Tech lovers of India and abroad, rejoice yourselves as the tech giant Samsung has conquered new horizons in the field of technology and innovation! Well, of course Samsung has released two new branded smartphones named S6 and S6 Edge respectively.
In an effort to tackle inconsistency and to be in the fierce competition alongside Apple, Xiaomi, HTC and Microsoft, the company released these gigantic phones in front of observers first at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on March 1, 2015. Now less than weeks after unveiling its 2015 flagship, the phone has been officially released at a reception in Mumbai on March 24, 2015. Both phones will go on sale in India from April 10, 2015 onwards with pre-orders starting from April 1, 2015.
Unlike Samsung’s previous flagship, the Galaxy S5, which did not really perform as well as expected, the S6 and S6 Edge goes back to the basics and improves upon them. The company stuffed its previous flagship devices with marginally useful features like fingerprint-based heart rate detection that most customers rarely used.
Both the phones are built from glass and metal unlike the previous Samsung flagships that came with plastic backs, but lacks a microSD card slot and removable batteries, which has changed the mood slightly for enthusiasts, citing lack of storage facilities in these new phones. Additionally, these phones comes under the Samsung Galaxy S series.
Also, prior to its release, Samsung said that it will also pre-install Microsoft’s Office apps, both in its tablets and smartphone brands, extending an agreement to put some Microsoft apps on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 phone. The move is the latest sign that Microsoft is pushing to get its cloud-enabled software into the hands of as many customers as possible, regardless of the platform or device. Microsoft also added that Samsung will pre-install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype and its note-taking and cloud storage apps on certain tablets in the first half of 2015.
The customers can use the apps free of charge but must pay for premium features later on. The companies said in February 2015, that the new Samsung Galaxy S6 phone series would be pre-installed with some Microsoft apps. In the past, Microsoft preferred to pair its lucrative Office applications with its ubiquitous Windows operating system, but with the rise of mobile computing, Microsoft has been working hard to make its software available to users of Apple Inc’s iOS and Google’s Android, which has dominated the tablet and smartphone markets.
Now, to come to the features, which makes the topic even more interesting and intimidating. The Galaxy S6 models were designed to address criticisms and feedback received from prior models, and to target the majority of users. During its unveiling, Samsung stated that it had placed a particular focus on design, its camera, and wireless charging. As part of these goals, a number of features and capabilities seen on the Galaxy S5 were removed, such as its waterproofing and USB 3.0 port. The device’s software was also simplified.
A Samsung representative stated that 40% of the features in ‘TouchWiz’, a software suite were removed or streamlined in comparison to the S5. Additionally, the Galaxy S6’s battery is no longer user-replaceable. The tech giant had been a major holdout from the trend against removable batteries, but argued that due to the S6’s fast AC charging and its support of both major wireless charging standards, it no longer needed to provide the ability for users to remove and replace the battery. The S6 series will be released altogether in 20 countries, including in India.
These devices will run with Android 5.0.2 OS (Lollipop) with Samsung’s TouchWiz. TouchWiz has been streamlined on the S6 with a refreshed design and fewer bundled applications. Several Microsoft apps are bundled with the S6 like OneDrive, OneNote and Skype. On the S6 Edge, users can designate up to five contacts for quick access by swiping from one of the edges of the screen.
The five contacts are also color-coded, when the device is face down, the curved sides will also glow in the contact’s color to signify phone calls. The Night Clock feature from the Galaxy Note Edge was carried over to the S6 Edge. The heart rate sensor can also be used as a button for dismissing calls and sending the caller a text message reply.
The S6 and S6 Edge are the first devices to include Samsung Pay, a mobile payment service developed from the intellectual property of LoopPay, a crowdfunded startup company that Samsung acquired in February 2015. Samsung Pay incorporates technology by LoopPay known as the ‘Magnetic Secure Transmission’ (MST).
It transmits card data to the pay terminal’s swipe slot using an electromagnetic field, causing the terminal to register it as if it were a normally swiped card. The credit card information is stored in a secure token and payments must be authenticated using a fingerprint scan. Samsung Pay will not immediately be available upon the release of the S6, but will arrive later, somewhere in early 2016.
The launch of such phones in India offers the customers there a chance to feel the ultimate smartphone experience with a new standard, that will drive the global mobile agenda, with cutting edge design, robust partner network and novel services. The Galaxy S6 Edge shows unique and outstanding beauty while providing a solid grip and an immersive viewing experience with the world’s first curved display on both sides.
Ushering in the next era of connected mobility, these two devices will surely offer the fastest charging technology, intuitive features, defence grade mobile security, touch fingerprint scanner and data protection, above all through an upgraded Samsung Knox Security System (SKSS).
Carefully crafted from metal and glass, the S6 and S6 Edge blends well with powerful features and purposeful designs. The Galaxy S6 Edge particularly, shows unique and outstanding beauty while also providing a solid grip and an excellent viewing experience, with its curved displays on both sides of the phone.
The glass body, made from the toughest glass till date, is available in an array of colourful jewel tones like White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Green Emerald (S6 Edge) and Blue Topaz (S6), which elicit a unique visual texture as it reflects natural light. These phones have a lighter interface and a refined and optimised user experience, that greatly enhances usability and functionality.
Both the phones of the S6 series or models are equipped with an incredibly vivid, bright and fast front and rear cameras. The F1.9 lenses and high resolution sensors on both rear (5 MPs) and front cameras (16 MPs) provides the most superior image quality in a smartphone, even in a dark place.
Furthermore, a new ‘Quick Launch’ feature give users fast and direct access to the camera from any screen by simply double tapping the home key button. Also, there are advanced light sensitivity options, helping users by choosing the right light for taking a perfect photograph.
With fully embedded WPC-PMA certified wireless charging technology, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are setting a new industry standard for universal wireless charging. Samsung is the first ever company to adopt wireless charging in all its phone models and series.
The devices work with any wireless pad available in the market, supporting both WPC and PMA standards. The way of charging the phone is superb and incredible, two times faster than its predecessor, Galaxy S5 and providing about six hours of usage after only 10 minutes of charging.
As mentioned before, the S6 series is built on the upgraded Samsung Knox, end to end secure mobile platform, by offering defence grade facilities for real time protection from potential malicious attacks. The ‘Find My Mobile’ feature, a first in this series, will secure lost devices and protects personal information through a number of services, including the all new remotely controlled ‘Reactivation Lock.’ With an enhanced touch type fingerprint scanner, it also provides quick authentication and saves encrypted data in all secure device storages.
The S6, unfortunately carries regressions in its design over the S5. It is no longer waterproof and does not contain a MicroSD card slot. Plus, it reverts back to USB 2.0 port from USB 3.0 port, and has a non-removable battery. Both are powered by a 64-bit Exynos 7 Octa 7420 system-on-chip, consisting of four 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57 cores, and four 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 cores, and 3 GB of RAM. The processor is Samsung’s first to use a 14 nanometres FinFET manufacturing process, which the company stated would improve its energy efficiency.
It will be available with 32, 64 and 128 GB of non-expandable storage, by implementing Universal Flash Storage 2.0 standards. Also, both devices feature a 5.1-inch 1440p Super AMOLED display, similarly to the Galaxy Note Edge The S6 Edge’s display is slightly curved around the horizontal sides of the device, although not as aggressively as the Note Edge.
Prices and its availability will vary in 20 countries when released in April. In India, the S6 will be priced at Rs. 49,900 for 32 GB, Rs. 55,900 for 64 GB and Rs. 61,900 for 128 GB. Similarly for S6 Edge, it is Rs. 58,900 for 32 GB, Rs. 64,900 for 64 GB and Rs. 70,900 for 128 GB.
Additionally, Samsung India has partnered with Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom provider to start offering double data benefits to all S6 models. The subscribed users will select either prepaid and postpaid data pack or data subscription, with the options available to choose from. While users on Airtel 4G will be able to enjoy the service for six months, the 3G users can use for about three months.
A better design, sharper camera and easier to use software make the new Galaxy S6 phones the best Samsung has yet to offer. Although Samsung has been praised for its improved hardware in recent years, much of what I like is in the software specifically, what is not in it.
After a few years of making phones difficult to use with a slew of questionable features, Samsung continues to streamline its phones with the S6. So the crazy guys out there, grab the phone and experience the future of the next generation smartphone. The motto of Samsung Galaxy proves it all – ‘Next is Now’!