight S6:: 138g / 4.87oz
S6 edge: 132g / 4.66oz
Video Formats: MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM, VP9
Audio Codecs: MP3, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC, OPUS
Samsung software features Download Booster, OneDrive (115GB free storage for 2 years), OneNote, Private Mode, Quick Connect, S Health 4.0, S Finder, S Voice, Samsung Pay, Smart Manager, Sound Alive+, Themes
Samsung security One-touch fingerprint scanner, KNOX management software
Google Mobile Services Chrome, Drive, Gmail, Google Settings, Google+, Hangouts, Maps, Photos, Play Books, Play Games, Play Movies and TV, Play Newsstand, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube
Colors S6: white, black, gold, blue
S6 edge: white, black, gold, dark green

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge will be available globally starting from April 10, 2015 with 32/64/128GB storage options** available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz (Galaxy S6 only) and Green Emerald (Galaxy S6 edge only).