Samsung officially unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6, and its curvy screen variant, the Galaxy S6 Edge, at the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain. Both devices represent a new direction for the South Korean phone maker, especially in terms of design, not only in the physical appearance of the devices, but also in their software and user interface.
With regards to physical design, Samsung has always had favored using plastics in its choice of materials for its smartphone products. The phone maker has even weathered some flak from certain circles who often criticize the company for continuing to use plastic materials, while its competitors have already begun shifting to metal-clad designs.
Sure, the phone maker had released metallic smartphones before, but never for its flagship devices. But now, Samsung has finally made the switch. And it is not just doing some quick, mindless switching to new metal designs. With the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, the company had to start from scratch. They really went back to the drawing board, taking notes from feedback from both casual customers and smartphone experts.
But Samsung also did not completely veer away from its strengths. The new Galaxy flagship devices may have a new approach to their designs, but they still retained some of the familiar Samsung physical characteristics, like the rounded rectangle home button and the camera lens set on the center.
Samsung also had the smarts to learn from past experimentations. This is most evident with the Galaxy S6 Edge, which features the unique curved display screen design that was first seen in the Galaxy Note Edge, introduced last year by the South Korean company. But whereas the Note Edge only sported a display screen that curves to one side, the Galaxy S6 Edge's screen curves to the left and right side.
Samsung also developed on its own the sub-surface reflective coating that gives a jewel-looking or metal-looking finish. And because it is underneath the Gorilla Glass 4 outer surface, it is protected from scratches and other damages. Plus, the metallic frame above the glass surface has been extended all the way around the edge, which makes the devices less likely to shatter when they fall.
Samsung also made changes in some areas. For instance, the rear-facing speaker has been replaced with one that faces downwards, which Samsung claims is 1.5 times louder. The new devices also come with a customizable LED with options for different colors based on whoever is contacting your smartphone, and there are also quick reply settings that you can assign to the rear infrared sensor beside the camera, so that you can easily respond right away with a simple press of your finger, instead of lifting your phone.
With regards to the user interface of the new flagship devices, Samsung has finally gone for the less-is-more approach. For years, users have often complained about bloatware when it comes to Samsung smartphones. Yes, Samsung devices often have very impressive specifications and features, but they also sometimes become laggy because the processing power (however powerful it is) is wasted on software the phone owners don't actually use. This time around, Samsung has removed most of the pointless stuff, including the useless background operations and notifications.
Both the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge feature a 5.1-inch quad-HD (2560 by 1440 resolution) display screen, a 16-megapixel camera on the front side, a 5-megapixel camera on the rear side, an Exynos 7 series Quad 2.1 GigaHertz plus Quad 1.5 GigaHertz processor, 3 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM), a 2,550 mAh battery, and Android 5.0 Lollipop.
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