Samsung makes a few cracks at Apple’s expense, as it seeks to regain its dominance in the smartphone industry. Korean electronics maker Samsung announced its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge today in Barcelona, Spain. The phones are set to launch in tandem with Samsung’s new mobile payment service, Samsung Pay.
Samsung wasn’t afraid to shake up this year’s Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, which features a screen that curves around the side of the device. Both flagship devices use metal instead of plastic, include wireless charging and advanced camera technology, and feature Samsung’s new mobile payment feature. Altogether, the changes represent a major redesign from the company’s earlier devices.
Samsung also didn’t hesitate to mix it up with Apple. At one point in the presentation, it put up a side-by-side comparisons photo and video shot by an iPhone 6 Plus next to the Galaxy S6 at night; with the Samsung version of the photos winning out. Directly addressing a competitor in such a public venue is typically a move an underdog would pull to gain attention, underscoring that Samsung is feeling the heat of late.
The all metal and glass phones will come in 32, 64, and 128GB models and have a 577ppi display, which puts it just above the Galaxy S5 as far as pixel density is concerned. Powering the phone is a 14nm Octacore application processor running Android Lollipop. The phone features a 16MP rear and 5MP front-facing camera at f/1.9, which means it’s wide-open for low light capabilities.
“By listening to our customers, and learning from both our success and missteps, we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas”, said Samsung’s CEO and head of IT & mobile communications division JK Shin.
Two big changes to the S6 are that there’s no expandable memory support and the battery is non-removable for the first time. However, Samsung says this is fine as S6 charges significantly faster than the iPhone 6 and supports wireless charging.
The Galaxy S6 Edge offers a little less functionality. There are three functions: A night mode to display the clock, notifications to display missed text messages, calls and e-mails (but not Facebook and Twitter) and a mode that flashes a different color depending on which of five pre-selected contacts call you.
Both devices will be available in 20 countries from April 10. The S6 comes in white, black, gold and blue and the S6 Edge will be available in all those colors on top of an exclusive green.
Samsung’s new pay service,Samsung Pay, promises to be “compatible with more locations than any competing offering in a single application”, which is clearly a jab at Apple Pay, which was announced in the fall of 2014. Samsung Pay and the S6 and S6 edge will release on April 10.