Samsung Galaxy S6 Review

Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Introduction


Almost hard to imagine it, the first-generation Samsung Galaxy S came into light back in the summer of 2010. Back then, the competition in the smartphone market was largely dominated by the iPhone. Over in the Android space, there were a few notable Android devices making some noise as well, such as the HTC EVO 4G, Sony Xperia X10, and Motorola DROID to name a few, but for Sammy, the launch of the original Galaxy S ushered in a new era for the Korean company – one that eventually spurred on iterative devices that proved to be more and more impressive.

Subsequently, it was the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S III that transformed the company into what it is presently – a force to be reckoned with, and one that also pushes hard for innovation. That phone sparked successive phones that kept on rolling the momentum forward, as both the Galaxy S4 and S5 proved to be hits amongst consumers. Through it all, Samsung’s flagship line didn’t deviate much from the distinct design language first employed by the original.

Surprise came during Mobile World Congress 2015, when Samsung officially unveiled its latest flagship smartphone – the totally redesigned Samsung Galaxy S6. Looking at what’s been happening in the mobile space the last year, you can say that tough competition from Apple and the various Chinese companies have whittled away at Sammy’s bottom line. Well, the Samsung Galaxy S6 aims to squash those concerns, since it’s probably the biggest shakeup in the series. Already, Samsung has been able to stir up plenty of attention with its flagship – giving rise to notion that it’s going recapture the top spot once again!

The package contains:

  • Samsung Galaxy S6
  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Stereo headphones
  • Start Guide
  • Health & Safety and Warranty Guide
  • SIM removal tool

Design

A stark change, the new Galaxy S6 impresses on so many levels with its premium design.

What a departure! For a long time there, the Galaxy S line has always been tepid in terms of design – so it wasn’t really known for that. Of course, the decision to go with plastic constructed devices has its benefits, such as contributing to a lighter frame, but generally speaking, it lacks the premium qualities we’d want to find in a flagship smartphone. Well folks, Samsung goes 180-degrees, opting to grace the Galaxy S6 with a significantly improved design – one that finally brings in some high-quality components to give it a true high-end look and feel!

To be fair, though, this new design change first started with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, which eventually became the design footprint for the Note 4. With those aforementioned devices, Samsung chose to add a subtle presence of premium in its designs by adding metal trim bezels. However, for the Galaxy S6, Samsung went back to the drawing board to try and deliver something immaculate and refreshing. Yes, the same metal trim bezel is back, but now it’s accompanied with glass surfaces to give it a snazzier appearance. Specifically, it’s Gorilla Glass 4 sandwiched together by that metal trim bezel – culminating to a device that’s just flat out gorgeous!

As much as we would like to say that the design is an original one, there are characteristics that draw comparisons to the iPhone 6’s design. From a profile view, the metal trim bezel, along with the arrangement of some of its ports and buttons, closely matches the styling of the iPhone 6. So it begs the question: does this new design draw inspiration from Apple’s pride and joy? That’s questionable, of course, but at the end of the day, we can agree that this is the best-designed smartphone Samsung has produced.

So far, the Galaxy S6’s new design is a breathtaking marvel, but in comparison to Sammy’s previous efforts, there were necessary compromises needed in making this phone. We can’t deny that we totally enjoy its premium feel, but it sheds some of the staple qualities of the S5 before it – like its water resistant construction, expandable microSD card slot, and removable battery. Only Samsung knows the real reason to why those things have been done away with the Galaxy S6. In comparison, the Sony Xperia Z3, which also sports a metal frame and glass surfaces, manages to keep its water resistance property and a microSD card slot... though it is a decidedly bigger phone.

In terms of its feel and comfort, the Galaxy S6 is narrower, skinnier, and lighter than its predecessor – going to show that they’re able to chip away at some things to continue making it compact. Its metal frame not only adds strength to the phone’s construction, the subtle rounded cut of it makes it feel pretty good in the hand, though it is a bit top heavy. Now, as much as we adore the premium feel of the phone, it’s just a fingerprint magnet for smudges and fingerprints. Trust us, it’s tough keeping it clean looking. Available in an assortment of colors, it’s mesmerizing how light bounces off its surfaces. Out of all the colors, the white version manages to maintain a cleaner look, just because fingerprints and smudges are less noticeable.

Looking around the phone, it’s sporting some of the same set of ports and buttons throughout its frame. The separated volume controls are placed on the left edge, the power button and SIM slot on its right, microUSB 2.0 port, 3.5mm headset jack, microphone, and internal speaker on its bottom, and finally the IR blaster and noise-cancelling mic placed on its top edge. Distinctively a Galaxy phone, the same home button is present beneath the display – flanked by the Recent Apps and Back capacitive buttons.

Fingerprint sensor


Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Indeed, the home button incorporates the unit’s finger print sensor, but this year’s implementation is vastly better, since it now follows the operation we’ve seen employed by the iPhone. Rather than swiping down for it to register our fingerprint, all that’s needed now to unlock the phone is to gently press it over the home button. It’s simple and effortless, whereas before, it was a frustrating process at times. Getting it set up is similar to Apple’s Touch ID sensor, as we’re required to gently press our finger over the sensor multiple times – where it’s mapped entirely for accuracy.

Rounding things out, the Galaxy S6 is armed with a new 16-megapixel rear camera, which is the only thing in the back that juts out from the rest of the surrounding area – causing it to come in contact with surfaces when it’s laid down. This presents an issue - one that’s exemplified because of the handset’s top-heavy feel, just because if you’re not careful and try to prop the phone against something, there’s still a distant possibility it can fall over and somehow mess with the lens covering the camera. And finally, we find the LED flash and heart rate sensor nearby.


Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches

143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches

138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.55 oz (129 g)

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

Dimensions

5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 inches

144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.11 oz (145 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches

143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches

138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm

Weight

4.55 oz (129 g)

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

Dimensions

5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 inches

144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

Dimensions

5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 inches

142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm

Weight

5.11 oz (145 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Samsung Galaxy S6 Review

Display

Clearly pushing the envelope, this quad-HD display is not only rich with detail, but it’s the most color accurate AMOLED display to grace a phone to date.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung Galaxy S6 Review
Samsung didn’t stop at just the design when it comes to leaving a lasting mark on us, as the display is treated to the same level of treatment. Keeping the same screen size as its predecessor, Sammy moves forward in that incremental manner by gracing the Galaxy S6 with a drool worthy 5.1-inch 1440 x 2560 (QHD) Super AMOLED panel. In all honesty, the decision to go forward with quad-HD resolution was expected – more so when it’s increasingly becoming the resolution of choice amongst Android flagships.

Going with this, you can imagine that this leads to one staggering pixel density, we’re talking about a mark of 577 ppi! That’s mind-blowing to say the least, which leads to a display that’s rich with detail and exceptionally sharp looking. Most folks would be hard-pressed to distinguish how much more detailed this panel is than others with 1080p resolution, especially from a normal distance, but it goes to show that Samsung won’t settle for anything but being class-leading.

Besides its detail superiority, its Super AMOLED panel follows in fashion to the improvements we’ve seen exhibited already by the Note 4 – thus, shedding the inaccuracies of the Galaxy S5 display, replaced by the color accurate AMOLED panels in other more recent Samsung devices. The company’s continued fine tuning of the display technology has given the Galaxy S6 the best Super AMOLED display to date. For one, its produces a color temperature of 6550K, reaching very close to that ideal reference value of 6500K – so it’s close to hitting that perfect spot of being neither too warm or cold.

Setting the display to basic mode, as opposed to adaptive, which changes the contrast, color saturation, and other parameters depending on what’s being shown on screen, the Super AMOLED panel is extremely color accurate. It’s revealed through the color gamut chart (seen below), as each color gradient matches the reference points throughout the chart. Blues look blue, reds look red, and greens appear green – so the result here is a display with very high color accuracy.

Besting its other Galaxy brethren, we’re exposed to the brightest Super AMOLED display to date. Once known to be a poor performer under sunny conditions, Sammy has incrementally improved its display technology with each iterative device – all culminating to the result found with the S6. Emitting a pretty adequate 563 nit brightness, there’s no issue trying to visualize the screen when the sun is around. In fact, when it’s set to automatic brightness, this Super AMOLED panel reverts to its high contrast mode, which has become a standard function of recent Galaxy smartphones as well, easily eclipsing the brightness of the S5. In that mode, the display loses much of its color accuracy, but becomes way more visible.

There’s a reason why we have flagship devices, they’re supposed to be the best of the best. Thus far, the vast majority of flagships have taken the quad-HD plunge – and the Galaxy S6 goes the same way! However, most of the quad-HD screens we’ve seen have been around the 5.5-inch and up mark, but Samsung has somehow squished it into a screen that measures in at 5.1-inches. All told, it’s a beautiful-looking display that perfectly complements its new aesthetics.



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130 Comments

gynorm

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

9.3 is great. It's really nice to see John review this one this time around.. This device is going to be great!

QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

NO REMOVABLE BATTERY AND MICRO SD = NO SALE

MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

We heard it thousands of times already. Buy then something with removable battery and microSD card slot. Good luck at finding a non-chinese, wieldable phone with both. lol

QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

You're going to hear it millions of times more because only an idiot buys a phone with no removable battery and microSD.

Flippyphone

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

Then there's 750 million+ idiots, because that's how many iPhones have been sold, plus there are other phones that lack removable battery and microSD. 98% of the users out there will get by with the battery life, and 98% who use a microSD only do so because they need a little more (not a ton more) storage, and that is answered with both the Cloud and Sammy offering up to 128GB. The vast majority of phone buyers don't care.

djorn2k

Posts: 12; Member since: Sep 03, 2014

How many times have you change the battery on your phone? Oh about the microSD, I'll admit I am hoarder when it come to taking pictures. I just keep taking pictures without transferring them to my computer. Did I forget to mention that I have a Note 4 with a removable battery and SD slot?

djorn2k

Posts: 12; Member since: Sep 03, 2014

How many times have you change the battery on your phone? Oh about the microSD, I'll admit I am hoarder when it come to taking pictures. I just keep taking pictures without transferring them to my computer. Did I forget to mention that I have a Note 4 with a removable battery and SD slot?

Doctorluv unregistered

I'm gonna be one heck of an idiot this yr, for i am getting me an EDGE!

MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

No one cares about your butthurt opinion. Millions of people will buy S6/Edge and going to be perfectly OK with the lack of the above mentioned stuff. No one is gonna force you to stick with S6. You must have a decent life if spamming Samsung articles are the main part of your day. What about going away? Greetings from Slovakia.

senseiJ

Posts: 172; Member since: May 02, 2015

It' flopping though. Only 10 million shipments in a month..

gamblor77

Posts: 118; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Still doesn't change the fact that's it's kind of a sh*tty phone. I have the 64gb regular s6 so I can say that honestly. This is the first phone I've ever purchased that became slow in the first month and hasn't gotten better. Usually it takes 1-2 years before phones are so full of junk and slow down but not this one... And I don't even have many apps installed. There are some good qualities about it like the screen and camera but nothing special that makes it worth the cost. The battery life is absolutely horrible and it's slippery to hold so I needed a case and it's actually a laggy pos most days to the point that I want to switch back to my Note 3. If I had the choice again I would have got the S5 for $0 rather than the S6 for $360. Pretty sure Samsung's advertising budget paying off all the tech sites to say good things really suckered me in this time. I probably won't buy another Samsung phone honestly... this is my 5th Galaxy device and likely my last.

aleksey4738

Posts: 13; Member since: Apr 27, 2013

you are a big idiot. lol. who carries an extra battery now in days? thats why juice packs are for.

peacekeeper05

Posts: 33; Member since: Apr 23, 2012

Okay. You can call me IDIOT all you want while I enjoy my beautiful and fast Galaxy S6.

refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

So calling me an idiot is your best comeback? No. You are an idiot and you should shut up.

refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

I think non expandable memory should be noted at the end. Fair review to be honest. Decent design, great speed, great camera, great features, great screen, nice software and a great phone overall. The 9.3 is well deserved.

TMach

Posts: 485; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

I am not particularly bothered by removable battery or Micro SD Card, I managed to get hold of a 128GB version (Black Sapphire) which is plenty good for me. One glitch, however, the battery life is so bad, it really sucks and that is coming from a real life perspective. Grabbed one from an online retailer, European version as I am UK based, set it up and marvelled at that screen and the camera is pretty epic. Here's the downer, not a single phone call or text message, admittedly spent maybe 30 - 40 mins browsing but the battery was down at 39% by 5 PM and clearly was not going to get me through the day. My Nexus 6 with similar use would still be up at around 85%! By my standards, simply a no go so it is now on eBay for any interested UK or European buyer to acquire. Perhaps, I was spoilt by LG G2, G3 and Z3 which were my previous phones prior to the Nexus 6 but even the N6's battery seriously outlasts the S6 in real life use. Sorely disappointed......so keen to get rid, I will happily suck up the loss on price!

faddi

Posts: 29; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

HTC One M9, LG G4 and Sony Xperia Z3. None are Chinese.

npaladin2000

Posts: 165; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

None have a removable battery.

ChunkDiesel072014

Posts: 39; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Lg g4 might LG G 3 probably did

coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

what is non-chinese phone? There is no such beast. Apple iphone is made by Foxconn, with parts sourced mostly from asian manufacturers. Even Nokia phones are made in China. Samsung of course is Korean, but much of it's manufacturing is also done in China. So called Indian branded phones are still all manufactured by Foxconn in China.

WAusJackBauer

Posts: 444; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

No removable battery is a little lame but not TOO much of a problem, but no micro SD card slot is just a stupid move.

maherk

Posts: 6430; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Everyone on this site who has read your comments before will know that no matter what, you won't be buying a Samsung phone anytime soon. So stop wasting your energy on posting the EXACT same comment on every S6 article, you copy pasted this one to the Edge's article as well. Stop fishing for likes kiddo.

waddup121 unregistered

9.3...hell yeah thats s great score. Great job for a great flaghship.

jphillips63

Posts: 253; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Hell forget about the removable battery and SD card, look at that butt ugly protruding camera on the back.

jphillips63

Posts: 253; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Double post sorry

DonkeySauce

Posts: 194; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

Rumors are there will be an S6 Sport that will have removable battery and card slot.

ghaniosman

Posts: 78; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

s6 all the way this year

ishaqthkr

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

Note 5: b***h please

ishaqthkr

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

9.3...typical PA rating.

elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Did you really expect them to give it anything below a 9?
Galaxy S6
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2550 mAh(23h 3G talk time)

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