The Galaxy S6 is on its way. Having been shown off behind the scenes at CES 2015, the latest and greatest in Samsung's premier Galaxy series can only be a few short months away. Here are all the latest Galaxy S6 news and rumors. Update: The Galaxy S6 release date has apparently been accelerated, according to a new report out of Korea. See below for details.
Samsung Galaxy S6 release date
Update: The Electronic Times of Korea is reporting that the Galaxy S6 release date has been scheduled ''2-3 weeks earlier than originally planned'' due to the Samsung Electro-Mechanics divisions successfully meeting increased demand for their 20 MP camera module with OIS.
If the report is true, the Galaxy S6 could be available before the end of March. The Galaxy S5 took 6 weeks to reach shelves, from a February 24th announcment to an April 11th market start. If the Galaxy S6 is to appear 2-3 weeks earlier, and is announced on March 2nd at MWC 2015, the S6 could be available as soon as the third or fourth week of March
The Galaxy S6 made an appearance at CES 2015, but only for "select partners", meaning the general press hasn't gotten anywhere near it. The good news is that this does indicate the S6 is in its final stages of production, and an April release date definitely seems likely at this point. At this point it also looks like the Galaxy S6 Edge, a version of the Galaxy S6 with a sloped screen like the Galaxy Note Edge, will be released simultaneously.
Samsung Galaxy S6 price
It's highly unlikely that Samsung will be making the Galaxy S6 any cheaper than the current Galaxy S5, despite what our readers would like to see. If the Galaxy S6 hits the register at the same price point as the S5, then you can expect an outright price tag of 599 USD, depending on the internal storage capacity. If the device gets a metal housing and 64-bit processor, which we think it will, you can expect that price to creep upwards to cover additional component and manufacturing costs.
Italian blog samsung.hdblog.it has pegged the Galaxy S6 (64 GB version) at around 729 euros, which converts to a whopping 860 dollars. The Galaxy S6 Edge on the other hand, it puts at 849 euros or 1000 USD. It goes on to say that the 128 GB version of both devices can expect to cost an extra hundred bucks. With the Note Edge entering the market at around 1000 USD, it's possible that these figures are entirely accurate.
Samsung Galaxy S6 news
Update: Apple fansite patentlyapple.com has revealed some new info about the Galaxy S6 which it claims to have garnered from an (uncited) Korean report. Apparently, the Galaxy S6 will be packing "magnetic resonance" based charging technology to take advantage of the greater transfer distances that this provides, and will also have an "unprecedented" 20 MP rear-side camera. Why this camera will be "unprecedented" remains to be seen, but given that Samsung flagships are always strong performers in this department, we have no fears over the Galaxy S6 delivering in this area.
Next, a story from Bloomberg says that the Galaxy S6 won't come with a Snapdragon 810 processor (*gasp*) because of overheating issues! Neither Samsung nor Qualcomm has commented on the story, but Qualcomm's shares began to fall as the rumor picked up steam. Samsung has long-since relied on Qualcomm's processors for its flagship variants released in the West. Does this mean that a home-grown grown Samsung Exynos chipset will be used on all Galaxy S6 models? Looks likely.
And in a third unrelated news piece, Phone Arena has gotten wind that a waterproof Galaxy S6 Active is in the works, and claims that neither the Galaxy S6 standard nor Galaxy S6 Edge will feature any kind of IP Certification. Phone Arena speculates that this is a move from Samsung to increase the profitability of the inevitable S6 Active model, given that it will be the only S6 option for those wanting to take a plunge with their phone.
Personally, I don't buy the non-waterproof idea. The Galaxy S6 is said to have no expandable storage or removable battery thanks to its metal unibody – I have to believe that this has a larger benefit than just "premium feel". We shall see, with the big reveal scheduled for MWC 2015.
Galaxy S6 Design
We've learned from an exclusive source that two versions of the Galaxy S6 are going to be released: the standard Galaxy S6 with metal unibody (i.e. non-removable battery), and the Galaxy S6 Edge, which will come with a plastic rear-plate and removable battery (and presumably the Note Edge's characteristic sloping display). Head here to read about this and what else we found out.
Following our recent report on the S6 design, Italian blogsite samsung.hdblog.it has gone on record to say that not only will the Galaxy S6 not open up, but it also will not come with expandable memory, and it will be waterproof. Given what we now know about the S6's all-in-one nature, existing as a waterproof device does make sense. The tech site also says that only 64 and 128 GB versions will be available, which may justify why Samsung is abandoning expandable storage.
Contrary to these rumors, a Korean site has suggested that the Galaxy S6 will come with a glass rear-panel. You can read our full thoughts on that here.
You can see what we think the Galaxy S6's metal rear-plate looks like below and you can check out the other picture and read the full story here.
Samsung Galaxy S6 specs
It has been reported that Samsung's Galaxy S6 will be able to take advantage of super high-speed LTE download speeds thanks to the development of its next-gen Exynos SoC. News from gforgames.com claims that Samsung Galaxy S6 variant with its own Exynos processor will achieve even better download speeds than that of its Snapdragon counterpart. Current Cat. 6 LTE speeds cap at 300 mbps, but devices which can take advantage of the new Cat. 10 speeds will seen a 50% increase up to 450 mbps. Let's hope this rumor pans out for the S6.
PhoneArena recently picked up a leak from Chinese website CNMO which claimed to have a screenshot of the AnTuTu benchmark for the Galaxy S6. For those who aren't aware, AnTuTu is a commonly used software program for measuring device performance, and the screenshot, if it's real, reveals the specs we're going to see on the S6.
As you can see below, we are dealing with a 5.5-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440) display, 20 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, Android 5.0 Lollipop, 3 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of internal memory.
The processor, a 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420, is inline with another previous rumor we've heard. Samsung usually produces its flagships with two processor variants, one being from its own Exynos brand and the other from Qualcomm. The Exynos chipsets are usually found on devices sold in markets where 4G LTE is not as prevalent, so we don't tend to see them in the US or UK, the Snapdragon 810 is looking like the processor front-runner for those regions.
One of the more interesting news stories we reported on recently was the speculation that Samsung might be completely reworking its TouchWiz interface to ensure its "bloatware" no longer impacts device performance to the same extent as it did previously. This has also been verified by one of our sources, and it can only be a good thing!
Galaxy S6 camera
The camera will likely get a bump in megapixels, perhaps to 20 MP, from the 16 MP camera we've seen in the Galaxy S5, and rumors about the Galaxy Note 4 point to a move to a Sony sensor from Samsung's ISOCELL. If this proves to be true the Galaxy S6 will likely follow suit. The Galaxy S6 will definitely get Optical Image Stabilization.
Galaxy S6 battery
Battery performance will be outstanding if the Galaxy S5 is anything to go by. Even if Samsung bumped the capacity up to 3,000 mAh and stuck with their existing battery management tech we'd be very happy, so any additional improvements between now and then will be very eagerly awaited. We're interested to see just how committed Samsung are to the dedicated home button and finger scanner combo, but I'd say we'll see a repeat of both with the heart-rate monitor tacked on the back as well for even more wearable integration.
- Take a look at how the Galaxy S5 finger scanner works (and doesn't).
Galaxy S6 display
Smartphones have been continuing to grow in size in 2014, with the line between smartphone and tablet becoming even more blurry (thanks 6-inch Nexus 6). The latest gossip suggests the Galaxy S5 won't be stretching that high, staying at a pocket-friendly 5.3-inches, but will include a (3840 x 2160) ultra-HD display. This news comes from a post on news.mydriver.com citing a South Korean media outlet as the source, and suggests that the S5 will retain Samsung's favored Super AMOLED screen tech, and also adds more weight to the Snapdragon 810 processor/ 4GM RAM claim.
Given the 64-bit capabilities of Android 5.0 Lollipop, Samsung would be foolish not to include the latest Qualcomm has to offer on its new flagship, however, the 4K display is something we thought would probably be reserved for the larger, and probably more expensive, Galaxy Note 5. It's an exciting prospect nonetheless.
One credible rumor we have heard is that the Galaxy S6 will deviate dramatically from the past devices in the Galaxy series, and may be codenamed "Project Zero", though this idea also seems to have fizzled. After disappointing sales in 2014, and the poor reception of the Galaxy S5, it seems like Samsung is looking to reinvent its Galaxy S series in 2015, and take the Galaxy S6 in a completely new direction.
This same source that mentioned Project Zero, also suggested that the device would come with a QHD display, a 16 or 20 MP camera and a 64-bit Exynos 7420 SoC processor with four Cortex A57 cores and four Cortex A53 cores and Samsung’s own modem, an Exynos Modem 333 with LTE connectivity. It should also receive an increase in internal storage to include 32, 64 and 128 GB variants. A cool new feature would be to include a single chip that would integrate GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, which would be a big battery saver.
Galaxy S6 curved display?
We've already seen a curved screen appear on the Galaxy Note Edge, and the latest murmurings are suggesting that Samsung will bring curved or three-sided display tech to its flagship smartphone. The Korea Herald posted a quote from a certain Jerry Kang, senior analyst of ihD Technology, who claims that the Galaxy S6 will carry a dual-edged screen, with curves on the right and left side. We had already seen leaked mock-ups of three-sided device during the original Galaxy Note 4 speculation, but in the end it looks like Samsung ditched the three-sided design to produce the two-sided Note Edge (the reason for this is still unknown).
The existence of the Galaxy S6 Edge was recently confirmed to us, but, aside from its plastic back-panel, we still don't know much about the design.
Samsung Galaxy S6 iris scanner
The iris scanner rumors just won't die, and there's every possibility that the Note 4, the Galaxy S6 or even both will sport an iris scanner. Samsung has confirmed it was working on the tech, but costing, manufacturing and precision need to be just right to implement it. I suspect Samsung is still stinging from the public perception of the finger scanner on the S5.
Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that Samsung would abandon that tech after only one go around the market place. Other rumors about the Tizen platform, graphene and a metal body are nothing more than that right now.
What are your expectations for the Galaxy S6? What do you think Samsung needs to do to get back on top?