Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge – First Impressions

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge are in no doubt Samsung’s flagship phones for 2015. But it wouldn’t be a flagship Samsung phone without it’s flaws. Let’s take a look at the team’s first impressions of the two devices.

Galaxy S6 and S6 edge

I took a look at the devices in the Samsung Store a month ago, and to start the design of the phones seem pretty impressive. This is no doubt one of the most premium handsets from Samsung. Gone is the plastic they have used for many years now and now we have a unibody metal design.

But it’s not all good though.

For starters, if you were keeping up with Samsung devices for a while now, you know before that Samsung devices always had a removable battery and expandable storage. However, we were seeing a different approach from Samsung starting with the Galaxy Alpha, which was one of their first attempts in a premium metal phone. It had a removable battery, however you could not insert a micro SD card. Then we had the A and E series smartphones from Samsung, which the battery was non removable but you could still insert a micro SD card.

With the S6 and S6 edge, Samsung eliminated the two features completely. I could see why they did that. First Samsung wanted to make the phone with premium quality materials, so they kept the battery sealed, and with things like Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 and Ultra Power Saving Mode, you don’t really need to worry too much about removable batteries.

With expandable storage, Samsung is offering 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB versions of their phones, similar to how Apple does it with the iPhone. And I can see where they’re going, given the push of using cloud storage now a days.

But enough about that, both the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge have a Super AMOLED screen, and the resolution is 2K which is impressive. However the edge, as the name implies has an edge on both sides. We did see something like that with the Note Edge, but it was a bit gimmicky. We feel the S6 edge was an improvement. But you don’t get the cool features the Note Edge screen has. I can’t comment on the Galaxy Round as I am not too familiar with the device.

The devices have Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on both the front and back, so you can be sure it’s durable. It also includes a fingerprint scanner, which we also saw with the S5. And Samsung is planning to make it more useful by launching Samsung Pay in US and S. Korea, which is their competitor to Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

Both devices come with Lollipop 5.0.2 out of the box, which is nice. But the processor used is the Exynos 7420. Yes, Samsung eliminated Qualcomm completely from their flagship (except for the modem) because of overheating issues found in the Snapdragon 810. But it has been said the Exynos is really powerful, offering super fast performance. I can’t comment too much about it as I haven’t played that much with the device, but overall it’s impressive. The processor is a Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57, while the GPU is a Mali-T760MP8.

The camera is one of the most striking things about the two devices. Double pressing the home button will bring up the camera in less than a second which is amazing! The camera quality is good, and the shutter speed is fast. It is a 16 MP camera with OIS. Some units use a Samsung sensor while some use a Sony. It can record video at 4K resolution. The front camera is a 5 MP shooter which I like to call it a “Selfie Camera”. It can record video at 1440p @ 30fps.

One thing which was removed was the waterproofing feature found in the S5.

The colours available are Black Sapphire, White Pearl and Gold Platinum. However with the Galaxy S6 we get Blue Topaz and with the S6 edge we get Green Emerald.

Accessories available are the Wireless Charger, Clear View Cover, Flip Cover and more. However it’s been reported the Clear View Cover causes scratches to the phone’s design. But we do admit the Clear View Cover seems pretty cool.

When it comes to TouchWiz, I am happy to say Samsung did a better job than last time. The S4 was really bad and was full of bloat, but we do see some bloat on the S6 and S6 edge, but some are Microsoft Apps like OneDrive and Skype which we feel would be useful to some people.

When it comes to gaming, I had a go at Asphalt 8, and the game was super smooth. However during extended use I could notice some heating at the back, and it was pretty warm. But since I used it in a store and it’s on pretty much throughout the day, I can’t really comment about it too much.

Overall as a team we feel the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge are both good devices from Samsung. Samsung learnt their lessons from earlier devices, however it would be nice to see expandable storage at least. Maybe with the Galaxy S7, but let’s wait for the Galaxy Note 5 and see how that turns out. The sales are good and I hope Samsung keeps up their good work in the future. 🙂

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