After the usual influx of late rumours, Samsung finally unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S6 (opens in new tab), at an MWC pre-event in Barcelona yesterday.
Samsung lost a lot of ground to Apple in the latter half of 2014, as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus generated huge sales for the Cupertino-based giant, whereas Samsung's smartphone sales dwindled.
Early reports suggest that the Galaxy S6 will be a big step up from its predecessor, but let's break down the specs and have a closer look.
Samsung had to bring out all the stops with the Galaxy S6 and one area this has definitely been achieved is with the display. Despite being the same size as the S5 at 5.1-inches, the resolution is significantly improved.
The S6 display features a resolution 2,560 x 1440 pixels compared to 1,920 x 1,080 in the S5, and an impressive pixel density of 577ppi, a huge jump up from the 441ppi of its predecessor.
Both are Super AMOLED displays with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for that added layer of protection.
Overall, there's not a huge amount of difference in the camera department, with both the Galaxy S5 and the S6 packing a 16-megapixel rear camera.
Both also offer the same video capabilities of 2,160p@30fps and 1,080p@60fps, but it is when we get to the secondary camera that we really see an improvement. The front-facing selfie snapper has made a significant jump up in the new model, going from 2.1-megapixels in the S5 to 5-megapixels in the S6.
Both models also feature the usual features to please the more experienced photographers amongst you, such as geo-tagging, face detection and optical image stabilisation.
Now, this is where we can get really excited. Samsung has always tended to go for plastic cases in its older smartphone models, but with the Galaxy S6, there isn't a piece of plastic in sight.
In an effort to up the design ante and offer a premium build more in line with Apple's iPhones, the S6 has a metal frame and a glass back which makes use of Gorilla Glass 4 in the same way as the main display.
The only downside with the new design is that the removable back has now gone, meaning replacing the battery is no longer an option but, in my humble opinion, this is a small price to pay.
I have to say that, on initial inspection, the Galaxy S6 design is a significant step up from its predecessor. Samsung has, without a doubt, achieved a more premium look and feel and I would be surprised if this doesn't sway a lot of people's decisions when picking their new smartphone in 2015.
Under the hood
One of the big rumours prior to the release of the S6 was that Samsung would be dropping the Qualcomm chips that it has used in the past. And that is exactly what it has done, instead plumping for its own Exynos 7420 processor.
It also packs a punch with an octa-core CPU in the form of two quad-core Cortex processors which measure in at speeds of 2.1GHz and 1.5GHz, combining to comfortably beat the 2.5GHz processor in the S5.
The only downside is that the battery in the Galaxy S6 is slightly reduced - down from 2,800mAh in the S5 to 2,550mAh - but this isn't such an issue due to improved battery conservation technology. This has also helped to shave a few precious millimetres off the width (the S6 is two millimetres thinner than the S5), which provides some compensation.
All in all, the Galaxy S6 is a definite step up from the S5, especially in the screen department. The resolution is significantly improved which, in an age where more and more video content is being consumed on our smartphones, was a good move for Samsung.
The design is also much sleeker and has a modern, premium feel to it, which was something that was missing from the S5.
There are other small improvements across the board too, such as an extra GB of RAM, the availability of 128GB of internal storage if required and an improved front camera.
Is it good enough to tempt me over from iPhone? I'm not sure, but it has definitely got me thinking. The price will be a big factor when it is confirmed, which should be in the next few weeks, so maybe I'll wait until then to make a final decision.
See the full specs table below.
|Resolution||1,920 x 1,080 pixels||2,560 x 1,440 pixels|
|Type||Super AMOLED||Super AMOLED|
Processor and Battery
|Family||Exynos 6 / Snapdragon 805||Exynos 7420|
|CPU||Krait 400||Cortex-A53 / Cortex-A57|
|Clock Speed||2.5GHz||1.5 GHz / 2.1GHz|
|Claimed 3G Talk Time||Up to 21h||Unconfirmed|
Storage and Memory
|Internal Storage||32 / 64BG||32 / 64 / 128GB|
|Video||2,160@30fps / 1,080@60fps||2,160p@30fps, 1,080p@60fps|
|Standard||4G LTE||4G LTE|
|Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac||Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac|
|Integrated Wireless Charging||Yes||Yes|
|Size||142 x 72.5 x 8.1mm||143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm|
|Operating System||Android 4.4 KitKat||Android 5.0 Lollipop|
|Price (Sim free)||£549||Unconfirmed|
|Availability||April 2014||April 2015|