Back in 2014, Samsung received several flacks and went downhill for introducing the Galaxy S5. It was forgettable to say the least. But the introduction of the new flagship under the Galaxy S series in April 2015 earned the company a lot of positive remarks. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 are remarkable because they marked the beginning of a new design language for Samsung while also maintaining the usual performance upgrades consumers expect in new top-tier devices.
While we would generally recommend buying either of these devices, both the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have their fair share of strengths and weaknesses. It would be better to first consider our simple rundown below before heading to your favourite retailer or signing a carrier contract:
Reasons why you should buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge
1. Premium build quality that looks good and feels good. For an expensive flagship product, you would certainly want it to look and feel premium. Samsung is finally done with plastics. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge now have a matte aluminium alloy frame and a Gorilla Glass 4 on the front and back.
However, metal and glass frames can be slippery. But both devices have chamfered sides to improve grip. Furthermore, the S6 Edge ups the antes with a curved display panel that represents a seamless fusion of glass and metal.
If appearance matters to you, the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge is definitely for you. And if you are a tenured Galaxy S series user, rocking a Samsung flagship now exudes class and elegance.
2. Better camera performance with improved hardware and software. Samsung raises the camera game with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. In this age of Instagram and Vines, camera performance can make or break a premium smartphone device.
Both devices rocked some of the best camera specifications in a smartphone device out there. The rear 16 megapixel and front 5 megapixel cameras of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have an f/1.9 aperture compared to the f/2.2 aperture of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and HTC One M9. This means that both devices have bigger lens opening that allows more light to enter, thus processing clearer and brighter pictures even under low light environments.
Samsung integrated an optical image stabilisation in the rear cameras of both devices—a camera feature that is also present in iPhone 6 Plus. Essentially, an OIS nullifies shakes and tremors during video recording while also allowing the camera to record better in low light environments.
There are also several improvements to the camera software. You can quickly launch the camera app by pressing the home button twice. Other features include object tracking, real-time HDR, manual focus, and better white balance calibration using an infrared sensor.
The advanced shooters in the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge make either of them a perfect lifestyle companion.
3. Fast charging and power saving features. You would want a smartphone device that could last an entire day. However, top-tier smartphones are power hungry. Samsung has resolved this issue with the Fast Charging feature first introduced with the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4.
The Fast Charging feature in the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge is a perfect quick-fix solution. The technology works by rapidly charging the battery when it is almost depleted and slowing down as the battery level goes up to preserve battery integrity. A 5-minute charging time raises the battery level to 14% while a 15-minute charging time results in 32% battery level. Plug the device for 40 minutes and you’ll have a battery level of 76%.
But aside from Fast Charging, both the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge come with two power saving modes. The first and standard power saving mode limits several background processes and dims the screen display to extend the battery. The second or ultra power saving mode completely shuts down critical background processes and switches the display under a monochromatic orientation. While under this secondary mode, the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge can still perform basic functions to include sending and receiving calls or text messages, and running a limited number of applications.
4. Better overall hardware performance and software features. You should expect top-notch hardware specifications and software features for a premium and expensive smartphone. However, several hardware and software improvements differentiate the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge from their competitors.
Both the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have an improved fingerprint scanner that uses a touch-based mechanism similar with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. This is a welcome improvement from the unresponsive and inconvenient swipe-based mechanism seen in the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4.
Then there are the standard hardware and software features that are unique to Samsung. These include the heart rate sensor that works with the S Health app, NFC sensor for seamless connectivity with compatible device, and mobile payments. Both the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have retained the multitasking features seen in the Note 4 to include split screen and picture-in-picture.
Samsung has also reduced the bloatware that came with previous flagship Galaxy devices. Samsung has also trimmed down the clutter in the operating system to allow a more simplistic user experience. Thus, if you are familiar with the Galaxy flagships, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge the same but improved user experience.
Reasons why you shouldn’t buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge
1. There is no removable battery anymore. When Samsung decided to ditch plastic for an aluminium unibody frame, compromise had to be made. The result is a non-removable battery. Of course, the battery can still be removed albeit through a painstaking process that requires ungluing the glass backing from the frame using a blower gun.
There are several reasons why you would want a removable battery. Although powerbanks are available, they do not provide the same immediacy as a spare battery. Once you run out of battery charge, you would need to plug your device to a powerbank. The connecting cable can limit the usability of your phone. Either you wait for your device to reach a certain battery level or just deal with having your phone plugged. However, with a spare, fully charged battery, just swap it with your drain batter and your phone is good as new.
It is also important to consider the fact that powerbanks are not compatible with the Fast Charging feature of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
2. Samsung has also removed expandable storage. Those who were once loyal to Samsung had argued that their Galaxy S devices are better than the iPhone because of the expandable storage through a removable micro SD card. However, because of the same aluminium unibody frame, Samsung has to remove this feature.
The absence of an expandable storage somehow makes the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge similar to the iPhone 6 and other competitors. Possibly, the better alternative is the Galaxy Note 4. But if you still prefer a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge, you should purchase either the more expensive 64GB or 128GB models instead of the 32GB model.
3. Same AMOLED screen display technology. If you are a heavy smartphone user who spend a considerable amount of time browsing the Internet, reading ebooks, or using productivity apps, the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge might not be right for you because of the AMOLED screen.
Sure, the AMOLED screen display technology produced vivid images with high contrasts and deep blacks. However, as observed from previous Samsung devices, there is one problem with AMOLED screens: susceptibility to screen burns.
An AMOLED display also has shorter lifespan compared to other display technologies. Devices that rock this display technology might exhibit degradation within two years—this is impractical if you want a smartphone that could last for more than two years without signs of wither. Screen burns can also be unsightly and annoying.
Verdict: Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge?
The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are two of the best smartphones introduced this year. Both devices are remarkable aesthetically and technically. With top-notch hardware specifications and useful software features, coupled with a gorgeous and fashionable build quality, and not to mention, outstanding camera performance, buying either of these two devices would definitely be worth your penny.
If you are a seasoned iPhone user who would want to try an Android device or if your previous phone was an HTC One, the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge is a worthy upgrade. However, if you are a tenure Galaxy S and Note series users, the lack of removable battery and expandable storage could be a deal breaker. Photo Credit: Samsung Electronics/Adapted