What used to be the most anticipated smartphone release of the year has kind of fizzled out to something, let’s just say less exciting. Samsung has had to cope with numerous struggles over the past year. The fact that HTC and LG are gaining more and more market share with their brilliant flagships has put some huge strain on the Korean company’s bottom-line. The S5 was largely seen as a disappointment in 2014 and has enabled Samsung’s competitors to lure away quite a few customers.
Now the Galaxy S6 is upon us! Will Samsung come out swinging trying to take back what they worked so hard for to gain? The S6 was officially revealed at the 2015 MWC event yesterday. Read more to see whether Samsung can rock the smartphone boat once again…
The Galaxy range never had an issue to compete on paper. The specs race was almost always won by the most recent Galaxy phone. What the suits at Samsung didn’t realize is that the numbers and hardware packed into a user’s smartphone isn’t really a selling point anymore. Users want something that works (every time), is enjoyable and intuitive to use, has a classy looking design and produces exactly what they want with the software and hardware combination. Samsung over the past 1-2 years have struggled to marry all of these elements.
Now though the S6 is here. Things have changed. On the face of it the Samsung Galaxy S6 looks like a real beauty, a complete redesign that really works, but blended with large swathes of power once again. The key thing here though is, it appears that power is not there for the sake of it – each element has a purpose, to ensure the Galaxy S6 works well under the finger while finally being a phone you’d consider alongside an HTC or iPhone.
The 6.8mm thick metal design (yup you read correctly – METAL) in combination with Gorilla glass immediately improves on the old Galaxy designs. The premium design has come at a cost though. The S6 has got rid of two of the staple designs that users have loved for years – the microSD slot has been removed and the battery is locked in. The battery issue isn’t really that bad, people carry around power packs in any case these days, but the loss of the microSD slot won’t go down well with users. Samsung is offering the S6 in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB flavours to compensate, but those latter options are likely to be pretty expensive.
Samsung didn’t just focus on design for the new phones either. The Galaxy S6 phones are packed with the latest technology:
- Octacore Samsung Exynos processor
- 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED displays
- 3GB of RAM; 32, 64, or 128GB of internal storage
- 16-megapixel cameras with optical image stabilization
- 2550 mAh battery (down from the 2800 mAh of the S5), will have to see whether this has an impact.
- New fingerprint sensor in the home button that no longer requires a swipe
- 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
- Speaker that’s 1.5 times louder than the S5’s
- Integrated support for Samsung Pay, which uses either NFC or MFT (LoopPay) technology for transactions.
Samsung has definitely gone back to the drawing board with the S6, this phone is simplicity redefined for the South Korean brand. Many an astute observer will comment on the similarities to the iPhone 6 (see video below), but I think Samsung is heading in the right direction.
No more stupid hand waving gimmicks, no skimping on design to just make it waterproof. This is a premium phone as it should be. We will have to wait and see whether our little friend “TouchWiz” also has a part to play. Look out for the S6 review on BandwidthBlog once the device hits SA shores.
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