Samsung hopes Galaxy S6 gives it the edge - TechCentral

Samsung hopes Galaxy S6 gives it the edge

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

Samsung made it clear at the launch of its two new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge, on Sunday evening that it’s taking direct aim at Apple as it fights to make up ground it’s lost to its American rival in the past year.

Making repeated comparisons with Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus during the presentation in Barcelona, Spain — where the annual Mobile World Congress kicks off on Monday morning — Samsung executives launched the new handsets and took the wraps off Samsung Pay, the Korean company’s competitor to Apple Pay, which was launched in 2014 in the US.

The company was clearly keen on taking potshots at Apple Pay during the keynote, saying that at launch its offering will, among other things, be accepted by “far and away” more merchants than any rival system. The launch will happen in the US and Korea in the northern hemisphere summer.

Claiming the new phones “set the performance bar for the entire industry”, Samsung executives took to the stage to declare that the company had developed the “most advanced smartphones in the world”.

The company touted a new, cleaned-up user interface, which has removed a lot of the clutter and made it quicker and easier to access services.

The redesigned TouchWiz interface appears to have taken a lighter-touch approach to re-theming the Android operating system the phones run (it’s version 5.0 “Lollipop”, of course).

But it was the hardware in the new phones that grabbed most attention.

The S6 edge, which looks set to be sold at a premium price, has two curved edges on the left and right (resembling a design ethos first introduced in the Galaxy Note Edge), while the regular S6 closely resembles the design of its predecessor, the Galaxy S5.

The phones are powered by a 64-bit octa-core chipset built using a 14nm manufacturing process. Samsung claimed that although the new processor is 20% faster than the unit in the Galaxy Note 4, it is 35% more energy efficient.

The company has also used the latest DDR4 RAM, claiming it provides an 80% performance improvement. It has also developed a new type of storage technology that it said is faster than other technologies and uses less power.

The Samsung Galaxy S6

The Samsung Galaxy S6

At 5,1 inches, the screen size hasn’t changed over the S5’s. The QHD screen’s pixel density of 577ppi is 77% higher than the S5’s, according to Samsung. The phone is thin, too, at just 6,8mm.

Gone is the cheap plastic materials of prior models, replaced with a slim, metal unibody design. There are four colours to choose from, including an attractive green.

However, despite the new unibody design, the phones are not water resistant.

Samsung didn’t disclose the capacity of the battery at Sunday’s event, but it claimed the device now charges much faster — twice as fast to fully charged, it said, than an iPhone 6. A 10-minute charge provides up to four hours of day-to-day use, the company said. This fast-charging feature presumably requires a Samsung-designed charger to work.

Wireless charging is also a built-in feature of the new phones, and Samsung is supporting both industry standards for such charging, meaning more options for users on the go.

Given the amount of time dedicated to the subject at Sunday’s keynote, camera technology was clearly a key focus for Samsung in its new flagships.

The front-facing “selfie” camera features a 5-megapixel sensor, brighter f/1.9 lens, real-time high-dynamic range and a low-light feature that combines multiple images to create a brighter composite image.

The rear camera’s sensor is 16 megapixels and features the same f/1.9 lens for low-light photography. Optical image stabilisation is included, too. Samsung said it takes less than a second to bring up the camera software as it is always running in the background, allowing users to snap pictures quickly.

The two phones come in three storage variants — 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. There’s no microSD card slot, so those considering this phone will be best advised to choose a size carefully at purchase.

Both phones go on sale in 20 countries on 10 April, followed by a roll-out to other markets. It’s not immediately clear if South Africa will be in the group of the first 20 countries to get them.  — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media

10 Comments

  1. The ball that keeps regular customers – the ability to change batteries, put custom backs on the phone and use an SD card, water resistance is out the window too. Oh but don’t worry the camera is slightly better. This is a complete fail and the sales figures are going to tank! Trying too hard to compete with Apple aesthetics and they won’t win that battle.

    BTW I’m a Samsung fan. A very disappointed one.

  2. Well if i cant use a SD card or replace the battery i guess i will be giving this model a skip

  3. I’m also of that mind set. If I wanted to be restricted on what I can do with my phone I would buy an Apple. Samsung, I might have thought about this upgrade, but maybe not..

  4. Lesego Paynter on

    Whoa whoa whoa impressive performance figures. I like the S6 edge but samsung must improve its styling.
    I cant wait for it’s arrival late this year or early next year.

  5. Samsung was completely innundated with requests to make an aluminum phone, similar to Apple’s offerings. Now that they’ve listened to the market and done that, there are people complaining that they’ve moved away from plastic backs. They’re going to do what most people want. Low chance that everyone’s going to be happy simultaneously.

    The company made sure to upgrade the battery and create new charging methods, so as to no longer allow for a need to remove the batteries. They also increased the internal storage capacities to counter the lack of SD card support.

    The S6 looks and feels far more premium (which it is, especially considering its price will most likely be the same as if not more than the S5’s) than its predecessors, something Galaxy phones have been lacking for a long time.

  6. I think instead of making 2 different models with a curved/non curved screen they should have had the flashy version and the non flashy(traditional) version.

    The benefit of SD slots is the SD storage is far cheaper than built in storage, and companies like Crapple charge around R1000 for 32GB extra, i haven’t seen the pricing of the various storage models from Samsung but it’s safe to assume they will take a similar approach as there is no point selling different storage models with R200 – R300 price variance. So the customers will feel aggrieved and vote with their feet.

    There’s 2 sides here, there is the loyal fan base that is going to jump ship to make a point and there are the few on the other side of the fence that may convert. My prediction is that more loyal customers will leave than new customers will join hence sales will tank.

    I look forward to coming back to this page in a month’s time to tell you “I told you so” i will be bookmarking this link.

    Cheers!