Samsung’s new line-up of Galaxy phones is almost here, with a release date in early April, but if you’re eyeing one, you’ll want to know the price, and in line with other new smartphones, neither the Galaxy S6 or its S6 Edge sibling are particularly cheap.
The next generation of the “Galaxy” flagship isn’t far away, with Samsung announcing this week that April 10 will be the day Australians will be able to get their hands on the new handset, or should we say, handsets. Plural.
Yes, we have use the plural form because there are two models of handset being launched, with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge arriving together, two very similar smartphones that are more or less identical if not for the screen.
At the display level, both rely on a 5.1 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, a whole bunch of initialisms and acronyms which in real life wording translates to a 2560×1440 display on a 5.1 inch screen, and one of the highest pixel per inch counts we’ve ever seen, running at 577ppi and making it super, super duper sharp.
Where the difference appears to be is at the edge of the phone, with the same 5.1 inch screen curving around each side slightly just into the arc of your hand where you’d grip the display, though the frame does appear to be more visible than with what we saw on the Galaxy Note Edge.
Everything else is, as far as we understand, the same between the two handsets, complete with an eight-core processor made up of two quad-core chips, 3GB RAM, at least 32GB storage, WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with LE and Apt-X, Near-Field Communication, infrared, GPS, Android 5.0 “Lollipop”, and a combination of a 16 megapixel camera on the back and a 5 megapixel camera up front utilising F1.9 lenses for use in low-light situations.
The phone also connects to 4G networks with a Category 6 connection, making it possible that it could download at speeds of up to 300Mbps while upload is handled at a maximum of 50Mbps, and a likelihood that we’ll see plans for the phone on all of the major telcos.
Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4 makes an appearance in protecting the display from nicks, scratches, and the possible drop, and for the first time, we’re seeing glass and metal used in the construction of a Samsung Galaxy S flagship smartphone, something customers and reviewers have been asking for Samsung to use for a long time.
Beyond the specs, Samsung is loading this up with some other enhancements, with wireless charging thrown in (Qi compatible, like what is seen on previous phones from Nokia/Microsoft and LG), an improved fingerprint scanner, a very small 14 nanometre mobile processor which could improve heat usage and battery life, a mobile payment technology that currently works with Commbank and Westpac customers, and a new app called “SmartSwitch” which should help customers switching phones transfer photos, contacts, calendar information, messages, and more without jumping through the sort of hoops people have had to do so with in the past.
“The GS6 and GS6 Edge blend cutting-edge design and style with the latest in Samsung mobile innovation and material,” said Prasad Gokhale, Vice President of IT and Mobile at Samsung in Australia.
“The GS6 and GS6 Edge smartphones represent a pivotal step for the Galaxy range in evolving the category as a whole, marking a clear shift in how we deliver exceptional smartphones for Australians.”
The pricing is the other thing worth noting, and while we’ve yet to hear from any of the major telcos yet, we do have outright pricing good to go.
As such, the phones will start at $999 for a 32GB model of the Galaxy S6, grabbing 64GB for $1149 and 128GB for $1299, while the more curvaceous Galaxy S6 Edge still start at $1149 for the 32GB model, come in at $1299 for the 64GB, and hit a jaw dropping near $1500 price of $1449 for a 128GB curved Galaxy S6 Edge.
We’ll be honest when we say we’re not surprised that 2015 has yielded a phone fetching nearly $1500, especially as Apple’s latest crop of smartphones hit more or less the exact same pricing, with the 5.5 inch iPhone Plus 6 128GB grabbing the same $1449 price tag as the Galaxy S6 Edge 128GB variant.
That is a lot of money to pay for a phone, especially one that omits some of the features Samsung has flaunted in the past, such as water resistance and storage upgradability, both features missing in action on the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.
Still, we’re eager to see the high end screen, as it’s one of the areas Samsung does better than a lot of other companies, and we’re keen to see how the S6 stands up as a phone altogether, especially in light of its competition from other companies.
If you are too, you’ll find the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge on pre-order online from 5pm on March 30, with stores getting the phone on April 10 in Australia in white and black finishes.