Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
Interface and Functionality
Samsung has talked loudly about how the latest iteration of TouchWiz has been toned down in terms of its feature-set and UI presentation. And true to Samsung's claim, the user interface on the GS6 and S6 edge forgoes the exorbitant features from the past, opting for more straightforward and meaningful functionality. The result is a familiar, but more direct TouchWiz experience that (mostly) eschews redundancies. Both smartphones run Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, bringing along new features such as Pinning and Android Smart Lock, while bearing some of its visual design elements as well. The TouchWiz of present looks dynamic and is definitely more personal thanks to its newfound theming abilities - wallpapers, color accents, icons, and the layout of some core apps can be styled in a myriad of ways.
Additionally, both the Galaxy S6 & S6 edge are top performers in the one-handed usage department, thanks to their reasonably compact sizes and well thought out user interface elements one could easily reach for with their thumb. Checking your email, checking the weather, or calling a contact using one hand feels just right. Also, power users will be pleased to know that TouchWiz’s staple feature of Multi Window is still here, accessed by simply long pressing the Recent Apps button or going through the Recent Apps menu to select the two apps we want to run side-by-side.
You are probably wondering whether TouchWiz on the Galaxy S6 edge looks and feels a little different compared to the original due to the curved screens. The answer is yes, it does, but not to any extraordinary extent. In terms of software functionality, the edges act like icing on the cake, bringing aboard stuff like "Information Stream", "Night Clock", "Edge Lighting", and "People Edge". Behind these edgy names lies pleasant, if rather basic functionality - notifications, clock, and favorite contacts show up on the sides, and they get illuminated in cool flashing colors whenever you are called by someone important. This stuff is there purely for the eye candy, but we have to say, it does deliver at that.
The new TouchWiz is more toned down for sure, but it does preserve the TouchWiz that we all know on the surface. The new option to modify the look of the interface with downloadable themes is a welcome step forward, but even with its inclusion, TouchWiz lags behind the streamlined modern attractiveness we see in other Android interfaces.
Processor and Memory
Keeping it in-house, Samsung has chosen to power the Galaxy S6 & S6 edge exclusively with its very own chip, an octa-core Exynos 7420 processor based on 64-bit architecture. Interestingly, it shares some commonalities with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 SoC, since the two consist of four Cortex-A57 cores running at 2.1GHz, while another four Cortex-A53 cores clock in at 1.5GHz. What’s most profoundly different between the two, is that the Exynos 7420 is manufactured using a 14nm process – whereas the Snapdragon 810 relies on a 20nm process.
The result, theoretically speaking, is that Sammy’s chip should be more power efficient – but more on that one later! Complementing the processor is the Mali-T760 GPU, along with a generous 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM. All this talk regarding its hardware is nothing if it can’t perform flawlessly with its operations, but we’re happy to report that the cutting-edge goodies in tow make the S6 & S6 edge the fastest Galaxy smartphones to date.
One would suspect that employing Quad-HD resolution would stall performance, but that’s hardly the case, seeing that operations are accompanied with buttery and fluid responses. Both devices are unequivocally powerful enough to handle the most demanding gaming titles out there. The Mali-T760 GPU does a commendable job, but in looking at some graphics benchmarks, namely the T-Rex and Manhattan tests of GFX Benchmark, the results lag behind those of the, say, HTC One M9.
As much as we’d like to say that the S6 & S6 edge are universally flawless in their performance, there’s always that nagging voice in the back of our mind, clamoring about how it’ll maintain its smooth performance long-term – more so when additional apps are installed on the phone and new services are added to the background process. For what it is now, however, we can’t deny these Android ubersoldats are utterly unstoppable!
In the past, Samsung focused on the fact that its Galaxy smartphones offered expandable storage via their microSD card slots – a point they’ve kept on harking in its commercials. Sadly, though, the GS6 & S6 edge strictly stick with internal storage. Some won’t have too much of an issue with this loss, but others will miss the added versatility that the slot offers. Therefore, you’ll need to choose wisely on which model to go with: 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB. This matter is especially pressing since the 32GB versions of the devices ship with about 23GB of usable space. Depending on your usage habits, this space could fill out pretty quickly.
Internet and Connectivity
Running at full throttle, there’s no surprise that the Galaxy S6 & edge are perfect web browsing machines. Once again, there is choice in what browser to use – either Samsung’s own Internet app or Google’s Chrome. Whichever one you decide to use, be sure that you won’t be disappointed by their offerings and executions. And just so you know, the quad-HD Super AMOLED displays on both devices picture the tiniest of things with an outstanding level of detail! Overall, the experience is accentuated by its effortless handling of complex sites, instantaneous responses with navigational controls, speedy page loads, and 2K-resolution details.
Since both smartphones feature a new finger print sensor, you can use it to automatically sign into certain sites Rather than having to input your user name and password, all you got to do now is to use the finger print sensor to sign in.
On the mobile network connectivity side, Sammy doesn’t disappoint, as the Galaxy S6 and edge are tooled out with many connectivity features. Being GSM-enabled smartphones, they have a high degree of compatibility with networks from around the world. Throw in expansive LTE band support while you're at it, in conjunction with category 6 downlink, and these bad boys will deliver download speeds of up to 300Mbps. Beyond that, they share all the standard-fare connectivity of today’s high-end phones, supporting things like GPS with Glonass, Bluetooth 4.1, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, NFC, DLNA, MHL, and the ever-important microUSB 2.0 port.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 & S6 edge are the first devices to come stock with Samsung's new Pay service, which, as you might guess, is a bona-fide Apple Pay competitor. Right now, Samsung has completed deals with Visa and MasterCard, but it's yet to extend this partnership to other major players, such as American Express, Bank of America, or Chase. However, the company claims that it's working on it. From a technological standpoint, the most interesting thing about Samsung Pay is the new Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) proprietary technology, which should widen Samsung Pay's compatibility with shopping terminals significantly. In addition to NFC for making contact-less payments through terminals that support near field communications, Samsung Pay will also be able to communicate with traditional magnetic stripe terminals, thanks to MST. Unfortunately, the bad news is that Samsung Pay will not be available to use with the Samsung Galaxy S6's launch, as the service will be enabled sometime during the summer, first in the Unites States and South Korea, followed by Europe and China a bit later.