After helplessly watching Apple sell a record number of iPhones and rake in massive profit last quarter, Samsung finally decided to do something about their failing premium phone business. If that wasn’t enough,disappointing sales and customer outrage over a sub-standard Galaxy S5 didn’t make things easier for the tech giant. Firing couple of mobile executives, re-evaluating their priorities and a rejig of their nomenclature is what Samsung needed to realize that customers wanted premium looking stylish phones instead of cheap plastic and marketing gimmicks. Here is our top takeaways from the latest flagship, Samsung Galaxy S6.
The best way to describe this recent change in material used in producing the S6 is to say “Better late than never.” For years, critics and fans alike have complained about paying over $700 for something that felt like classes cheap plastic.Samsung has now replaced the not so plush leather back is being replaced by glass and metal just like the Galaxy Note 4. Which looks much more durable and premium. According to Samsung, they are using aircraft grade material which is lighter and more durable than anything else used by the competition. Samsung president and chief executive J.K. Shin was quoted saying “We listen to our customers and we learn from our missteps” Other than using metal, Samsung has introduced glass panels at the back of the phone, which means no more replaceable batteries. Reducing bezels and chamfered edges have made the look more appealing and comfortable to use.
A 5.1 inch QHD Super AMOLED (1440 x 2560) display with a pixel density of 577ppi seems like Samsung has gone guns blazing on the display of the S6. It is way higher than the 326 ppi seen on the iPhone 6. The phone uses Samsung’s own 64-bit Exynos 7 processor.While Samsung claims it to be much faster and better than what competition has to offer, it will be interesting to see how the much talked about 14 nm architecture of the Exynos translates into real world performance as compared to the 20 nm Snapdragon 810 processors. Another expected upgrade is the 3GB LPDDR4 RAM, which is bound to make the phone faster without any hiccups.
In it’s previous two upgrade, Samsung kept on updating the Megapixels without really bothering to change much in terms of sensors used or camera architecture. Ever since the iPhone was released, Apple has harped about how it comes with a professional grade camera with stories like shooting a whole episode of Modern Family using an Apple device, Samsung couldn’t back down from a fight. The 16 Megapixel snapper comes with a faster lens and a f/1.9 lens for both primary and secondary camera. The device should now be able to capturing more light, and hence shoot better low light images. We are yet to see how it would fare in reality. Another realistic and usable feature added by Samsung is the quick access by tapping on the home button.
The act of cutting down bloatware due to the propriety skin i.e TouchWiz over Android 5.0 is the true representation and reflection of how hard the top management at Samsung has worked over the flagship device. Features like tracking the eyeball to scroll down the page, It is never easy to admit that your own software is hurting the sales and slowing down the flagship device, making it all the more important for the company to realize the harms rather than benefits offered by TouchWiz to the company and its customers. The device will ship with a handful of features like S voice, Milk and a couple of applications like Microsoft’s OneNote and OneDrive. The company says it has cut down over 50% of excess bloatware and made the software more streamlined for quick and better usage. The company has phased out icons and replaced them with text wherever possible.
5. Legacy Features
Samsung has long persisted with some of its legacy features like storage expansion and removable battery. While some might be disappointed with Samsung’s decision to drop them, the company clearly sees it to be an expendable feature of their flagship device and no longer offers people the ability to expand their storage or swap their batteries. This would probably see an end to Samsung’s description of iPhone owners as wall huggers or some primitive creatures who can’t expand the storage on their phone. Although the company does promise upto 50% of charge in half hour for the 2,550 mAh battery.
6. Wireless Charging and Pay
Samsung’s decision to acquire LoopPay has translated in Samsung Pay. It works on a principle similar to your debit/credit card. All you need to do is to hold the phone near the card reader and the Magnetic strip will do all the work required. Since retailers won’t have to upgrade thier technology, Samsung will have an added advantage over ApplePay where the retaielrs have to has a NFC reader. Along with wireless payment, Samsung has also introduced wireless charging by adding support ot WPC and PMA wireless charging technology. You can use Samsung’s own charging mat.
7. Fingerprint Sensor
Introducing an upgraded version of last year’s fingerprint sensor, this one is much improved and very similar to Apple’s TouchID. You no longer need to swipe your finger in a particualr manner to unlock the phone. Just place it over the button and let the phone work it’s magic.
Last year’s Galaxy S5 came with an IP67 certification, meaning it could hold it’s own under 1m of water FOR 30 minutes and could easily be used by consumers under extreme circumstances. Things like dropping it in the toilet wouldn’t have been an inssue for the phone. This year, Samsung decided getting an IP67 certification wasn’t worht the trade off in terms of design and comfort factor and thus, Samsung Galaxy S6 is no longer waterproof.
With the Galaxy S6, Samsung has made a solid and a concerted effort to win back its disgruntled fans and critics. Giving up it’s key differentiating features like removable batteries, storage expansion or water proof phones for design, class and style would have been hard choice for the company. Samsung’s year of introspection leads to a school of thought very close to Apple’s and has irked a lot of fans who feel the need of expandable storage or removable batteries, something that differentiated Samsung phones from others. Yet,this might be the most beautiful and stylish product made by Samsung in a very long time. We will have to wait to see if it will be enough to entice Android fans back to its fold, but will it be enough to convert some Apple fanboys? Some might say, this is a year too late for Samsung.