MWC 2015 | Samsung unveils Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones
Samsung has finally introduced its new flagship smartphones, putting an end to all arguments about their specifications, and here's something no one anticipated: the feature that always set Samsung's smartphones aside from their competitors, the user-removable battery, is now gone, just like the microSD card slot. Samsung points out that the battery takes only 30 minutes to charge to 50% (and another 50 to 100%) and offers the phone with 32, 64 or 128 GB of UFS 2.0 internal storage and 115 GB of Microsoft OneDrive cloud space free for 2 years, but for many users, this won't replace cheap swappable storage and the ability to upgrade to larger batteries. Unlike the Galaxy S5, the new S6 is no longer IP-certified. Allegedly, these dramatic changes were required to facilitate a metal frame design, which both S6 and S6 Edge combine with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 covering the front and back panels. Both phones should be available in white, black, gold, green and blue.
Thinks are looking better on the performance front: Samsung has indeed avoided Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 810 and utilized their own Exynos 7420 SoC. It includes four ARM Cortex-A57 and four Cortex-A53 processor cores (big.LITTLE) and a Mali-T760 GPU. It's built on a 14 nm FinFET process and thus promises improved power efficiency and performance. 3 GB of LPDDR4 RAM are installed.
The 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen has a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels (577 ppi) and Samsung claims its maximum brightness as 600 cd/m², which should make outdoor use even on a very sunny day fully feasible. Pictures can be taken with a 16 MP f/1.9 camera with optical image stabilization and an LED flash; HDR and Ultra HD 4K (3840x2160 pixels) video recording at 30 fps are supported. A 5 MP front-mounted sensor is used for selfies. Both cameras should excel in low-light conditions, according to Samsung.
Alas, Samsung once again opted for a microUSB 2.0 port instead of the microUSB 3.0 which debuted in the Note 3. However, the interface supports MHL 3.0 and USB OTG. Wireless commmunications include dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1 and LTE Cat. 6. NFC is onboard and Samsung introduced its own Apple Pay competitor named, unsurprisingly, Samsung Pay. Infrared remote is integrated for controlling TVs and wireless charging is supported (WPC and PMA, 3 hours to full charge). Battery capacity has decreased compared to the Galaxy S5 (2800 mAh) and is now 2550 mAh for the S6 and 2600 mAh for the S6 Edge.
On the software side, there's Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with the revamped TouchWiz UX interface and Samsung Knox software comes preinstalled. We're hoping Samsung has kept its promise and reduced TouchWiz's overhead which was often the main reason for complaints for many Samsung owners.
We were able to get a first-hand look at both Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge at their MWC launch event and, removed features aside, they are very nice looking phones that feel great in hand and run smooth. Potential buyers will have to wait until at least April 10, which is when the phones are launching in select countries, or even a bit longer if their country of residence belongs to the international launch wave.