After seeing the Samsung Galaxy S6 previews I had to get my hands on one. I’ve now had mine for a month now and I thought I would share my thoughts.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Screen
Samsung has a slight advantage as it is one of the few handset makers in the world that makes its own on screens. The S6 has an AMOLED screen rather than LCD technology (think HTC One or iPhone), and with this Samsung has crafted a beautiful display. The blacks are inky and the colours are vibrant – to put it simply this is an amazing screen that’s arguably the best on any phone in my humble opinion.
The other big thing Samsung will talk about is the resolution or pixels per inch (ppi). Why do we want more pixels? Well the more pixels the smoother an image will appear. At 1440p not only does it have more pixels than my TV (!), it also packs an amazing 577ppi leaving behind the HTC One (441ppi) and the iPhone 6 (326ppi).
So why am I not impressed yet? The differences between the S6, iPhone 6 and HTC One are negligible at best. But the impact on battery life and performance to move all those extra tiny dots leaves me wondering, why bother?
A banging body
This is a beautiful phone. After years of ugly boring devices Samsung has made some radical changes. Sure the bottom looks exactly like an iPhone, but let’s be honest, there are only so many ways you can design a small rectangular box, and the edge shows Samsung can still be creative.
Samsung fans will lament the loss of the removable battery - but this wasn't an issue for me. More concerning from my point of view was the slight reduction in battery size. Let me put it on the table straight away, battery life isn't amazing but that’s ok. You’ll generally get through a full day of use but only barely. Battery life like this would normally cause me to break out in a cold sweat but that turbo-charging tech really works - 15mins on the charger before you head out for dinner is enough to give you four hours of additional battery (depending on how heavily you use your phone of course, but if you’re at dinner it should be tucked away in your pocket anyway, right?). So while I do plug my phone in more than I used too but I don't have any battery life anxiety.
The camera is simply amazing, it’s fast to load, fast to shoot and takes beautiful photos. If your iPhone toting friend has always commented about how iPhones have the best camera - well they can gloat no more. I think the S6 is every bit its equal.
For me, the S6 is a power house. It has an 8 core CPU with 3GB of Memory and a GPU that’s more than capable, so with all this crazy hardware obviously performance is a no brainer, isn’t it? Well, not quite. The previews led me to believe this phone was buttery smooth and at first it was, but after living with it for a while you notice it does slow down or sometimes lags at random points, even when doing simple things like bringing up the keyboard to type. While these slow downs are occasional in 2015 on a flagship phone I find this baffling With the 577ppi screen there’s a lot more performance and memory required and this hurts the S6 with a negligible increase in display.
Should you buy a Samsung Galaxy S6?
The S6 is an amazing piece of hardware but I feel like a couple of minor design decisions stop it short of being the perfect phone. The slowdowns are annoying on a flagship phone but for the most part it performs pretty well and I’m hoping they fix some of them with software updates. All in all, If you are looking for an Android phone this is the one to get.
Is there a phone you’d like us to road test? Tell us in the comments and we’ll get on to it.