Gone is the utilitarian plastic build of every Galaxy S past. So long; bye-bye. In its place, the electronics giant paves both sides of its marquee phone in glass, and ties the package in an aluminum alloy bow. Samsung even tops itself with a double curve-screen variant, the . Both flagship phones got on the mobile market April 10th.
The Galaxy S6 leaves much of its Galaxy S5 DNA behind. Perhaps even more shocking than this materials about-face are the decisions to seal in the battery and leave out a microSD card slot, both choices made in service to staying slim. These are commonplace omissions in the smartphone sphere, but Samsung has been a die-hard defendant of both the removable battery and the extrastorage option, until now. It's a move that makes a difference, too, at least on the power front. The S6's ticker ran down faster than last year's S5 did on a single charge.
In many ways, Samsung had no choice but to adopt this svelte, metal chassis and a pared-down, less "bloated" variation of Android 5.0 Lollipop. These moves silence customer complaints about the Galaxy S5's (and S4 and S3's) plasticky build, while also girding Samsung against staggering iPhone profits and an army of decent low-cost rivals from Lenovo, Xiaomi and Huawei.
Luckily for Samsung, the S6 is good enough to win back straying fans while also surpassing the all-metal HTC One M9 in extra features, battery life and camera quality.
On top of that, Samsung's S6 follows Apple's mobile payments lead with Samsung Pay, and takes a chance on its sturdy and home-made Exynos processor (versus the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 that will be found in most of its high-end Androidrivals). The S6 also bakes in wireless charging support and compatibility with a new version of the Gear VR virtual reality accessory -- two features you won't find on any iPhone.
Does the new phone have enough in the way of looks and specs to reverseSamsung's sagging smartphone sales? Without a doubt. Samsung continues to build on its camera strengths while also offering interesting extras its Android rivals don't have. The only real danger is in longtime fans of microSD cards and removable batteries punishing Samsung by finding vendors that do. Samsung's hardware has long stood up to the iPhone; at long last, its physical design does, too.