Inside The New Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge review

Samsung found itself in sort of a bind last year: Its flagship Galaxy S5 wasn’t the blockbuster the company hoped it would be. That, coupled with the news that Samsung was going to focus on a smaller number of devices in 2015, signaled a pretty dramatic change for a brand that seemed like it was unstoppable.

By Chris Velazco

As if to silence the doubters, Samsung has not one, but two flagships on offer — the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge — and they’re surrounded by questions. Can they restore Samsung to its former glory? Has the company figured out how to build a truly interesting smartphone again? It’s too early to make a call on the former, but after a week of testing, the answer to the latter is a clear and definite “yes.”

Samsung
Galaxy S6

PROS

Sturdy, stylish design
Impeccable camera experience
Great day-to-day performance
TouchWiz is finally worth using

CONS

Battery life could be better
Fingerprint sensor can be flaky
It’s not waterproof
No microSD or removable battery

SUMMARY

Samsung has a lot riding on its 2015 flagship, and this time it’s put its best foot forward. With its super-fast, homebrew processor, a pair of great cameras and a surprisingly clean version of TouchWiz, the S6 is the finest Galaxy Samsung has ever made. Now, if only it were waterproof.

Samsung
Galaxy S6 Edge

PROS

Stunning design
The curved screen is gorgeous
Impeccable camera experience
Great day-to-day performance

CONS

The curved screen doesn’t do much
Battery life could be better
No microSD or removable battery
It’s not waterproof

samsung

SUMMARY

This more expensive version of the Galaxy S6 banks it all on looks. It performs just as well as its cousin in every task we threw at it, but the few software gimmicks that make use of the Edge’s beautiful curved display just don’t do much to justify the extra cost. Buy it for its looks, not because it’s any more functional.

Hardware

Before we go any further, know this: Aside from the obvious differences — the Edge has a wrap-around screen and a few software tricks that take advantage of it — the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge are basically identical.

Same screen size, same 16-megapixel cameras, same octa-core Exynos 7420 brains, and so on. They’re two devices crafted with the same metal, glass and silicon, which makes the dramatic design differences between them all the more meaningful.

Looking at it dead on, though, the S6 is pretty plain. Your eyes will immediately get sucked into the 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen, but a 5-megapixel selfie camera sits above it while the Home button lies below, flanked by discrete Back and Recent Apps keys.

camera 1
High on the S6’s back is a squarish plateau that houses the 16-megapixel camera, and to the right lies a tiny black divot where the LED flash and heart rate sensor live.

Unlike the crater that marked the Galaxy S5’s back, the assembly here is almost flush with the S6’s rear. It’s a small touch, but it makes taking heart rate and blood oxygen readings in S Health quite a bit easier.

Really, it’s details like these that speak most loudly to Samsung’s new design philosophy. Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that Samsung traded its trademark plastic bodies for sturdy metal frames and Gorilla Glass 4 panels lining the S6’s front and back.

slim

The S6’s rounded sides are punctuated by a flat edge for your fingers to rest on. The gaps between the metal and Gorilla Glass are so fine as to be imperceptible. The sole speaker has been moved to the phone’s bottom so you’re not blasting tunes straight into your desk. I could go on, but the S6 just feels seamless in a way its predecessor never did.

And no, your eyes don’t deceive you: The Galaxy S6 looks (and feels) an awful lot like an iPhone. From those rounded sides to the chrome-rimmed, fingerprint-sensing Home button to placement of the volume buttons on the left edge and the power button on the right, there’s an odd air of familiarity surrounding the thing.

Alas, though, streamlining the S6’s design meant taking an axe to some of the things that endeared the Galaxy line to persnickety nerds — namely, the removable battery and microSD card slot. My T-Mobile review unit came with 32GB of internal storage ($0 down with monthly payments on T-Mo, or $199 with a contract elsewhere), but you’ll soon be able to buy 64GB and 128GB models too.

And the biggest heartbreak? The S6 breaks tradition by dying when you drop it in a pool. The news will be more tragic for some than others but not having to handle the S5 with kid gloves was a treat. Hopefully Samsung figures out a way to waterproof a design like this before next year rolls around.

The design does nothing to make the screen more immersive, but that doesn’t matter; the screen’s novelty and beauty still mean it’s hard to tear your eyes off it. The S6 Edge feels substantially thinner than its basic cousin because of how its sides taper to a super-slim edge.

Credit to cnet

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