Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge: first impressions

Samsung's range of upcoming flagships are a large step in the right direction

Today belongs to Samsung after unveiling Galaxy smartphones in line with customer wants and sticking it to Apple throughout its Samsung Unpacked event in Barcelona.

Expect big differences with the upcoming Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge. Samsung started from scratch with the new smartphones. During development Samsung employees referred to it as ‘Project Zero’.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review: Return to Glory

Admittedly some features had to be sacrificed. Both Galaxys lack expandable storage, removable batteries and waterproofing credentials. Then again, so do most of the smartphones on the market.

Samsung has focused instead on implanting the best technologies into a small and slender smartphone. Changes made to the exterior are drastic and therefore immediately noticeable.

The smartphone is built on a metal chassis and has a back coated in Gorilla Glass 4. The executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile division, Young Hee Lee, said the metal is 50 per cent stronger than that of the competition.

“My first language may not be engineering,” Lee began, “but I do know this stuff will not bend.” That was the first of many quips made at Apple’s expense.

New to the Galaxy S range is the S6 Edge, which is the world’s first smartphone to have the screen curve on both its left and right sides. Precise manufacturing techniques were needed to curve the glass, said Lee, such as heating the glass to 800 degrees Celsius.

Swiping inwards from the edge of the S6 Edge generates a shortcut to contacts
Swiping inwards from the edge of the S6 Edge generates a shortcut to contacts

The S6’s edge display functions differently to that of the Galaxy Note Edge. Swiping inwards from the curve populates favourite contacts. Its other function is to glow during incoming calls and texts, so that when the smartphone is face down, the display glows like an advanced notification light.

Both the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge are based on the same display; a 5.1-inch AMOLED panel that has a resolution of 2560x1440 and a density of 577 pixels-per-inch. The quality of the screen has prompted Samsung to partner with Oculus on virtual reality headsets designed specifically for the S6 range.

The Galaxy S6 Gear VR
The Galaxy S6 Gear VR

Read more: Samsung brings metal unibody phones to Australia, from $499

Raw numbers impress. There’s an octa-core processor comprised of 2.1GHz and 1.5GHz quad-core CPUs, 3GB of DDR4 RAM and options of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB of storage.

Powering this hardware are fast-charge batteries that can gain four hours of charge after being plugged in for ten minutes. Alternatively an in-built charging pad — compatible with WPC and PMA standards — can replenish the smartphone wirelessly.

Cameras all around have been upgraded with the rear camera being 16 megapixels and the front jumping up to 5 megapixels. Both cameras have an aperture of f/1.9 for improved low-light performance, while the rear camera can be booted from any screen in 0.7 seconds and gains optical image stabilisation. Samsung executives compared the S6’s camera with that of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus’ with a photo taken at night.

Captured with the Samsung Galaxy S6's rear 16MP camera
Captured with the Samsung Galaxy S6's rear 16MP camera

The photo on the left was taken with the iPhone 6 Plus. The photo on the right has been taken with the Samsung Galaxy S6. Samsung executives claim the photos were taken with the same settings and at the same time.
The photo on the left was taken with the iPhone 6 Plus. The photo on the right has been taken with the Samsung Galaxy S6. Samsung executives claim the photos were taken with the same settings and at the same time.

One of the most important upgrades made to Samsung’s next-generation flagships concerns the software. Samsung has simplified TouchWiz and leaned more on the design introduced by Lollipop. The Android 5.0 operating system feels less convoluted and significantly more refined.

Other tweaks involve a finger scanner that no longer requires a swipe, and a payment system that will be released in the US and Korea first.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review: Return to Glory

It is unknown when the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will reach Australia. Samsung has revealed the smartphone will be released in 20 countries on 10 April. The smartphones will be made available in storage options of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB, and in colours including White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz (Galaxy S6 only) and Green Emerald (Galaxy S6 edge only).

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AndroidsamsungTouchWizgalaxyLollipop5.0S6S6 Edge1440p

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Tony Ibrahim

Tony Ibrahim

Good Gear Guide

@slicktonyi

Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?