Mobile Technology

Samsung Galaxy S6 (and GS6 edge) vs. Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S6 (and GS6 edg...
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the new Samsung Galaxy S6 (far left) and Galaxy S6 edge (middle) vs. last year's Galaxy S5
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the new Samsung Galaxy S6 (far left) and Galaxy S6 edge (middle) vs. last year's Galaxy S5
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Battery
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Battery
Build (back)
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Build (back)
Build (sides)
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Build (sides)
Camera aperture
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Camera aperture
Camera (front)
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Camera (front)
Camera (rear)
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Camera (rear)
Processors
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Processors
Curved display
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Curved display
Dimensions
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Dimensions
Display (resolution)
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Display (resolution)
Display (size)
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Display (size)
Display (type)
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Display (type)
Fingerprint sensor
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Fingerprint sensor
Heart rate sensor
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Heart rate sensor
Gizmag compares the features and specs of the new Samsung Galaxy S6 (far left) and Galaxy S6 edge (middle) vs. last year's Galaxy S5
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Gizmag compares the features and specs of the new Samsung Galaxy S6 (far left) and Galaxy S6 edge (middle) vs. last year's Galaxy S5
Infrared blasters
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Infrared blasters
MicroSD card slot
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MicroSD card slot
NFC
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NFC
Starting price (full retail)
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Starting price (full retail)
Starting price (on-contract)
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Starting price (on-contract)
RAM
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RAM
Release
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Release
Removable battery
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Removable battery
Samsung Pay
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Samsung Pay
Software
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Software
Storage
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Storage
Ultra Power Saving Mode
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Ultra Power Saving Mode
Gear VR compatibility
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Gear VR compatibility
Water resistance
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Water resistance
Weight
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Weight
Wireless charging
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Wireless charging
Fast charging
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Fast charging
Color options
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Color options
View gallery - 33 images

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are by far the series' biggest steps forward in terms of design. Wondering if they're worth the upgrade over the GS5? Let's compare their features and specs.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

Their faces only have minor size differences, but you'll notice that the two 2015 models are much thinner. Compared to the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy S6 is 16 percent thinner and the Galaxy S6 edge is about 14 percent thinner.

Weight

Weight
Weight

Both new models are pretty light, with the Galaxy S6 coming in at 5 percent lighter than the GS5 and the Galaxy S6 edge measuring 9 percent lighter than last year's flagship.

Build (back)

Build (back)
Build (back)

While the back of the Galaxy S5 had a slightly soft plastic texture (complete with dimples), the Galaxy S6 and GS6 edge have a much more premium glass finish (Gorilla Glass 4, to be precise).

Build (sides)

Build (sides)
Build (sides)

The GS5's frame was a metallic-looking plastic, but the new models' sides are made of aluminum.

Colors

Color options
Color options

Each phone has four color options, with a blue/green discrepancy standing as the only difference between the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Also keep in mind that the shades of simple colors like black or blue will look very different on those glass backs than they will on that dimpled plastic in the GS5.

Display (size)

Display (size)
Display (size)

No differences here, as all three phones have 5.1-in displays. It's going to be a nice sweet spot for lots of people, giving you a fairly big screen, but without feeling like a bulky phablet in your pocket.

Display (resolution)

Display (resolution)
Display (resolution)

The GS6 and GS6 edge jump up to Quad HD resolution, with about 78 percent more pixels (and 34 percent higher pixel density) than the Galaxy S5. Make no mistake, though: the GS5's 1080p is still very sharp; those Quad HD screens just take the eye candy factor to a new level.

Display (type)

Display (type)
Display (type)

Like all Samsung flagships, these three have Super AMOLED displays – known for rich colors, deep blacks and low power use on mostly black screens.

Curved display

Curved display
Curved display

Like 2014's Galaxy Note Edge, the Galaxy S6 edge has a curved display – only here it slopes over on both sides.

The curved portions of the GS6 edge's display will flash notifications, and you can swipe over it to activate some shortcuts when you want it to. Otherwise the edges will display normal content (as if they were flat), and they appear to be largely a cosmetic addition.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

Both new models have fingerprint sensors, and they should be a big step forward from those found in the GS5. The old model required a swipe to register your print (and could be a little finnicky at times), but the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are touch-based. Similar to Apple's Touch ID, you just rest your finger on the home button to unlock your phone.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay
Samsung Pay

Well, you can't say Apple isn't still an influential company. Several months after Apple Pay arrived, we have … wait for it … Samsung Pay.

Samsung's works a little differently, though, and due to a proprietary technology that lets it work at standard swipe-based credit card terminals (in addition to using NFC, like Apple Pay), Samsung estimates the number of terminals that Samsung Pay will work with at around 30 million. In other words, it will be nearly universal from the get-go.

Processor

Processors
Processors

If you're a mobile processor geek, then 2015 will go down in history as the year Samsung dropped Qualcomm Snapdragons from its phones. The octa-core Exynos chips in the new pair of GS6 phones should be very fast, and may also do better at avoiding overheating in our next category ...

Gear VR

Gear VR compatibility
Gear VR compatibility

Samsung and Oculus VR have a new version of the Gear VR for the GS6 and GS6 edge. The original Samsung virtual reality headset was one of our favorite wearables of 2014, and the new version adds USB compatibility, so you can plug it in and keep your phone's battery from draining (at least as much) while you're playing.

Battery

Battery
Battery

Speaking of battery, these are the capacities of the new models. We wouldn't read too much into that, though, as many other factors determine actual battery life. Stay tuned for our full review for more on this.

Removable battery

Removable battery
Removable battery

When you're shopping for a new phone, you're usually going to have to choose between a fully premium build and a removable battery (it's hard to think of any phones that combine the two). The batteries in the new GS6 models are sealed shut, something we aren't used to seeing from Samsung.

Ultra Power Saving Mode

Ultra Power Saving Mode
Ultra Power Saving Mode

Samsung's Ultra Power Saving Mode, which can keep you on the grid if your battery level hits the danger zone, returns in the new models. You can revisit our GS5 review for a refresher on this nifty feature.

Fast charging

Fast charging
Fast charging

Though it's no longer based on Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0, the new pair still has a fast charging feature. This time Samsung is estimating about 4 hours' worth of battery life after just 10 minutes of charging (though you should only see that boost when juicing up from a nearly dead battery).

Wireless charging (out of the box)

Wireless charging
Wireless charging

With past flagships (including the Galaxy S5) you've had the option of buying a separate battery cover for wireless charging, but with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, this technology is built-in.

RAM

RAM
RAM

The last couple of Galaxy Notes have had 3 GB of RAM, but the GS6 and GS6 edge are the first in the Galaxy S series to jump up to 3 GB.

Storage

Storage
Storage

The new models now start with twice the internal storage: 32 GB vs. the GS5's 16 GB.

MicroSD

MicroSD card slot
MicroSD card slot

Part of that, though, is to make up for the lack of a microSD card slot in the new handsets.

Heart rate sensor

Heart rate sensor
Heart rate sensor

Samsung's heart rate sensor sticks around in the new models.

Rear camera

Camera (rear)
Camera (rear)

We're still looking at 16 MP for the new models' rear cameras.

Front camera

Camera (front)
Camera (front)

The pair of GS6es does get a front camera boost – for better selfies, perhaps.

Camera aperture

Camera aperture
Camera aperture

The GS6 and GS6 edge also have wider apertures in their rear shooters.

Water resistance

Water resistance
Water resistance

One of the most marketed features in the Galaxy S5 goes the way of the dodo with the Galaxy S6. Though it would have been nice to have both in one package, we think a much more premium build in favor of water/dust resistance is a fair tradeoff.

NFC

NFC
NFC

Like just about every Android flagship from the last few years, all three have NFC chips.

Infrared

Infrared blasters
Infrared blasters

All three phones give you the option of using your handset as a remote control for your TV.

Software

Software
Software

All three phones run Android Lollipop at their core, but the two variants of the Galaxy S6 have a lighter smattering of the TouchWiz UI, with Samsung taking its bloatware reduction trend much farther than it did last year.

Release

Release
Release

April 10 is the big day for the two new Galaxy S6 phones. As is usually the case, that's almost exactly a year after last year's model launched.

Starting price (on-contract)

Starting price (on-contract)
Starting price (on-contract)

One thing Samsung didn't announce was pricing for the new phones. US$200 on-contract has been the standard starting price for this series, but, who knows, maybe Samsung will add a premium for those high-end materials (though a higher price would certainly carry some risk for Samsung when it comes to sales numbers).

Starting price (full retail)

Starting price (full retail)
Starting price (full retail)

Ditto for off-contract pricing, as Samsung hasn't announced this yet. It will also be worth keeping an eye on what kind of premium Samsung wants for the Galaxy S6 edge. The Edge variant of the Note 4 was so expensive it was hard to recommend.

Just keep in mind that these prices listed for the Galaxy S5 will likely be lower very soon (if not already), as retailers clear stock to make way for the 2015 models.

For more, you can hit up Gizmag's reviews of the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge and Galaxy S5.

View gallery - 33 images
12 comments
Nairda
Sooo,. an iPhone 6+ with higher resolution. Wow !!
Billy Sharpstick
One of the reasons I have had Samsung for my last three phones was to get away from Iphones. Oh, well.
lwedmo
Two main features for which I decided to buy my S5, water resistance and the SD expansion slot, are not present in the S6 design. I lost my previous phone by dropping it into a creek losing some nice photos, so water resistance is very important to me. I have a 128GB SD chip, and so have access to a mobile video, audio, and document library. It is huge to be able to easily pop the card and change it, or plug it into my laptop. Loving my Samsung product. -LE
4Freedom
I was hoping they were going to improve the water resistance. :-( But if they aren't, then I hope they take the flap off of the USB port.
Adorable pumpkin
@4Freedom, I think that is precisely why they took out water resistance. I guess they can't hit all markets, but if you were after the water resistance factor then you'd already have the S5. I really like the new look, wireless charging, samsung pay and of course VR option.
Great article by gizmag as always. Though this should be standard, business insider made me used to some atrocious articles.
Ross Theobald
OK, no removable battery, you lost me Samsung
MichaelTatalias
Wil, not sure I am with you on this at all.... Premium build over waterproof - in what real world is that an acceptable compromise?? Sounds like sales pitch and PR spin to me...
No SD card, no removable battery, not waterproof - all backward steps. (rather have the SD slot, and smaller HDD drives, to save money to get more RAM)
Not sure if the change from plastic to glass is a step forward in the real world...have to see if it is survives daily life. In any case, phones get immediately locked into Otterboxes or Bodyglove etc. Plastic was fine.
Some improvements, but nothing earth shattering - not worth the downsides of back-steps.
Sorry, Samsung, for the S6 - you have lost me at Hello
Stefan Padureanu
Smaller and not removable batteries mean no buy for me.
Memo Flores
why u need removable battery when u got turbo charging?
Leif Barbré Knudsen
No micro-SD! Goodbye Samsung!! ... after many years of being a loyal customer!