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Hands-on with the Galaxy S6: Samsung reinvents its industrial design aesthetic

Florence Ion | March 2, 2015
Finally, Samsung gives us what we’ve been waiting for. The Galaxy S6 is a glass-and-metal Android phone that looks and feels like a premium device.

When Samsung tries something new, I dont usually think to myself, Well, thats revolutionary! Flagship phone after flagship phone, the Galaxy S devices have never really been, as the slogan suggests, the next big thing.

But with the Galaxy S6, Samsung is finally changing the narrative. The new flagship phone is a bold departure from the detestable polymer-body handsets Samsung has been throwing at us lately. With the Galaxy S6, it feels like Samsung preserved all the previous flagship ingredients that actually worked, and then stuffed them into a stunning new glass-and-metal body.

Frankly, the S6 is the Samsung phone we should have had a year ago.

It looks like an iPhone
This is the last thing I want to admit as an Android user, but apparently its how you sell smartphones today: Make the product appear just as posh and stylish as Apples iPhone, and consumers will flock to it in droves. It worked for Xiaomi in China, and now Samsungs going to take a stab at it, too.

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Glass. Metal. That's all there is to it. 

I cant help but notice the similarities between the Galaxy S6 and the iPhone 6, especially with the white S6 version. That pearlescent white back? The brushed silver frame around the edges? The perforated speaker grill on the bottom? Its uncanny

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This bottom part remind you of anything?

Even if the Galaxy S6 does sort of resemble something out of Cupertino, its evidence that Samsung has wised up to the basics of good design. Were no longer living in a world dominated by basic plastic phones, and if youre going to be the big fish in the Android pond, you have to jump on the upmarket bandwagon.

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The S6 Edge is a curved phone design that works.

While the standard S6 merely catches up to respectable design, the curved version of the Galaxy S6the Galaxy S6 Edgereminds us theres still ingenuity left in Samsungs mobile hardware division. Its difficult to see in my photos, but the 5.1-inch display curves ever so slightly on either side. Perhaps the company has been too timid to take such big risks until now. Or perhaps its finally figured out what works.

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Samsung opted for a subtle curve on either side of the device rather than bending it in the middle, like LG's G Flex 2. 

This design certainly works for me. Look at those curved edgesthe way they arc downward only slightly, without ruining the whole effect of holding a smartphone in the palm of your hand, like the Galaxy Note Edge did. I hated the Note Edge, but I loved holding the Galaxy S6 Edge. Both the flat and curved versions of the Galaxy S6 are two of the most comfortable smartphones Ive used in a whileeven more so than the HTC One (M8), which was my daily driver for most of 2014. The One sometimes felt too tall and too narrow, while Samsungs Galaxy S6 felt good throughout the hour I held itas if Goldilocks had finally found her perfect bowl of congee.

 

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