Mobile Technology

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge bring metal and glass (and much more) to the flagship lineup

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S...
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S6 (left) and Galaxy S6 edge at Mobile World Congress today
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S6 (left) and Galaxy S6 edge at Mobile World Congress today
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Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S6 (left) and Galaxy S6 edge at Mobile World Congress today
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Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S6 (left) and Galaxy S6 edge at Mobile World Congress today
Both phones have metal frames with glass backs
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Both phones have metal frames with glass backs
Profiles of the thin GS6 (left) and GS6 edge
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Profiles of the thin GS6 (left) and GS6 edge
Galaxy S6
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Galaxy S6
Galaxy S6
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Galaxy S6
Galaxy S6 edge
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Galaxy S6 edge
Galaxy S6 edge
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Galaxy S6 edge
Galaxy S6 edge
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Galaxy S6 edge
Galaxy S6
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Galaxy S6
Galaxy S6 (Photo: Stu Robarts/Gizmag)
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Galaxy S6 (Photo: Stu Robarts/Gizmag)
Galaxy S6 (Photo: Stu Robarts/Gizmag)
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Galaxy S6 (Photo: Stu Robarts/Gizmag)
Galaxy S6 edge (Photo: Stu Robarts/Gizmag)
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Galaxy S6 edge (Photo: Stu Robarts/Gizmag)
Galaxy S6 edge (Photo: Stu Robarts/Gizmag)
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Galaxy S6 edge (Photo: Stu Robarts/Gizmag)
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The last couple of Galaxy S flagships had iterative designs (much like the HTC One M9 that was announced today). But with Apple now making big-screened phones, the pressure is on Samsung – and it just launched two phones that mark the biggest physical changes to the Galaxy S lineup: the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.

Long known for plastic builds, Samsung has stepped up its game of late in the materials department. First several Samsung phones like the Galaxy Note 4 added metallic edges, and now the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge lose the plastic altogether, instead using metal frames with glass backs (Gorilla Glass 4, to be exact).

Both phones have metal frames with glass backs
Both phones have metal frames with glass backs

Both handsets have 5.1-in Quad HD, Super AMOLED displays. That's the same screen size as last year's Galaxy S5, but with a big jump in resolution (these two have an insane 577 pixels per inch).

The Edge's display continues the trend we saw with last year's Galaxy Note Edge, which had a sloped curve on the right side of its display. The Galaxy S6 edge, though, has a similar curve on both sides.

Galaxy S6 edge
Galaxy S6 edge

The GS6 and GS6 edge are also both compatible with Qi wireless chargers out of the box. They also have fast-charging technology, juicing up for about 4 hours of use in just 10 minutes (as usual, this should only apply to when the phone's battery is already low).

As far as specs, both phones (as rumored) ditch Qualcomm in favor of octa-core Samsung Exynos processors, and have 3 GB of RAM along with 32/64/128 GB storage options (they do, however, lose the microSD card slots that were nearly universal in older Samsung phones). They have 16 MP rear cameras and 5 MP front cameras, along with 2,550 mAh (GS6) and 2,600 mAh (GS6 edge) batteries. Both run Android 5.0 Lollipop skinned with the latest version of Samsung's TouchWiz UI.

Profiles of the thin GS6 (left) and GS6 edge
Profiles of the thin GS6 (left) and GS6 edge

As you can see above, both phones are incredibly thin, measuring 6.8 mm (0.27-in) thick for the Galaxy S6 and 7 mm (0.28-in) for the Galaxy S6 edge. They're also very light, at 138 g (GS6) and 132 g (edge).

We'll have to wait for review units to say anything definitive here, but, at the very least, these show a Samsung willing to acknowledge the biggest criticisms of its brands and reinvent its flagship product line.

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are set to launch on April 10. They'll be sold in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz (Galaxy S6 only) and Green Emerald (Galaxy S6 edge only) color options.

For a refresher on the first version of Samsung's Edge Display, you can hit up Gizmag's Galaxy Note Edge review from late last year.

Product page: Samsung

View gallery - 13 images
12 comments
Derek Howe
nothing here blew me away. Not saying I wont get one though, since my S4 is running a lot slower then it used to be. No SD card slot is a bummer, and I couldn't care less what material they use to make the phone, since it will need to have a case anyway... Everybody has their phone in a case, so I don't see why all these people care about phones being metal or glass, since my otterbox will cover it all up.
Wombat56
So they got rid of the microSD slot so that they can charge lots more for internal memory?
But in compensation the case is prettier. :-(
David Stephenson
Its sad that Samsung have listened to mobile phone critics who obviously have a leaning towards apple iphone. The key points of the Galaxy S5 they I have enjoyed being able to duck the phone under water for a wash, or work in the outside even when raining and not worry about the phone. Being able to slot in a microSD 128 gig was awesome. The plastic covers never were a concern and Samsung are making a mistake trying to go down the Apple path instead of continuing on there own.
Innovation would have been a better way. There are a number of new ideas, laser food analyser to determine calories and content, the scope there for use with a mobile phone is limitless. A sniffer chip for medical, biological and chemical uses (fire detection, illness, chemical spill, gas detector, explosives). Laser charging for wireless phones that looks like a promising direction for solar powered phones that can be quickly charged by laser. 3D imaging would have been an interesting path, with so many 3D printers coming out how about using a mobile phones cameras, gps, to produce accurate 3D imaging. Two cameras on the back would have been yet a boost for Virtual Reality headset they are pushing with mobile phone owners making their own content for viewing later.
Instead Samsung have come out with a shiny fragile phone that would last a month with me before I dropped it on its edge or in the water.
Hanz
No SD slot and I cannot replace the battery ? Guess my next phone is NOT going to be a Samsung S6. A pity as I was looking forward to it. If I wanted an iPhone that is precisely what I would have bought. I couldn't care less about my S4 being made out of plastic. It has held up well and as Derek said, goes into a case anyways.
VirtualGathis
"(they do, however, lose the microSD card slots that were nearly universal in older Samsung phones)."
Well they lost me. Unless the price gouging for internal memory is a fraction of the cost that is normally charged this means the Galaxy line just died as far as I'm concerned. External storage is an essential component of any device I own.
COACHANDREW
The lack of an SD card slot and especially the loss of the ability to swap batteries is a deal breaker -- these two features are the biggest reasons I've never used an iPhone. I've had every Galaxy going back to the S2. I'll use my S5 for as long as I can, and if Samsung doesn't offer these features in other phones -- and frankly, the Note is just too big -- then I might as well go with an iPhone, and then I can enjoy the many programs and accessories that are only made for that phone.
Michael Shewell
Wow. No removable SD card. I had a feeling that wasn't going to settle well but the battery thing is the killer. My extra battery I carry around has been a life saver at times and I wasn't always in a position to wait ten minutes for a phone to recharge. I'd probably just opt for a deal on a S5 at this point. And an extra battery.
tkj
Samsung has once (or is it twice..oOOPS! no! THREE times!) again 'blown it ' .. MicroSD is REQURED by so many of us ... as is a removable batter!! (both not available in the S6 !!! Ironic that this S6 thing appears mere days before the announcement of a new 200 Gb microSD .. from SanDisk, naturally!!
And: NO REMOVABLE BATTERY: 'wireless charging' UnFeature .. a coil in the back cover? Who cares! Losing very important functionality cuz of a little-used feature is terrible design..period!
For me, a removable battery is required now and then to reboot a phone that's caught in a sys lock ... In fact , my old Google Nexus, with it known-to-be faulty 'Power' button REQUIRES battery removal (and several rapid reinsertions) to trick it into booting at all!! Mod'ing ,eg, with Cyanogen, often can require yanking battery to reboot!!
oh and the lil 'SMARTTV' privacy issue .... Add this all up and SAMSUNG can go pound sand at the beach!!!
Richard Terry
I like the look .. though I'll still run it in a case .. so not huge.. Losing a batter swap and the MicroSD is a deal breaker for me too .. now with 200GB SD's .. what they offer internally is not enough, and far too expensive .. which will get worse with age .. I think they are trying to get around the Google android mandate about what 4.4 and above can do with external storage ... a support problem.. I get it.. They wasted their time.. The mfg's should be spending their time on a new OS or pushing Google to do the right thing instead of favoring their own hardware sales model. I mean we are only the customer .. and the fact that we vote wit hour dollars means what ? nothing. Hey Samsung .. I have 4 S4's and one HTC One M8. You will be losing my S4's in favor of LG or HTC it appears. You get big and lose touch I guess.. How very apple-ish of you. Congrats!
physics314
I concur with many of the above comments: The user-replaceable battery, the SD slot, and the water resistance are distinguishing features, and worth much more to me than the glitz. I hope Samsung keeps these options in some of their phones...