Mostly from a visual standpoint, although they effortlessly pull out all the stops in the display, camera and performance departments as well.
For the first time in at least a couple of years, Android enthusiasts haven’t been left wanting more from an “Unpacked” event. Granted, the onslaught of recent leaks definitely spoiled the surprise, but still, how could you ask for more?
Samsung listened, really listened to user feedback, and reimagined the Galaxy S design from scratch. The S6 and S6 Edge aren’t all metal, like we know what rival, instead blending aluminum and glass for a vibe just as robust and premium, like we know what other competitor.
As the name suggests, the GS6 Edge takes a page from Note Edge’s playbook. But as rumored, the two side “panels” aren’t particularly functional, aiming to improve style first and foremost. And boy, do they succeed.
A logical, welcomed consequence of the plastic – metal build material switch sees the S6 slim down S5’s already slender profile. The “next big thing” measures 6.8 mm in depth, while the Edge adds an unnoticeable 0.2 mm on top.
Both ultra-high-end smartphones tip the scales at less than 140 grams, so naturally, the non-removable batteries can’t be very imposing. At 2,550 and 2,600 mAh respectively, they also have to deal with power-hogging Quad HD Super AMOLED 5.1-inch screens, so autonomy is a major concern.
Then again, not only is the homebrewed 14nm-based Exynos 7420 processor expected to crush Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 in raw speed, but it should tower above the competition in energy efficiency as well.
Mind you, that’s an octa-core 64-bit beast we’re talking about. Only when needed, it can pause the four 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57 cores, and activate the 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 quartet. Sounds like the best of both worlds to us.
Back to the staggering Quad HD displays, let’s point out the 2,560 x 1,440 pixels resolutions deliver record-setting 577 ppi density. Wrapping up the “as good as it gets” picture, you have your 16 megapixel OIS rear cameras, 5 MP front snappers, 3 GB RAM, 32/64/128 GB storage options, PayPal certified touch-based (!) fingerprint sensors, heart rate monitors, wireless charging support, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC.
Software-wise, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop runs the show, with a watered down TouchWiz iteration as a helpful (for once) sidekick. There are almost no flaws or weak points to list here, except for the somewhat skimpy batteries and, oh, microSD card slot absence. So close to perfection… and so close to commercial launches. Both the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge roll out “globally” starting April 10 for as-yet unrevealed prices.