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Galaxy S6 first look: Inspired by the iPhone 6, but no mere clone

Galen Gruman | March 2, 2015
The new flagship Samsung Android smartphones are surprisingly elegant and thoughtfully designed.

Samsung says the decision as to what other apps are bundled with the S6 smartphones is largely up to the carriers. The prerelease S6 device I used had a folder containing three Microsoft apps -- OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype, not the rumored bundle of Microsoft Office for Android -- but a spokeswoman said the inclusion of the Microsoft apps in the demo unit didn't necessarily mean they'd be in the shipping devices. Stay tuned.

The new Galaxy S6 models will support Samsung's ill-starred Knox security technology. Samsung says the new Knox version for Android 5.0 Lollipop will be improved, but it has not yet said how. In the meantime, Google has released its own technology called Android for Work for most Android devices, whereas Knox works only with a handful of Samsung models.

The revamped Knox technology will help Samsung deliver its own mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, which the new Galaxy S6 models will support with a software upgrade due this summer.

Overall, it's clear that Samsung paid a lot more attention to the details -- and the customer -- in designing the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. If my first-look experience with the two smartphones bears out in the real world, Samsung may have the hit product it needs to reverse its mobile decline in 2014.

 

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