Preview: Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge
When I posted images of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge on my Facebook page, it got many people excited. In this post, I will share more details of the latest flagship phones which I previewed during the hour-long hands-on session behind closed doors at the Samsung office.
Samsung Galaxy S6
Display: 5.1-inch Quad HD (2560x1440) Super AMOLED
Processor: Exynos 7 Octa core - Quad core 2.1GHz + Quad core 1.5GHz
OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop
Camera: F1.9 16MP OIS (rear), F1.9 5MP (front)
Network: LTE Cat 6 (300Mbps)
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz), HT80 MIMO (2x2) 620Mbps, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP, apt-X, ANT+, USB 2.0, NFC, IR Remote
Sensor: Accelorometer, Light, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass, Barometer, Fingerprint, Hall, HRM
Memory: RAM 3GB, LPDDR4. Internal Memory: 32/64/128GB, UFS 2.0
Wireless Charging: WPC1.1 (4.6W Output) and PMA 1.0 (4.2W) compatible
Dimension: 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
The new S6 is devoid of plastic. Its frame lined with tough aluminium (Al 6013), both front and rear are covered in the new Corning Gorilla Glass 4, offering more comfortable and traditional grip. While the metal frame glass back combo is not new to the smartphone market, it's a welcoming change for Galaxy lovers, stepping away from the plastic identity. And probably for the first time, Samsung Galaxy owners can use the phones naked and yet maintain the beauty without all the paint peels or plastic wear on older Galaxy devices.
The top and bottom sides of the S6 are rounded, while the left and right sides are a little flattened. The corners are much thicker which means it should survive drops better.
The rear of the S6 (and S6 Edge) is plain, but not that it matters, since most owners would be covering it with a casing. Samsung shares that on other colour variants like Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz, the rear will reflect some interesting visual textures under lighting.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
The S6 Edge is really the star of the announcement, because of its unique dual-edge design. People love glass curves because of the way light reflects on them.
The Edge Screen function is vastly different from the Note 4 Edge implementation. Firstly, there is no dedicated panel for the Edge Screen, so when you invoke the Edge Panel, it intrudes into the existing display screen. Secondly, there is no app favourites, which remains on the existing home screen bottom row. Third, there are different apps on the S6 Edge, namely the new People Edge, the new Edge Lighting, the Information Screen, and the Night Clock.
The new People Edge lets you retrieve the information of your favourite contacts. Edge Lighting allows you to identify the caller via assigned lighting colour when your S6 Edge is facing down.
I observed carefully and found that the thin aluminium sides are actually angled slightly towards the rear. This subtle design detail that I also found on the Oppo R5 offers better hand-held experience.
S6 Edge has the distinctive look and feel, but thinner sides might feel uncomfortable and higher chance of touching the screen.
Specs are identical to S6, even the screen size and resolution, except:
Dimension: 142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0 mm (narrower, shorter, thicker)
Weight: 132g (lighter)
Battery: 2600mAh (50mAh larger)
Another subtle difference is the positioning of the nano-SIM card slot. On the S6, it is at the left side, while on the S6 Edge, it is located at the top.
Both S6 and S6 Edge sports similar TouchWiz UX to existing Samsung devices, which I personally do not favour. Good thing is that now the devices let you apply themes, so now you can change the look and feel of the menu and icons.
While the overall UI feels snappy, I would expect that out of any new Android device. There is a pre-installed Smart Manager app that will help you manage your device to optimise the device, clear memory cache, and scan for security issues.
I was unable to go into any detailed comment on the phone operations, battery life, camera quality, due to the short time spent on the devices. But feature-wise, you can now start up the camera quickly (less than a second) by double-clicking the home button. The camera quality remains superior with minimal noise under low light. The fingerprint scanning no longer requires a swipe, just like iPhone. The battery can be charged real quick using the supplied quick charge adapter. It has built-in wireless charging and supports both WPC (Qi) and PMA standards. The heart-rate monitor also doubles as a sensor for rejecting calls and camera shutter.
The major minuses: no microSD support and non-removable battery. Plus, the battery capacity is rather measly, but only a real-life review can tell if the capacity is sufficient for the whole day.
We were fortunate to get a preview of almost all the official cover accessories. Here I highlight a few that might pique your interest.
Protective Cover: we know it as the standard casing that protects only the rear of the phone. You can see from the photos that the cover is held onto the S6 and S6 Edge at the 4 corners. This is to allow maximum touch experience on the devices.
The inside of the cover is laden with fabric to pamper your smartphone.
Clear View Cover: besides the usual S View Cover and the traditional flip cover, this new Clear View Cover has a reflective yet translucent flip cover that lets you see the phone screen. You can even interact with the screen behind the cover, to accept or reject a call.
The S6 Edge variant has the front cover curved with the contours of the screen.
Wireless Charger: This wireless charge is based on Qi standard, and one of the attendees placed his Moto 360 onto the pad and charged successfully.
Samsung has come a long way with the Galaxy S-series. The new Samsung S6 and S6 Edge is a much-desired design leap. Not much could be said about the operating performance, which I could only share once I receive a review unit. If you are familiar with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 look and feel, then there are no major surprises. I believe the S6 and the S6 Edge is going to be highly desired upgrades for existing Samsung owners, for finally you are getting a premium-feel smartphone at a premium price.
NEXT IS NOW. Register your interest for Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge here.