Enter the new Samsung Galaxy S6, the amalgamation of years' of smartphone knowledge by Samsung. It's more than a headline full of numbers.
We all keep our ear to the ground when Mobile World Congress comes around each year.
This year we were invited to see what Samsung – the household name who have had such success with the Galaxy range over the past years, had in store with their Galaxy S6.
Tech companies have, in the past, been quick to give us headlines written in numbers, 8MP, quad core processors with so many GHz, five and six inch screens.
Advertising and educating the numeric shouting way worked well in the past, when we were impressed by the improvements that were inching forward year by year.
That's kind of stopped these days, screen sizes are becoming similar between manufacturers, cameras are fantastic when you compare like for like and processors are now so advanced that laptops and tower PCs are lagging behind their smaller smartphone relations who are rocking octa-core processors and up to 3GB of RAM.
Enter the new Samsung Galaxy S6. Of course it's the amalgamation of years' of smartphone knowledge by Samsung, but it's more than just a headline full of numbers.
Opening the embossed packaging it all looks very premium already, a classy box you could be mistaken thinking that you're going to find the latest fragrance from one of the big fashion houses.
Inside the phone fills the box edge to edge with the standard charger/headphones/USB cable kept underneath.
Holding the phone and flipping it round checking out where the controls and nano SIM are housed I got the instant feeling of quality build and expensive materials, think of a Mont Blanc pen, just the right amount of glossy glass and aluminium on show.
Samsung have done the research on this new Galaxy – not everybody is bothered about a battery you can remove, so they made a uni-body from aluminium, the material of choice for this kind of phone from this kind of manufacturer. The back of the phone sheds its plastic battery cover and is now dressed in Gorilla Glass front and back giving the black sapphire version a beautiful glossy blue black inky darkness.
Loss of memory?
Another departure is the memory options. Gone are the SD card slots, a staple for almost all the Galaxy range up to now – in comes a 32GB minimum memory (about 7GB is handed over to the new Lollypop operating system from Android) so heavy users will have to keep their downloads in check or go for the 64GB version. And, if you're used to using an FM radio – its also gone but tune In radio these days is hard to beat unless you are living in a very remote area.
We have to give the little Android a minute now, Lollypop, the 'version 5' of Google's operating system come pre-installed onto the Galaxy S6 – no updates needed its out of the box. With Samsung keeping so called 'bloatware' to a minimum the simple design of the hardware and the bright and colourful icons of the Android OS work seamlessly together, every log in and instruction from the phone is clear and easy to follow. Often manufacturers will add their twists to the software and Samsung have been guilty in the past of over complicating things, not so in this phone – it's very easy to navigate Samsung have added some very useful features.
Fingerprint technology on the home button is not only a good security feature but shortly it will be gateway to quick payments through your mobile.
S Health, Samsung's sport tracker is a pedometer that just works – no band or smartwatch needed – it picks up how much you walk or run and if you're not being active, it will tell you to get off the couch, it's even got a heart rate monitor next to the camera for your post workout check up.
What does set this apart from all the other smartphones? Well in my opinion its two features hard wired into this phone – and they are not gimmicks.
Firstly, quick charging and wireless charging are the future, and they are both in the Galaxy S6. Nobody likes to wait around for your phone to charge up so Samsung have put their new charger and cable in the box, they say you'll get two hours video playback for 10 minutes plugged in, which I salute.
Wireless charging has been kicking about for a few years now but most phones will need a special case or battery cover to access this – plus the charging pads are expensive. Samsung have built this technology into the Galaxy S6.
With IKEA designing office furniture, household lamps and bedside tables with wireless charging built in it will not be long before we just place our phone down on the table before bed and you'll soon forget all about cables and sockets.
Second is the camera. A 16MP camera sits a little proud on the back of the Galaxy S6 – I suggest investing on a protective case to stop this being scratched or chipped. In smartphone terms it's not got the most pixels, Sony have 20.7MP cameras in their flagship phones. But in real world situations the addition of image stabilisation makes getting the perfect photograph a simple affair, even when you zoom in for some close up detail. Autofocus and smart settings kick into life in a fraction of a second, about 0.7 of a second to be specific, capturing more memories – faster.
With Samsung teaming up with Microsoft One Drive, giving you loads of online space you can back up your phone and clear down the camera's memory – keeping your photos in the cloud to access where and when you want.
Overall, you will notice that I like the Galaxy S6 – the camera is quick and sharp. Its got processing power to burn. The screen is vivid and colours true. Its got loads of memory. Music sounds great and voice calls are clear, but it's not just the tech, it's like a new watch or a tailored suit, it's made for you and makes you feel good when you use it. Not just because its new – because it has class.
Review written by our Studio Manager, Neill.
Image credit: www.Stuff.tv
The Samsung Galaxy S6 is now available at Carphone Warehouse.