Samsung Galaxy S6
Reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S5 generally agreed that it is a good device, but with the added label of being predictable. The Galaxy S5 was soon followed by the Galaxy Alpha and the Galaxy Note 4 which showed Samsung’s experimentation with the use of premium materials. The recently launched Samsung Galaxy S6 is the solidification of Samsung’s revamping of its reputation – the Galaxy S6 did away with plastic, has no removable battery and SD card, and used a Gorilla Glass – while still retaining some of the brand’s distinct features, including the oblong home button and AMOLED panel.
The Galaxy S6 measures 142.1 x 70.1 x 7 mm and weighs 132 grams. The phone’s other specs include a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display; a Samsung Exynos 7420 octa-core processor; a 3 gigabyte (gb) RAM; a storage of either 32 gb, 64 gb, or 128 gb; a 2550 mAh battery; a 16 MP back camera and a 5 MP front camera; and a wireless.
1. Front and back panel
The Galaxy S6 is uncontestably the most premium Android phone to date. Here are a few reasons why:
It has a thin and light design, making it a joy to hold.
The standard Galaxy S6 has noticeably thinner bezels.
The Gorilla Glass 4 slightly curves into the device’s aluminum band. It’s notable that there is no gap between the glass and metal, displaying Samsung’s precision.
The non-removable back panel is also made of Gorilla Glass 4 and similarly meets up with the aluminum band. The glass back, while arguably more vulnerable to breaking, provides the advantages of a device that has no interference on wireless charging and cellular signals.
The phone’s speaker is located at the bottom, beside the headphone jack and USB port. While it Still has no bass, the speaker’s location is still better than having it at the back.
The few downsides regarding the front and back panel include:
The all-glass exterior is very prone to having fingerprint marks and it can also get slippery.
The flat glass back makes the camera stick out, preventing the device from ever laying flat.
Design is not ergonomic as Motorola’s Moto X, but it’s still comfortable to hold.
The back of the Galaxy S6 also contains the 16 MP camera, the flash, and the heart rate sensor.
The good points:
Tighter design makes the home, volume, and power buttons of the Galaxy S6 stable – compared to the usually loose buttons of previous Samsung phones.
Buttons are metal.
The fingerprint sensor is a very significant innovation. It is still built-into the home button, but unlike the one in the Galaxy S5 which requires the user to swipe (making it very awkward to use), the touch-based sensor of the Galaxy S6 is super-fast and accurate. The user can now just push the home button and leave the finger a split second longer for the Galaxy S6 to recognize the fingerprint and unlock. It takes a bit longer to set up the fingerprints in the phone settings, but the user can now register four fingers instead of three. The fingerprint reader of the Galaxy S6 is so useful and accurate that there’s barely any need for a Smart Lock anymore.
The bad points:
Volume toggles are located too high up on the left;
Multi-tasking and back buttons might be better placed on the right side.
The screens created by Samsung are usually topnotch, and the Galaxy S6 is no exemption. There are only good things to say about this feature:
The Galaxy S6 has a 5.1-inch 1440p AMOLED screen that provides fantastic colors and brightness, and has a higher resolution of 2560×1440. This increase led to a higher pixel density of 577 pixels per inch. The AMOLED technology has significantly improved, making sure that Samsung will continue to be the number 1 in displays.
The auto-brightness feature makes the screen super bright at over 600 nits, but it can also be super dim (ideal to use in a dark place) at under 10 nits. There’s no more need to install an application that would artificially dim the screen, unlike most devices. It is also much better than Galaxy S5 which has a purplish display when the brightness levels are turned all the way down. The AMOLED technology allows it to have perfect black levels plus similarly amazing viewing angles.
The Galaxy S6 has several display modes such as the basic mode, photo mode, cinema mode, and adaptive mode. The photo mode, however, is the best one as it is more vibrant. Samsung is still undeniably the leader in displays – no one even comes close.
The new 64-bit Exynos chip based on a 14nm manufacturing process has an ARM reference big.LITTLE design. It has four Cortex-A57 (big) cores and four Cortex A-53 (LITTLE) cores. The GPU has the Mali-T760 MP8, also an ARM reference design. The decision to do away with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 and to use Exynos 7420 is a good way for Samsung to revert back to its in-house Exynos. The good points about the chip and internals are:
The Exynos chip results in a much improved thermal performance and makes the phone blazing fast.
The 3gb RAM allotment and 32gb, 64gb, or 128gb internal storage contributes to fast storage options. It ensures that users would not lose memory space immediately, even on Lollipop.
In terms of thermal performance, the Exynos 7420 of the Galaxy S6 can get up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, but this is much better than the Snapdragon 810 of the Galaxy S5 which gets a little too warm.
The AndroBench (storage) of the Galaxy S6 is 316/147 Mbps, its AnTuTu (total system) is 64809, and its 3DMark (graphics) is 20395.
The image quality of Samsung’s cameras are usually very good, as is the case in the Galaxy S6.
The camera resolution is similar to the Galaxy S5 but has better image quality.
It is also equipped with an optical image stabilization to avoid blurry photos and a wider f/1.9 aperture for better low-light performance.
The Galaxy S6 camera also has a faster launch time than its predecessors, and the user can easily double-tap the home button (even if the phone is asleep) to open the app.
Default resolution for the images is 16:9, but this can be decreased to 4:3, while the default for videos is 1080p, but this can be increased to 4K.
The new Pro mode allows the user to choose the ISO, white balance, manual exposure, manual focus, and metering. The Galaxy S6 provides excellent photos – they’re not too sharpened and not too smoothed. Users can also adopt the Lollipop Camera2 API to be able to use a third-party app.
6. Battery life
The removable battery – one of Samsung’s distinct features in its past phone models – is now unavailable at the Galaxy S6. Its capacity has decreased to 2550mAh, making the battery life 10 to 15 percent worse than the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S6 battery can run with light usage for a day and a half with two to three hours of screen-on time, while on heavy usage, it can run for 18 to 20 hours with four to five hours of screen-on time.
The Android 5.0.2 Lollipop is used in the Galaxy S6. The TouchWiz is a so-so feature with minimal improvements. That being said, the good points are:
The unnecessary features enabled by default in the previous versions are now gone, including Air View, one-handed mode, and high screen sensitivity.
The settings has been condensed, making the device more stable, and making the phone much easier to use. The priority notification scheme of Android 5.0 is still present in the Galaxy S6, as well as the silent mode option.
The not-so-good points:
Switching between apps is sometimes slow, but the phone does not crash or reboot, which is a common problem of new phones.
The parallax effect at the home screen, which shifts the wallpaper around as the user moves the phone – and there’s no way to disable this.
The Flipboad-powered news feed My Magazine is now called Briefing but this lags.
Apps are also not organized even as you set to organize it alphabetically because by default, new apps go to the end, and uninstalling apps leave gaps on the page.
The current themes are not very remarkable. The themes come in a package, but the individual parts (the wallpaper, for instance) may be changed once the theme has been applied. There are also limited choices, most of which have “cute” characters and colors, but new options are being added at the theme store. It would be good to accommodate paid content from third parties,
All in all, the Galaxy S6 can be described as the best Samsung phone. Its industrial design effectively differentiates it from other Android phones. The fingerprint sensor, is really a remarkable improvement from the first one seen in the Galaxy S5.
There’s enough room for improvement in terms of the software. The TouchWiz of the Galaxy S6, for one, is better than the one in older Samsung devices, but the home screen still has performance issues despite the phone’s octa-core processor. It would still be best to have a clean AOSP theme.
What do you think about this Samsung Galaxy S6 phone ?