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Samsung Galaxy S6 review

8.5/10 AVG.
RATING



8.5/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy S6 currently has an Informr score of 8.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 57 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Performance
  • Display quality
  • Camera
  • Design
  • Wireless charging
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

What's bad

  • No microSD support
  • Non-removable battery
  • Price

It’s time for another round of flagship upgrades from the big names in mobile devices. With the Galaxy S6, Samsung has finally made some recognizable changes to the familiar Galaxy S formula that users have either loved or hated. Will the S6 help Samsung claim the best phone of 2015? Let’s see what the initial reviews are saying!

One of the first things mentioned in many reviews of this new flagship device is the switch to a metal chassis design with Gorilla glass on the front and rear. At a thin 6.8mm thick, the phone appears to fix one of the biggest problems that many had with the design of the S5. Many reviews compare the design and sturdiness to the iPhone, with Trusted Reviews noting, “The fine detail on the S6 is on another level.” Forbes declared that it “makes some great gains in terms of style.”

Unfortunately, this upgraded design comes with a few drawbacks and two of the most criticized changes to the phone compared to previous models. To create a unibody design, Samsung decided to remove microSD card support and go with a non-removable battery pack. However, to help account for this, they have upgraded the storage of the base model to 32GB, with 64 and 128GB models available as well. The phone also supports both Qi and PWM wireless charging as well, a feature that Samsung is touting heavily about the new handset. They claim that with a single 10-minute charge you can pull more than 4 hours of battery life out of the phone.

Fortunately, this is virtually the only potential issue that reviews had with the S6. All reviews were positive for the phone’s 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display. Running at a resolution of 1440-by-2560 pixels, it packs in more than enough pixels for watching a movie on the plane or checking email. Trusted Reviews put the display through its paced and found that it “impresses with the brightness of its colours and outstanding contrast evident in videos and photos.”

Pushing all those pixels is a Samsung-exclusive octa-core Exynos processor with speeds up to 2.1GHz and 3GB of RAM. Samsung claims that the processor offers a 35-percent increase in efficiency while boosting performance as well. This is good news if you’re worried about the non-removable battery. Overall, performance appears stellar in most reviews. Engadget tried to find a hiccup in the device and failed, stating, “Thumbing through webpages, jumping in and out of open apps with the manic frenzy of a rabid squirrel and generally just trying to be a jerk didn't phase the S6 or S6 edge in the slightest.”

The S6 also runs Android 5.0 Lollipop with the latest version of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. While reviews of past versions of TouchWiz were often less than great, Engadget, Trusted Reviews and Forbes all noted how much they liked the latest edition of Samsung’s interface. Most reviews found that it is less cluttered and more streamlined than previous versions, fixing many of the issues that reviewers and users had with it. The Verge noted, “Samsung also trimmed back the software features, claiming that there are 40 percent fewer features in the Galaxy S6 than the S5. Overall, the software feels largely the same as before, however.”

Lastly, if you like to snap photos and post selfies with your phone, reviews indicate that you’ll be more than pleased with the camera on the Galaxy S6. Boasting a 16MP rear-facing camera and optical image stabilization, reviews were surprised as just how fast the camera launched and captured shots. Both the front- and rear-facing cameras see upgrades to f/1.9 lenses and optimized software from Samsung. One of the biggest claims from Samsung is low-light performance and according to Trusted Reviews, the handset delivers, stating, “the low-light features blow the competition out of the water.”

Overall, reviews indicated that the S6 is one of the most refined Android devices to date. While die-hard fans of removable batteries and expandable storage might be disappointed, there are plenty of other reasons to love the phone. From wireless charging to LTE Cat 6 support, the phone offers plenty of cutting edge bells and whistles to keep even the most tech-savvy gadget lover happy.


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.1 GHz
Screen Size
5.1"
Camera
16+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Expert Reviews

There's no doubting that the S6 is a much better phone, both in terms of features and build quality than the original S5. If you're not bothered about the curve and want to save money, the Galaxy S6 is still one of the best Android phones you can buy today.

- David Ludlow, Expert Reviews
About

With the Galaxy S6, Samsung has given its customers exactly what they wanted, albeit sacrificing a few of its major selling points in the process. Samsung’s latest flagship is nothing like what I have ever seen from the company in the past, it has given the Galaxy brand the long-awaited reboot...

- Faryaab Sheikh, About
PC Magazine

Five months after its release, the Samsung Galaxy S6 remains the best Android smartphone we've seen this year. The S6 has a revamped design that incorporates a premium glass-and-metal build, a gorgeous display, an improved camera, and a blazing-fast processor—making it one of the best-looking...

- Ajay Kumar, PC Magazine
AndroidPIT

The Galaxy S6 is clearly a new lease on life for the Galaxy S line, with significant changes made to the design and TouchWiz UI, and I can safely say that it has been for the better. While Samsung decided to kill off two of its most defining characteristics – the removable battery and mic...

- Camila Rinaldi, AndroidPIT
Coolsmartphone

Another strong and capable handset from Samsung. I’m sitting on the fence about the lack of microSD card in particular, because I’ve got so used to having the ability to extend my on-board storage. The presence of the Microsoft Onedrive cloud storage is a help, but if you don’t hav...

- Leigh Geary, Coolsmartphone


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.1"

The Samsung Galaxy S6's screen size is 5.1 inches with 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.1 GHz

There is a Samsung Exynos 7420 Octa core 2.1 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 5.0 Lollipop (Update Available: 7.0 Nougat) operating system (OS).

Camera
16+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32/64/128 GB

Internal memory is 32/64/128 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
2550mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2550 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 1380 minutes, 720 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy S6 Specs

Overview
Release date April 10, 2015
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop (Update Available: 7.0 Nougat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Samsung Exynos 7420 Octa core 2.1 GHz
Internal Storage 32/64/128 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.58 W/kg
Body: 1.45 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 2 Years
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2550 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging Yes
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 780 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 720 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Up to: 720 minutes
Talk Time Up to: 1380 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 13 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.3 x 7 x 0.7 cm (5.6 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 138 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels
Pixel density 577 pixels
Size 5.1 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared Yes
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Panorama, Self-timer, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, ASF, FLV, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, M4A, OGG, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, ASF, AVI, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments

Also available in a dual-SIM model.

Additional Sensors
- Barometer

Additional Features
- Ultra Power Saving Mode
- Download Booster
- S Health 4.0
- Quick Connect
- Private Mode

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy S6
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