The Samsung Galaxy S6 was unveiled on Sunday at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, debuting alongside its special Galaxy S6 edge variant, as well as a new mobile payment system poised to take on Apple’s game-changing Apple Pay feature from the iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus launch.
In the past, Samsung had gained notoriety for bull-headedly advocating the use of plastic in its flagship phones, much to the chagrin of critics who felt the use of plastics accompanied by a glossy finish cheapened the look and feel of the Galaxy S line. But with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung has gone with a metal-and-glass design, the latter device sporting a curved display that wraps around both sides. Overall design has also been improved significantly, as Samsung has given the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge a sense of aggressiveness missing on previous iterations.
In terms of specifications, the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge both come with 5.1-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) displays, eight-core Exynos 7420 processors paired with 3 GB RAM, 32 GB/64 GB/128 GB internal storage options, 16-megapixel rear cameras, and 5-megapixel front cameras. The devices also come with 2,550 mAh batteries and Android 5.0 Lollipop to round out their core specifications, and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 to reinforce their displays.
Both phones will be offered in a wider variety of flavors, including White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, and the S6-exclusive Blue Topaz and edge-exclusive Green Emerald. Still, we expect Samsung to offer the devices in two “classic” color options when they initially get released next month.
Talking about the common features of both Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, the phones come with wireless charging support for any peripheral pad compliant with WPC and PMA standards, optical image stabilization for the rear camera, and several other unique and/or selling features. The “Find My Mobile” handset tracking system is similar to Apple’s Find My Phone as a great aid to anyone who’s lost their phone or had it stolen. But the one that arguably stands out as the most salient is Samsung Pay, which will only be available on the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge in the second half of 2015, for U.S. customers. Samsung Pay leverages NFC and Magnetic Secure Transmission, and comes with several layers of protection via Samsung Knox, advanced tokenization, and the phones’ fingerprint reading systems.
Another technology Samsung leveraged for its new mobile payment system comes from LoopPay, a company recently acquired by the South Korean company. LoopPay’s tech is similar to regular credit card swiping, and according to Samsung, the new Samsung Pay service may potentially be accepted at up to 30 million merchant outlets around the world. The tech giant also claims that it’s the only mobile payment feature that can boast of “near universal acceptance.”
In a prepared statement, Samsung mobile head J.K. Shin talked up how the company designed its two new flagships with customer feedback and past experience in mind. “By listening to our customers, and learning from both our success and missteps, we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas,” said Shin. “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.”
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge will be due for international release starting on April 10, though pricing has yet to be revealed.