Galaxy S6 Guide (2015)
Chapter 2 The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge
“The Next is Now” – Galaxy S6 slogan
The earliest rumors for the new Samsung Galaxy device started last January 2015. The gossip mill within the World Wide Web was rampant with the upcoming successor of the Galaxy S5.
Most of the hushed whispers and speculations were about the curved edge of the upcoming S6 as well as the shift to Samsung's native chipset, the Exynos, rather than the usual Snapdragon Qualcomm. There were also photo leaks and by the time of the pre-release, the rumors were no longer such. Aside from the curved edge which was one of the two releases, there was the usual candy bar smart phone variant, the Galaxy S6. The Galaxy S6 Edge's curved screen does not dramatically shift like the Note Edge's and instead of only having one edged side as with the latter model, it has both left and right sides in a curve.
The unveiling was last March 1, 2015 at the Mobile World Congress. The event was held in Spain and Samsung Electronics event, Samsung Unpacked. Those who were part of the event had a chance to test out the new family member of the Galaxy S line up. It was then officially revealed that the next in line for the Samsung Galaxy S series are the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Although it was not much of a surprise by then. As per reports, these devices are already shipped with the latest Android version which is 5.0, Android Lollipop.
Aside from the partnership with Goggle which means the usual pre-loaded applications such as the Play Store, Goggle Play Music and Goggle Chrome, Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have pre-loaded Microsoft applications such as Skype and One Drive. Samsung is giving free 115 GB worth of storage with the Microsoft One Drive cloud storage for two years. This free storage can compensate greatly for the lack of external memory expansion slot.
The staple, TouchWiz, Samsung Electronics' proprietary User Interface (UI), will run on top of Lollipop. However, unlike the predecessors which contained several bloat ware and unwanted applications, the current TouchWiz has been streamlined. The UI has also been simplified and it looks more or less similar to the stock Android. The sleek and smooth upgrade of TouchWiz is a great step on the part of Samsung and the public's reception towards it is more than appreciative of this.
As of today, these new flagship models of Samsung are receiving positive reviews. Why is that? The S6 models, as mentioned, are successors to the previous Galaxy S5 and retain the tradition of bar styled multi-touch screen interface, yet the excitement was palpable.
Despite the traditional physical appearance and functionality, Samsung is giving the new devices a fresh look.
Samsung Electronics has made a move to veer away from their usual plastic physical make-up and opted from a matte aluminum alloy frame. The move to metallic frames of Samsung is not new. This started with the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy S series, a mid-range brand of smart phones. The Corning Gorilla Glass 4 is also implemented on the front and the back of the Galaxy S6 models. The new physical appearance gives a pleasing aesthetic value to the device. This change was highly praised by the early critics of the device. Samsung is setting the bar of having both front and back portions of smart phones be protected against scratches through the implementation of the Corning Gorilla Glass technology.
The Galaxy S6 models are being equipped with the capacity for wireless charging and as well as fast charging. These changes are deemed as a significant move because it allows for the wireless charging of the mobile devices to be possible and more efficient due to the predominantly glass facets of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. The company claims that it will only take one and a half hour to fully charge the device from 0 to 100. Samsung has said that they are also selling their own brand of wireless chargers but the Galaxy S6 wireless charging ability will also work with other brands of wireless chargers. They are compliant to the wireless charging standards of Qi and Matter Powers Alliance. This ensures consumers that the wireless charging of the Galaxy S6 models are state of the art and stable.
In line with the Samsung devices wireless charging, there are news that the company is teaming up with IKEA to integrate into furniture the capacity for wireless charging.
These new implementations are not only the latest additions. According to Samsung, the company has raised the bar of the quality of the cameras of the new models.
The new back or rear-facing camera is said to perform better under low lighting conditions compared to the rear-facing camera of the S5. The rear-facing camera is at 16 MP and has similar specifications with the Galaxy Note 4. The camera is accompanied by a LED flash. The front camera also receives an upgrade and a nice one too. From the usual 2 MP front cameras of the Galaxy S smart phones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge's front camera gets a 5 MP bump. To date, this is one of the highest MP available for front cameras within its competitors.
The back-end camera of the Galaxy S6 has similar image sensor as the Galaxy note 4, meaning that it has a built-in optical image stabilization. The real-time HDR is also present. The camera also has auto focus on object tracking and with the aid of the infrared that is responsible for the heart rate sensor, there is white balance calibration integrated. Those who have a shaky grip will no longer worry because the Galaxy S6 Edge also has the same capabilities. Samsung claims that the camera upgrades will allow for a better low-light performance.
Another noteworthy upgrade is the inclusion of Samsung Pay. Last February 2015, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd was able to acquire LoopPay. Through the acquisition, Samsung integrated the mobile payments system that was developed from LoopPay's intellectual property. Samsung Pay works with at least 90% of the point-of-sale units within the United States. According to LoopPay, the mobile payment system that they have developed has workarounds to the limitations of the other mobile payment systems. This means that LoopPay's development team has made significant improvements within the mobile payments systems.
Samsung Pay will make the device work as if it was a credit or debit card that was swiped through the pay terminal's slot. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will emit an electromagnetic field that will act as a conduit for the transaction. The technology behind this is called Magnetic Secure Transmission, the intellectual property of LoopPay.
Aside from this, mobile payments done through Near Field Communication (NFC) is also supported. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are trailblazers among the Samsung mobile devices for this type of upgrade.
Owners of these new models will not have to worry about credit card theft because the information is stored in an isolated and secure token. Also, payments need to authenticate via the fingerprint scan to make any transaction valid.
This brings us to another upgrade of the S6 models – fingerprint scanner. There have been positive remarks about the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge's fingerprint scanner According to one critic, Anandtech, Samsung's fingerprint scanner is on par with Apple's Touch ID system. Instead of a swipe-style fingerprint scan which was in the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have a touch-based fingerprint scan.
Aside from the initial positive reaction, there have also been concerns that were raised. The common worry was the lack of memory expansion slot. Unlike the predecessors of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the current set of devices has removed this particular function. According to Samsung, the lack of a memory expansion slot is to allow for better performance and speed of the devices. The new addition to the Galaxy S line also does not have a removable battery.
In response to the lack of an expandable memory slot, Samsung Electronics is offering three different internal memory storage capacities: 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB.
Along with those mentioned, these new S6 models are compatible with the Gear VR, Samsung's virtual reality headset. The Gear VR was originally set to work for the Galaxy Note 4 but the new Gear VR, which is being rebranded into Gear VR Innovator Edition for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
In this chapter, the upgrades and new inclusions that were incorporated to the S6 models were discussed. There were improvements to the older hardware components as well changes to the infrastructure of the device. Unlike the other members of the Galaxy S line, the S6 and S6 Edge were built from ground up, discarding the plastic frame for which Samsung phones were well-known for.
The new members of the Galaxy S series of smart phones are eliciting positive responses from the public and to some, this device could be, as stated in the previous chapter, bring back the Galaxy S devices into the top list of smart phones. The specifications of the S6 models will be shortly discussed in greater detail.