Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge at Mobile World Congress, the two new flagship smartphones for 2015 to propel the South Korean-company back into the mobile race.
The Galaxy S6 represents a new vision by Samsung, one aligned with Apple and HTC on design and Google on UX. It is pleasing to see that instead of piling every sensor and app into the device, Samsung has pulled back and reviewed what is really necessary.
Design-wise, the Galaxy S6 is a gorgeous device, even if it takes cues from the iPhone 6. The Galaxy S6 Edge also looks excellent with a dual-edge display, allowing users to view LED notifications even when the phone is placed down.
Both devices come with a dual-glass design, similar to the iPhone 4. Hopefully the new version of Gorilla Glass will mean less cracks after a few weeks of heavy use. Samsung has added metal to the side of the device, or on the Galaxy S6 Edge’s case the top and bottom.
It has also removed a few inches by enclosing the battery inside of the device, instead of offering a removable back. This is the first time Samsung has not offered a removal back for battery and SIM swaps.
The compensation for this removed feature comes in the form of superfast wireless charging, capable of adding four hours to the device’s life in 10 minutes.
Samsung has also added a 5.1-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) display onto the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, alongside its new 14nm Exynos 64-bit processor and 3GB of DDR4 RAM.
On the back of the device, Samsung has added a 16MP Sony camera featuring optical image stabilisation and f/1.9 lens, alongside a 5MP camera on the front. Samsung proudly showed off the image quality against the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus at MWC 2015.
Another huge announcement is the launch of Samsung Pay (Apple Pay, anyone?) a new mobile payments service integrating the technology from its acquisition of LoopPay.
Samsung Pay will be available in 90 percent of US retailers, due to the integration of magnetic stripe technology, reverse engineering all card readers to work with mobiles. It will also use NFC for contactless payments, the same technology used by Apple Pay.
In terms of UX improvements, Samsung has removed lots of the bloatware on the device and will partner with Microsoft to offer Skype, OneNote and OneDrive. The new UI adheres to the design principles brought up by Google’s Matías Duarte when launching Android Lollipop.
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be available in 32, 64 and 128GB configurations, and launch in 20 markets on April 10. No word on price, but we can expect the Galaxy S6 to come in at around $199 and the S6 Edge at $299, both on a two-year deal.