Beyond the apps, the usability, as we’ve noted, is spot on and very strong, and the interface is fast, easy to work with, and slicker thanks to the inclusion of Google’s Android 5.0 “Lollipop” and its reliance on Material Design, or a look that is closer to paper and block colours.
You’ll find folders can have their colours customised on both the home screen and app menu with either cyan, orange, yellow, green, or grey, as an example, and while we’d like to see more control — you know, your favourite colour perhaps, with more control — this is a great start for colour-focused organisation.
The interface also feels flatter and less three-dimensional, which makes the high-end Super AMOLED Quad HD display just pop and look fantastic, and when you go into various apps, you’ll find a stronger emphasis on basic colour contrasts, complete with circular shortcuts at the bottom of each app to help you out, such as the red “compose email” button in the stock email app, the orange “compose SMS” app in the stock messaging app, the dark green dial-pad in the phone app, and the light green “add calendar date” to the S-Planner calendar app.
It’s easy to remember knowing there will pretty much always be a “start something new” button in the bottom right corner, and while it would be nice to switch sides if you could — because some of us are lefties — it’s an inclusion that makes the entire interface feel geared at people, because you can always press it with the thumb or forefinger.
Even the flaws with Samsung’s older versions of TouchWiz have been cleaned up and dealt with, and now you can change the shortcut dock in Australia out of the box (something you couldn’t do for at least two years straight) and silence the camera, plus images now rotate in the gallery for you, which is something customers have been crying out for.
Samsung has also left in a gesture typing interface, and while it feels improved from last year and allows you to quickly go back to words you meant to type instead of suggested ones, it’s still not perfect, not always adding in that space.
You get used to it, that said, or you do what regular Android users do and switch to a different keyboard, as you’re totally free to do.
Over to the camera, and just like most of the smartphone, this is an area that impresses us greatly.
We’re all taking photos now, usually with our smartphones, as this space has practically killed the basic point and shoot camera, and for many is beginning to encroach upon our time spent using larger and more capable cameras, with the reason continually coming back to convenience.
But the quality is often sacrificed, and while you’ll often get better shots with a larger sensor often from a larger camera, a smartphone is much easier to carry than a larger camera, which tends to make the pocket look big, bulky, and extruded beyond acceptable social conventions, not to mention likely breaking your pants in in a way that doesn’t help you keep them in good condition.
In the Galaxy S6, however, you’ll find a camera that works with you rather than against you, with plenty of detail, fast shutter responses, and a mode that works better in low-light than we’ve seen from Samsung in pretty much ever.
The interface is easy enough, and while Samsung made it possible to change your interface last year, it was a clunky solution that we can’t imagine anyone would have touched.