Samsung's Galaxy S6 reviewed
4.5Overall Score

Price (RRP): $999 (starting price): 32GB for $999; 64GB for $1149; 128GB for $1299; Galaxy S6 Edge variant starts at $1199 for 32GB, and will cost $1299 for 64GB and $1449 for 128GB;
Manufacturer: Samsung

Samsung’s 2015 flagship is here, and the spec sheet reads like a real fighter, with an eight-core processor, Quad HD AMOLED screen, an improved fingerprint sensor, 16 megapixel camera, and a body that for once is made out of high grade materials, none of that plastic from before. Can Samsung’s Galaxy S6 best the competition finally, and can it take best phone of the year upon release in April?

Features

If you can believe it, Samsung has been making iPhone competitors for around six years, and this year, it hopes to have something even more impressive than Apple’s own entity.

We’ve seen quite a few over the years, but in 2015, you can well and truly forget the Roman numerals that were used for the first few models, sticking only with digits, because this is the Galaxy S6.

samsung-galaxy-s6-review-2015-01

The new handset takes an update to pretty much everything Samsung held near and dear last year and for the previous few incarnations, and beyond that of the branding, button placement, and screen dimensions, this is a totally new beast, starting with the inside, which features a Samsung-made eight-core processor made from two quad-core chips, one clocked at 1.5GHz and the other at 2.1GHz.

That’s the Exynos 7420, and this is paired with a Mali graphics chip (T760MP8), as well as 3GB RAM, which is above the 2GB sweet spot Android smartphones tend to prefer.

We just mentioned Android, and that’s here too, with Samsung releasing the Galaxy S6 with Android 5.0 “Lollipop” making it pretty much up to date out of the box, though Samsung’s latest version of its TouchWiz overlay is also here along for the ride.

Storage is a little different on this handset, with various storage sizes available at the point of purchase. You’ll have a choice of 32, 64 or 128GB, and you’ll have to decide the storage you want then and there, because for the first time ever on a Samsung phone, there is no way of upgrading via a microSD slot because there is no microSD slot.

Fortunately you can still use microUSB to USB thumb drives if needed, thanks to a microUSB port at the bottom of the phone, which is also used to charge the phone. Other connections are also here, though most of them wireless, with 802.11 a/b/g/n and 802.11ac WiFi, GPS, Near-Field Communication (NFC), infrared, and Bluetooth 4.1 with A2DP, Low Energy (LE), and apt-X. One other wired port can be found, the 3.5mm headset jack that is generally standard on smartphones for playback of audio to headphones and speakers.

Mobile broadband speeds are a little higher, too, with Category 6 4G LTE connectivity offered, meaning download speeds as high as 300Mbps and upload speeds as high as 50Mbps, though results are dependent on the network and where you are at the time of using the phone.

samsung-galaxy-s6-review-2015-02

Cameras are also strong on this smartphone, with a 16 megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash, and a front-facing shooter capable of grabbing stills at 5 megapixels. Video is supported by both, with 4K video capture possible on that rear camera, while the front-facing can grab 1440p. Full HD (1080p) video is possible from each, and the rear camera also capable off shooting slow-motion video, too.

Then there’s the screen, which sits atop this hardware, and while the dimensions of this part are similar to the one in last year’s Galaxy S5, it’s a totally different display.

While the S5 relied on a 5.1 inch Full HD 1080p (1920×1080) Super AMOLED screen, the Galaxy S6 instead opts for a 5.1 inch Quad HD 1440p (2560×1440) Super AMOLED screen, providing more clarity than ever before in a Samsung phone.

The screen protection has also changed, as Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 goes away in this phone, used in the S5 and replaced with the latest version, Corning’s even-more-scratch resistant Gorilla Glass 4 in the Galaxy S6 used on both the front and the back.