Following all the teasers and rumors, Samsung has unveiled the latest model in its Galaxy S flagship range at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Galaxy S3 was a hugely popular device and the S4 and S5 continued that heritage, but somewhere along the way the Galaxy S range started to stumble, ever so slightly. Thankfully it seems that Samsung has gained its footing again and the S6 is looking like it is a true champion device. But what did Samsung change from the S5 to the S6? Well let’s take a quick look at how the Samsung Galaxy S6 compares to last year’s Galaxy S model.
The design language between the two generations of Samsung’s flagship share a lot of common elements, especially on the front, with a tactile home button, flanked by capacitive back and recent apps keys. Coming to the sides, you’ll find the typical Samsung button layout as well, with the volume rocker on the left and a power button on the right. Things start to differ when you look at some of the ports. The Galaxy S5 has a microUSB charging port at the bottom with a plastic flap for water proofing and a headphone jack at the top, whereas the Galaxy S6 ditches waterproofing and places the audio jack at the bottom, to the left of the microUSB charging port.
The most noticeable change from the Galaxy S5 is the build materials used on the latest flagship. The S6 has a much needed change in build material, with the plastic build and the dimpled back cover of the Galaxy S5 being replaced with a more premium build that has a metal frame sandwiched between a glass front and back.
Even with both devices featuring identical display sizes, the Galaxy S6 is the leaner and thinner of the two, allowing for an even better in-hand experience, helped along by the great feel the new materials provide.
There have been a lot of complaints about Samsung not doing much in terms of design and build quality between generations of its flagship S line, but finally, the S6 brings with it this much hoped for change. It’s not without its compromises though — the new unibody design means that the battery is no longer replaceable, a feature that was essential to many. Also, the thin design means Samsung had to sacrifice the microSD port.
As mentioned above, the display size remains the same, with both smartphones featuring 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screens. But, Samsung has bumped up the resolution of the S6 from Full HD to Quad HD. As a result the pixel density has gone from 432 ppi to 577.
As always, Super AMOLED brings with it deep blacks, vibrant colors, and great viewing angles. This results in a fantastic experience on either display. Is QHD overkill on a 5.1-inch display? Some will say yes, some will say no, though most will admit there is at least some visible difference in clarity between the two displays.
Hardware and Performance
Samsung always packs its flagships with the latest and greatest processors. It was true of the S5 and it is true of the S6. The Galaxy S5 had a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801, or an Exynos 5 Octa (depending on your region), backed by 2 GB of RAM.
For the Galaxy S6 Samsung has given Qualcomm a miss this time around, and instead is solely relying on its in-house octa-core Exynos 7420 chip, coupled with 3 GB of RAM. Once again, performance is fantastic, but credit also has to be given to Samsung’s more streamlined iteration of TouchWiz. Things remain the same in other hardware, with both offering 32/64 GB of space, though the Galaxy S6 offers an 128GB model and lacks microSD, something that has long been a staple of the Galaxy S line. A fingerprint scanner is also available, but with an improved version with the S6 that is touch-based, instead of swipe based like on the S5.
One advantage the S5 does have, outside of microSD and removable battery, is with regards to the overall protection from the elements it provides, with its IP67 rating for dust and water proofing. As previously mentioned, this isn’t available with the Galaxy S6, but may make its way to a future ruggedized version.
In terms of battery, the Galaxy S6 actually packs a smaller 2,600 mAh battery, compared to the 2,800 mAh unit of the S5, which could be a problem given the higher resolution display, and the fact that the battery is now non-removable. That said, the Exynos 7420 is said to be a lot more frugal with power consumption, so we’ll have to wait for real world testing to see exactly how the Galaxy S6 fares in terms of battery life.
|Samsung Galaxy S5||Samsung Galaxy S6|
|Display||5.1-inch Super AMOLED
1920 x 1080 resolution, 432 ppi
|5.1-inch Super AMOLED
2560 x 1440 resolution, 577 ppi
|Processor||2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
Adreno 330 GPU
|RAM||2 GB||3 GB|
|Storage||16/32 GB, expandable||32/64/128 GB|
|Camera||16 MP ISOCELL camera
2 MP front-facing camera
|16 MP rear camera with OIS
5 MP front-facing camera with 90 degree wide angle lens
Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS+GLONASS
Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS+GLONASS
|Networks||3G/4G LTE||LTE cat 6 300/50|
|Battery||2,800 mAh||2,550 mAh
WPC and PMA-compatible wireless charging
|Software||Android 4.4 Kitkat (upgradeable to Lollipop)||Android 5.0 Lollipop|
|Dimensions||142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
|143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
|Colors||Black, white, gold, blue||Black, white, gold, blue|
The 16 MP ISOCELL rear shooter of the Galaxy S5 offers some great detail, fantastic color reproduction, and clear and crisp images. The Galaxy S6 also packs a 16 MP rear camera, this time borrowed from the Note 4, as such it should provide the same great experience. Samsung always includes a ton of features in its camera apps. The camera app on the S5 was very comprehensive and the app on the S6 builds on that feature base. Both devices therefore give you a good selection of modes and features to help you get the most out of the smartphone’s camera.
The Galaxy S6 does offer a few new tricks, such as the ability to double tap on the home button to launch the camera app in only 0.7 seconds. The rear camera also has a new feature called “tracking autofocus”, which tracks moving objects in the frame, such as moving cars or kids. Additionally, the new Auto HDR Mode now automatically turns itself on when the camera thinks it needs it.
The Galaxy S5 runs Android 4.4 Kitkat, with an upgrade to Lollipop already available for some, of course with TouchWiz on top. While this iteration is quite smooth and sleek, it’s really not toned down at all. Features such as multi-window, the new S Health app with heart rate monitoring, and MyMagazine are all available, along with a bunch of gesture controls. The S5’s version of Android 5.0 didn’t bring any major UI changes, except for those related to the Recent apps screen and the notifications drop down.
On the other hand, the Galaxy S6 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop along with the latest version of TouchWiz. Finally it seems that Samsung has streamlined its software experience. While the UI looks about the same on the surface, the number of apps included out of the box have been slimmed down considerably. This should hopefully translate into a lighter, smoother experience. Of course it’s still a bit too early to judge how much better the GS6’s TouchWiz build fares, though we’ll be sure to put it through its paces in the days to come.
Conclusion at a glace
The story behind the S4 and S5 could be summed up as “more of the same,” but with the S6 the Korean electronics giant has finally broken free of its own self imposed design prison and brought us a device that is still a true Galaxy S phone, just better. Of course the S5 is still a great phone and with the unveiling of the S6 there could be Galaxy S5 handsets to be found at discounted prices.
Silent or Mute volume modes are being sorely missed by some Android Lollipop users, but Samsung has heard the complaints and has rushed to reintroduce the feature with a small update for its Galaxy S5 smartphone.
The build, labelled G900FXXU1BOB7, has only been released for the G900F handset variant in the UK at the moment, that’s the one with the Snapdragon processor. However, it should be heading out across Europe and then to other regions in the near future. You can always hammer the manual update button under Settings > About phone > Software update to see if the update has arrived yet.
For Lollipop users who don’t own a Galaxy S5 and are still missing Mute functionality, we took a look at the SoundHUD app yesterday, which can bring back more familiar sound controls to Lollipop devices.
Have you been missing a standard Mute feature or are you finding Lollipop’s interruption controls more useful?
Protecting our hefty investments is almost a top priority these days. Smartphone users are no strangers to cases. They come in a wide range of sizes, colors, designs and some even include various features. We have seen cases with kickstands, battery packs built-in, ones that make your non-water proof device take swims safely and plenty […]
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The long wait is over, for the most part, for Samsung Galaxy S5 users on T-Mobile. The Uncarrier is in the process of pushing out a OTA update to devices that carries with it Android 5.0 Lollipop. The update isn’t small by any means and weighs in at 939.59MB’s. You read that correctly, nearly 1GB. […]
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From today, T-Mobile Galaxy S5 owners can grab the 900MB Android 5.0 Lollipop update OTA or via the Samsung Kies software package. The update contains the tweaked Material Design-esque Touchwiz UI, new notification and lockscreen features, and performance and the battery life improvements that we have seen with previous Galaxy S5 Lollipop updates.
As usual, you can manually check for the update through Settings > About phone > Software updates or by connecting your phone to your PC and using Samsung Kies. Alternatively, you can manually flash the firmware with Odin, if you so desire.
It’s great to see that carrier branded handsets are also receiving Lollipop in good time.
Patriot FUEL iON Magnetic Wireless Charging System for the Samsung Galaxy S5 ReviewBuild QualityFunction Ease of useEasy as 1,2,3Case is snugCharges at near standard rates Adds protection to your deviceLimited device cases Lack of color and design optionsBundled Kits with stand, no stand alone case optionsGalaxy Note 3, S4 and S5 support4.0Overall scoreReader Rating: (0 […]
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This is some great news for Sprint customers out there. A few of HTC, LG, and Samsung’s most popular devices are receiving updates for Android 5.0 Lollipop on the network.
The update for the HTC One M7 was confirmed via Twitter by Mo, the Vice President of Product Management at HTC. Its OTA update started today. He notes that Lollipop is coming to other devices as well.
Android Central said that Lollipop is also coming to the HTC One M8 and One M8 Harmon Kardon edition on February 13th and to the LG G3 on February 16th. Although, this could be subject to change.
You can also see in the image that the Galaxy S5 should have also started receiving the update earlier today. That appears to be true based on confirmation directly from Samsung.
Congrats to all the Sprint owners out there. Hopefully, the other characters will quickly follow with updates for these and other devices.
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Lollipop might be the biggest thing in Android these days, but for seemingly 98% of active users, it’s an out-of-sight yet always-on-mind waiting game. Late last year select markets in Europe received the Lollipop update for the Galaxy S5, though America has been waiting until recently. Likewise, HTC proclaimed that it would have the One (M7) updated to Android 5.X within 90 days of the OS release, yet the deadline came and went and the software is nowhere to be seen (unless you own a GPe device, of course).
Sprint will begin rolling out the Lollipop update deployment for the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M7) beginning on February 5th. The Galaxy S5 update will feature Enhanced VoWiFi UI and the removal of the Lumen tool bar in addition to Android 5.0. HTC’s Mo Versi took the opportunity to personally announce his company’s product update on Twitter, specifying Android 5.0.1 and that more carriers will be coming soon:
Sprint HTC One (M7) Owners! We've received TA on L OS (5.0.1) and will start OTA tomorrow! Others coming soon! #HTCAdvantage
— Mo (@moversi) February 4, 2015
For all those chomping at the bit, make sure to hit that “Check for Updates” button starting tomorrow!
Announcement of HTC One M9 at MWC 2015 will be 2 hours before Samsung’s event for Galaxy S6 and S Edge
MWC 2015 is bearing down on us and manufacturers around the world are no doubt lining up their flagships to tempt consumers with come announcement day, and arguably two of the bigger announcements to be made will be from HTC and Samsung. We already know about Samsung’s event, where we expect them to announce a […]
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We have been informing you of update after update for the Samsung Galaxy S5 around the globe, and now it is time for AT&T customers to have their turn. The OTA is rolling out now, but you are not to enjoy Android 5.x Lollipop, welcome folks to Android 4.4.4 KitKat.
In addition to the bump in KitKat version, going from 4.4.2 to 4.4.4, AT&T Galaxy S5 users will now have HD Voice capability, which the rest of us just call VoLTE. If that is not enough for you, you are now the proud owner of some new apps, whether you like it or not.
The changelog on this nearly 500MB official OTA update is as follows:
- Android 4.4.4 KitKat
- – Miscellaneous improvements, bug fixes and security updates
- HD Voice Capability (VoLTE)
- AT&T Service additions:
- – Mail – ATT Mail (att.net mail)
- – AT&T Live
- – Uber
- – Remote Support
If you are a root user, please remember that this KitKat update will more than likely patch up your exploited version of Android. You’ll need to hang off for a new exploit before you can enjoy root functionality again.
Watch for the Android 4.4.4 KitKat OTA update on your AT&T Samsung Galaxy S5 coming soon, if it hasn’t landed already. Those we have heard from report that the update indeed is an improvement on device performance, even if it isn’t the Lollipop you were hoping for.
Are you excited for Android 4.4.4 KitKat on your AT&T Samsung Galaxy S5?