Which phone is better than Samsung S6

Samsung Galaxy S6 in the test: flagship now at a bargain price

Samsung Galaxy S6 (left) and Galaxy S6 Edge in comparison. Only the S6 is available in blue, green can only wear the Edge.

A good year after the launch of the Galaxy S6, the price has fallen to well below 400 euros in some cases. At the same time, thanks to the update to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, the software equipment has caught up with the successor Galaxy S7. Mobilcom Debitel has now announced a real bargain: As part of a special offer, the Galaxy S6 is on offer there until Wednesday morning (July 27, 11 a.m.) for 359 euros. For the design variant of the S6, the Galaxy S6 Edge, you currently have to pay around 80 euros more. The Galaxy S7 costs around 180 euros more (as of July 2016).

Samsung Galaxy S6 viewed from the outside

Compared to the Galaxy S6 Edge, the normal Samsung Galaxy S6 looks almost homely with its straight edge, and from the front it is similar to its predecessor, the Galaxy S5. Only when you touch it or turn it around is the difference to the S5 drastic: The frame is made of aluminum. The front and back are under Gorilla Glass 4 and are very scratch-resistant. The colors white (White Pearl), black (Black Sapphire), gold (Gold Platinum) and blue (Blue Topaz) change depending on the incidence of light. The workmanship and material feel much more valuable than the S5. At 138 grams it is lighter and more comfortable to hold. At the same time, the S6 is significantly thinner (6.8 instead of 8.1 mm) and narrower (70.5 instead of 72.5 mm). However, the camera lens protrudes around a millimeter.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge

The new design and the consequences

The slim frame is made of aluminum.

The housing frame consists of a piece of aluminum. As once on the iPhone 4S, the antennas are housed here and separated from each other by small plastic breaks in the metal frame. The lower side looks remarkably similar to the iPhone 6, both the speakers and the headset jack have moved to the underside. A decision with serious consequences is associated with the new housing design: It can no longer be opened easily. This eliminates three advantages of the predecessor: There is no memory card slot, no easily exchangeable battery and the housing is not waterproof. A bitter blow for one or the other fan of Samsung's Galaxy S family.

The screen: ultra-sharp and ultra-bright

The Super AMOLED display of both S6 variants shows crisp color contrasts and is the same size as the Galaxy S5 (5.1 inch diagonal), but much sharper. With 2560x1440 pixels, it achieves an enormous sharpness value of 577 ppi. According to Samsung, it is currently the sharpest smartphone display ever. However, you need extremely good eyesight to recognize the increase in sharpness compared to a full HD display. Even a two-year-old Galaxy S4 doesn't have to hide. In the visual test, the extremely high resolution did not bring any significant advantage. Another change is more relevant in practice: S6 and S6 Edge achieved an enormous brightness of around 750 candelas per square meter in the test, stronger than the previous top-rated Note 4 (708 cd / m²) and significantly brighter than the Galaxy S5 (437 cd / m²) ), HTC One M9 (515 cd / m²), iPhone 6 (578 cd / m²) and iPhone 6 Plus (507 cd / m²). The brighter the display, the easier it is to read in the sunshine. So far, AMOLED displays have been rather dark. Instead, the contrast, i.e. in principle the difference between the lightest and darkest areas, is traditionally part of the parade of AMOLEDs. The S6 and S6 Edge deliver better values ​​than the iPhone 6 (1,109: 1) and iPhone 6 Plus (1,054: 1), but with 1,504: 1 (S6) and 1,453: 1 (S6 Edge) less than the Galaxy Note 4 (1,904: 1 ) and LG G Flex 2 (2034: 1). The time can also be shown when the display is dark, similar to the gaze function in the Lumia 925.

Attractive materials, great feel, sharp display: the Galaxy S6 is superbly equipped - does it beat the iPhone 6? The test reveals it!

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S6 & S6 Edge: tricks and hidden functions

Galaxy S6: storage

All S6 variants are available with much more internal memory, optionally 32, 64 and 128 GB in the new fast Universal Flash Storage UFS 2.0 standard, which is also used for SSD hard drives. According to Samsung, data can be called up 2.7 times faster than with the previous internal memory and around twelve times faster than with typical memory cards with halved energy consumption.

Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge: Prices and storage compared

 16 GB32 GB64 GB128 GB
Galaxy S6-699 euros799 euros899 euros
Galaxy S6 Edge-849 euros949 euros1049 euros
Galaxy Note 4-769 euros--
Galaxy Note Edge-849 euros--
Apple iPhone 6699 euros-799 euros899 euros
iPhone 6 Plus799 euros-899 euros999 euros
Galaxy S5-599 euros--

Finally fully integrated: wireless charging

With earlier Galaxy models, you had to swap the back for a thicker version with a built-in charging coil in order to charge the cell phone on an induction charging cradle. Now the wireless technology is built in. The highlight: In addition to the newer Powermatters charging technology (PMA), which is already available in some restaurant chains in the USA, the S6 and S6 Edge master the established Qi charging technology of earlier Galaxies. In the test, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge could also be charged on a common Qi charging cradle. Conversely, the S5 and Lumia 930 could also be charged on one of the new Samsung charging cradles that were introduced with the S6.

The thing with the "glued" battery

In the user manual, Samsung describes how to replace batteries for authorized companies. Do-it-yourselfers lose the guarantee.

The battery is not easy to change. Problem: Performance decreases over time. An uncomplicated, inexpensive exchange as with all previous models is no longer possible. The biggest hurdle is now the glued back. In addition, if you trust yourself, you will lose the guarantee. It is not yet known what it will cost to replace the 2,550 mAh battery at Samsung. In the test, the battery life remained behind that of the predecessor with intensive use. While the S5 lasts over 10.5 hours, the S6 does not even manage 9.5 hours and is therefore pretty close to the iPhone 6 (9 hours 5 minutes), which has had to take a lot of criticism for its endurance. Thanks to the slightly larger battery, the Edge runs twelve minutes longer when used intensively.

"The battery is permanently installed and there is no longer a memory card slot."

Christian Just, Head of Telecommunications & Internet

Processor and pace

At COMPUTER BILD, the grade for the working pace is not just made up of benchmarks. The time the cell phone needs for certain processes is also measured in the test. This includes opening apps or large documents and trimming videos. The latter point prevented a better grade. S6 and S6 Edge took too much time for video editing. Apparently some functions are slowed down by software. In most benchmarks, the Galaxy S6 benefited from the new turbo under the hood: Samsung's eight-core processor Exynos 7420. Thanks to 14 nm production, it should enable up to 20 percent higher working speed with 35 percent less power consumption. Compared to the S5, the S6 was easily 20 to 50 percent faster and is on par with the HTC One M9. In the AnTuTu benchmark, Geekbench Multi Core and GFX Bench (offscreen), the Galaxy Note 4, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus also lag behind. Only the Edge was faster, although it has the same hardware. The 3 gigabyte LPDDR4 RAM, which is said to be up to 88 percent faster, is also responsible for the high speed. There are hardly any doubts when it comes to operation: the pace feels very high. The LG G4 and Sony Xperia Z3 + were further ahead in the practice-oriented operating and work speed test.

The camera duo (here in duplicate) consists of a 16 MP camera and a 5 MP front camera.

Cameras in detail

Like its predecessor, the main camera comes with 16 megapixels, but with an aperture of f1.9 (predecessor: f2.2) it is brighter. In addition, there is now an optical image stabilizer, similar to the Lumia top models 830/930 and the iPhone 6 Plus. In bad light, brighter pictures are possible thanks to longer exposure times. The automatic HDR function should provide more image details. As with Apple, slow motion videos are possible with 240 frames per second (FPS) and 1280x720 pixels. The autofocus automatically focuses on faces, even if the people are moving (tracking autofocus). The front camera now has 5 megapixels with an aperture of f1.9 (S5: 2 MP; f2.4). The shutter release delay is 0.3 seconds - decent, but the iPhones remain the quick shooters with 0.12 seconds. The good video quality is pleasing. Only the LG G Flex 2 has made even better films so far. Very practical for snapshots: with a double press on the home button, the camera starts immediately, even if the display is locked.

picture quality

Regardless of the image quality, the quick start mode impressed: Press the home button twice in succession and the camera app starts, even when the phone is locked. It only takes 0.7 seconds. In the laboratory and in several everyday scenarios, the S6 / S6 Edge camera had to compete with the iPhone 6 Plus and Lumia 1520 as well as the HTC One M9. When taking pictures in low light without a flash, the S6 delivers brighter, sharper and lower-noise pictures than the iPhone 6 Plus under certain circumstances; the iPhone 6 Plus had advantages in other lighting. Usually there was a noticeable improvement over the predecessor Galaxy S5. In the photo gallery you can see the comparison images.

Camera comparison: Galaxy S6, iPhone 6, One M9 & Lumia

Radio and reception

The wireless connection has also become faster: LTE connections are available with up to 300 Mbps, WLAN ac works with MIMO technology (several antennas in parallel). Good transmission and reception values ​​and low radiation ensured a clean performance in the reception section.

Impressions from the user interface of the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Software and operation

The S6 and S6 Edge were originally delivered with Android 5.0, but the free update to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow is now available for all variants. This means that the S6 is on par with its successor, the Galaxy S7, in terms of software. Compared to before, Samsung's Touchwiz user interface looks more subtle and stylish. Overall, operation is very simple and fast, but the system still allows itself short micro-pauses when accessing certain menus. However, there are also some practical functions built in. The so-called Smart Manager function allows immediate access to important functions (such as information on power consumption and activation of the ultra-power-saving mode) and to the built-in security software from McAfee. Some operating extras are reserved for the Edge version. In the case of incoming calls, for example, the entire screen lights up in a predefined color for the respective contact. Thanks to the curvature, you can also see this when the phone is on the table with the display facing down. If you then tap the flash LED when a call comes in, the call is automatically rejected and an SMS is sent to the sender.

Samsung Galaxy S6: That's what Amazon customers say

The Galaxy S6 currently has an average rating of just under four stars on Amazon. The majority of customers give the smartphone four to five stars, but there are a little more critical voices here than with the Galaxy S6 Edge. On the plus side are mostly the display, the design, the high-resolution camera and the good pace of work. The battery, the inability to change the battery and the missing microSD slot are negative. Some customers also dislike the workmanship, especially the home button often seems to wobble.

»All user ratings for the Samsung Galaxy S6

Smartphone innovations from A to Z

Conclusion: Samsung Galaxy S6

When it comes to inner values, the normal S6 is practically as good as the S6 Edge. The front and back of both devices are made of Gorilla Glass, the frame is made of metal. The new camera, the wireless charging function and the eight-core processor are among the common advantages. However, one does without the eye-catching qualities of the S6 Edge. Ultimately, the Edge's slightly larger battery gave it a wafer-thin lead. But the normal S6 is much cheaper. And in the long-term test it is even more handy than the sister model with the stylish display curve.

When the Samsung Galaxy S6 was launched on April 10, 2015, the RRP was between 699 (32 GB) and 899 euros (128 GB), while the Galaxy S6 Edge was priced at 150 euros each.

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Ticker from COMPUTER BILD for the live test

COMPUTER BILD accompanied the test of the Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge live for two days and documented all the stations that the smartphones had to go through. You can read the live ticker here again: