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Samsung announces Galaxy S6 and S6 edge: Metal frame, glass back and Exynos processor

Hoping to continue new design ideas from the Note 4, Samsung's brand new Galaxy S comes in two flavors with lots to like. The phones mark a pretty sharp departure in hardware from the Galaxy S5, with full metal frames, glass backs and refined feature sets.

Samsung built the S6 and S6 edge from the ground up with some new ideas, focusing on a higher-end feel for the phones in attractive colors and new features like a specced-out camera, wireless charging and in the case of the S6 edge a few novel software features.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

The specs for the new phones break down somewhat predictably, with a few unforeseen elements tossed in. Powering both phones is a new 64-bit octa-core Exynos processor based on a 14nm process, which replaces the Qualcomm chip found in most iterations of previous devices. The processor is backed up by a 2550mAh battery (2600 on the edge), 3GB of RAM and a base of 32GB of storage with 64 and 128GB options being available — importantly because there's no longer an SDcard slot available.

Both the S6 and S6 edge get an all-new 16MP camera with OIS, partnering with new IR white balance, fast tracking autofocus, and the ability to launch into the camera in less than a second with two presses of the home button.

Read now: Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge full specs

Around the front Samsung has brought its latest Super AMOLED screen technology to both phones with a 5.1-inch QHD display (that's 2560x1440, leading to 577 ppi) — the same size but higher resolution than the GS5. Below the screen is an all-new fingerprint scanner embedded in the taller home button, which requires just a tap of your finger to authenticate rather than a swipe.

On the software front you'll find Android 5.0.2 and a familiar — albeit slightly toned down — version of TouchWiz that cuts back on some of the superfluous items but still includes plenty of Samsung's features like Multi Window, with services like Milk Music and the Galaxy Apps store.

We've had the opportunity to spend some time with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge ahead of the announcement and are compelled by the new story Samsung is telling — be sure to read our full hands-on preview to get a better feel for these 2015 flagships.

Read now: Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge hands-on preview

Press release:

Beautifully Crafted from Metal and Glass, Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge Define What's Next in Mobility

Equipped with first-of-its-kind technology, Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are the most advanced smartphones on the market

Barcelona, Spain, March 1 2015 – Samsung Electronics today announced its entirely redefined smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Creating a new standard for design, craftsmanship and performance, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge seamlessly blend premium materials with the most advanced Samsung technology to offer consumers an unmatched mobile experience.

"With the all new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung is offering what's next in mobility, along with a new standard to drive the global mobile agenda," said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. "By listening to our customers, and learning from both our success and missteps, we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas. With a reimagined design, robust partner network and novel services, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge offer users the ultimate experience in smartphone options."

Beauty Meets Purpose

Carefully crafted from metal and glass, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge blend purposeful design with powerful features. The Galaxy S6 edge, particularly, shows unique and outstanding beauty while also providing a solid grip and an immersive viewing experience with the world's first curved display on both sides. Its glass body, made from the toughest glass to date, Corning® Gorilla Glass® 4, is available in an array of colorful jewel tones, including White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz and Green Emerald, which elicit a unique visual texture as it reflects natural light. This timeless design required first-of-its-kind glass crafting technology and unmatched quality control, setting the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge apart from every other mobile device on the market. The premium device aesthetics deliver true value and are complemented by a totally new and lighter interface that greatly enhances usability and functionality. A refined and fully optimized user experience simplifies applications and offers features and settings in a more intuitive way.

Vivid Images with a Fast, Bright Camera

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are equipped with an incredibly vivid, bright and fast front and rear camera. The F1.9 lenses and high resolution sensors on both front (5MP) and rear (16MP) cameras provide the most superior image quality in a smartphone, even in the dark. In addition, Auto Real-time High Dynamic Range (HDR), Smart Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and IR Detect White Balance provide advanced light sensitivities and crisp camera solutions. Furthermore, a new "Quick Launch" feature give users fast, direct access to the camera from any screen in just 0.7 seconds* by simply double clicking the home key button. These advanced camera functions enableusers to capture their most precious and personal moments in uncompromising quality, however and wherever they want.

Super Charging and Cord Free

With fully embedded WPC and PMA certified wireless charging technology, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are setting a new industry standard for universal wireless charging. The devices work with any wireless pad available in the market that supports WPC and PMA standards. They also sport incredibly fast wired charging, 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5, providing about 4 hours of usage after only 10 minutes of charging.*

Cutting-edge Core Technology

The thin (6.8 mm/7.0mm edge) and lightweight (138g /132g edge) Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge integrate the most advanced, cutting-edge, Samsung core technology available today. The world's first 14nm mobile processor with 64-bit platform, new LPDDR4 memory system and UFS 2.0 flash memory provides higher performance and enhanced memory speed with lower power consumption. Moreover, the world's first 1440P/VP9 hardware based codec enables users to enjoy high resolution streaming video while also using less power. In addition, the 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen offers users the highest pixel density of 577ppi. Enhanced outdoor visibility with a brighter display (600cd/mm) lets consumers experience content without compromise – anywhere, at any time.

Easy and Protected Mobile Payment

Samsung Pay, a new, easy-to-use mobile payment service that will be compatible with more locations than any competing offering in a single application, will launch on Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge in the United States during the second half of this year. Protected by Samsung KNOX, fingerprint scanning, and advanced tokenization, Samsung Pay works with both NFC (Near Field Communication) and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology to make it device, merchant and card issuer agnostic.

Enhanced Security

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are built on the upgraded Samsung KNOX, end-to-end secure mobile platform, offering defense-grade features for real-time protection from potential malicious attacks. Both of these new devices are also ready for immediate enterprise adoption, with market leading MDMs and KNOX enhancements enabled at launch to simplify and improve mobile device management. Additionally, the Find My Mobile feature secures lost devices and protects personal information through a number of services, including the all new remotely controlled "Reactivation lock." With an enhanced touch-type fingerprint scanner, it also provides quick authentication and saves encrypted data in secure device storage. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge will be available globally starting from April 10, 2015 with 32/64/128GB storage options** available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz (Galaxy S6 only) and Green Emerald (Galaxy S6 edge only).

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

61 Comments
  • I'm not really sure if I like the design yet, it looks just a little bit to much like the iPhone on the bottom and along the sides.
    I'm also pretty disappointed as a whole that the next wave of smart phones don't seem to be adding much in terms of value, I know that there hitting a peak in what they can possibly do but give us something cool Posted via the Android Central App
  • How is taking a few design elements from the iPhone a bad thing? The bottom is the only place that it looks anything close to an iPhone. I haven't been excited about the Galaxy brand in years, but the S6 Edge is stunning in the pictures and videos so far. Seems like they got everything right on the phone so far. I'm looking forward to more coverage on the Edge. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The new iPhones are adding tremendous value. It's just Android phones that aren't adding much. Apple Pay is getting more popular. I love taking calls and messaging on my iMac (through my iPhone). I just added music throughout my house. I can control it with my iPhone. I love taking Time Lapse photos. Every year I can do more with my iPhone.
  • Glass back is good for scratches... Not much else.
  • they just pissed all over HTC ... Has EVLEAKS been right the M9 might've been my next, but with the black bar still there and the Nexus being too big for me, there's no doubt the S series is back on top.
  • Lol...if you say so. Posted via my htc One M8
  • What press conference were you watching??? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agreed Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, the smaller battery and the fragile nature of the phone definitely makes it the one I want the most. Posted on my OnePlus One
  • No expandability for memory. That's a bad move. Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1k Posted via the Android Central App
  • 128GB isn't enough?! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Right!? Lol Can't please everyone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No micro sd card option? That sucks !!! Posted via Android Central App
  • And a smaller non removable battery. This cannot go well. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Did they even say what the capacity of the battery was? Posted via the Android Central App
  • The battery will be 2550 mAh as opposed to the 2800 mAh battery they had before.
    However they claim the Exynos 7420 improves the battery life by 30% so it should actually be better. Although I'm a bit skeptical of their claim.
  • 32 64 128 gigs. Honestly, with a 128 gigs I think folks will be able to manage. Next-us
  • Yep! Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • I see nothing new here other than hardware materials. No expandable memory, still has a physical home button, and touchwiz crap.... FAIL. Wow, so far both of the phones I was waiting for this year fell flat on their arses (m9 and gs6). Hopefully Lenovo/moto comes up with something compelling. Otherwise I'm not seeing any reason to "upgrade" my Note 3 this year. I'm very disappointed. Posted via Android Central App
  • I assume you don't have Verizon because the droid turbo is amazing.albeit no expandable memory either.
  • You have a Note 3 but you're disappointed about Touchwiz? Home button has been revamped with the fingerprint scanner improvements. Hardware looks good and the Edge has a compelling screen. Internals are beast. This is a great phone! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have a Note 3 which is WHY I'm dissatisfied with TW. In fact it looks way worst now than on my old phone. Why can't we just get stuck Lollipop? Yea yea I know, I should get a Nexus. Currently there are no good Nexai out which is why. Posted via Android Central App
  • Ohhhhhh I can't wait to see what this display is going to be like to watch Netflix on. 11% more pixels than the Note 4, bouyeah!!!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Never thought I'd say this but... Looks like I'll be going Samsung instead of HTC for my next phone Posted via the Android Central App
  • Me 2, except for the HTC part. I'm rocking an old Sony ZL, and I've never thought of going Samsung, but the S6 Edge just changed my mind.
  • Ohhhhhh I can't wait to see what this display is going to be like to watch Netflix on. 11% more pixels than the Note 4, bouyeah!!!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I still think watching Netflix on a note 4 would be more enjoyable due to the size and it's not like the note 4 display sucks. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They both look the same on Chromecast :). My phone has the same PPI as the s6 basically.. Looks pretty sweet but I prefer to just cast it. Don't really watch vids that are HD when I'm out and about
  • Either use Chromecast or get a bigger phone, since Netflix on mobile won't go above 1080 anyway. Posted on my OnePlus One
  • False. Research. Sent from my glorious note 4.
  • Tell Me Who Did This To You Samsung....
    There are courses of action we can take....
    You should have NOT been forced to install a SMALLER battery and then SEAL the S6 like a tomb forever..
    You should have NOT been forced to initiate the DEATH of your Micro-SD card slot on what use to be a flagship device..
    Samsung, you should NOT be forced to bow down to Apple's way of doing things...
    Tell me, who forced you to do this Samsung ???
  • 128GB of storage not enough for you? Don't like the cloud? Too hard to manage your memory in a slightly different way? Smaller battery does suck, but hopefully improved internals and software optimization with help level it out. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It looks like a dope phone, but they definitely took the design straight from the iPhone 6. It's cool because the iPhone 6 is beautiful, but still. Come on Sammy. Plus the two best things they had going for em, the removable battery and memory expansion are gone. However they made finger print recognition the way it should be and added built in wireless. I'll be keeping my Note 4 but if had and S4 or S5, I'd probably get this phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The bottom is the only thing that looks similar to an iPhone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The Loss of the sd card would not bother me given 128gb storege! But it's a BIG BUT a battery that's non removable! Ahhhh why kick my dog and call it fack off for Samsung? And a glass back at that! The nexus 4 did my head in with its slippy grip. Doh! using my note4 or nexus 9
  • The one thing I'm not seeing is if it's water resistant, like the S5. Does anybody know if it is? Posted via the Android Central App
  • It is not water resistant. In order for a device to be water, it has to have certain materials blocking the entry of water molecules. Materials like silicone are usually used for shutting out big molecules like water. Seeing the charging port wide open, I don't think it is water resistant anymore. Neither does Samsung advertise water resistance.
  • Don't worry, Aquaman doesn't get upset and sink too many cities nowadays.
  • I don't think anyone can confirm yet that the US version will ship with the Exynos processor. I like the idea of the edge, but now we have four surface areas that are more prone to breaking when, not if, the phone gets dropped, and I don't know what they were thinking about adding a glass back to the phone. Slap anything but a clear case on it and it defeats the purpose of having it all glass anyway, and I am sure 99% of the people with an almost all glass phone are going to have some sort of protection on it. I'd love to keep a phone like this naked all the time, but it's just not practical on such a fragile and expensive device.
  • Nexus 4 with the bumper was one of my favorite phones design wise. They need a simple aluminum bumper for this. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No removable battery and no SD card slot in the Galaxy S 6? I guess I won't be upgrading. I don't care if it's all metal and glass. I put my phone in a case anyway! You took away my reasons for owing the previous 5 models. If my reasons for owning a Samsung phone don't return in the S7, I am dumping you for HTC next year. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Which HTC are you planning on getting with Sd expansion and removable battery?
  • This just shows Samsung has no real direction. They blatantly copied the design of the iPhone which is cool with me but then they removed sd card availability and also the removable battery. You made ads toting these features because of its differentiation but then you just dropped it half a year later. If they kept those features then I can see why someone would jump ship but now I don't see why.
  • Other than the bottom what looks like the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 is all aluminium side and back and completely rounded. The s6 has a glass back, the sides are flat and have a distinct pattern and the corners flair out slight like the note 4 and has chamferd edges too. IPhone 6 has none of those. I'll give you the bottom layout but that's like saying iPhone copied the power button placement from Samsung too. People were asking for the fake plastic metal of samsungs previous devices to be actual metal so here it is and still people complain. This s6 looks like any other Samsung device, only difference is its made of metal and glass. Agree it's annoying they got rid of sd card. Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1 definitely agreed bud. Other that the speaker grill the Galaxy Nexus had a bottom headphone jack before Apple did it on the iPhone 5. People have to get over this who copied who stuff. It's an awesome looking phone! Posted via the Android Central App
  • 128GB of memory not enough for you? Smaller battery sucks. With quick charging bricks and all the low cost options for power packs shouldn't be too bad though. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They could've included a Sd card slot though. Like HTC, it doesn't have a removable battery but it has a SD card option. Posted via the Android Central App
  • 128GB..... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Removable battery and SD card slot...I need both of those. Can't live without it even if they give a lot of internal storage....little Apple-ish, don't you think? And on another note, I'm surprised Apple hasn't patented those two things. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Only thing I like about it is the exynos processor.. And the improved fingerprint reader. I'll settle with my sd805 tho
  • Everyone keeps crying and whining about iPhone ripoffs, but I think it's more in line with Sony's Xperia Z3 with the astoundingly similar curved metal frame and glass back. Posted via OnePlus One.. For now.
  • The antenna divider makes it look like iphone side frame. Surely Apple would want to take legal action about this. I personally like android devices with good designs. I'm yet to find a great device with Apple-good design, so I'll definitely try the GS6!
  • A glass back, non-removable battery, and no sd-card slot. No thanks. I'd rather have the old model. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Four sucky things on the S6 that are downgrades IMO ... #1 No removable battery: This is rediculous. Swapping batteries nearly every day has become a nearly effortless way to forget about battery life and power issues. Not to mention the unnecessary cost of a likely battery replacement down the road. - Downgrade #2 No expandable memory: It's cheap, it's portable and it was a great feature for many. Sammy will probably charge $100 for the upgraded memory like another company I know. - Downgrade #3 Glass back. Whyyyyyyyyy? That's about the most antiquated and archaic tech material possible. It scratches and breaks when you actually use a mobile device. This is just dumb pop-culture marketing and not helpful in any form or fashion. - Downgrade #4 Non-water resistant. If this is true, then no explanation needed. - Downgrade ... among the other expected upgrades Samsung laid an egg in these areas. What was wrong with the course of the Note 4. Everyone loves it and it basically became the de-facto (arguably of course) best device on the market. Since Apple now allowed us to say a phablet sized device is acceptable of course. The Note 4 has it all. The S6 could have as well, so its extremely disappointing to see Samsung do this. I'm not planning on buying an S6 anyway, but what concerns me is that they are moving in this downward feature direction which could affect the Note 5. I was all but expecting to get it since the N4 took care of the cheap build problem and kept market leading features. If Samsung goes this way with the Note, I'll have to consider moving to another make.
  • If I wanted an iPhone, i would buy an iPhone. The glass back is just not necessary. It could have easily used the poly carbonate back of the s4 and saved some weight. Perhaps polishing the carbonate battery cover to look like glass would be better. The built in batter is a negative. The metal case is not really a plus, as my phones are hidden in a case. i'm really droppy with the technology. No SD card is a negative. I know I'm just piling on here.
  • Nothing special about this phone... not impressed. This phone is room temperature.
  • So after all the hype Samsung created an iPhone, did you guys actually see your own commercial showing how much better your phone is with a removable battery vs iPhone? guess not! and no microSD card? Sorry but I'll Vote with my wallet and pass; if this is Samsung's new direction, bye bye.
  • Samsung ain't worried about the minority that likes removable batteries and sd cards. They'll still sell millions. Sent from my glorious note 4.
  • The battery won't be an issue at all. The Exynos 7420 processor consumes less energy and exerts much more power meaning less battery consumption. Each core is designed to maximize performance without over utilizing and has dynamic core and voltage switches. The battery wont be stressed nearly as much meaning it won't deteriorate over time and will charge extremely fast.