The Samsung Galaxy 5 was a disappointing phone, to say the least. It did sell a lot of units, we admit, but it wasn’t what anyone could call a revolutionary phone. Design wise, the S5 was almost exactly like the Samsung Galaxy 4. It also used cheap plastic components that made many users question for what exactly they were shelling out their hard-earned money for.
Samsung’s profits fell drastically as a result in 2014, and so 2015 could well be a make or break year for the company as it attempts to better compete with heavyweights like Apple and Sony in the cutthroat smartphone market.
This year, Samsung has announced 3 new products that could very well reverse the downward trend it has experienced. Two of its products are smartphones – the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge – and the third product is a Virtual Reality headset called Samsung Gear VR Innovation Edition that will work as an extended accessory for the phones.
Let’s Talk About Six!
Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
When you look at the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge, you are sure to be impressed by their stunning new look. Both phones now have a sleek metal frame, flat displays and smooth glass panels. The quality of materials used for both the phones is outstanding- both phones finally have a premium look and feel.
The glass panels use Gorilla Glass 4 and the metal frame can easily match anything you’d find on an iPhone 6 or the HTC One M9. Both models will be available in several different colors, namely white pearl, black sapphire, blue topaz (only Galaxy S6), gold platinum and green emerald (just the Galaxy S6 edge).
The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is clearly the better looking of the pair. Unlike the S6 edge, which has a flat screen from edge to edge, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has a curved display that snaps to the edges- the first of its kind in the world on a smartphone. This display is just like the display on the Note Edge, except it’s much more streamlined and is now on both edges, instead of just a single side on the Note Edge.
The curved screen is capable of displaying some useful information at the edge, like the weather, current time, current date and battery percentage – functioning much like a convenient mini status bar. Both phones feel great to hold. Because of the new design and some software updates, you can now use the phone with just a single thumb, unlike the Samsung S5 which needed you to use both thumbs to get anything done.
A single sour note in what should have been a perfect symphony is the fact that both phones remind you very strongly of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 +. Samsung seems to have borrowed heavily from both phones, both in terms of the design and software.
Both of Samsung’s phones, for example, don’t lie flat if placed on a surface but instead rest on a slightly protruding camera, just like with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. You can also unlock the Samsung S6 by just placing your thumb on the fingerprint reading home button, just like with the new iPhones.
However, borrowing heavily seems to have benefited Samsung greatly. The newer phones feature much less software. Instead of increasing the quantity of software, Samsung has reduced it and concentrated on increasing the quality, backed by powerful hardware.
The new phones have a 5.1 inch screen at 1440 x 2560 pixels, 3GB of RAM, a 1.5Ghz octa-core processor, a 16-MP camera and 32/64/128GB of storage.
SD card support and waterproofing are not present for these models. However, these phones support wireless charging, have a better battery, a louder speaker, they charge faster and have integrated support for Samsung Pay. Both phones are likely to cost more than $700 (carrier unlocked, unconfirmed) in the US.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear VR Innovation
The Samsung Galaxy Gear VR Innovation is the newer edition of the Samsung Galaxy Gear VR, which was a gadget Samsung made for the Galaxy Note 4. The VR Innovation edition is smaller than its predecessor and much more comfortable to wear. The gadget provides a 360-degree field of view and has several sensors (accelerometer, gyrometer and proximity sensors) that can sense your head movements and keep track of where you are in virtual land. As Samsung has partnered with Oculus, you can download content (like games and 3D videos) from the Oculus store directly.
We like how Samsung’s VR Innovation gadget looks and works, but it is hampered by its high price (the development kit costs $350) and lack of compatibility (it will only work with Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge).
Samsung will probably have a strong year, we think, particularly because of the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, which is as stunning a phone as we have ever seen. We recommend you take your time, though, and wait for the other top manufacturers to release their products before you buy one.