Samsung’s latest Galaxy smartphone arrives tonight; here’s what we know about it


The name? Galaxy S6. At this point in time you should not doubt that. Really. Unless a very big miracle happens. Like Earth leaving its orbit.

Late prototype or this is what you’ll be buying from March 26th as the Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge?

Here’s what we know about Samsung’s Galaxy S6 so far:

1. It will have a sibling with an “edged” display

Galaxy S6 Edge, looking much like a step up to the Galaxy Note Edge is expected to be the other standout device at Samsung’s Unpacked event in Barcelona tonight. Samsung has been developing flexible displays and the Edge lineup simply presents the company with an outlet to let the world know how far that is coming and probaly provide us with a glimpse of what the company expects is the future. Just like they bet with big smartphones, they’re willing to bet on ones with an edged display. With the warm reception the Note Edge received, the S6 Edge is a chance to cement that belief and make the Galaxy brand stand out. Come on, even Apple is making big smartphones now.

2. Change in materials: may be all metal

Samsung has already shown that it is not resistant to change. It has released all-metal devices with its Galaxy A lineup of midrangers and that gorgeous Galaxy Alpha. From all the teasers the company’s communication teams have been posting on Twitter and the leaks, this is all but confirmed. There’s this leak that popped up on XDA Developers’ forums a few days ago and the member posting talked of a “glass back”. That makes us confused. Glass back like what Sony has been doing on the Z lineup or what Apple did with the iPhone 4? There’s no further evidence of that and to be honest we don’t expect it but it may happen.

3. Forget about a removable battery

You know what bothers most Galaxy S fans? The day they dreaded most is here. With an all metal smartphone the Galaxy S6 may be the first of the S series smartphones to ditch the tradition of a removable back that allowed users to pop in a spare battery for more juice on the go. We however feel that it may be a deserved trade-off. Better design, an all-metal unibody construction for just that removable back? Please.

For those concerned about the battery, Samsung has improved various internals of the Galaxy S6 so as to up power efficiency so you may not need a spare battery after all.

4. The battery may actually be smaller than you expected

2600mAh. That’s the battery capacity of the 2 year old Samsung Galaxy S4. As per the leaks, that’s also the same capacity that the S6’s battery is expected to have. There are arguments that the leaked photos that brought this to light may have been of the S6 Edge’s battery and not necessarily the S6 but… A smaller battery capacity should not surprise us since the device’s power adapter will obviously support fast charging and the device itself will be more power efficient. Samsung has been heavily teasing the wireless charging capabilities of the device and we expect nothing short of very impressive battery life. There’s that other part of us that believes we should be skeptical about anything smaller than 3000mAh but we’re willing to give the Koreans the benefit of doubt.

4. It won’t have a Qualcomm chipset. Sorry Snapdragon fans

Yeah. It’s Exynos all the way. Samsung just announced the Exynos 7420, it’s first chipset in the Exynos 7 series that has been manufactured using the 14nm process. The chip is being touted as more power efficient – better performance, less power consumption. With Samsung finally making its own LTE modem and Qualcomm’s latest high end chip, the Snapdragon 810, being said to have heating issues (Qualcomm has denied this and there’s no evidence to suggest otherwise so far), the Exynos 7420 is the processor onboard the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge. Anything to the contrary will surprise us. Clocked at a top speed of 2.1 GHz, the 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420 is expected to be backed by a Mali T760 GPU.

5. 128 GB internal storage variant can’t be ruled out

The Galaxy S5 was the first of Samsung’s Galaxy devices to have support for SD cards with 128 GB capacity. Since then, Apple has debuted a 128 GB storage option iPhone. Samsung could as well follow suit since there’s nothing preventing it from doing so. We also do hope the base model of the S6 will be the 32 GB one. No more 16 GB, please! Even if they’re going to trim the bloat.

6. Surprise: even with new build materials, general design may remain unchanged

The leaked images so far don’t point to a radical change in design as those artistic impressions and mockups that had lit up the blogosphere in the run up to today’s unveiling had wanted you to believe. Samsung is going for the known. Like HTC is expected to do with the M9, Samsung will simply be making evolutionary leaps. Expect nothing revolutionary as far as the looks of the device go.

7. Less bloat

I know. This is laughable. Less bloat? On a Samsung phone? It may happen though. If you have used Samsung Galaxy devices with the Lollipop update you may have realized the good job Samsung did with availing a rather clean UI. We’re told they’ll be going a step further and won’t pack any of their gazillion S-apps straight out of the box with the S6. Instead you’ll have links that point you to the Galaxy Apps store for any add-on apps that you may need.

A slimmed-up TouchWiz is good for humanity 🙂

8. Microsoft apps pre-loaded

If this happens then it will be huge. Redmond has been focusing on Android lately. It has acquired Android applications like Sunrise and is already testing Material Design on its OneDrive Android application. Who wouldn’t want a free Office 365 subscription after purchasing the S6? Free OneDrive storage? Who in their right mind would pass up that?

9. Samsung Pay

Samsung recently acquired mobile payments startup LoopPay. We expect it to integrate LoopPay into the Galaxy S6 and debut its own mobile payment service that will compete with Apple Pay directly. Last year Samsung debuted the S5 with a fingerprint sensor on the home button that integrated very well with PayPal’s application to authorize payments. We expect nothing less. The Galaxy S6 is Samsung’s most important device this year after the not-so-cool stares the S5 received last year that led to the device’s sales being weak and some sales targets being missed. A standout feature like a payment service built into the phone is big sell and we’re looking forward to seeing it.

10. Kickass earbuds

galaxy s6 earbuds

We loved the tangle-free earphones that the Galaxy S4 shipped with. There hasn’t been much visible change to the Galaxy S’s earbuds since then. That is expected to change tonight when Samsung finally reveals the Sennheiser earbuds that the S6 will ship with.

11. No underwater selfies. It won’t be waterproof

The S6, like the Note 4 before it, won’t have IP67 certification like the S5. It won’t be waterproof. Samsung will likely unveil an Active model for our underwater selfie friends in due course.

12. Other specs

The camera is expected to be bumped from the current 16 MP on the S5 to 20 MP. The S5 and Note 4 already have impressive shooters and any minor improvements are welcome. Samsung tries a lot in the imaging department so we don’t expect any let downs. The Galaxy A smartphones have had a 5 MP front-facing camera. We expect the S6 to have the same as well. We would’ve asked for a dedicated camera button but at this point in time we’re past the request stage (we’ll voice our concerns right on time for them to be considered before S7 rolls in next year). 3 GB RAM. We don’t expect 4 GB RAM on the S6. The Note 4 has 3 GB RAM, the S5 went back to 2 GB after Note 3 had made the jump to 3 GB. Looks like Asus’ Zenfone 2 will take pride in its 4 GB RAM for a while longer. Android 5 Lollipop. 5.1 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, nothing less nothing more.

We’ve told you what we know so far. Have we left something out? What have you heard about the Galaxy S6? What did we miss here?


Earbuds Photo: