While there are hundreds of mobile handset manufacturers around the globe, not many enjoy the same popularity and loyalty as a few selected players, namely Apple, Google, Samsung, HTC, only to name a few. Samsung, undoubtedly, has become one of the leading names, and more so with the introduction of its Galaxy series. The Galaxy S6 is the successor to S5, which although was a good handset, failed to capture a significant market share. Right from its release, S6 was set to amend wherever Samsung went wrong with the launch of its predecessor. With an excellent camera, premium body design and better user experience, the S6 certainly managed to win back a considerable number of Samsung fans.
Samsung can be credited with some improvements it made in the mobile as well as the phablet industry. However, not many appreciated the fact that it kept churning out visually similar models year after year. Things changed with the Galaxy Alpha, which was unveiled and launched in the last quarter of 2014. The handset had a gorgeous shape, appeared appealingly sleek and featured magnificent outlining. The S6, quite generously, inherits all these features and even takes them strides ahead. To give you a brief picture, it possibly is the most appropriately-sized handset we’ve reviewed since a long time.
The front and rear of the handset are made of glass, and they impart a sexy, classy look. Nevertheless, it also means that you’ll have to quite careful when handling it since the slightest hit could demand a replacement. Needless to say, it’s worth to get a case for your phone as soon as you buy it. The edges feature narrowly trimmed metal, and they not only help in giving the user a more comfortable grip but complements the aesthetic effect of the glass. The device is available in four colors – black sapphire, white pearl, blue topaz and gold platinum.
If there’s one word which could describe the display in S6, it is – stunning! QHD panels, although vibrant, are infamous for sucking the juice out of the battery. To balance this, manufacturer's force the introduction of bigger cells, and hence the larger body. However, the S6 manages it all very efficiently. The 5.1inches QHD display is very vibrant, detail-oriented, and offers immense picture clarity. The Super AMOLED display features a resolution of 1440x2560 pixels (amounting to a pixel density of 576ppi), and still manages to last longer than Nexus 6 and HTC’s One M9 with its normal-sized power cell.
The device seems adequately responsive, and except for the slight lag in the fingerprint scanner; everything worked well. The 3GB RAM gives enough memory to cache large applications in the memory, and the hardware is fast enough in itself to give the phone a boost when executing commands. The UI does not seem to lag at all, and the network connectivity seemed to have very little effect on the browser’s performance.
Samsung’s decision to replace Qualcomm’s chipset with one of their own has made an impact on the device. We couldn’t find much bloatware in the device that could hamper performance, so this is another added advantage. However, the S6 does not feature an expandable MicroSD card slot, so you’ll have to make a choice when buying it. There are three storage variants available – 32GB, 64GB, and the 128GB.
The S6 features a 16MP camera as its main imaging unit, and the shots are simply superb. Aimed to please users who appreciate a good camera on their device, the device comes integrated with all the features you could ask for. Optical image stabilization, autofocus, LED flash, and IR Detect White balance are only some features that come integrated. Also, there is a host of manual controls to tweak your photography experience. For users with little to no experience in clicking pro shots, the camera is not too sophisticated to handle, nor too sluggish to focus. Images are vibrant, colorful and display perfect color reproduction. As a dedicated shortcut key, the device allows you to tap twice on the Home button gently, and that brings up the camera app in the flash of a second.
The rear camera is a 5MP unit, with the 22mm lens (as opposed to 28mm for the main camera) and an aperture of f/1.9. Also, both the main, as well as secondary cameras, can record HD videos, with the rear one being able to record videos at 2160p at 30 frames per second, and the front 1440p at 30fps.
The device can play almost all popularly known media file types, audio as well as video. The screen offers an excellent environment to get immersed in the video. The internal sound quality is great, thanks to the Wolfson WM1840, which imparts the unique sound to the device. The external speakers can be considered as just average, and lacked bass impact and other significant detail.
In comparison with other phones that employ QHD display, the Galaxy S6 only features a 2550mAh battery, and the battery seems to be good enough to let you sail easily through a day’s usage. The surprising part is, the device seems to have no problem at all running the QHD display, and still letting you go through the day with just a normal power charge. Additionally, if you feel that the battery’s running down and you can’t get a charger handy, you could switch to the power saving mode, and your device will be good enough to let you go through another day.
The S6 features almost all the connectivity options considered at par these days. From all supported WiFi protocols to NFC and Samsung Pay, the device can also be made to get connected to your PC or Mac seamlessly by using the data cable.