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Archive for the ‘Mobile News’ Category

Samsung Unpacked: Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S6 Edge

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

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We joined Samsung for their Galaxy Unpacked 2015 event in Barcelona this weekend, where Samsung unveiled its latest flagship phones.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 marks a new age in Samsung design, with a glass back and metal frame that provide a markedly more premium in-hand feel. The S6 Edge goes even further, with a screen that bends back on both sides to provide a wider view and extra space for controls and notifications.

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Let’s have a look at each of the phones in turn to see where the differences lie.

Samsung Galaxy S6

Design

The Galaxy S6 is a big step forward when it comes to design. The plasticky exterior of the Galaxy S5 and its predecessors is gone, replaced with a stylish metal frame and Gorilla Glass 4 on the front and back. The phone is incredibly thin too, measuring just 6.8mm thick. It feels great in your hand, and the 5.1-inch 1440p display looks incredibly sharp too.

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The S6 is available in a unique colour, blue topaz, as well as the three colours it shares with the S6 Edge: white, black and gold. Each colour gleams and changes as you adjust the angle, even though the blanket of fingerprints does reduce the effect somewhat. This is definitely a phone you’ll have to keep clean with a cloth or in a case – and with a glass back, a case may be a real requirement.

Another downside to a glass back is that we lose that battery cover… and with it, both having a removable battery and the microSD card slot.

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Samsung calls their efforts “design with purpose”, and for once I’d be hesitant to disagree. This is an excellently engineered phone, which knocks everything else Samsung have done into a cocked hat… and may yet rival HTC or Apple’s efforts.

Specs

The Galaxy S6 is powered by Samsung’s latest Exynos processor, the Exynos 7 Octa. It uses a new 14nm process, meaning it can fit many more transistors into a similar space. According to Samsung, that increases performance by 20% while reducing power usage by 35% – not bad. Samsung have also paid attention to the backing elements, with 3GB of DDR4 RAM (“80% faster”) and a hybrid storage solution which promises to offer speeds more akin to solid state drives (SSDs) than traditional flash storage. Storage options have been upgraded too, with 32GB being the smallest option, with 64GB and 128GB models also available. Together, these upgrades could make the Galaxy S6 a performance titan.

When it comes to battery power, we’re looking at a smaller unit than shipped in the S5 – 2550mAh compared to 2800mAh. Samsung say that the phone will last for a long time though – 12 hours of WiFi, 11 hours of LTE, 13 hours of video or 49 hours of music. This is complemented by Samsung’s fast charging tech, which promises to deliver 4 hours of battery life in just 10 minutes of charging. Charging from empty to 100% will take half the time of an iPhone 6, despite that phone’s much smaller battery. Samsung are also building in wireless charging to a Galaxy phone for the first time.

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The camera setup is the final area that Samsung are focusing their attention. They’re using a 16-megapixel rear sensor on the back, with an f1.9 lens and optical image stabilisation. On the front, they’ve upgraded to a 5-megapixel shooter with f1.9 and a special low-light mode. The camera can be launched in less than a second by double-tapping the home button, which worked very effectively in my testing. There are also some fun modes, including a cartoon mode that surprised the demonstrator Samsung provided at the hands-on session.

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Software

The Galaxy S6 runs Android 5 with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. Samsung made a big point of showing how they had upgraded their apps to comply with Google’s Material Design guidelines. One notable example is the camera app, which now uses labels to make functionality more obvious, and has a single screen for common functions.

Samsung are debuting ‘Samsung Pay’ with the Galaxy S6, which can use either NFC or mag-stripe technology to work with a massive range of existing terminals. Samsung are promising a launch in the summer for the US and South Korea, alongside partnerships with VISA, Mastercard and (mostly American) banks.

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Overall, the experience seems smoother and faster, with fewer added features and other assorted bloatware. Interestingly, the phone comes with Microsoft apps pre-installed, which would suggest a partnership between the two companies.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Design

The S6 Edge utilises a dual-curved screen, bending subtly backwards on the left and right sides. That means there’s essentially no bezel on the sides at all. The phone is slightly thicker than the S6 (7.0mm vs 6.8mm), but the difference isn’t noticeable in-hand. What you do notice is that the phone is a bit sharper on the edges, although its overall shape is more comfortable to grip and hold to your face. Otherwise, the phone is near-identical to the standard S6, with the same glass back and metal frame. The S6 Edge is available in a unique colour, green emerald.

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Specs

The Galaxy S6 Edge is almost entirely the same when it comes to specifications: the same processor, the same storage, the same camera. The only slight difference is the battery, which is slightly larger (2600mAh vs 2550mAh) on the S6 Edge. Otherwise, you’ll benefit from the same Exynos 7 processor, 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 32, 64 or 128GB of ‘eMMC / SSD universal flash storage 2.0′.

Software

The S6 Edge has a few unique software features compared to the S6, thanks to that curved screen. You can set up to five contacts as your favourites, giving them each a unique colour. Then, when these contacts call when your phone is face-down, you’ll see a beautiful neon underglow in their colour so you’ll know who’s calling.

You can also access these favourites by swiping in from the side of the screen, letting you call or text them quickly from any screen. Finally, notifications also appear on the side of the screen; you can pull them out to see the full notification and respond right there.

Links

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Comparison Table

Galaxy S6 Galaxy S6 Edge
Screen 5.1-inch flat 5.1-inch dual curve
Battery 2550mAh 2600mAh
Thickness 6.8mm 7.0mm
Unique Colour Blue Topaz Green Emerald
Price £579 for 32GB £649 for 32GB

Conclusion

Samsung slipped in the last year, but the release of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge shows that the company is serious about renewing its efforts to craft great phones. The new design of the S6 and S6 Edge are miles ahead of what we saw from Samsung last year, and together with meaningful hardware and software upgrades, the next series of Galaxy phones looks incredible.

What do you think of the new phones? Let us know in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge press renders leak from Korea

Friday, February 27th, 2015

We’ve seen some spy shots of the Galaxy S6 Edge and some good cased images of the phone, but now we’ve got something altogether more official: press renders of the new handset. The images, which were published by CNet Korea, show a black version of the Galaxy S6 Edge from every angle.

They do note that texture and shape can vary mildly from the actual product, and indeed there are a few minor differences between the press renders and the other leaks that we’ve seen thus far. However, all of the major features – including that flowing three-sided display and the 20-megapixel rear camera with side-mounted LED flash – seem present and correct.

As we saw before on both the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the back of the phone is clad in glass and framed with metal. That means that there’s no removable back, which means that there’s no removable battery, and no microSD card slot. These are disappointing omissions for diehard Galaxy S fans, but hopefully the new design will be enough to make the phone a strong newcomer in the series.

What do you think of the new design? Let us know in the comments below, or write to us on Twitter @mobilefun. Thanks for checking out the article and stay tuned for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge’s big reveal this Sunday at 17:30 GMT!

New Galaxy S6 Edge case leaks

Friday, February 27th, 2015

We’ve already seen leaked case photos for the Samsung Galaxy S6, but now we’re seeing them for its rarer brother: the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. The new phone features a display that curves back on both left and right sides, and of course Galaxy S6 Edge cases have to account for that. Let’s take a look at the first S6 Edge cases, courtesy of case-maker Spigen.

The cases shown here are curved to match the phone’s display on the front, but remain fairly ordinary-looking on the rear. We can also see one of our first shots of the Galaxy S6 Edge’s lock screen, albeit one that seems to have been customised or created by Spigen themselves. There’s a minimal look on the centre pane, with the time shown on a watery background. A single icon for the camera sits at the bottom right. On the right edge, we can see individual icons for emails and text messages received, with calendar events sitting higher and oriented to display down the length of the screen.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is due to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress by Samsung on March 1st. The Barcelona-based event will have its doors open at 17:30 CET, with the presentation beginning one hour later at 18:30 CET. You can tune into the event via YouTube, on the SamsungMobile page.

For more information on the S6 and S6 Edge that’s been leaked over the past few days, please check out our leak roundup here and our MWC preview 2015 here.

What do you think of the new S6 Edge? Let us know on Twitter @mobilefun or in the comments below. Thanks for checking out the article and have a great weekend!

Samsung Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge revealed in new photos

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

If you wanted to know more about the Samsung Galaxy S6 but didn’t want to wait until the actual announcement on Sunday, I have good news: two separate leaks have revealed the last heretofore unseen details! Let’s take a look at what we’ve learned over this very fruitful Thursday.

Leak One: Samsung Galaxy S6

Our first leak features the Galaxy S6 alone, examined by a person with a propensity for cute stickers. The photos reveal a phone with a metal frame (like the earlier Note 4) and a glass-covered back (like the Nexus 4 or iPhone 4). You can see the new high-megapixel camera with the flash offset to the right.

The Galaxy S6 looks like it’ll be the first Galaxy S phone to ship without a removable battery or microSD card slot, thereby removing one of the series’ biggest strengths.

Leak Two: Samsung Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge

Our second leak is perhaps more exciting, as it shows both the standard Galaxy S6 and the limited-edition Galaxy S6 Edge. While earlier reports described a proper three-screened phone, the curved edges of the phone seem a little more subdued than we saw on the Note 4 Edge. Still, the option to have the screen flow off the sides of the phone does look good.

Otherwise, the phones seem near identical – the S6 Edge is a little wider, but sports the same back glass, metal frame and rear-facing camera design. On the front it’s the same story, with the same earpiece, lozenge-shaped home button, front-facing camera and other sensors.

Conclusion

So there we have it – Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Are you excited for the reveal on Sunday? Let us know in the comments below or write to us on Twitter @mobilefun!

Sony Xperia Tablet Z4 design, specs, software: MWC preview 2015

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Continuing on our kick of Sony announcements, here’s one that they didn’t want to make this week. Sony mistakenly revealed their upcoming Xperia Z4 Tablet on Xperia Lounge. They quickly corrected their mistake, but the world had already taken note. The tablet looks like a strong Android tablet, based on what’s been leaked - let’s take a look.

Design

The Xperia Tablet Z4 seems to come with a more rounded design than its predecessors, something that we first saw with the Xperia E4 that was announced earlier this month. Text on the page claimed that the tablet would have a “lightweight premium body”, which is something it delivered easily with the Tablet Z3.

Specifications

Sony wrote that the tablet would come with “the latest ultra-fast processor”, which should refer only to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, which is clocked at 2.0GHz and is also expected to power the HTC One M9. The page also mentioned a “stunning 2K display”, which should indicate a 10-inch screen running at a resolution of 2560 x 1440. Sony is also promising “industry leading battery performance”, which should be helped by the (by now) average resolution and advanced chipset.

Software

We can expect the Z4 tablet to run Android 4.4.4 KitKat like the recently announced Xperia E4 and E4g, although an upgrade to Android 5.0 could be possible if the tablet is released several weeks after its announcement.

Conclusion

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z4 is expected to be announced on March 3rd, a few days into the Mobile World Congress that kicks off on the 1st. The Barcelona-based event will also include announcements by Samsung and HTC on the 1st, so the timing from Sony makes sense.

What do you think of the Tablet Z4? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us @mobilefun with your answer. Of course, we’ll be supporting the tablet with the full range of Tablet Z4 cases and accessories.

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