It’s here. Samsung’s brand new metal-and-glass Galaxy S6 is finally here, and it’s like no smartphone the company has ever released. The flagship device overhauls the Galaxy line’s down-market design aesthetic to spectacular effect, fixing one of our most longstanding complaints about Samsung hardware.
If you want to read my first impressions of the new look, or are interested in what it’s like to use the Galaxy S6 in person, take a peep at our hands-on. Otherwise, follow along for the full spec rundown here. The phones go on sale April 10.
It’s really fast
Inside, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is powered by 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM and its own octa-core Exynos processor. Samsung didn’t specify the processor name during our pre-briefing (we’ll update this article when we get details), but it did mention that this is a 64-bit, 14nm system-on-a-chip. The company also claims its processor is about 30 percent more power-efficient than before, and that two separate quad-core sets are for two very specific purposes: One set is geared toward battery efficiency, and the other set is for performance.
It’s got a bright screen
Samsung packed the Galaxy S6 with a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of about 577 pixels-per-inch (ppi). Samsung also said that the Galaxy S6 should be easier to see outdoors—about 20 percent brighter than the Galaxy S5.
It still only has one speaker
This is sort of a bummer, but the Galaxy S6 doesn’t have stereo speakers. Rather, it uses one mono speaker that’s a tad enhanced. Samsung calls it a “power speaker,” and it’s supposedly 1.5 times louder than its predecessor. The device also comes equipped with ergonomic earphones in the box.
It still has a 16-megapixel camera
Samsung beefed up its preexisting 16-megapixel camera sensor instead of bumping up the megapixels just for megapixels’ sake. The rear-facing camera features a F1.9 wide-angle lens, which should allow more light to hit the sensor when shooting in low-light situations. The camera is also capable of real-time HDR and Smart OIS, which Samsung says has been refined since introduced in the Galaxy S4. Also, the Galaxy S6 uses an IR sensor to automatically detect and adjust white balance.
As for selfies, Samsung equipped the Galaxy S6 with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera that also utilizes automatic real-time HDR and a wider lens.
It can charge almost anywhere
The Galaxy S6 comes with an unremovable 2,550mAh battery pack. It features integrated wireless charging for both WPC and PMA standards, which means it will work with almost any charging pad you lay it on.
Samsung also equipped the Galaxy S6 with the Note 4’s quick-charging technology, so you should be able to charge it up in 10 minutes with enough juice to last you through a two-hour flight.
What about LoopPay?
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 has LoopPay’s Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology embedded inside, in addition to NFC. You can also use your fingerprint to authorize payment by holding down on the Home button. However, this technology won’t be available to use until summertime.
And what about that curved phone?
The Galaxy S6 Edge is curved on either edge and, thankfully, doesn’t employ the same standalone dock interface as the Note Edge. Instead, it has a neat feature that lets you choose from one of eight colors to quickly glance at who’s calling you when the phone is placed upside down.
The Galaxy S6 Edge is packed with all the same components inside as its flat cousin, except for a larger 2,600mAh battery pack.
A few more things
Because it’s all metal and glass, the Galaxy S6 isn’t waterproof, so don’t plan to bring it with you into the pool. Also, it no longer features expandable storage. Instead, Samsung will sell its flagship device in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB variants. And if you need more space, you can take advantage of 65GB of free space offered by Microsoft OneDrive.
Samsung's also releasing an updated version of its Gear VR virtual reality headset that supports the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.