Samsung outdid itself with the hardware and camera on the Galaxy S6, but there are a few compromises in other areas.
The quick take
The Galaxy S6 finally offers the hardware that we've long desired, and it's included a wonderful camera. But not everything is perfect — the software experience and battery life just aren't up to speed.
- Beautiful new hardware design
- Industry-leading camera quality
- A great screen in any situation
- Battery won't hold up to intense use
- Software still doesn't live up to expectations
- Inexplicable performance hiccups
- 5.1-inch QHD display
- Super AMOLED
- 2560x1440 resolution (577ppi)
- 16MP, ƒ/1.9 lens
- Auto real-time HDR, IR detect white balance, high clear zoom
- 5MP ƒ/1.9 front-facing camera
- 2550mAh battery
- Samsung Adaptive fast charging
- Qi wireless charging
- Powermat wireless charging
- Octa-core Samsung Exynos processor
- 4x2.1GHz cores + 4x1.5GHz cores
- 3GB RAM
- 32/64/128GB internal storage
- One-touch fingerprint sensor
Galaxy S6 edge: 5.59 x 2.76 x 0.28 inches (142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0 mm), 2600mAh battery
The best that Samsung's ever done.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Full Review
When a company is the leader in a given market, it's easy to become complacent, or at least appear so. When sales numbers are several times the second-place player in the market and revenues are off the charts, it's easy to maintain the status quo.
Watching the progression of Samsung's mobile device lineup the past couple of years, you got the feeling that the Korean manufacturer of everything from toaster ovens to Howitzers was content to maintain its course. Last year Samsung's complacency caught up with it, and while the Galaxy S5 was far from a flop — any company would be happy to sell half as many phones as Samsung did — it didn't exactly live up to the company's lofty expectations (or ours, frankly), all while competition in the high-end space continued to grow.
It became clear with the launch of the Galaxy Note 4 that Samsung was attempting to turn around its smartphone strategy — and that's a big ship to turn. The Galaxy S6 gets it one step closer to a complete rethinking of its device strategy, with a new hardware approach, top-notch camera experience and steps in the right direction on the software front. But as we all know, the competition hasn't been sitting still — do the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge have what it takes to keep Samsung in the lead?
We'll answer that question in our complete review. Read on.
About this review
We're writing this review after about a week using the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, both 32GB models and running on T-Mobile in areas with good network coverage. Three days into our evaluation the phones received an software update to version UVU1AOCG. For the majority of our review period we had a Moto 360 connected to the phones over Bluetooth.
Throughout this review you'll notice we refer to the Galaxy S6 as a single device. Everything we say here can be attributed to both the S6 and S6 edge, aside from particular points where differences between the two models are pointed out.
For a good primer on these two phones, we also encourage you to read our in-depth hands-on preview where we cover many aspects of the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge in detail.