Product Samsung Galaxy S6
Specifications 5.1in Quad HD 2560x1440 577ppi Super Amoled screen, octa-core Exynos 7420 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB storage, 16MP F-1.9 with Real Time HDR and Optical Image Stabilisation rear, 5MP F-1.9 Real Time HDR front, GSM/3G/4G, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Android 5.0 Lollipop, Samsung TouchWiz, Li-Ion 2600mAh battery, 143x71x6.8mm, 138g
Price £600 SIM-free
SAMSUNG STILL HAS A CLOSE to undisputed hold on the Western Android smartphone market, but its iron grip loosened in 2014 when sales of the Galaxy S5 failed to meet the firm's and analysts' projections.
The Galaxy S5 was criticised for its dull, sterile design, lack of innovation and infestation of bloatware.
Aware of customers' and reviewers' complaints, Samsung made a sweep of reforms in its smartphone division and "went back to the drawing board" with the 2015 Galaxy S6.
Design and build
We here at The INQUIRER have never been big fans of past Galaxy smartphone designs, feeling that the polycarbonate frames were flimsy and felt significantly less robust and premium than competing handsets from companies like HTC, Apple and Sony.
Samsung has completely rethought its design practices to build the Galaxy S6 and used a mix of Gorilla Glass and a custom metal alloy, which it claims is 50 percent stronger than on other high-end handsets.
Specifically, Samsung has designed the Galaxy S6 with metal sides and Gorilla Glass back and front. Visually the design borrows heavily from Sony and Apple and makes the Galaxy S6 look like a hybrid of the iPhone 6 and Xperia Z3.
The Apple link is particularly noticeable when you look at the placement and design of the Galaxy S6's single speaker, which is situated on the phone's bottom, next to the microUSB and headphone inputs. Some users may bemoan the design, feeling that it borrows too heavily from other firms, but we found it a major improvement on past Galaxy handsets.
The Galaxy S6 felt noticeably sturdier than past Samsung smartphones and, despite having a glass back, managed to survive an accidental encounter with our office floor unscathed.
Measuring 143x71x6.8mm and weighing 138g, the Galaxy S6 is comfortable to hold and use one handed for anyone but the smallest handed. The ease of use is aided by the button placement, which puts the volume controls on the top right and power on the middle of the left side.
Samsung has also managed to load the Galaxy S6 with a reasonable number of custom features, the best of which are the fingerprint scanner and heart-rate monitor.
The fingerprint scanner is housed in the front-facing physical home button, while the heart rate monitor sits on the back next to the flash unit.
The only slight disappointment regarding the Galaxy S6 design is that, unlike its predecessor, it isn't IP certified and won't survive the odd accidental submersion in water.
Samsung made a lot of noise about the Galaxy S6's 5.1in Quad HD 2560x1440 577ppi Super Amoled screen, claiming that it displays 70 percent more pixels than the Galaxy S5.
Traditionally we've always been big fans of Samsung smartphone screens, feeling that they are a cut above many competing smartphones thanks to the Super Amoled technology.
Super Amoled is a custom technology that offers all the benefits of normal Amoled screens, which are able to display deeper and richer blacks by electrically charging each individual pixel to generate colours, but also reduces the screen's power consumption.
It does this by integrating the capacitive touchscreen layer directly into the display instead of overlaying it on top, thus removing the need for the phone to charge two components at once.
Our positive impressions of the technology remained true on the Galaxy S6, which features one of the best screens we've ever seen on a smartphone.
Text and icons were super sharp and the handset has astoundingly good viewing angles. Even when viewing images from the widest angles possible we noticed only negligible colour distortion.
The one problem we've had with Super Amoled screens in the past is that Samsung has a tendency to crank the display's settings to the point that they slightly oversaturate colours.
However, testing the Galaxy S6 we found the colour levels are great and Samsung has callibrated the display very well. As a result, generally, colours are incredibly rich and vibrant and don't look exaggerated.
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