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Six Pack from Samsung

The Galaxy S6 is by far the biggest upgrade to the not so great Galaxy S5. The S5’s lackluster build and its resulting sales finally forced the giant to redesign its next generation handset in terms of build, specs, performance and software.

The hype before the introduction of the S6 and the S6 Edge at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona has led to the release of a significantly better handset with premium features comparable to devices from iPhone, HTC other competitors who have grabbed Samsung’s market share.

With this spectacular upgrade to S5, Samsung now plans to make up for its last year’s shortcomings that let the company lose its market share to Apple, HTC and turnaround brands like Motorola and LG. Let’s dive deeper to understand the changes and ways it could affect consumer behavior.

Difference in Design and Display

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Image : Androidcentral

The blunder with Samsung S5’s design finally led the company to revisit the drawing board and the resulting changes are by far the most significant improvements in its flagship device. Unlike the S5 that had an unpleasant plastic finish with a perforated design meant for increasing grip, the S6 now comes with an all-metal chassis and the latest Gorilla Glass 4.

However, the S6 is no longer water or dust proof. The overall metal finish with Gorilla Glass at the front and back has created a compact device that has led to a non-removable battery.

The S6 is only 6.8 mm thick weighing only 138 gm. unlike the S5 that is 8.1 mm thick and weighs 145 gm., pointing at Apple, Samsung claimed that the device won’t bend due to its reduced thickness. The S5 was available in Charcoal Black, Shimmery White, Copper Gold and Electric Blue designs but the S6 now comes with White Pearl, Gold Platinum, Black Sapphire and Blue Topaz builds to match the S5 range.

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Image : Androidcentral

The S6 Edge now features the curved edge screen on both sides that Samsung introduced in the Galaxy Note Edge. The curved screens shows notifications and other relevant information for quick access like it did in the Note Edge, except now it displays them on both sides.

The S6 features super AMOLED displays like its predecessor but enhanced pixel density and color contrast provides even clearer experience as compared to the S5. The curved display on the Edge would flash notifications and shortcuts and be easily activated through the same interface.

The 577 ppi display with 2560 x 1440 pixel density screen provides a sharp view with seamless transitions at high resolutions. The 5.1 inch screen doesn’t pose significant usability issues while the overall metal finish provides an even better experience.

Hardware Upgrade

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Image : Droid-life

The galaxy S5 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset that provides enough processing power to run any type of application regardless of GPU and RAM usage. The S6 goes even further by replacing the Qualcomm processor with Samsung Exynos 7420. The 14 nm chip contains four cortex A53 and four Cortex A57 cores that revealed the highest points on benchmark tests.

The S5 comes with 16 GB and 32 GB of inbuilt storage with additional micro SD slots expandable up to 128 GB.  The S6 unfortunately has removed external storage ability and comes in 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB variants. The storage chip is also upgraded to UFS 2.0 that allows faster read and writes speed allowing apps to quickly retrieve data during execution. This comes as a surprise as benchmark tests revealed faster data read and write than previous Samsung devices. In some cases, the chips performed even better than Apple and HTC chips.

The new Samsung S6 now provides inbuilt speakers just like the S5 but claims to increase the volume by 1.5 times. The S6 range comes with 3 GB inbuilt RAM unlike 2 GB variants of S5. The fingerprint scanner is also better than its predecessor that can now detect fingerprints based on touch rather than additional sensors.

Software

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Image : Stuff

The S6 now runs Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, the latest lollipop upgrade with the Touch Wiz UI as compared to the Android Kitkat 4.4(upgradeable to Lollipop) in S5. Unlike S5, S5 contains much less Samsung apps and has stripped down major bloat ware allowing users to choose apps of their choice.

S6 would also feature Samsung Pay, based on technology developed by LoopPay (recently bought by Samsung to compete with Apple). Significant software improvements in terms of text Labels to remove abstract icons along with simplified interfaces to reduce scrolling set the software apart from the S5.

Battery

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Image : Samsung

Unlike the removable battery in S5, S6 now comes with inbuilt battery that is significantly smaller but does provide some additional enhancements. The Fast Charging feature is the most noticeable that claims to provide up to 4 hours of continuous usage with just 10 minutes of charge. The battery can be wirelessly charged unlike S5 that needed an external accessory to allow wireless charging.

Camera

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Image : Samsung

The S6 now has improved camera that is a major upgrade over S5. S6 now comes with 16 MP rear camera that includes image stabilization and Auto HDR. This means HDR mode is always on regardless of the environment you are using your camera, unless of course you turn it off.

It also contains an upgraded f/1.9 lens as compared to f/2.2 lens inbuilt into S5, which allows better captures even in low light conditions. The front camera now comes in 5 MP instead of 2 MP built into S5. The IR sensors now automatically detect light conditions and adjust white balance.

Nuts and Bolts : Galaxy S5 Vs S6

Samsung Galaxy S6 Samsung Galaxy S5
DESIGN
Device type Smart phone Smart phone
OS Android (5.0) TouchWiz UI Android (5.0, 4.4.2) TouchWiz UI
Dimensions 5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches (143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm) 5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches (142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm)
Weight 4.87 oz (138 g) 5.11 oz (145 g)
Materials Main body: glass, Accents: aluminum Main body: plastic, Accents: metal
Rugged Water, Dust resistant
IP certified IP 67
DISPLAY
Physical size 5.1 inches 5.1 inches
Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 577 ppi 432 ppi
Technology Super AMOLED Super AMOLED
Screen-to-body ratio 70% 70%
Colors 16 777 216 16 777 216
Touchscreen Multi-touch Multi-touch
Features Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Scratch-resistant glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 4) Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Scratch-resistant glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 3)
CAMERA
Camera 16 megapixels 16 megapixels
Flash LED LED
Aperture size F1.9 F2.2
Focal length (35mm equivalent) 28 mm 31 mm
Camera sensor size 1/2.6″ 1/2.6″
Pixel size 1.12 µm 1.12 µm
Features Back-illuminated sensor (BSI), Autofocus, Optical image stabilization, AF Assist Beam, Touch to focus, Manual focus, Face detection, Smile detection, Digital zoom, Geo tagging, Self-timer, Voice activation Back-illuminated sensor (BSI), Digital image stabilization, Face detection, Digital zoom, Geo tagging, Self-timer, Manual focus, Touch to focus, Autofocus, Phase detection autofocus, Voice activation
Settings Exposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets Exposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets
Shooting Modes Burst mode, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Panorama, Scenes, Effects Burst mode, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Panorama, Night mode, Scenes, Effects
Camcorder 3840×2160 (4K) (30 fps) 3840×2160 (4K) (30 fps), 1920×1080 (1080p HD) (60 fps)
Features Optical image stabilization, Continuous autofocus, Picture-taking during video recording, Video calling Digital image stabilization, Continuous autofocus, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Video calling, Video sharing
Front-facing camera 5 megapixels 2.1 megapixels
HARDWARE
System chip Exynos 7 Octa 7420 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974-AC
Processor 8-core, 2100 MHz, ARM Cortex-A57 and ARM Cortex-A53 , 64-bit Quad core, 2500 MHz, Krait 400
Graphics processor Mali-T760 MP8 Adreno 330
System memory 3072 MB RAM 2048 MB RAM
Built-in storage 128 GB 32 GB
Storage expansion microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 128 GB
BATTERY
Talk time 21.00 hours
Stand-by time 16.2 days (390 hours)
Talk time (3G) 21.00 hours
Music playback 67.00 hours
Video playback 13.00 hours
Capacity 2550 mAh 2800 mAh
User replaceable No Yes
Wireless charging Built-in (Qi, Powermat) Optional
MULTIMEDIA
Music player
Filter by Album, Artist, Genre, Playlists Album, Artist, Genre, Playlists
Features Album art cover, Background playback, Preset equalizer Album art cover, Background playback
Speakers Earpiece, Loudspeaker Earpiece, Loudspeaker
YouTube player Yes Yes
INTERNET BROWSING
Browser Google Chrome
Built-in online services support YouTube (upload), Picasa/Google+ YouTube (upload), Picasa/Google+
TECHNOLOGY
GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
UMTS 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
FDD LTE 800 (band 20), 850 (band 5), 900 (band 8), 1800 (band 3), 1900 (band 2), 2100 (band 1), 2600 (band 7) MHz
Data LTE-A Cat 6 (300/50 Mbit/s), HSPA (unspecified), HSUPA, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS LTE Cat 4 (150/50 Mbit/s), HSDPA+ (4G) 42.2 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS
Micro SIM Yes
nano-SIM Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
Positioning GPS, A-GPS GPS, A-GPS, Glonass
Navigation Turn-by-turn navigation, Voice navigation Turn-by-turn navigation, Voice navigation
CONNECTIVITY
Bluetooth 4.1 4
Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, n 5GHz, ac 802.11 a, b, g, n, n 5GHz, ac
Mobile hotspot Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 3.0
Connector microUSB microUSB
Features Mass storage device, USB charging Mass storage device, USB charging
Other NFC, DLNA, Miracast, Tethering, Computer sync, OTA sync, ANT+, Infrared NFC, MHL, Tethering, Computer sync, OTA sync, ANT+, Infrared
OTHER FEATURES
Notifications Service lights, Haptic feedback, Music ringtones (MP3), Polyphonic ringtones, Vibration, Flight mode, Silent mode, Speakerphone Service lights, Haptic feedback, Music ringtones (MP3), Polyphonic ringtones, Vibration, Flight mode, Silent mode, Speakerphone
Additional microphone(s) for Noise cancellation, Video recording for Noise cancellation, Video recording
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Hall, Fingerprint (touch), Barometer Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Pedometer, Compass, Hall, Fingerprint (swipe), Gesture, Barometer, Step detector, Step counter
Other Voice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recording Voice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recording

Conclusion

Samsung Galaxy S6 will be available from 24th April and cost around 699 euros for 32 GB, 799 euros for the 64 GB and 899 euros for the 128 GB variants. The pricing in the US is likely to start at $650 for the 32GB version. Though further pricing announcements are still awaited. The S6 is a feature rich premium smartphone with significant upgrades that would definitely grab the lost market for Samsung.

The vast improvement in usability and design along with S6 Edge’s curved display would set a new trend among upcoming smartphones. Although sacrifices had to be made in storage, battery and other areas, the improvements inbuilt in to the device far outweigh its disadvantages. That said, will it turnaround Samsung’s fortunes? Only time will tell.