Samsung Galaxy S6: Armored, Beautiful, and a Little Sneaky

The new Galaxy S6 blatantly rips-off the iPhone 6, and it’s awesome

Samsung Galaxy S6photo: TechStage – cc

It was a losing battle. Quarter after quarter they watched as their sales declined. The Samsung Galaxy S3 had nailed it. In fact, it set a record profit of $5.9 billion in its first quarter only to be trumped by an even more impressive Galaxy S4 performance the following year. Then disaster struck. I recall thinking there was something about the S5 that just wasn’t right. Sure it was better, on paper, but somehow it felt like a step backwards with a bigger screen. It came bundled with a ton of useless software, and the shiny pseudo-metallic bezel looked like it belonged on a toy that had fallen out of a piñata, never mind a flag-ship smartphone.

Samsung’s brief sales lead over Apple sputtered as the iPhone 5 and 5S continued to make headway. Having relied predominantly on the Galaxy’s cheaper price, removable battery, and expandable memory slot to set it apart from the metal-sealed iPhone, the Korean-based company decided the best way to contend with the enemy was to become them. Taking more than a few tricks from Apple’s playbook, the newest iteration of the Galaxy leaves behind nearly everything that made Samsung “Samsung.” With little left to lose, however, it might be exactly what they need.

 

Super Mecha-Samsung

I don’t think I exaggerate when I say the Galaxy S6 is a damn fine-looking phone. But then again, so is the iPhone 6. Put it next to the Galaxy and it becomes apparent that Samsung thought so too.

Galaxy S6 iPhone 6Karlis Dambrans – cc

Released last Friday with a now sealed-in battery, non-expandable memory, and a rounded aluminum frame replacing their traditional cost-effective plastic, Samsung has taken the sincerest form of flattery to a whole new level. With little left in common with previous Samsung generations, they’ve more or less abandoned what initially drove many consumers to their side of the phone war and taken on a design Tim Cook himself could have mistaken for one of his own. Samsung itself has stated the changes are in response to the issues brought up by consumers, one of which included a cheap plastic feel. Despite this, I cant help but think another Apple vs. Samsung court appearance is due soon.

 

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6 on 6 Violence

Samsung looks like Apple now, and both are pretty good looking. But how do the actual specs compare? One of the benefits to copying a competitor is that your product tends to hit the market afterwards, and therefore knows exactly what specs to “one-up.” Let’s take a look.

Note: For a more parallel comparison, we’ll be using the standard iPhone 6 device (non-plus).

vs.4

Display:

Apple: 4.7 inch retina HD display (1334 x 750 px @326 px per inch)

vs.

Samsung: 5.1 inch Super AMOLED display (1440 x 2560 px @557 px per inch)

Camera:

Apple: 8 megapixel rear (1080 HD video) and 1.2 megapixel front (720 HD video)

vs. 

Samsung: 16 megapixel rear (2160 HD video) and 5 megapixel front (1440 HD video)

Processor:

Apple: Dual-core 1.4GHz A8 chip (64-bit architecture) with M8 motion coprocessor

vs. 

Samsung: Exynos 7420 chipset (Quad-core 1.5 cortex-A53 and Quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57)

Memory:

Apple: 16gb, 64gb, or 128gb with 1gb of RAM

vs.

Samsung: 32gb, 64gb, or 128gb, with 3gb of RAM

 Setbacks:

Apple: Lower screen resolution than some cheaper phones, reports of frame bending, camera protrudes slightly from body (though not as much as the Galaxy S6)

vs.

Samsung: Camera protrudes quite a bit from body, not waterproof (the Galaxy S5 was), curved screen on Galaxy S6 Edge variant is a bit gimmicky

 

Samsung had the chance to one-up Apple, and boy did they go for it. With a significantly beefier camera, a higher resolution display, and 4GB of RAM compared to Apple’s 1GB, they just might have gone and made the best phone currently available. Nevertheless, some have noted that the iPhone’s RAM can still outperform competitors with twice the amount while its camera is still in contention for taking the best photos.

Apple will no doubt have a few tricks up their sleeve when they counter with the (presumed) iPhone 7 later this year. In the meantime, Samsung took a gamble and it’s looking like it might pay off. While they stole some tricks from Apple, and they definitely stole some tricks from Apple, I don’t think many consumers (myself included) will be complaining any time soon. The Galaxy line was on a sinking ship and many of us were just waiting for a lifeboat.

 

 

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. At the end of the day, I think Apple out-softwares Samsung and that’s a difference that they won’t be able to touch. My experience with Galaxy phones has been a feeling of lagginess and that there are almost too many things that my phone wants me to control and change. The iPhone has never come close to other high-end Smartphones in terms of raw power, and yet from my personal experience feels snappier and far more responsive than them 9 times out of 10. What good is exponentially more powerful hardware if the software and the interface the user actually experiences doesn’t keep up with the times?

    • A valid point. I’ve been on team Samsung since my second phone but I can definitely acknowledge the design and “snappiness” of Apple’s devices. Once I get my own S6 I’ll be able to tell you whether or not the “claimed” reduction of bloatware fixes the “lagginess” which, yes, I can admit is a thing.

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