The arms race in smartphones has recently seen a range of new offerings come on to the market from brash upstarts to former giants like Nokia. Adding even more interest to the mix are the headline grabbing exploits of companies who have never made a phone handset before, such as the much hyped Project Ara from Google.
But before a new market leader is declared, the industry titans Samsung and Apple need to be unseated. And they are showing no sign of stepping aside, with Samsung the latest to release a new flagship model, the Galaxy S6.
So how does the Galaxy S6 stack up, and should you be ready to switch over?
Even when compared to Apple, Samsung has always been the critics choice for delivering better screens. And with the Galaxy S6, it looks like the Korean company has once again delivered on that reputation.
The technical specifications of the screen are a quad high definition super Amoled display, with a 5.1 inch size. In practice, what that means is that blacks and dark colours have added “depth” which makes them better to read in low light and sunlight, and the equivalent of a portable high definition TV screen in good lighting conditions.
Once seen as an optional extra, the camera is now central to the smartphone experience. Unfortunately, Samsung has chosen not to upgrade the 16 megapixel model found on its earlier phone. While this might disappoint some, 16 is still a lot of megapixels.
Samsung has arguably gone for the harder to improve aspects, choosing to focus instead on a range of auxiliary modifications like refining image processing of captured images, increasing shutter speed and improving the ability to shoot in low light.
The early reviews indicate that this is a great package of improvements, and Samsung should be applauded for resisting the temptation to simply upgrade the camera without improving the supporting features.
The Look and Feel
The Samsung Galaxy S6 has started to converge with the design of the iPhone. The “to the edge” screen and rounded glass design are both well received refinements to the already attractive previous model.
However, there have been trade offs made. Galaxy S6 users who were planning on packing large amounts of video or music onto their phone will be disappointed, with storage fixed and not expandable through a micro SD slot or a expandable memory feature.
The new model is also not waterproof like its predecessor, which means it loses a crucial point of difference from other competitors. The phone is powered by the Google Android 5.0 system, and is the phone benefits from a campaign to reduce clutter from the basic operating system.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a well-designed phone that will lose no admirers from fans of the Samsung range of products. It remains one of the most popular manufacturers of attractive phone handsets on the market, and the Galaxy S6 should help defend its position at the top of the tree.