Galaxy S6 & Edge Review

Galaxy S6 & Edge Review 본문

Hardware Reviews

Galaxy S6 & Edge Review

KRONNA 2015. 4. 10. 11:42

The year "2015" is an important one to Samsung. Having maintained the 1st place title in global smartphone marketshare for multiple years, Samsung fell into the pitfall of arrogance and stagnant innovation last year (2014), and the infamous Galaxy S5 plummeted Samsung's revenue to less than 25% of what the company has accomplished the year before. Yes, even after the downfall, Samsung miraculously held onto the first place title, but year 2015 will be the real final test for them. Should they not bring about any significant changes, their downward trend will continue and they'll be forced to yield their title to another manufacturer (expected: Apple Inc. which, in terms of profit, ranks first place currently). However, should Samsung take 2014 as a learning opportunity and revamp the way they think about their products and their customers, Samsung may become a better company than it ever was in its entire history. 

Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are significant in the sense that they are the first flagship products to be announced and released by Samsung in their landmark year of 2015. Samsung's determination to change is evident in how they call their new flagship devices within their company. Galaxy S6 Edge is codenamed "Project Zero"; Galaxy S6, "Project Zero Flag": Since the moment Samsung began to plan the new Galaxy, they planned to begin from the scratch, or "zero". Frankly, the result is quite amazing, and media have reported so. Today is the big day for Samsung, for their important products are being released today. I luckily had a chance to obtain a Gold Platinum Galaxy S6 Edge model and a Black Sapphire Galaxy S6 model. So let's go examine them!

Despite having a radically redesigned exterior, Galaxy S6 Edge maintains its Galaxy family look on the front due to the Samsung logo on top, their signature home button on the bottom, and the overall silhouetteThe side bezels look extraordinarily thin from the front thanks to Samsung's curved dual edge display. Also, the home button became larger (vertically longer) as the Galaxy S6 & Edge support the area fingerprint scanning method (like that of the iPhone series). 

The rear design is simply gorgeous, especially after having seen a hideous design on the Galaxy S5 a year earlier.  Galaxy S6 and Edge mix glass and metal on the back and demonstrate how beautiful materials can be (which is by definition a minimalistic design). Furthermore, the newly adopted nano-coating technology adds a complex color spectrum ranging from ivory white to golden brown to the golden surface as it shimmers under varying angles of light reflection. In all honesty, the design is comparable to natural precious jewels. The only disadvantage of the glass-covered rear is the difficulty of keeping the surface clean without fingerprints. 

Both Galaxy S6 and its Edge variations are thinner than iPhone 6. Whereas Galaxy S6 Edge is 0.1 mm thicker than its brother, the curved display creates an illusionary feeling that it is actually thinner. When one grips the phone, only the metal part at the side touches the fingers and therefore determines how slim the device feels. The curved display takes up some thickness on the sides, making the metal part slim and the phone feel slimmer. I've been using Galaxy Note 4 for a few months, and it took me awhile to adjust to this new slim and light phone.

The most defining feature of the Galaxy S6 Edge is, obviously, its dual edge display. The dual edge display serves multiple purposes. First of all, it adds to the beautiful design of the phone. When viewed at an angle, the phone seems like it does not have a bezel on the other side of the screen; this creates an illusion as if the display is wrapping around the side. When held in your hand, the display will look as if it is floating (toward your eyes). The second function is showing notifications. This is not surprising since Samsung has already established the feature in Galaxy Note Edge. Lastly, the dual edge screen provides the "People Edge" function, which allows the user to quickly call 5 favorite contacts, and the "Edge Lighting" function, which notifies the user that one of the five contacts has sent a message or is calling based on an ornate wave of the color that matches the contact's People Edge color. Edge Lighting is remarkably beautiful, but I would love to see it being applied to more than just 5 contacts. 

Overall, I love the design. It is simple, yet not simplistic. It is new, yet familiar. Its gracefully anodized aluminium frame looks good and feels good in my hand. 

Another positive trait of Galaxy S6 Edge is that Samsung now decided to focus on the basic features that actually matter to the users instead of adding fancy but superfluous biometric features. Samsung wisely chose to use its own Exynos 7 Octa processor instead of Qualcolmm's troublesome Snapdragon 810 processor (Snapdragon 810 is reportedly showing high temperature and low performance). Thanks to the powerful processor, rapid memory and light-weight software (which would be even lighter without the TouchWiz UX), Galaxy S6 Edge boasts robust performance and seamless transitions, despite its uber high resolution. 

Galaxy S6, when compared to its futuristic brother, may feel too normal. However if you are a customer who doesn't like adjusting to a vastly new product, then Galaxy S6 may be a better companion for you. 

When I first began using the two phones, I preferred Gold Platinum over Black Sapphire, but now I feel different. Gold Platinum is by all means the elegant and trendy color variation of the Galaxy S6 family. However, the modern Black Sapphire model possesses advantages that the Gold Platinum one does not: you won't grow tired of looking at Black Sapphire. Galaxy S6 was designed by the same designer who was in charge of the enduring Galaxy S3 design, and his cultivated taste of color is well demonstrated in Galaxy S6 also. Black Sapphire looks dark navy most of the times, but when you move the phone under a light source, it reveals its hidden bright sky blue color. If the designer wanted the phone to look like a gem, then he succeeded. I appreciate what he has done.

The miscellaneous parts are as shown above. The irreplaceable battery disappointed many of Samsung's long-time customers, but taking a cost-benefit analysis, I can agree with Samsung that sacrificing the little convenience for slimmer design and cheaper cost of production was a wise choice to make, given that Samsung's competitors don't have replaceable batteries anyway. Although Galaxy Alpha was the first ever Samsung phone to do so, Galaxy S6 is Samsung's first flagship smartphone to adopt the Nano SIM standard. This means that customers of old Samsung phones will have to buy a new SIM card with the new Galaxy. Those two factors I listed here are all the negative changes of Galaxy S6 I can think of at this point.

Overall, Galaxy S6 is a great device for those who are not really interesting in moving onto the flexible (curved) display era yet. Just like its predecessors, Galaxy S6 is a safe choice to make for those who are waiting to change their smartphones. Galaxy S6 offers great performance, familiar design and network externality. 

In the videos above, I tried to show you the performance of Galaxy S6 and Edge as accurately as possible. I will save my words so that you can decide for yourself. 

The ultimate decision shall be made by the consumers around the world, but at least to me based on what I've seen and touched so far, Samsung's 2015 looks promising! I'm truly satisfied with my two new phones. Prosperity is wonderful, but once in a while, a motivating failure like Galaxy S5 can foster success that would not have been otherwise. Long live capitalism and long live competitions so that the consumers can bask in the progress they promote. 

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