Friday, 11 September 2015

Samsung Galaxy S6/Edge - A Short Review

By now, the Samsung Galaxy S6/Edge is no longer news anymore. You could see that Samsung have sold many of their latest flagship in the world and yet, they are still lagging behind Apple in terms of profits.

What is the secret ingredient?

Most probably it is down to (a) Reliable product; (b) Excellent customer service; and (c) Innovative.

Samsung have tried their level best to capture as many markets as possible but Apple seems to be trying to make as much money as possible with a strict budget.

Around six months ago, Samsung released their latest Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge for the first time. Many people were amazed at the curve screen on the s6 Edge and the new technology which came with the devices. After using both devices for a few months, these are the personal opinions of both the Samsung Galaxy S6/Edge:

Samsung Galaxy S6:

I am pretty chuffed at the in-house cpu/gpu chipset (Exynos 7420) from Samsung. If you remember, Samsung developed most of the major components in the device itself to minimise in using out-sourced materials (including memory and storage). The device comes with a primary 16MP camera with OIS on the device is the star attraction and a 5MP selfie camera. Apparently Samsung could not fabricate enough supply of their ISOCELL sensors for the primary camera. They have to rely on Sony. Honestly, the primary camera produced pretty good pictures as well as 4K recording, although you would have to scarify video stability and taking pictures which video recording if you proceed to record 4k videos. You would also need to bear in mind that 4k videos will consume lots of storage. I have recorded a few 4k videos and the quality is mind-blowing. It should not have any problem with storing a few 4k videos when you have 128GB internal storage.

On the other hand, the 5MP selfie camera is no slouch though. I am pretty impressed with some of the pictures as well as videos taken by the front camera.

Speaking about internal storage, Samsung have optimised the SGS6 for internal storage only. Gone are the days of the Galaxy range which one could install microSD card on it. It appears that it is the trend now with the release of the latest Galaxy Note 5. I don't really mind using a mobile phone without the microSD support because I know that the transferring speed of the SGS6 is fast and consistent as compared to using a microSD card. Unless one is using the Samsung Pro+ microSD card which has a maximum capacity of 64GB, you might find that the write speed as well as the reading speed is significantly reduced. Samsung has released the standard microSD card, EVO, EVO+, Pro, and the Pro+ for your liking. If you are interested in faster accessing speed, I would recommend the Pro. If you want the ultimate microSD offering from Samsung, get the Pro+. However, you need to bear in mind that the SGS6 will not accept any microSD card.

Apart from that powerful Exynos 7420 cpu, coupled with the fast Mali T760MP8 gpu, as well as the fast storage (read the short review by Chris Smith), I am also impressed with the beautiful 5.1" QHD Screen. You may have come across the 577ppi screen density but what it matters is that it is bright and it works beautifully under strong sunlight. It is, sometimes, better than some of the ClearBlack Display from Nokia. Obviously, one may argue that the ClearBlack Display from Nokia is not the latest technology but nevertheless, it is still one of the best screen technologies around. Samsung clearly done well in this area.

I am also impressed with the overall dimensions and build quality of the device although some may argue that it is difficult to repair. It is somehow true, taking into account that it comes with a sealed battery which is difficult to replace. One would need to remove the back cover and the mid frame to get through to the 2,550mAh battery. More importantly, the device comes with both front and back, glass panels, protected by Gorilla Glass 4. Personally, I did not try out whether the front or back glass panel will break easily since I am pretty careful with my devices. You could be the judge for yourselves (link 1, link 2, and link 3). I always have a protector case for the phone by Ringke. They will include a screen protector for the purchase with the phone cover. If you require better protection, perhaps a Zagg Invisible Shield screen protector for the SGS6 will be adequate.

Besides the above, I am also pretty happy with the physical home button on the phone itself. This is a trend to forgo the need of a physical button but Samsung have retained it. I congratulate Samsung for such feast.

I am not going to discuss about the Lollipop 5.1.1 OS in the SGS6 because there are improvements being made at this point. I don't have much problem with the OS apart from the fact that I could not uninstall all the bloatware that I don't need. I feel that Samsung should make it a point that such apps should be made optional where customers could uninstall them if they wish to do so.

What I like about the SGS6:

(a) Both cameras will produce good quality pictures as well as good videos;
(b) Comes with GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS and Beidou;
(c) It is equipped with the latest Exynos 7420 which is arguably the fastest chipset around, although Samsung is working on a chipset based on the Snapdragon 820;
(d) It has an IR blaster! Newer mobile phones e.g. Samsung Note 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ have omitted such function (Shame on you, Samsung);
(e) Perfect for one hand operation;
(f) Good voice quality when talking on the phone;
(g) The menu and the running of apps suffer no significant delays; and
(h) It is equipped with NFC and it supports fast charging 2.0 and wireless charging.

What I wish Samsung could have improved on the SGS6:

(a) Deploy firmware updates faster;
(b) Where is Android Pay at this moment when Apple Pay have been deployed? and
(c) Larger battery is required!

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge:

There are not many differences between the SGS6 and the SGS6 Edge apart from the larger 2,600mAH battery on the SGS6 Edge and the curved screen. It also makes the SGS6 Edge lighter than the SGS6. Honestly, I don't feel comfortable in using the SGS6 Edge due to the fact that I am always afraid that the curved screen might get damaged easily. That was why I stick to the SG6 instead. You will definitely feel the weight difference when you are using the SGS6 Edge.

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