Samsung Galaxy S6 – Quick Take

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Galaxy S6 vs Dual EdgeThe MWC saw some really amazing mobile devices, but the pick of the lot was easily, the Galaxy S6, and its ‘Edge’ sibling.
The S6 is not the next big thing, its a reboot. Samsung has aptly called the Samsung Galaxy S6 ” Project Zero “. But was there really anything wrong with the S-line – the standard-setter, the home of the super droids? OK, design needed some looking into for sure. But then again, other brands do facelifts – Samsung goes for a complete overhaul.
I Guess this was the message they wanted to send.
And if it means giving up the memory card slot, the removable battery and the waterproofing, so be it. That’s part of the message too.

What happened was that, Samsung apparently scrapped all proposed prototypes of the S6, and completely redid the device, but with a slight twist. They said good bye to plastic. Instead, the Korean Giant went for the critically acclaimed combo of Glass and Metal.

The new look is impressive and exciting and Samsung’s trademark AMOLED display is the perfect match. It’s an immersive 5.1 incher of QHD resolution, for the amazing 577ppi – though “amazing” doesn’t work for Samsung. They’ll call it “the best ever” – and will be right. And that’s just the beginning.

For the first time ever, Samsung has gone ahead without Snapdragon, and given the reigns of power to their in-house Exynos Chipset. Some might call it a gamble, but if you divert your attention to the benchmark performance reports, you will see that not only is the new Exynos good, it has also overshadowed the Snapdragon chipset in various areas. The only reason Qualcomm were in the story at all was the uncertainty whether Samsung would be ready for mass production with its own chipset.

The Exynos chipset is built on a 14nm process, which allows similar or higher clockspeeds (hence performance) with less power consumption, which by the way means it’s easier to cool as well.
And then we have the absolutely monstrous Octa Core processor with four Cortex-A57 cores clocking 2.1GHz and four Cortex-A53 “efficiency” cores at 1.5GHz. An octa-core Mali-T760 GPU and 3GB of RAM complete the package.

The Camera department was given its long due bump up as well. Samsung have equipped the S6 with a 16MP rear camera with optical image stabilization and a wide f/1.9 aperture. The 5MP selfie cam also got a f/1.9 aperture for superior low-light capabilities.

The connectivity package is better than ever with dual-standard wireless charging support out of the box, Samsung Pay, a better and faster fingerprint scanner and LTE Cat.6 connectivity.

Lets now take a look at the major aspects of the phone –

  • Design and Overall Build – Samsung has taken their biggest risk ever, by redesigning the S6 from scratch. Whatever be the case, its an obvious fact that, the Galaxy S6 is the best looking flagship in the market right now. Samsung introduces glass to the Galaxy S series for the first time – two sheets of Corning Gorilla Glass 4, front and rear. While the combination is not new, its the best way to give your device an ‘upmarket’ feel while keeping the weight of the device on a low.  But in order to achieve this feat, Samsung had to make a huge compromise, in the form of a non-removable battery. Why they abandoned the water and dust proofing is a topic clearly up for debate, as the feature had been ‘The’ selling point for their Galaxy S5 Flagship.  Another spot of bother is the camera hump, something I personally dislike in any phone. Samsung added so much tech and yet trimmed the body down. The new sensor, lens and optical image stabilization more than make up for it.
  • Display – The Display, along with the new design and chipset, is the highlight of the phone.While the diagonal is unchanged at 5.1 inches, the resolution got bumped up to QHD – 2560 x 1440 pixels. This means that despite its ample surface, the Super AMOLED panel offers a mind-blowing 577ppi. When you run the default display mode, the Super Amoled does what it does best – high contrast, by producing overly saturated colors that make every image look like it’s about to pop out of the frame. However, if you are one of those people who prefer the real life colors to the enhanced option , you can switch to the professional photo mode, which gets the colors as true to life as possible.
  •  Connectivity – In terms of connectivity, the S6 is the best of the lot. The mandatory 2G/3G/4G LTE is present with Cat. 6 downlinks,all thanks to Samsung’s latest Exynos 7420 chipset. This gives you download speeds of up to 300Mbps, with 50Mbps worth of uploads. The phone runs on the new nano sim technology, which has been making its way into all the other new devices out there as well, so you need not worry.
  • Performance – Samsung parted ways with Qualcomm, and instead, fit their flagship with their in-house Exynos Chipset. It’s the first mobile chipset to be built on a 14nm fabrication process (Snapdragon 810 is on 20nm), which should reduce power usage. That in turn reduces the dreaded thermal throttling that was a major issue in the Exynos vs. Snapdragon debate recently. The Exynos 7420 uses the big.LITTLE setup with four Cortex-A57 cores at 2.1GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.5GHz. The GPU is a Mali-T760 from ARM and it shares 3GB of RAM with the processor. Basically, when you boot your Galaxy S6 and have a shoot out with the other Flagship devices , prepare to win Big in terms of performance. The Samsung Galaxy S6 is the fastest mobile phone you can have at the moment and with 64-bit support in place this should remain the case for some time to come.
  • Camera – The Camera in the Galaxy S6 features the 16 MP Sony IMX240 sensor that the Galaxy Note 4 uses, but puts it behind a lens with a wider, f/1.9 aperture. This lets more light in and makes for much improved bokeh effects. Samsung has added a nifty feature in the S6 where double tapping the Home key from anywhere on the UI opens the camera app in less than a second!!
    The 5MP selfie camera is of pretty good quality and captures photos with plenty of detail and little noise. Color rendering is comparable to the main camera, slightly less saturated. It’s a 4:3 camera though, unlike the 16:9 main camera. You also have a Wide Selfie mode which makes the photo suitable for wisescreens.
    As far as the video is concerned, the S6 tops out at 2160p, but can also record 1080p @ 30fps and 60fps and 720p video at up to 120fps ( Using Slow-Mo ).
  • Battery – The only spot of concern for the S6 is its battery life. While Samsung have gone a step ahaead and doubled the resolution of the device, the battery life has been downgraded to 2550 mAh. The S6’s battery has enough juice to last  almost 17 hours on 3G calls, almost 9 hours on non-stop web browsing and 10 hours on video playback. The stand-by rating is slightly above average too. However, if you are one of the more conservative users, you can milk out at least two days on a single charge by using it for an hour of calls, video and browsing per day.

All in all, the  S6 is what you you would expect any top notch flagship to be – Amazing design, Superior Build, Clean UI, Best-in-Class performance, and a stunning camera package. While the analysts will probably predict quick windfall for the S6, I believe the absence of user-removable battery, Micro SD slot and Waterproofing, will definitely act as a deal breaker for the more critical of customers.

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