It's crazy to think that a year ago, we were all eagerly anticipating the Samsung Galaxy S6. We were all expecting big changes last year-- a new design, new hardware, new display and the death to some legacy Tizen technology. Well, a year has passed now and we're reflecting on the Samsung Galaxy S6 because in a little less than a week from now, the new Samsung Galaxy S7 will be launched. So let's see how this old friend has faired over the past 52 weeks.
The biggest feature of the S6 was the new design. Leaving the plastic build quality of the S5 in the dust, the S6 uses a blend of Gorilla Glass on the front and back and metal around the sides. It really added a big premium value to the lineup. While the design definitely didn't fair well in the durability department, it definitely won a lot of people over from the iPhone due to its beautiful craftsmanship.
The display was also a main attraction. Its 5.1-inch size shouldn't fool you. It housed a QuadHD or 2560x1440p display in there, which meant the pixels per inch number was off the charts, almost hitting 600ppi. The Super AMOLEDs from Samsung have never been disappointing in any way and this generation of AMOLED was the best ever: best color accuracy, best brightness and best viewing angles thus far from a Galaxy device.
The S6 was also the first US-debut of Samsung's own hardware. Previously, all US Samsung products elected for the more commonly used Snapdragon CPUs and the Adreno GPUs mainly for LTE compatibility for CDMA and GSM networks. However, the S6 was the first US Samsung product to ship with the Exynos 7420 chipset, which brought octa-core processing. It also came with a Mali GPU, which when combined with the 3GB of RAM on top meant that this phone was mega powerful. It absolutely destroyed the scores of the Snapdragon powered S5 and the same chipset found on the S6 was later used on the Galaxy Note 5 which shipped later in 2015.
Unlike the Galaxy S5, the S6 dropped the microSD card expansion and removable battery in favor of a slimmer build. The S6 came in 32, 64 and 128 GB configurations which isn't too bad. But the battery decreased in size to a 2,550 mAh battery. This didn't go very well for a lot of power users.
Software wise, the S6 shipped with Android Lollipop and still to this day (on my AT&T unit anyway), it's still running Android Lollipop. We are hearing plans for a Marshmallow rollout for the Galaxy S6 but this definitely is not widespread. However, the S6 was one of the best performing Samsung devices ever tested last year. It was smooth as butter and it was able to handle just about everything thrown at it. Its only downfall was the battery life. Last year, I only managed to get around 3 or 4 hours of screen on-time before this thing died; though Samsung does have fast charging and wireless charging built-in to the S6, which should help a lot of people with charge convenience.
One thing to mention is the camera on the S6—its 16MP sensor delivered beautiful looking images and 4K video, though we didn't see things like OIS-- that was left for the bigger and more expensive Galaxy Note 5.
so now, as we are closing the chapter of the S6, we can begin to read the new chapter of the S7. We could start with things that we're hoping for like a bigger battery, a new camera, even quicker charging and an improved software experience with faster updates. Though I would love to hear your thoughts on what you'd like to see on the Samsung Galaxy S7.