Samsung Galaxy is a name we are all accustomed with. If you hear these two words, you already know what it is, what it means, what it does and what it costs. This smartphone series has a rich history in the developing of communication devices, in design, technology and probably it will stick for a very long time with us, since Samsung is determined to take this series to a whole other level, always bringing new things to the table.
The Galaxy S is the communication flagship of the Korean manufacturer and it was also the first smartphone series Samsung ever produced, starting with the humble Samsung Galaxy S, model i9000, back in 2010. Since then, Samsung has evolved in a rather flamboyant device, especially with the release of the Galaxy S2 which was one of their best, becoming their second industrial bestseller at the time. The S2 was ultra-thin and light, with a rectangular shape covered in glass, had a good quality rear camera of 8 Mpx, came with 1GB of RAM and used Samsung’s own processor, the Exynox 4210. The S2 was released along Android Gingerbread and was like nothing else, smart, intuitive and showed a lot of potential of what smartphones can become.
After the impact the S2 had on the Android world, Samsung has succeeded in creating other noticeable devices, the S3, S4 and even the S5.
The Galaxy S3 was the successor of Samsung’s biggest success and came after the manufacturer has started to dominate the market. With S3, Samsung started doing things to a whole other level and create massive marketing campaigns, in order to launch their Android flagship internationally. Once released, S3 introduced new hardware and software design language. As for its design, the smartphone was one of the first shiny plastic phones which was the start of a trait that would be found in most of Samsung’s mobile phones. When it was released, the S3 was a high-end device, although wasn’t a revolutionary phone as its predecessor.
Later one, in 2013, Samsung has unveiled the number 4 smartphone of the Galaxy series. The S4 was not far away from the S3, having a similar design which came with an upgraded hardware and with some new software features that took advantage of the new hardware. The smartphone came with Android Jelly Bean, later being upgraded to the KitKat version. It was released with two different processors, one variant with the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600, available mostly in Europe, North America and Asia, and one with Exynox 5 Octa 5410, both supporting LTE. It offered 2 GB of RAM and a 13MP rear camera. Although the S4 was thought to be just an improved Galaxy S3, the smartphone became one of the best sold Samsung phones, with more than 40 million units sold since its release, receiving a lot of positive reviews as well.
In 2014, the S4 was replaced with the Galaxy S5, in on April 11th and was released in 150 countries. The S5 is intended to be an improvement of the S4, having a clearer user experience and evolved security features, such as the fingerprint scanner. Galaxy S5 suffered changes in design, having a much resistant case, with a textured back and it is water resistant. The smartphone is running on Android KitKat out of the box and can be upgraded to the new Android 5.0 Lollipop. It comes in variants of 16GB and 32GB internal memory, it is powered by a Snapdragon 810 processor, clocked at 2.5 GHz, has 2 GB of RAM and a 16MP rear camera.
With the S5, Samsung has come with a new design language for their Android version, TouchWiz. The new version is more dynamic, fluid, clearer and easier than any other version. It also brings new features like the heart-rate monitor and applications to explore. But with all of the new things S5 comes, it wasn’t enough and at the end of the 2014, Samsung has felt a decline in their profits. Galaxy S5 hasn’t sold well, especially in the fourth quarter of 2014, this creating a huge gap in Samsung’s profits. Not only this, but Apple started exploring even more the Chinese Market, selling the iPhone through China Mobile, which has more than 700 million subscribers. Besides Apple, other Android smartphones manufacturers have started to gain more popularity with their offering of better prices combined with good performance. This can only take Samsung a step back from their previous success.
However, the Galaxy S was an ambitious project that was aimed at many markets and Samsung has succeeded in creating the smartphone that could compete with phones such as HTC Desire, Xperia X10 and especially with the iPhone, which became the main competitor for Samsung. Both Apple and Samsung are market leaders in this industry, being two of the biggest producers of smartphones in the world. And even if the competition between the two is tight, Samsung is fighting to preserve its place as the largest smartphone producer. The Korean giant seems to always take the lead as the biggest smartphone maker, taking Apple’s crown a few times in a row. And all of this because of one smartphone series, the Galaxy S.
In 2013, Samsung has overtaken Apple, by being the most profitable mobile phone manufacturer and it also outsold any other smartphone makers. In the same year, Samsung has sold 81.2 million smartphones with a profit estimated at $8.5 billion, while Apple, Lenovo, Huawei and LG has sold merely 69 million units, with Apple selling 33.8 million iPhones, taking the second place as profit. Although until 2014 Samsung has loved being in the spotlight, the company has started to notice the decline in sells by the end of 2014. Their latest flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has not met their expectations, being sold with 40% less than hoping. Samsung is now intending to balance the situation with the launching of the Galaxy S6, in March 2015.
Samsung Galaxy has to be the revolutionary smartphone for today’s expectations, as the S2 was a few years back. Maybe even better. In order for Samsung to stay at the top of the world, they need to bring something distinguishable unique and powerful, like any other device. And we all expect to see this at the MWC 2015. We want Samsung to amaze us with extravagance and style, intelligence and complexity, a smartphone that answers to consumer’s needs of connecting with the world in easier ways, giving in the same time an outstanding performance and style.
After Samsung started to explore more bold designs with the Galaxy Note Edge, we can only imagine in which direction the S6 is going. But, more loudly than ever, we are hoping for all those rumors we hear about it to come true. And as we approach the release date, a wave of rumors are starting to invade the internet, about the Galaxy S6 and its appealing version, Galaxy S Edge. So, what should we expect from the Galaxy S6?
Design and display
The Galaxy S6 and S Edge is said to borrow the Samsung Galaxy Alpha’s style and it will feature a metal body, in order to obtain a fine, expensive and elegant look. Samsung will use metal frames provided by BYD Electronic International Co., according to Bloomberg.
The metal frame Samsung will introduce with the new Galaxy S6 is enough to attract the needed attention since for a long time, the manufacturer has restricted the Galaxy S’s bodies to plastic. At the moment, it is still not known if the S6’s body is going to be unibody or not.
However, some photo leaks, on the Korean website UnderKG, show sketches of the S6 with an all-metal body, with rounded metal edges and corners, while the camera flash is on the side of the camera, instead under it.
The technical drawings, show a slimmer smartphone, with 6.91mm thickness, 70.81mm wideness and 143.30mm tallness.
The S Edge version of the S6, will inherit the edged screen, but instead of having just on curved edge screen, it will have three screen sides. The edges will enhance the user experience and it will bring a big plus to the Galaxy S series. This innovative design it’s made to attract and win new customers and fans. Not only that, but Samsung had to offer a different shape since the smartphone market is full of the same shaped phones we are all used with and when it came down to design, the devices always seemed limited to the usual rectangular one. But Samsung’s vision on combating the monotone design shows us that even a simple shape, can be manipulated and changed into something unique. This opens new opportunities to exploit what a smartphone can do.
As for the display, both versions will feature a 5.1-inch display and is expected that Samsung will still use AMOLED screens, with a resolution of at least 2560 x 1440 (518ppi), as the Galaxy Note 4.
Some time ago, Samsung has stated that it wishes to have smartphones with 4k (3840 x 2160) displays in 2015. But if Samsung is going to launch so early in 2015 a smartphone with 4k display or it will wait until later, it’s not clear. Anyway, as far as the display goes, we can at least hope for a QHD display (1440 x 2560).
Other rumors say that there is a chance for the S6 to have a flexible display, since Samsung had researched this kind of technology.
Android OS and TouchWiz UI
Since Android 5.0 Lollipop was released, all smartphones were preparing for the update and the new ones are slowly integrating the Lollipop into their system. And we don’t expect less from the Galaxy S6. The smartphone it will also run Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top of the Android Lollipop.
Some new reports are saying that Samsung will simplify again the interface and it will get rid of unnecessary functions, aiming to bring the TouchWiz as much closer to the stock Android on the Nexus 6. Either way, Samsung will offer customization features for the UI, as they indent to open a Theme Store which allows customers to personalize their smartphone.
Processor, GPU, RAM Memory & Internal Storage
Once we know S6 will come packed with Android 5.0 Lollipop, which supports 64-bit processors, it is well expected that Galaxy S6 will come with such a chip. Especially after Samsung has already declared it will start using their own new developed processor, the Exynox 7420, which is a 64-bit octa-core chip. There are still a few rumors according to that the Galaxy S6 might have a variant which will still use a Snapdragon processor, being the 808 that can support 2k resolution, or the 810 that supports the 4k resolution. The Snapdragon processor variant, is intended for different markets, such as those for the S4 and S5.
A report from SamMobile has stated that Galaxy S6 will make use of the Exynox 7420 processor with an ARM Mali-T760 GPU.
Also, as shown on gsmarena.com, S6 will come with 3GB of RAM and with 32GB of internal storage that can be extended up to 128GB through the microSD support.
Connectivity & Battery
In matter of connectivity, S6 will support Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 4, GPS, NFC, Infrared port and microUSB 3.0. According to gsmarena, the S6 won’t support Radio, as well.
The battery it will be Li-ion and it is expected to be between 2800mAh and 3000mAh.
Unfortunately, Samsung hasn’t yet decided if the Galaxy S6 will come with a 16MP rear camera or a 20MP one. However, on the gsmarena.com is stated that it comes with a 20MP rear camera with optical image stabilization and a resolution of 4992 x 3744 pixels. The camera will also feature phase detection autofocus and LED flash. It also has other features like Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR panorama, including dual-video rec.
The secondary camera will be of 5MP and can be used for dual video call. Also it has features such as Ultra Wide Shot and Auto Selfie modes.
A feature Samsung has become known for, is the fingerprint sensor and it most likely be used on S6 as well. The sensor can now be used to authorize PayPal payments, since the Korean manufacturer has announced a partnership with them. Samsung will also create a mobile wallet system, via their partnership with LoopPay.
S6 will also come with the heart-rate monitor from the Galaxy S5, it might even have a microSD card slot, although their latest smartphones, Galaxy Alpha and Note 4 don’t have such a feature. The S6 inherits as well features like fast charging, UV sensor and multi-directional microphones, from the Galaxy Note 4. It will also features sensors such as gyro, gesture, accelerometer and barometer, it will have Wireless charging (Qi-enabled), S-voice commands, Air gestures, Dropbox and active noise cancellation.
Another feature that was rumored to be integrated in the S6, is the retina scanner, but this seems rather impossible at the moment, although Samsung has said to be looking into biometric mechanisms, especially iris detection, in order to increase the perception of a secure smartphone.
More, Samsung is likely to present at the MWC a new watch, codenamed Orbis that will compete with Apple’s watch. The Orbis will have a high-end look, with a rotating bezel on top.
Release date and price
As you all know, Samsung Galaxy S6 will be presented a day before the MWC, which starts on March 2nd, but despite the event it is not sure when the smartphone will actually go on sale. It most probably will take another month until Samsung will start to sale their flagship. April is a sure bet since both Galaxy S4 and S5 were launched in the same month. Although, there might be chances for the launching to be delayed.
The Galaxy S6 prices oscillates depending on the internal storage it comes with. For the basic 32GB, the S6 will have a price tag of $855, while for the 64GB the price will be $970 and for the 128GB the price is going to reach $1085.
The prices will definitely rival Apple’s prices for its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Anyway, whatever Samsung decides to accomplish with the Galaxy S6, there are a few things most of us want to see in their new flagship. And that will be a durable and resistant body, with an extravagant feel and a fresh design that is original. A body that differentiates itself from the plastic dimpled body that Galaxy S5 received.
Secondly, we want to be impress by image quality. Every year technology evolves and we expect to just that implemented in all of our devices. So we are hoping for at least 2k resolution, since the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 already received the technology. Anything less than QHD resolution will be disappointing for Samsung’s fans and not only.
Maybe even a better battery, with a more efficient performance management and faster charging, a battery that can last an entire day without needing to recharge the battery a few times so we can enjoy our smartphones at their best.
Another thing it would be great to see on Samsung Galaxy S6 is a flexible design that can be bend and then return to its original shape. The flexible design must be combined with durable components, otherwise it won’t rise interest.
What else it would be nice to see on the Galaxy S6 is the ability to get rid of the bloatware without needing to root our smartphones. Being able to delete unwanted applications that only take space on our phones is something we wish for a long time. And apparently, Samsung is actually working on this so we can hope for free-bloatware smartphones.
Samsung need better speakers. We want to hear clear sounds without any noise and HTC already demonstrated that is possible to have a quality sound even if it’s about a phone and not a music player. Dual front-facing speakers would be nice to have on a Samsung Galaxy, so we can enjoy our music and videos better.
And since we mentioned double speakers and better sound, why not integrate digital radio? FM Radio is slowly disappearing as a feature on most smartphones, but having access to radio stations through DAB chips will be a step ahead for Samsung.
One last thing we want to see is a different UX, a TouchWiz that makes our interaction with our phones much interesting and fun. There is a lot of potential and a world of possibilities that can reinvent the way we use our smartphones. Maybe even making interaction between different devices more exciting. Humans are capable of great things and we can teach the technology we develop to make whatever we dream of.
These being said, there is nothing left but to wait until Samsung’s event on March 1st which start at 6:30PM CET, “What’s next”. Until then, rumors might come to surface, speculations might swarm the internet, but in the end, it all depends on Samsung and their decision. Let’s just hope they are taking the right one and they will woe us with a refreshing Android device.
Don’t forget you can watch the event online, on the official Samsung’s Youtube channel. Also, stay close as we will update this review as soon as something new comes out.