After being teased by US carriers in the week leading up to Mobile World Congress, Samsung has announced the latest flagships in the Galaxy S series in the S6 and S6 Edge. Both phones also represent a departure from their previous generations of Galaxy S designs. as the phones have abandoned previously heavily marketed selling points such as removable batteries and expandable storage in order to keep pace against arch-rival Apple.
Other than the displays, the phones feature identical specifications with metal and glass making up device construction and the GS6 Edge offering a curved display on both sides, which Samsung calls a “dual-edge display”. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4 according to Samsung and the phone will ship in several jewel-like tones that sound like automotive paint jobs such as “Black Sapphire”, “White Pearl”, “Blue Topaz”, and “Gold Platinum”, dependent on carrier and market.
The Super AMOLED displays on both phones measure 5.1 inches across the diagonal at 2560 x 1440 resolution (Quad HD/2K). Samsung further claims it has enhanced brightness levels on the displays for better outdoor visibility. The 16-megapixel main camera features optical image stabilization, auto-HDR, and a Quick Launch feature that starts the camera in less than a second. The front-facing camera is now a 5-megpaixel unit and both phone camera units feature an aperture of f/1.9 for improved low-light performance.
Samsung is relying on its own chips to power the GS6 and GS6 Edge in a break from previous versions that featured Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoC depending on market. It will instead ship with an octa-core Exynos processor featuring a quad-core bank of processors clocked at 2.1GHz and a second quad-core bank clocked at 1.5GHz. The processor is paired with 3GB of LPDDR4 memory and the UFS 2.0 flash memory standard for improved internal storage performance.
The Galaxy S6 Edge features a sealed 2,600mAh battery that supports both WPC and PMA wireless charging standards, in addition to quick charging capabilities while the S6 makes do with a slightly smaller 2,550mAh battery. The KNOX security platform has also been upgraded according to Samsung to better protect the device, by adding a Find My Device tool, remote wipe/remote reactivate tools, and improved the fingerprint scanner.
The security tools will also further help perspective buyers with Samsung Pay, a new mobile payment service planned for launch in the second half of the year after Samsung’s purchase of LoopPay, a mobile payment service that does not require NFC technology and can work with existing magnetic stripe point of sale systems in stores. The device will also be preloaded with several Microsoft-developed applications, including OneDrive with 115GB of free storage and OneNote.
Other key specifications include Category 6 LTE support, dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, an ultra power-saving mode and Android 5.0 Lollipop with an even further refined version of Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be available globally starting April 10 with 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB internal storage options available, dependent on market and carrier.
All four US carriers have announced plans to launch the phone, along with prepaid brands Boost Mobile and AT&T’s Cricket Wireless with more announcements expected.