Device reviews
    02 March 2015


    Galaxy S6 revealed

    Last night Samsung announced two new handsets in Barcelona, ahead of the official opening of Mobile World Congress. NAFISA AKABOR was at the launch in Barcelona for Vodacom now!

    n what was probably the worst kept secret, Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, with the latter grabbing all the attention.

    Both handsets are identical, specs-wise, with the exception of dimensions and a marginally bigger battery on the S6 Edge. The phone feels great in the hand; the curves give it a natural grip, no matter what size your hands are.

    First impressions of the screen can be summed up in one word: amazing. 

    Samsung has improved the exterior with a premium design consisting of metal and glass. The Galaxy S6 Edge has a stunning 5.1-inch quad HD super AMOLED screen that wraps around both sides of the handset. It has 77% more pixels on it than the S5 and has a ratio of 557ppi. First impressions of the screen can be summed up in one word: amazing. 

    The new design on the S6 Edge is similar to the Note Edge, and displays colour-coded notifications on the side, based on what you’ve assigned to contacts, so you know who is calling and texting without picking up your handset. Samsung says the Gorilla Glass 4 handset is super tough – the 'toughest in the market', with its metal edges being 50% stronger

    Both handsets incorporate the latest technology currently available – an octacore Samsung processor based on 64-bit architecture, 3GB of DDR4 RAM, which is boosted by 80% from DDR3 and Samsung says it’s 35% more efficient. New flash storage tech is a combination of SSD and eMMC, which is faster and draws less power. Both handsets come in 32, 64, and 128GB variants.

    Out of the two newly designed flagships, the Galaxy S6 feels somewhat plain in comparison to the Edge. It has a flat front and back but the new metal design is very much welcome. Both handsets feel as premium as all other smartphones featuring metallic bodies.

    Samsung has improved the camera greatly, which thoroughly impressed when we demoed the S6 Edge. The front-facing 5MP camera takes excellent selfies that don't appear grainy, even at night, while the main 16MP has a simple new interface, with options for manual settings for more experienced photographers. It features optical image stabilisation, and a 'fast camera' mode that snaps pictures in 0.7 seconds. It can be activated by double tapping the home button. Another new feature is object tracking autofocus, which focuses on the subject – meaning you will never take a bad, blurry pic again (we hope). 

    Other new features include the fingerprint sensor on the home button which does not need a swipe; wireless charging; Samsung Pay (it uses NFC for payments – but we’re probably not going to see it in South Africa any time soon); and the infrared heart rate monitor that can also adjust the white balance in the camera.

    Both handsets no longer have removable batteries, waterproof features or expandable memory via microSD card slots. This could be disappointing for fans who loved these features, but Samsung is openly going straight after the iPhone 6.

    Additionally, Samsung has made its interface clean and simple, which has been improved greatly. The stripped down version, according to Samsung, has 40% fewer features than the S5 had (remember how most of them weren’t necessary?).

    The battery on the Galaxy S6 is 2 550mAh, while the S6 Edge has a slightly higher capacity at 2 600mAh. Samsung introduced what it's calling a world first – the fastest charging battery. The new handsets are capable of giving you four hours of use after a mere 10-minute charge. Pretty impressive. The phone itself charges to 100% in the less than half the time it takes an iPhone 6 to charge.

    The Galaxy S6 will be available in black, white, gold and blue, while the S6 Edge will be come in black, white, gold and green. Samsung has not announced pricing on either handset, just that it will launch in 20 countries on 10 April, and it is unclear if South Africa is one of those markets.

    We can confirm that the Samsung Galaxy S6 is coming soon to Vodacom.