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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.

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Hello? Flo here. 

Both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge look good, too, like premium phones made for premium peopleor at least, thats the kind of lifestyle promise these smartphones will attempt to sell.

Theres just one problem, though: Samsung will need to produce convincing marketing to go with its new flagship devices, because the upper echelons of society (and those who strive for that station) just arent aligned with Team Android. That said, the Galaxy S6 definitely has a story to tell beyond the fact that its just another Samsung phone.

A new phone, a new processor
Unlike a majority of its predecessors, the Galaxy S6 is powered by Samsungs speedy new octa-core Exynos processor instead of a Qualcomm chip. The company says this new 14nm processor promises better power-consumption because it has four cores devoted to battery efficiency, and four cores dedicated to processor performance.

Now, that said, theres been rumbling in the rumor mill that the processor switch-out is actually due to overheating issues with the Snapdragon 810. We cant confirm or deny either of those claims, but we can say that the phone felt snappy and responsive. Were excited to finally get some playtime with a Samsung SoC when its ready to review.

A Lollipop-y UI
Samsung may have overhauled its chassis design, but its software still needs a little work. Despite the Lollipop update, its not anything spectacularly new.

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Sorry, America. It's still blue.

I will give the company some credit, however. While TouchWiz is still blue-hued in some areas and its icons dont really match alongside Googles suite of apps, the Material Design is there underneath it all.

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You gotta admit: this looks better than previous versions of Samsung's TouchWiz.

There are Cards in the app switcher, and Samsungs own apps feature bright, bold colors on a flat layout. Samsung also left in some of its own software additions, like Multi-Window, which can be used from the multi-tasking screen. It also swears it has streamlined the interface, and cut it down in a couple of places. From my brief time with it, however, all I can say is that the S6 still acts and feels like a Samsung phone. Maybe Ill feel differently after a week with it.

When can I get my hands on it?
You cant run to your carrier store and pick up a Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge just yet, but you can expect them to hit stateside sometime this spring. When it does, well have a full-blown review, complete with benchmarks, beauty shots, and a lab test with the Galaxy S6s newly refined 16-megapixel rear-facing camera.

 

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