Samsung has finally announced the nitty gritty details, or at least some of it, when its prime smartphones launch in the US. The Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge will arrive in the US via multiple carriers, both postpaid and prepaid, and many, many retailers. This all starts on March 27, when you can put down a pre-order for either, or maybe even both, of the two. The smartphones actually won’t be available until 10th April, so while waiting, why not join us as we give 2015’s stars a spin.
To say that Samsung took criticism seriously this time around would be an understatement. It has finally conceded, albeit in deed and not in word, that metal is the way to go for a flagship. Taking some pages from Sony’s design book, Samsung sandwiches the Galaxy S6 and its dual edge sibling between Gorilla Glass 4 shields to protect the now very premium build. The edges curve a bit, almost like an iPhone 6, just enough not to cut into your palm like the HTC One M9 did in ours.
It would be hard not to compared the Galaxy S6 with its contemporaries and rivals, in particular the HTC One M9 in the Android world and the iPhone 6 from another world. Against the One M9, the two stand head to head in terms of quality of design, with HTC having the advantage of years of perfecting its craft. Sadly, HTC’s contender falls rather short when it comes to the inner workings of the smartphone. The Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge can be claimed to sport the best of the best. A 5.1-inch Quad HD screen, flat on the Galaxy S6 and curved on two edges on the Galaxy S6 edge. There is no Snapdragon 810 here, but the Exynos chip is touted to perform just as well or even better. 3 GB of LPDDR4 RAM is definitely plentiful and fast, while the new UFS 2.0 flash storage promises to be blazingly fast as well.
Another point of difference between the two is the camera, with Samsung fitting not only a 16 megapixel sensor with an aperture larger than the One M9’s, it also manages to squeeze in Optical Image Stabilization, something neither the One M9 nor the iPhone 6 can boast of. It’s perhaps too early to proclaim judgment, but the camera samples below speak for themselves.
We would also be amiss not to compare the Galaxy S6 to its biggest rival, the iPhone 6. And indeed, here you are likely to see more similarities than differences. One might even foresee lawsuits in Samsung’s very near future. Aside from the design, however, the one particular feature some might say Samsung got inspired the most from Apple would be the new fingerprint sensor. Yes, finally, no more foolish, bone-breaking, finger-bending swiping. Just a simple placement of the finger and you’re good to go. This is one of those things you’d be glad Samsung took note of, even if Apple would have something to say about it.
That’s not to say the Galaxy S6 siblings don’t have any new and unique feature to boast of. Samsung really took wireless charging seriously and supported both competing standards (an oxymoron if there ever was one), even if it actually didn’t ship with a wireless charger of its own. Mobile payment is something the Korean OEM is also betting big, with technology from LoopPay that will allow the smartphones to work even with traditional magnetic swipe POS. And how can we forget about the curves of the Galaxy S6 edge. The jury is still out on whether this will make a huge practical benefit in the long run, but one cannot deny how beautiful it looks. And it feels great on the hands as well.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge will be available in the US in Black Sapphire, White Pearl, and Gold Platinum colors as well as in 32, 64, and 128 GB storage configurations. Major carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon will carry both models while prepaid networks like Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and MetroPCS will only have the Galaxy S6. Retailers such as Best Buy, Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Target will also carry both of them. Pre-orders will open up on March 27th but availability only starts on April 10. Pricing and shipping dates will be announced by carriers and retailers.