My initial thoughts on the new Galaxy S6 smartphones

Don’t get too excited. This isn’t a review of the new Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones. That would be difficult since they haven’t been released yet. They have, however, been officially announced and the announcement is enough for me to make an initial judgment.

Samsung Galaxy S6 - Six Appeal

My first true thought when I heard about the new Galaxy S6 family of smartphones was, “Oh boy, they really ripped off Apple this time.” I’m talking about the stripping away of features that have always set the Galaxy line of phones apart from the iPhone. Specifically, the new Galaxy S6 smartphones have a metal (not plastic) casing (like the iPhone) which means the battery is permanently sealed and can no longer be replaced or swapped out (like the iPhone). Samsung also took away the external microSD card slot for expandable storage (like the iPhone).

I’m not done yet. Gone is the old “swipe your finger” fingerprint identification on the Galaxy S6 smartphones. It’s replaced with a “touch your finger on the home button” interface. Hmmmmmm, sound familiar anyone?

Okay, truth be told, I’m giddy with excitement over the new fingerprint sensor mainly because the current implementation is so bad that after multiple attempts of trying to use it, I finally gave up and went back to a passcode to secure my Galaxy S5.

Samsung also took away the waterproof-ness of the Galaxy phones. In other words, the Galaxy S6 is no longer waterproof. I can live with this one because it’s actually a bigger pain covering up the charging port with the little rubber plug thing every time you unplug the phone from the charger than it is to worry about deep-sixing my phone in water. Besides, on my Galaxy S5, the little rubber thing broke off after only a few months.

Are there any new features NOT like the iPhone?

So is there anything the new Galaxy S6 phones have the iPhone doesn’t? Thankfully, yes. The Galaxy S6 phones support wireless charging and sport a quick charge feature which is supposed to give you a 30 percent charge in about 30 minutes.

The Galaxy S6 smartphones also give you immediate access to the camera through a double tap of the home button. In theory, you will be able to go from the button press to photo ready in under one second.

Galaxy S6 gets edgy

You may have noticed throughout this article, I keep referring to the Galaxy S6 “family” of smartphones. That’s because the Galaxy S6 is being introduced in two flavors. The “normal” looking one referred to as simply the Galaxy S6, and the curved edge one, referred to as the Galaxy S6 Edge. The Edge version has a curved display on both sides of the phone. Besides looking cool (it really does add some eye candy to the traditional boring smartphone), it serves a functional purpose as well. It can be used to display notifications, display a clock at night or indicate who is calling by the color it glows. From what I have heard, the edge is not as sophisticated as the Note 4 Edge but I’m not sure if this will be addressable through a future software update to the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung Pay

And finally, why not? If Apple can have Apple Pay, then Samsung should get Samsung Pay. Yes, that’s actually what it’s called. In theory, Samsung Pay should actually have the advantage because it will also work with magnetic stripe based credit card readers thanks to Samsung’s acquisition of LoopPay.

Not much more I can tell you about this. We’ll have to see how it works after the phones are officially released.

Will I buy it?

So will I upgrade my Galaxy S5 to the new Galaxy S6 or the Galaxy S6 Edge when it is released in April? Probably, but mostly because I’m a techie smartphone junkie. That, and I really can’t stand the S5’s fingerprint sensor. The only decision I’m struggling with is whether to get the Galaxy S6 or the Galaxy S6 Edge. Right now I’m leaning toward the Galaxy S6 Edge just because I like to be different.