Everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S6


Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge DSC08444

At Mobile World Congress, Samsung unveiled not one, but two 2015 flagship devices, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Since the phones have been revealed, we have been diving into everything they have to offer to find out what’s new, how the S6 devices compare to the competition, and what we can expect come launch day. Here is everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S 6 Edge.

Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge DSC08487

When Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 4, they gave us a one-two punch that included the Galaxy Note Edge, the first widely-available device to utilize the company’s curved AMOLED technology (we’ll count the Samsung Galaxy Round as more or less a proof of concept). With the Samsung Galaxy S6, the folks behind the world’s most popular line of Android smartphones followed an identical strategy with the unveil of the Galaxy S6 Edge.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge in many ways takes the concept introduced with the Note Edge to the logical next step, opting for a curved edge on both sides of the display rather than the one sloping side of the Note variant. The functionality has also been simplified. Samsung has ditched the “Edge Display” interface of the Note Edge in favor of a more subtle approach.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08583

The curved sides of the S6 Edge in normal circumstances merely continue the flow of the main display in an aesthetically pleasing way, but they also act to provide at-a-glance information about notifications by flashing colors that can be assigned to specific contacts. Dragging from the edge opens up a menu of quick actions to respond to incoming calls and messages. A toned down information ticker is still available, but it serves a much smaller overall purpose than it did with the Note Edge.

Other than their displays, the two devices are identical in terms of hardware and other aspects of their design. The Galaxy S6 Edge’s name implies that it is secondary to the flagship Galaxy S6, but Samsung has been featuring the more unique version of the device most prominently in advertising since its launch at MWC 2015. If it wasn’t for a slightly higher price tag and potential supply constraints as a result of the curved AMOLED technology, we might imagine Samsung could have ditched the traditional S6 altogether. You can get a quick look at how they compare in our hands-on videos with each device.


Galaxy S6 specs

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge DSC08452

Both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge feature an identical hardware compliment, offering one of the most powerful Android experiences we have seen to date. The list of specs features the following highlights:

  • 64-bit Exynos 7 Octa chipset
  • 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM
  • 32GB, 64GB or 128GB UFS 2.0 storage options
  • 16 megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization, 5 megapixel front camera with real-time HDR
  • 5.1-inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED display (577 ppi)
  • Dual-mode wireless charging with support for both WPC and PMA charging pads
  • NFC, heart-rate sensor and improved fingerprint scanner
  • Depth: 6.8mm/7.0mm edge
  • Weight: 138g/132g edge

Samsung has spared no expense in outfitting their 2015 flagship with top-tier hardware, improving many of the features introduced with the Samsung Galaxy S5. This includes the holdover heart rate sensor (which now doubles as an input to acknowledge notifications) and a vastly improved finger scanner.

Galaxy S6 battery & Qi charging

Samsung GalaxY S6 wireless charging DSC08674

One minor difference between the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge is the battery; the handsets feature 2550mAh and 2600mAh batteries respectively. In order to achieve the sleek design that makes the S6 so appealing, Samsung for the first time has opted to make the battery non-removable. One plus side to this is the inclusion of wireless charging as a standard option out of the box.

Audio enhancements

Samsung has also taken the time to improve the Galaxy S6’s onboard speakers. The company claims the device offers 1.5x the audio output volume of the Galaxy S5, and we can confirm that the S6 is a much louder phone if not measure the  results empirically. Sound quality overall was markedly improved.

What’s missing: waterproof construction, expandable storage

One area where the S6 backtracks is a lack of waterproof construction. This was a major selling point for the Galaxy S5 and one hammered home by variant releases like the Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport and Samsung Galaxy S5 Active. A lack of resistance to the elements of nature is a compromise Samsung had to make to in order to achieve the gorgeous design of the S6, but there is at least some hope the company will followup with an Active edition to satisfy the needs of the more adventurous set of users out there.

Going hand-in-hand with the design changes from the S5 to the S6, a non-removable backplate has led Samsung to leave out the option for expandable storage via microSD card. Samsung has counteracted potential storage limits by offering the Galaxy S6 with internal storage of up to 128GB.

Toned-down TouchWiz

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs S5 DSC08959

The Galaxy S6’s hardware would imply a pretty powerful device on paper, but we have seen the performance of Samsung’s best made phones suffer under the bloat of their TouchWiz interface in the past. With the Galaxy S6 this is not the case thanks in large part to Samsung’s efforts in trimming the fat from their custom Android user interface.

While the UI looks pretty similar to that of the Galaxy S5 on the surface, the under-the-hood enhancements equate to a device that feels faster and performs more smoothly, despite their shared Android Lollipop base. Samsung has made great strides to reduce the clutter of previous TouchWiz iterations, giving the interface a refined look that should be more approachable to the user. Just take a look at this new screen-off animation:


The software also comes with a few of its own special features, including the new Samsung Pay mobile payments platform. Utilizing the built-in NFC chip of the S6 and S6 Edge, the new service will be available when the phones reach retail.

Improved fingerprint scanner

Samsung Galaxy S6 Fingerprint sign in DSC08979

The fingerprint scanner of the Samsung Galaxy S5 offered some novel uses such as PayPal payments and Private mode for stored files, but it was awkward and clunky to use and far from reliable. With the Galaxy S6 things have changed drastically. Gone is the swiping motion needed to read a fingerprint on last year’s model, replaced by a method very similar in use to Apple’s Touch ID. In fact, Samsung’s latest fingerprint scanner is on par, if not better, than Apple’s.

The improved finger scanner is quick and accurate; rest your finger over the home button and the device will unlock in short order. Samsung has also added some intriguing functionality, such as the ability to store credentials for your frequently visited websites, using your fingerprint to effortlessly login via the browser.

Lightning-fast camera

One area where Samsung has greatly improved with the Galaxy S6 is the camera. While Samsung’s recent releases have all offered pretty solid camera experiences, the software side of things has become increasingly bloated. Samsung opted for a simplified interface to make quickly capturing photos easy.

Samsung still includes plenty of what we expect — filters, various photo modes, slow motion video, and panoramas, to name a few — but it is presented in a less cluttered way. The features are there when you want them, but won’t get in the way of taking that spur-of-the-moment shot.

When you really want to dive into a shot, Samsung offers a Pro mode that allows the user to make adjustments to a number of parameters more typically associated with standalone cameras. These include white balance, focus, ISO, and more.

But this would all mean nothing if the Galaxy S6 didn’t offer a solid camera sensor to begin with, and again Samsung has delivered. A 16MP camera is paired with optical image stabilization to make capturing shots a breeze. The OIS itself is impressive when compared to the iPhone 6, which lacks stabilization altogether. The Galaxy S6 proved to be a quite capable shooter when pitted head-to-head against Apple’s latest iPhone.

Most impressive, though, is the Galaxy S6’s ability to go from screen off to photo in under a second — 0.7 seconds to be exact. A quick home button gesture combined with the S6’s awesome hardware are what make this possible.

Gear VR, new cases, and other accessories

Samsung Gear VR DSC08515

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be Samsung’s second and third devices to support their Gear VR platform powered by Oculus. An updated Gear VR headset will be released that will fit the S6, giving future owners the ability to dive into the world of in-home virtual reality. We were big fans of the Note 4 version, and expect more of the same from the Galaxy S6 with Gear VR.

A new phone release would be nothing without a few new cases to go along with it. Samsung has introduced an updated S View style folio case tailor-fit for the S6 Edge. It features a translucent plastic front that pairs with a low-energy notification view to provide a quick look at incoming calls and messages. We also get some standard slim-profile cases from Samsung for the S6 and S6 Edge.

Samsung Galaxy S6 flip case open DSC08607

We can expect to see plenty of third party cases hit the market for the new Galaxy S phones. Speck has unveiled their lineup and other have followed suit. Expect a few first-party options from Samsung when it comes to wireless charging, though the S6 will support a number of docks already on the market.

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. the competition

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9

The Galaxy S6 wasn’t the only device recently unveiled. The HTC One M9 looks to be its biggest competition. The two devices stack up favorably in terms of power and performance, but the curved AMOLED of the S6 Edge really sets it apart. For those wondering whether or not the S6 is a worthy upgrade over their current S5, the below chart highlights the major differences.

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S5

The other prime competitor is Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. While Samsung has again proven they are not against aping the design choices coming out of Cupertino, they have actually done a lot with the S6 to set their phone apart. Where Samsung faltered previously (weak fingerprint scanner, software lag, and beauty in design, to name a few), they have now matched or exceeded what we get with Apple’s latest smartphones.

Pricing & Availability

Samsung Galaxy S6 all colors DSC08555

When can you get your hands on what is so far the hottest Android phone of 2015? Samsung has scheduled an April 10th worldwide launch for both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Samsung has pulled in a record 20 million reservations for their latest Android handset through retailers and carriers stocking up for launch day. The phone should be widely available for pre-order by April 1st through most carriers, including Verizon and Sprint.

A specific street price for both the GS6 and GS6 Edge have not been revealed. The closest we have come is what has been leaked in the rules of a T-Mobile contest, which put a $699 off-contract price tag on the Galaxy S6, though there is no indication of what storage configuration this price pertains to. The S6 Edge is expected to cost slightly more.

As we await more info the launch, we can take solace in the official unboxing and hands-on video posted to Samsung’s YouTube account.

Galaxy S6 Tips & Tricks

Why do you need tips and tricks for an unreleased smartphone? So you can spend less time learning about your device out of the box and more time actually using it.

Here are a few helpful tutorials to get you started:

To read up even more on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, head over and download the official user manuals for both phones.

Galaxy S6 forums

Then you will want to head over to Android Forums, where we have dedicated forums for both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. There you will find a growing number of resources and discussions.

For the Galaxy S6:

For the Galaxy S6 Edge:

Be sure to head over an add your own tips and tricks, or simply join the conversation and pass the time as we await the official launch of Samsung’s latest Android flagship devices.

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  1. Oh and this might matter?


    And how about pricing? Oh wait, no pricing info as Samsung doesn’t even know the pricing. They want to feel out the market until the last minute and see just how much they can squeeze out of people. But “rumors” suggest the Edge versions could come at $1000 and over.

    Oh, and are people aware the S6 Edge is NOT the same Edge as the Note Edge. The Note Edge has an actual separate screen on the edge. The S6 Edge is the same screen curved over. Also, the “dual” sided S6 Edge does NOT allow for you to use both edges at the same time for different tasks. You pick your default edge side and that is where you get to use the limited edge functions. Not exactly what you would expect out of a “dual” edge phone – that you can only actually use 1 edge of.

    1. Oh you! ¯_(ツ)_/¯


    2. Angry much?

      1. Nope. But, it’s not all roses. We are talking about “all you need to know” well, there are other things you should know. I added them.

        Never said I wasn’t going to end up with one either.

        1. You’ll end up with one, and never tell us.

          1. Nah.. I don’t care enough to lie about getting one if I get one. It’s a phone for Christ’s sake, not herpes.

      2. angry much?

    3. This has been since a long time, always the case with past Samsung phones as well, not something new. It’s done on purpose, check manual.

      1. Could be true,could be true. I just wonder if on the Edge if it will play a roll. I just know that story hit the web and caught a lot of attention. But could be bunk.

    4. I read that the edge will be 50,072 Rupee in India, so probably $50k in North America.

  2. The S6 is the most advanced phone at the moment. Exynos octacore processor using 14nm architecture. UFS 2.0 which is said to be much faster than eemc memory used in today’s smartphones. 3 gb of the latest ddr4 ram. Wireless charging standard. Nearly 600 ppi. New Touchwiz themes. Excellent rear and ff camera. Samsung Pay which surpasses Apple pay because of its use of MST. Fast charging ect. People cry about the smaller non removable battery and no sd card, but they made improvements in those areas. The 14nm processor and fast charging may alleviate some of the battery concerns. And while they did take away sd cards they upped the stock model to 32gb and include the best memory technology available with the inclusion of UFS 2.0. I haven’t been hyped for a “S” series Sammy phone since the S3, but this phone is hot!

    1. BUT…. a 32gb with MicroSD is way, way cheaper than a stock 64gb you must buy now just to be safe with memory and not end up like iPhone users running out of space/ So your cost goes up. And, not all items you want to keep on your phone need to be in phone memory, they are just fine on SD cards.

      1. Understood. My point was that even though Sammy took away what many consider some of the best attributes of Samsung phones they also made advancements in the same areas. Obviously if you have tons of media, pics, ect the loss of the sd card is gonna hurt, but you have to give them credit for atleast making the transition some what easier. UFS
        2.0, fast charging, increased base model storage and the expected power efficiency that comes with the new processor may help some, not all.

        1. I’m really looking forward to finding out how this 14nm processor translates into real-world everyday efficiency.

      2. MicroSD is way cheaper, and also provides much less performance.

        The fact remains that I think MicroSD is not coming back to S-series anymore. Maybe Note like will carry it, don’t think S-series will carry it anymore.

        1. Oh man I hope they keep this stuff on the Note series at least.

      3. Go buy a one plus one like I did and wait till your pocket get fat.

    2. > The S6 is the most advanced phone at the moment.

      Huh? With all the MISSING features? The features that Samsung removed?
      What’s next in 2016… remove 5 MORE features?
      We are moving backward… not forward.

      1. So what is the most advanced phone? The S6 has the first 14nm processor. The first to include both wireless charging standards. The first to include UFS 2.0. With the the inclusion of MST technology has the most widely accessible mobile payment system. The latest ddr4 ram. OIS. Need I continue? Other flagship phones lack removable batteries. And while some may include sd cards, the sd cards are much slower than the UFS 2.0 memory found in the S6.

  3. All you need to know about the S6:

    1) No removable battery. So when your phone can’t last a day you’re either stuck tethered to a charging source, or you’re SOL. And in 2 years when your otherwise-perfectly-adequate-phone’s original battery only holds 50% of its original capacity? Too bad. Since I actually use my phone beyond checking my email, a fully-charged battery won’t last me a full day’s use. And if I’m using it more-heavily than usual, I might even need more than one spare. I carry a few… they’re cheap and take seconds to pop in.

    2) No MicroSD card slot. So you’re stuck paying whatever price Samsung wants to charge for storage, you can never expand it from what you bought on Day 1. And no more safe backups of your data for when your phone won’t boot anymore. This has happened to me more than once on every smartphone I’ve owned, and my nightly backup to SD saved the day.

    These are iPhone “features”. I thought Samsung was about giving us something different, something better than the screwing-of-the-user that Apple does with the iPhone. It seems that instead they are content to pull the same crap if Apple can get away with it with their mindless sheep users. Guess the S5 will be my last Samsung phone, and I’ve owned several at this point.

    1. Those are two things only a few tech nerds care about.

      1. Actually, most all users care about these things (battery life, data storage capacity, data safety, phone longevity)… it’s just not obvious to them at initial purchase when they’re being wooed by “oooo shiny!” and “ooo new phone!” Unfortunately the point that they realize they really could’ve used these features, it’s too late and now they need a new phone sooner than expected.

        As it is right now, I have a battery right here for my brother-in-law’s phone. His HTC no longer holds a decent charge, and he’s badly needed a new battery for a while. He would’ve bought it and installed it himself ages ago but unfortunately it’s going to require massive surgery.

      2. You don’t care that your device will be 100% dead and you can’t even replace the battery? What good is a phone that won’t even power up????

        1. I’ve been using a 2013 Moto X for 15+ months, a phone with a non removable battery, and haven’t had any issues. There are many phones on the market that have non removable batteries and they sell very well. Clearly other people don’t mind. If you are in a situation where your battery is running low you can always use something like this: http://goo.gl/VhX3uI

    2. Sadly, it’s the firt Samsung release that’s making me consider moving on to another brand.

  4. to all those fools who think they need SD card in galaxy S6 , its pretty simple why they didnt add it , S 6 uses UFS 2.0 NAND flash memory as internal memory which is 28 x faster than any external SD you use , if you use a normal SD card with that phone , you wont get the amazing reading speed it holds ,it just sacrificed a stupid SD card slot and gave u ability to read data 28 x faster , they also gave 115 GB free cloud storage and a 128 GB variant , people make some stupid ass comments without even thinking or knowning the whole story , learn to look at the phone in a technical way and see why they had to ditch something , hell 70 % of the people who comment here cant even afford that phone , no matter how much u bich about it there are already 20 mil pre orders registered , if you cant face the facts , take a hike , good day !

    1. I agree and SD cards are not the most reilable storage. I had an experience with my Xperia z2 and all the files in my SD card erased. Overall I am impressed with Samsung this year and might consider a galaxy phone soon – from Motorola X 2014 user

  5. Oh my gosh the SD card slot is toast!!! Whatever. Sorry kids but you won’t be able to store your entire porn collection on your phone, only a good portion of it with 128gb of storage.

    No water proof? Oh well. You won’t be able to take phone calls in the shower or go swimming with your phone. How aweful!

    I’d say if they had to leave something out these were good emissions.

    1. You can buy one of the 2011 phone is you want FEWER features. I want newer devices to have *MORE*… not far less.

  6. I couldn’t decide whether to buy the S5 or the S6. So I bought the phone that was $150 less. And has 50% less breakable glass.
    The phone that sits softly in my hand. And the one that I didn’t have to buy a protective case for. And the one that I can replace the battery for $6. And the one
    that’s not extremely slipper on the back. And the one that I can expand the memory to double the size for only $20.
    And the one that is 100% water-proof. And the phone that I can own today… instead of waiting 5 more weeks. And the phone that has the flat,
    wider edge so it won’t slip out of my hand. That phone that’s not a massive fingerprint magnet. The phone that I can later expand
    to 128GB. The phone that has the bigger battery.

    So I bought the older, far better phone: the S5

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