Introduction

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are among the most important product launches for the company in quite some time. At a time of unprecedented levels of competition, the duo has the task to bring back the good times for the Korean giant.

The past quarter has been difficult for Samsung's mobile division. Its market share and profits declined for the first time in years due to increased pressure from the likes of Apple, LG, HTC, Huawei, and Xiaomi among others.

Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are Samsung's answer to the competitors and, at quick glance, the newcomers are ready for the challenge. Here is a look at their key features and specs.

Key features

  • 64-bit Exynos 7420 chipset with 14nm architecture; octa-core CPU (quad 2.1GHz & quad 1.5GHz)
  • 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM; 32/64/128GB of UFS 2.0 flash memory; 115GB of Microsoft OneDrive storage for 2 years
  • 5.1" QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) Super AMOLED display with 577ppi for both models (dual edge design for Samsung Galaxy S6 edge); 600cd/mm brightness
  • 16MP f/1.9 camera with OIS; Auto HDR; 4K video capture; IR white balance detection
  • 5MP f/1.9 front-facing camera
  • Cat. 6 LTE; WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz); Bluetooth 4.1; NFC; IR Remote; USB 2.0
  • NFC and MST mobile payment support
  • 2,550mAh battery for Galaxy S6; 2,600mAh for the Galaxy S6
  • Qi (WPC) and PMA wireless charging support
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with TouchWiz UX
  • Metal chassis; Corning Gorilla Glass 4 front and back

Developed under the codename Project Zero, Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are a massive leap forward for the popular flagship smartphone family. As usual, the devices are brimming with high-end tech but this time around they have a mature enough design language to complement them.

The brand new 14nm Exynos chipset with 64-bit architecture could well be the most powerful in its class at the moment. Samsung has paired it with the fastest flash memory available at the moment.

As expected from a new Samsung Galaxy S smartphone, an upgraded 16MP camera with OIS and Super AMOLED displays with eye-popping pixel density are also on board. Both Galaxy S6 components are the best Samsung has utilized to date.

The looks of the two new Galaxy flagships are certainly an improvement Samsung's previous efforts. With glass front and back encased in metal, the ultra-thin Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge look as premium as it gets.

Samsung has also streamlined the TouchWiz UX which runs on top of Android 5.0.2 in a bid to reduce the overwhelming amount of settings from past iterations. At a quick glance, the latest custom UI from the company is a great match for the Material Design of Google's latest Android iteration.

Samsung has skipped the removable battery and the microSD card slot for the first time in the lineup's history. The features have been replaced with ample built-in storage options and wireless charging support out of the box.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge

Following next is a closer look at Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.

Samsung Galaxy S6 hands-on

Samsung Galaxy S6 is the "conventional" member of the family. The smartphone is going to be available in four colors - White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, and Blue Topaz and when it hits the shelves.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Samsung Galaxy S6 live photos • the available colors

The newcomer looks and feels impressive in the flesh - the combination of glass and metal has truly done wonders for its visual appeal. The same goes for its tactility.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Samsung Galaxy S6 alongside its predecessor

There are no surprises with the 5.1" QHD Super AMOLED display. The unit is gorgeous to look at, with vibrant colors, superb viewing angles, and stellar contrast.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

The QHD Super AMOLED display is gorgeous

Above the display is where the usual bevy of sensors can be found. The earpiece and the front-facing 5MP f/1.9 camera are there as well.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

A look above and below the display

The home button of Samsung Galaxy S6 has grown considerably in order to accommodate the new fingerprint sensor. The latter is much better than the one found in the previous model - its functionality rivals that of Apple's iPhone.

Having a non-removable back cover means that the SIM card slot is located on the side of the Galaxy S6, right below its power/lock key. The volume rocker sits alone on the left side of the device.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

The sides of Samsung Galaxy S6

The top of the smartphone is where the IR port and a microphone pinhole reside. The 3.5mm audio jack has been moved to the bottom alongside the device's sole speaker and microUSB port.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

The top and bottom of the handset

Samsung promises a greatly improved speaker in the Galaxy S6 over the previous generation. The unit is 50% louder, which, combined with its new location, promises much better overall experience.

The back of the _phone_ is where the lightly protruding 16MP f/1.9 main camera with 4K video resides. It features optical image stabilization, so the expectations for its low light performance are high.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

The back of the device

The camera features a slightly tweaked, though familiar interface. Samsung has implemented a nifty new start gesture for its snapper - double tapping on the home button activates it in seven tenths of a second.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Familiar camera UI with new features

Physical measures of Samsung Galaxy S6 are 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm. Its weight tips the scale at 138 grams.

In a manner befitting a flagship smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S6 will ship with a bevy of accessories. They include stock Samsung fare, as well as ones developed in collaboration with industry heavyweights.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Some of the available accessories

The range of available cases is truly extensive. It covers everything from mass-market offerings by Speck, Tech21, and Otterbox, all the way to bona fide luxury options from Montblanc and Swarovski.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge hands-on

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is the stunner in the couple. Its dual curved display makes it look unlike anything else on the market at the moment.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge in the flesh

It is important to note that, despite the design similarity, the display of Galaxy S6 edge has different setup than that of Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. The newcomer's screen is conventional - its curved glass cover produces a 2.5D effect.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

A closer look at the curved display

The Korean giant has worked closely with Corning to develop the smartphone's curved glass. The latter's shape requires a specific temperature to achieve.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

The curved front panel • the metal chassis and the back

Samsung has taken advantage of the unique display design by implementing clever gesture controls. For example, you can pull your favorite contacts by swiping from the right edge.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

You can use swiping gestures from the sides to perform tasks

Despite packing a 5.1" display, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge feels incredibly easy to handle.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Galaxy S6 edge alongside Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6

Both edges of the display can give you color light notifications for specific contacts when the _phone_ is facing down. Touching the fingerprint sensor during such call will send a pre-selected message to the caller.

The camera is the same as the one found in Samsung Galaxy S6. The amount of features it offers should satisfy even the most discerning mobile shutterbug.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Some of the available camera settings

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge will be available in four colors - White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, and Green Emerald. The green shade is particularly attractive in the flesh and unique for the model.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

The available colors for the smartphone

Because of its curved display, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge has its SIM card slot sitting on top, next to the IR blaster. The rest of the device's controls are the same as those of the "regular" Samsung Galaxy S6.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

The top and bottom of the device

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge measures 142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0mm. It weighs 132 grams.

Samsung will naturally offer a host of original accessories for its latest offspring. They include see-through cases that aim to showcases the design of Samsung Galaxy S6 edge.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Some of the available accessories

Samsung Galaxy S6 camera samples

Both Galaxy S6 smartphones use 16MP rear cameras with F/1.9 aperture and bright LED flash. Both devices also pack a front 5MP snapper with the same F/1.9 lens, which means better results in low-light conditions.

We are sure many of you are eager to check the performance of both snappers and now we can help you with that.

Here are the official camera samples taken with the rear camera of the Galaxy S6.


Samsung Galaxy S6 16MP official samples

And here are some official shots taken with the front 5MP snapper.


Front camera samples from the Galaxy S6

We also took some samples inside the venue:



Our camera samples with the 16MP Galaxy S6 rear camera

Update: Here are a few more samples:

Galaxy S6 Camera Sample
Galaxy S6 Camera Sample
Galaxy S6 Camera Sample

We also tried out the HDR mode on the Galaxy S6.

Galaxy S6 camera sample
Galaxy S6 camera sample

Samsung Galaxy S6 camera sample: HDR off • HDR on

Samsung had a dimly lit setup to test the low-light performance of the Galaxy S6's new camera. With a Galaxy Note Edge and a Apple iPhone 6 on hand we snapped a couple of shots.

The Galaxy S6 has a Sony IMX240 image sensor like the Galaxy Note Edge, both have OIS, but the new flagship has a wider aperture - f/1.9 vs. f/2.2 - which should give it a leg up.

Galaxy S6 lowlight test
Galaxy S6 lowlight test
Galaxy S6 lowlight test

Galaxy S6 • Galaxy Note Edge • iPhone 6

Galaxy S6 lowlight test
Galaxy S6 lowlight test
Galaxy S6 lowlight test

Galaxy S6 • Galaxy Note Edge • iPhone 6

And you may also want to check out this 1080p video shot with the rear camera of the Galaxy S6.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 camera can do HDR in video too, here's a quick demo of what an effect it has.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 has optical image stabilization and Samsung was so proud of it that it created a mechanical setup where you can pit any handset against the new flagship.

Galaxy S6 camera sample

We had an iPhone 6 in our pocket (sadly, no iPhone 6 Plus) so we went for it. The iPhone 6 has one of the best software image stabilization around.

We're also quite fond of Instagram's Hyperlapse so we gave it a shot too:

The camera indeed looks quite promising. We'll be passing judgments once we got our hands on a retail unit, but we are settings out hopes high for sure.

Samsung Galaxy S6 & Galaxy S6 benchmarks

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are the first two smartphones with a 14nm chipset, Samsung's Exynos 7420. Both are running a Samsung-customized version of Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The rest of the phones we've picked for this comparison were running Lollipop too (some modified, some not), except for the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, which was on iOS 8, of course.

On the CPU side, Samsung put four Cortex-A57 cores at 2.1GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.5GHz. That's almost the same setup as the Snapdragon 810 found in the LG G Flex2 and HTC One M9 (except the A57 cores are clocked at 2GHz), but Samsung's manufacturing advantage (14nm vs. 20nm) should produce less heat and thus less throttling.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge open with massive wins in Geekbench (a CPU benchmark) and AnTuTu (an overall performance bench).

GeekBench 3

Higher is better

  • Galaxy S6/S6 edge
    4916
  • HTC One M9
    3873
  • LG G Flex2
    3604
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    3394
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    3285
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3214
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3120
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    2970
  • LG G3
    2370

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • Galaxy S6/S6 edge
    68896
  • HTC One M9
    57422
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    51905
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    49803
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    49273
  • LG G Flex2
    47680
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    45660
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    45348
  • LG G3
    42038

Basemark OS II, another full system test, is not nearly as impressed with the new chipset and places the LG G Flex2 and its Snapdragon 810, while the Exynos 7420 and Galaxy S6 drop towards the middle.

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • LG G Flex2
    1601
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    1509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    1332
  • LG G3
    1327
  • Galaxy S6/S6 edge
    1269
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    1173
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    1147
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    915

Kraken 1.1, a JavaScript benchmark, breaks the tie with the Samsung Galaxy S6 barely edging out the HTC One M9 and the LG G Flex2.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Galaxy S6/S6 edge
    4323
  • HTC One M9
    4578
  • LG G Flex2
    4621
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    4911
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    5181
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    5968
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    6088
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    6260
  • LG G3
    7632

We move to GPU testing. Exynos once again calls on ARM for the hardware, while Snapdragon 810 uses Qualcomm's own Adreno 430 chips. The iPhone 6 GPU comes from PowerVR, GX6450 to be precise.

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Galaxy S6/S6 edge
    22752
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    20901
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    20043
  • HTC One M9
    19836
  • LG G Flex2
    19360
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    12190
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    11798
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    11065
  • LG G3
    10580

The Galaxy S6 pair also uses a QHD screen – 1,440 x 2,560px – while most of the rest are at 1080p (except the Nexus 6 and LG G3). 1080p is close to half the number of pixels compared to QHD, so look at off-screen benchmarks to compare raw power and on-screen scores to compare gaming performance.

Mali-T760 seems evenly matched with the Adreno 430 and is enough to offer a playable framerate for games with GFX 2.7 level graphics.

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Galaxy S6/S6 edge
    49
  • LG G Flex2
    49
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    40
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    38.9
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    31.3
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    27
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    27
  • LG G3
    26

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Galaxy S6/S6 edge
    23
  • HTC One M9
    23
  • LG G Flex2
    22
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    18.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    18
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    13.4
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    12
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    12
  • LG G3
    11

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    48.4
  • LG G Flex2
    48
  • Galaxy S6/S6 edge
    35
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    29
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    28
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    27.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    26
  • LG G3
    20

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    25.3
  • HTC One M9
    24
  • LG G Flex2
    22
  • Galaxy S6/S6 edge
    16
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    13
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    12
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    11.9
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    11
  • LG G3
    7.7

The Samsung Galaxy S6 duo will launch on April 10 so the time for tuning the software is running short. The overall difference isn’t that huge, but we still see why Samsung was keen to go with its in-house chip. Given the right workload the Exynos can come ahead of Qualcomm's top dog. It's also well-suited for modern games even with the screen's resolution jump.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge hands-on videos

We captured a short video to showcase Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. See it below.

Here us a look at the side notifications of Samsung Galaxy S6 edge>

First impressions

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are just what the doctor ordered for the Korean manufacturer. The duo combine the Samsung's best efforts to date in both design and hardware.

We reckon that the duo will start a massive upgrade cycle for Samsung and rightfully so. The new products carry an aura of desirability at first sight, which is deservedly impressive.

Samsung Galaxy S6 hands-on

Samsung Galaxy S6 is the "conventional" member of the family. The smartphone is going to be available in four colors - White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, and Blue Topaz and when it hits the shelves.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Samsung Galaxy S6 live photos • the available colors

The newcomer looks and feels impressive in the flesh - the combination of glass and metal has truly done wonders for its visual appeal. The same goes for its tactility.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Samsung Galaxy S6 alongside its predecessor

There are no surprises with the 5.1" QHD Super AMOLED display. The unit is gorgeous to look at, with vibrant colors, superb viewing angles, and stellar contrast.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

The QHD Super AMOLED display is gorgeous

Above the display is where the usual bevy of sensors can be found. The earpiece and the front-facing 5MP f/1.9 camera are there as well.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

A look above and below the display

The home button of Samsung Galaxy S6 has grown considerably in order to accommodate the new fingerprint sensor. The latter is much better than the one found in the previous model - its functionality rivals that of Apple's iPhone.

Having a non-removable back cover means that the SIM card slot is located on the side of the Galaxy S6, right below its power/lock key. The volume rocker sits alone on the left side of the device.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

The sides of Samsung Galaxy S6

The top of the smartphone is where the IR port and a microphone pinhole reside. The 3.5mm audio jack has been moved to the bottom alongside the device's sole speaker and microUSB port.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

The top and bottom of the handset

Samsung promises a greatly improved speaker in the Galaxy S6 over the previous generation. The unit is 50% louder, which, combined with its new location, promises much better overall experience.

The back of the phone is where the lightly protruding 16MP f/1.9 main camera with 4K video resides. It features optical image stabilization, so the expectations for its low light performance are high.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

The back of the device

The camera features a slightly tweaked, though familiar interface. Samsung has implemented a nifty new start gesture for its snapper - double tapping on the home button activates it in seven tenths of a second.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Familiar camera UI with new features

Physical measures of Samsung Galaxy S6 are 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm. Its weight tips the scale at 138 grams.

In a manner befitting a flagship smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S6 will ship with a bevy of accessories. They include stock Samsung fare, as well as ones developed in collaboration with industry heavyweights.

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634
Samsung Mwc 2015 GdgDK634

Some of the available accessories

The range of available cases is truly extensive. It covers everything from mass-market offerings by Speck, Tech21, and Otterbox, all the way to bona fide luxury options from Montblanc and Swarovski.

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