By Ali Reza
Samsung successfully took the tech world by storm in early March when the company unveiled the next generation of its flagship smartphones—the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Indeed, these devices were like nothing that we had seen before from the likes of Samsung—and that is a huge compliment to the brand. The design was sharp and sleek, the materials used in the production process were different, and the technology of the devices was improved. Yes, there were naysayers with complaints ranging from lack of removable microSD storage and user-replaceable battery—but regardless, we were impressed.
Ultimately, all looks positive for Samsung, and the two new devices are set to be released in early April 2015.
However, the Samsung S6 has a problem—and it comes in the form of the iPhone 6.
BusinessKorea recently reported on Apple’s first quarter estimates for its iPhone lineup. The estimates were issued by a number of large banks and while there was some slight variation, there was indeed a consensus—iPhone sales are going to be incredibly strong in 2015. What’s more is that it is projected the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are going to make up the majority of the company’s sales. Meaning that the higher these sales climb, the worse off Samsung is…their consumer pool will shrink.
But is it a Better Phone?
Of course, company sales are one thing, but do those sales numbers trump the quality of the phone?
The first thing to note is the design of the phone. Samsung has taken a leaf out of Apple’s playbook by improving the design of their devices—and this has Samsung fans split evenly down the middle in terms of feedback. Here is a look at the size and weight of these devices when compared to their predecessors:
- Galaxy S6: 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm (5.64 x 2.77 x 0.27 in) and 138g (4.86 oz)
- Galaxy S6 Edge: 142.1 x 70.1 x 7 mm (5.59 x 2.76 x 0.27 in) and 132g (4.65 oz)
- Galaxy S5: 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm (5.59 x 2.85 x 0.32 in) and 145g (5.11 oz)
- iPhone 6: 138.1 x 67 x 6.9mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27in) and 129g (4.55oz)
- iPhone 5S: 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 in) and 112 g (3.95 oz)
The Galaxy S6 is now thinner and lighter, and the iPhone has gotten bigger and heavier. The two competitors are now similarly sized…as well as styled.
Samsung made the move to ditch its trademark plastic finish for the same aluminum unibody appearance that Apple has made famous. Moreover, Samsung S6 devices now also feature glass backs. The positive in this regard is that Samsung is now Apple’s equal in style, design, and quality. The negative? There is no removable back, the removable battery is gone, and there is no expendable storage.
Samsung loyalists are bemoaning the loss of those features, but to possible converts from the Apple camp, it’s true that it’s not going to be that big of a deal. That being said, Samsung is obviously trying to win over the Apple crowd while also possibly sacrificing some of their loyal customer base.
The Case for Performance
Samsung has made some considerable improvements in the speed and responsiveness of the S6 series. It chose to get rid of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line and opt for its own Exynos chipset. It’s suggested that this is going to pay off for the company handsomely. It’s not only going to run faster, but it’s going to be more efficient as well. Combine this with an increase in RAM from 2GB to 3GB and Samsung might be a winner.
Software—Apple is a Bit Bloated
Samsung has also been determined to up its game in the software department. Samsung has significantly cut back on the amount of software that automatically comes on the phone—keeping it to the S Health and S Voice platforms. The Android App Store is available to users who still want to load up their phones, but it’s going to be optional.
On the flipside of things, it appears that Apple is becoming the king of bloatware—the total of non-removable Apple apps has been increased from 8 to 20. Quite an increase for users who prefer sleek and slick.
Our rating overall? Looks like Samsung, regardless of Apple’s sales projections, might just provide the better experience with their new devices.