MWC 2015: Introducing the flagship Samsung Galaxy S6, curved-display Galaxy S6 Edge (VIDEO)
On the heels of HTC's announcement, Samsung unveiled its latest and greatest at MWC 2015, introducing the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones.
The new-generation flagship smartphones from Samsung finally bring a more premium design to the table, as the previous Galaxy S5 received plenty of criticism for its band aid-like plastic design.
"With their slim, seamless, full metal and glass construction, the sleek, ultra thin edged Galaxy S6 and unique, dual curved Galaxy S6 edge are crafted from the finest materials," Samsung touts on its UK website.
"With the all new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung is offering what's next in mobility, along with a new standard to drive the global mobile agenda," JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics, further boasted in a new press release. "By listening to our customers, and learning from both our success and missteps, we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas. With a reimagined design, robust partner network and novel services, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge offer users the ultimate experience in smartphone options."
The new Samsung Galaxy S6 now ditches the dreaded plastic body for a sleek design, combining an aluminum frame with a glass back. Other than the materials, the overall look and form factor is still very reminiscent of the Galaxy line, making it impossible to mistake it for another brand.
The company further boasts that its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge may be the thinnest smartphones it has ever made, but they nonetheless pack powerful internals for an impressive performance.
On the other hand, this sleek new design does come with a few sacrifices. The new Samsung Galaxy S6 now has a non-removable battery, and it also lacks a microSD card slot for expandable storage.
The Galaxy S6 Edge, meanwhile, comes with the same metal and glass body, but rocks a curved display with dual edges that add extra functionality. The People Edge allows users to assign colors for up to five contacts, so they can know who's calling even when the phone is face down. The other edge, meanwhile, shows notifications and bits of information, allowing users to see calls, texts, and more, at a glance.
"Carefully crafted from metal and glass, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge blend purposeful design with powerful features. The Galaxy S6 edge, particularly, shows unique and outstanding beauty while also providing a solid grip and an immersive viewing experience with the world's first curved display on both sides. Its glass body, made from the toughest glass to date, Corning® Gorilla Glass® 4, is available in an array of colorful jewel tones, including White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz and Green Emerald, which elicit a unique visual texture as it reflects natural light. This timeless design required first-of-its-kind glass crafting technology and unmatched quality control, setting the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge apart from every other mobile device on the market. The premium device aesthetics deliver true value and are complemented by a totally new and lighter interface that greatly enhances usability and functionality. A refined and fully optimized user experience simplifies applications and offers features and settings in a more intuitive way."
The new Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge share the same specifications overall, except for dimensions and battery size. Both handsets rock 5.1-inch AMOLED displays with a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and pack 14-nm Exynos 7420 processors under the hood, paired with 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM. When it comes to storage, options range from 32GB to 128GB of built-in storage capacity, as well as 100GB of OneDrive storage for two years.
Both smartphones come with 16-megapixel rear cameras with optical image stabilization, and 5-megapixel front shooters for high-quality selfies. In the battery department, the Galaxy S6 features a 2,550 mAh unit, while the Edge variant has a larger 2,600 mAh battery.
This means that the battery of the new flagship is slightly smaller than the one found on the Galaxy S5, but Samsung did equip the smartphones with some neat features that should enhance the experience. Wireless charging, for instance, supports both the WPC and PMA standards, and should make it more convenient to juice up the handsets. Moreover, Samsung also included fast-charging technology, allowing the smartphones to get two hours of video playback in just 10 minutes, or fully charge in roughly 80 minutes.
Connectivity options include 4G LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, and Glonass.
On the software side of things, the new-generation Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge run Android 5.0 Lollipop with Samsung's own TouchWiz on top. At first glance, Samsung's UI may not seem very different compared to the previous version, but the company has nonetheless reduced the number of pre-installed apps, also referred to as bloatware. Overall, the UI is still familiar, but fewer pre-loaded apps should translate to a faster and smoother performance, as well as more storage actually available to the user.
The new Samsung Galaxy S6 also comes with an improved fingerprint reader, which now requires the user to press a finger rather than swiping it. This should allow for more accurate readings and make the whole process more reliable. Moreover, Samsung has also introduced its new mobile payments system, aptly called Samsung Pay, which will work with out without NFC. At least at first, Samsung Pay will only be compatible with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.
Pricing and Availability
Samsung has yet to mention just when its new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones will hit commercial availability, or how much they will cost, but should offer more details shortly. In the meantime, interested customers can pre-register on Samsung's website to receive notifications as soon as more information becomes available. To learn about the design story, or to see an official introduction for the two handsets, check out the videos embedded below.
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