Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is expected to be announced at this
year’s MWC, but how does it differ to the current Samsung Galaxy S5? We
compare what we know about the S5 and what we think we know about the S6
to find out. It’s S5 vs S6.
For more information read our full Samsung Galaxy S5 review and Samsung Galaxy S6 UK release date, price and specs: when is the Samsung Galaxy S6 coming out?
We should point out that the Samsung Galaxy S6’s specification has
not yet been confirmed, but many details have leaked. We will update
this article once new information is available. Note that the imaghes
used here are of the Samsung Galaxy S5. Also see: Best phones 2015 and best new phones coming in 2015.
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs S6 comparison: Price and UK availability
When the Samsung Galaxy S5 was announced it had an RRP of £579, but
even before its release it was reduced to around £550, and within a
month or two, £500. A year later and the Samsung Galaxy S5 costs £383
SIM-free at Amazon.
We expect to see exactly the same pattern with the Samsung Galaxy S6,
so you may find that it will pay to wait a month or two following its
March release before you buy.
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs S6 comparison: Design and build
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a plastic hanset with a removable rear cover
that has a perforated texture, supposedly in order to feel more natural
and aid grip in the hand. It’s a removable cover, allowing access the
also removable battery and microSDXC slot.
With the Samsung Galaxy S6 expect to see a more premium looking
design with a metal chassis. The removable cover will still be plastic
and removable, but the overall design will look more similar to the Samsung Galaxy Alpha.
The screen will mark a key difference between these two smartphones,
if rumours are correct. While the Samsung Galaxy S5 packs a 5.1in
full-HD (1920×1080, 432ppi) display, the S6 is expected to get a 5.5in
Quad-HD (1440×2560, 534ppi) panel. Both will use a Super AMOLED screen,
so the only differences will be in their size and resolution. Expect it
to be protected with Gorilla Glass 4, rather than the S5’s Gorilla Glass
All the screen software tweaks built into the S5, such as Smart stay and Adapt display, should also be found in the Galaxy S6.
Given the larger screen it’s possible that we may see a slight
increase in size and weight over the Samsung Galaxy S5’s 142×72.5×8.1mm
and 145g, yet the S6 is rumoured to come with slimmer bezels.
As with the S5, the S6 will include a heart-rate monitor on the rear,
plus a fingerprint scanner built into the Home button – but this one
should be more intuitive to use, with touch- rather than swipe-based
input. Like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 it
will also get a UV sensor. Leaked case designs, which may or may not be
accurate, suggest the dual-LED flash will be moved to the other side of
One other rumoured change is that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will no
longer support IP67 dust- and waterproof protection. However, the source
of this claim says that’s because there will also be an Active version
of the S6, yet we also saw an Active version of the S5.
In common with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the Galaxy S6 will be
available in two versions: the standard Samsung Galaxy S6, plus the Galaxy S6 Edge. This will be similar to the Galaxy Note Edge,
which has a curved edge to one side of the screen to show notifications
and the like, except this handset may offer two curved screen edges.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 is expected to be available in Charcoal Black,
Copper Gold, Electric Blue and Shimmery White, matching the options
available with the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs S6 comparison: Hardware and performance
Originally thought to come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip in the
UK, fears over overheating issues have reportedly led Samsung to
reconsider and fit the Galaxy S6 with its own Exynos 7420, a 64-bit
octa-core processor with four Cortex-A53 cores and four Cortex-A57s.
This has seemingly been backed up by the fact that in its latest
earnings call Qualcomm admitted it had lost a big client.
This Exynos 7420 chip may also be backed up with 3GB of RAM and 32-,
64- and 128GB storage models, although we doubt we’ll see any more than
32GB in the UK. You will also be able to add microSD cards up to 128GB
in capacity, of course.
By comparison, in the UK the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 2.5GHz Qualcomm
Snapdragon 801 processor, Adreno 330 graphics, 2GB of RAM and 16GB (or
apparently 32GB) of storage with the same microSD support. It performs
very well in our benchmarks, netting 2869 points in Geekbench 3.0
multicore, 824ms in SunSpider, and 28fps in GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex. We don’t
know exactly how much faster the S6 will prove to be, but we do expect a
significant performance bump. Also see: What’s the fastest smartphone 2015?
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs S6 comparison: Audio
Sound quality in the S5 is acceptable, but nothing out of the
ordinary. However, Samsung’s hoping to appeal to audiophiles with its
upcoming Galaxy S6 if reports are to be believed. It’s thought to come
with Sennheiser uni-directional earbuds, which look similar to Apple
EarPods. Rumour has it they will feature apt-X, which may mean they are
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs S6 comparison: Cameras
One area in which there have been contrasting rumours is photography.
While all sources seem to confirm the S6 will get a 5Mp front-facing
camera, boosted from the S5’s 2Mp and appealing for use in video chat
and selfies, no-one seems to be able to make up their mind as to whether
it will stick with the S5’s 16Mp camera, with optical image
stabilisation as seen on the Note 4, or upgrade it to 20Mp. This is one
area in which we will have to wait and see.
Expect at very least everything you get with the S5, Note 4 and
Galaxy Alpha, however. That means 4K UHD video at 30fps, plus all
Samsung’s software tweaks, including real-time HDR, Beauty Face, Dual
Camera, Panorama, Selective Focus, Shot & More and Virtual Tour.
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs S6 comparison: Connectivity
We’re not expecting much to change on the connectivity front,
although it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think Samsung might improve the
S6’s LTE support. In S5 and S6 you’ll get 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS,
NFC and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi. In the S5 Samsung also specifies MIMO
technology and offers a unique Download Booster that combines the power
of 4G LTE and 802.11ac Wi-Fi to deliver downloads at a theoretical max
of 400Mb/s, so expect to find these in the S6 too.
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs S6 comparison: Software
While the Samsung Galaxy S5 is sold running Android KitKat, the S6
will come with Lollipop. You can read up on the key differences in our Android KitKat vs Android Lollipop review, but keep in mind that Samsung will also upgrade its S5 to Lollipop.
TouchWiz features on both S5 and S6, but in the S6 Samsung is
expected to slim down its preinstalled offerings with much of it
available as free downloads. We’re sure you’ll still find S Health, S
Voice, the Galaxy Apps store and its Magazine BlinkFeed-style UI at the
The Samsung Galaxy S6 is also expected to offer enhanced themes, with
a Themes Center letting you change system sounds, fonts and Events
(such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day). There will also be a Themes
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs S6 comparison: Battery life
The Samsung Galaxy has a 2800mAh removable battery and an Ultra Power
Saving mode that ekes out every bit of life (up to 24 hours) from the
last 10 percent of juice by turning off all unneccessary functions and
using a greyscale display. The S6’s battery capacity has not leaked, but
we do know that it will support the same Ultra Power Saving mode plus
fast charging – in the Galaxy Note 4 the battery can go from zero to 50
percent in just 30 minutes, which is twice as fast as most phones, and
something we hope to see in the S6.
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs S6 comparison: Verdict
We’re going to hold off our verdict until we’ve seen the finished
Samsung Galaxy S6, but from the sounds of it Samsung has made a lot of
improvements – the Quad-HD screen alone would make it a worthwhile
upgrade over the S5.
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