Update: Galaxy S6 specifications are officially announced. The release date for Galaxy S6 will be April 10, 2015 (see this post).
Most the specifications in this post are accurate except
- no SD card support
- battery is non-removable
- 16MP camera, instead of rumored 20MP
Samsung will announce the new Galaxy S6 on March 1.
Galaxy S6 is critical for Samsung in 2015. Nobody can deny it.
Will Galaxy S6 be the best Android phone in 2015?
Will Galaxy S6 help Samsung recover the lost market share in 2015?
We will soon get the answer after Galaxy S6 is announced and released.
But before that date, let’s explore the rumors on Galaxy S6 specifications.
Galaxy S6 specifications: what’s the version of Android?
Everyone knows Galaxy S6 will come with Android Lollipop 5.0.
There will be definitely no surprise on the OS and the version. Galaxy S6 will not be a Tizen phone, nor a Windows phone.
Galaxy S series always use Android. Samsung does not have the guts to change this in Galaxy S6. Of course, there is no reason for the change.
Galaxy S6 specifications: will Galaxy S6 use Snapdragon 810 processor or Exynos 7420 processor?
In the past, especially, in last two years, Samsung used Snapdragon processors on most flagship devices with 4G LTE.
This is mainly due to the obvious advantages of Qualcomm’s technology in LTE modem. Samsung does not have its own integrated LTE modem for Exynos processors.
But as Samsung is fighting not only against Apple, but also other Android device manufactures, e.g., HTC, LG, Sony, who are also using identical Qualcomm’s chips.
It is difficult for Samsung to offer some innovative features like Motorola’s touchless control (aka Moto Voice). Such features may require some customization for the processor. In the long run, Samsung has to use its own chips do provide some unique features.
And Samsung has the necessary capacity: its own Exynos chips.
In the 60+ products that will use Snapdragon 810, Galaxy S6 is not listed. It is not an error.
So, it is almost certain Galaxy S6 will use it is own 64 bit, 14nm, Exynos 7420 processor, probably with LTE modem provided by Qualcomm.
Bye-bye Snapdragon 810.
Galaxy S6 specifications: 2GB RAM, 3GB RAM or 4GB RAM?
Although Samsung started to manufacture 20nm 8Gb LPDDR4, Galaxy S6 will not use 8GB module for sure.
As a company striving to make profit, Samsung will probably offer 3GB RAM in Galaxy S6. Update: 3GB is confirmed in Galaxy S6 specs.
Although 64-bit Exynos 7420 SOC and 64-bit Android can benefit from RAM larger than 4GB, there is little incentive for manufactures to put more than 4GB RAM on a smartphone in 2015.
If Samsung trimmed TouchWiz significantly, 2GB RAM is also possible (like that in Galaxy S5), but less likely.
Galaxy S6 specifications: 20MP camera with OIS
Camera is one or the most used features in a smartphone today. Samsung will surely have to provide a better camera than that in Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 4.
Galaxy S5 offered a 16MP rear camera. Galaxy Note 4 offered OIS (optical image stabilization).
So, it is obvious, Galaxy S6 camera will have OIS and have more pixels. In the camera sensor market, 20MP is usually next to 16MP. Update: due to OIS feature, 20MP camera sensor is not an option yet. So, a 16MP camera with OIS is in Galaxy S6 specification sheet.
Will there be any special features of the Galaxy S6 camera? Surely, Samsung will bring some low-light features/improvements.
Galaxy S6 specifications: 32GB storage will be the base.
All Android manufactures are short-sighted in providing more storage. This is partially misled by Google’s cloud strategy.
The miserable storage in a flagship devices actually makes many new users believe Android is an cheaper alternative to iPhone.
Apple is smart enough to remove the 32GB option in iPhone 6 because most carriers will sell both 16GB and 64GB models.
But for Galaxy S6, most carriers and distributors will only sell one storage option: the base model (with the lowest storage).
If Samsung really cares about the market share, 32GB storage is a must. It seems 16GB storage is too stingy for a flagship device in 2015 and will surely hurt the sales of Galaxy S6.
Galaxy S6 specifications: will Galaxy S6 has SD card support?
Again, Google misled Android manufactures on SD card support.
But Samsung is consistent in expanded storage support: almost all Android devices support SD card.
This is important if you think about the users out of US. Expanded storage can be a deal maker when deciding the purchase in some regions.
The space constraint for a Micro SD card slot in phone design is totally nonsense.
It is almost certain, Galaxy S6 will
give not give you a Micro SD card slot unless Samsung is preparing a suicide. Update: Samsung is committing suicide! no SD card support in Galaxy S6!
Galaxy S6 specifications: will Galaxy S6 has a removable battery?
Removable battery is another deciding factor when purchasing a smartphone in most regions. Heavy users always welcome the removable battery.
Battery in smartphones has a lifespan of 1-4 years only depending on usage. Replacing a non-removable battery is not only expensive in all regions, but also inconvenient in most regions.
Luckily, Samsung is consistent in removable battery in almost all Android phones: a removable battery is always available.
Although there are some rumors on non-removable battery in Galaxy S5, I think Galaxy S6 will still bring you a
removable non-removable battery.
Update:due to unibody design, the back cover of Galaxy S6 is not removable (by customer). So, the battery in Galaxy S6 is not removable.
Galaxy S6 specifications: how bloated will Galaxy S6 be?
The most bloated Android phone is probably Galaxy S4. Actually Samsung started to lose momentum in smartphone market since Galaxy S4.
The TouchWiz in Galaxy S series phones did bring a lot of new features, improvements and customization of the stock Android.
But the kitchen-sink approach also made the TouchWiz the most bloated Android skin. It slows down, instead of speeds up, Android.
It also brings some features nobody cares. Most Galaxy phone owners probably never use some of the “innovations” at all.
Samsung is surely aware of this issue. In Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4, they tried to slim down the TouchWiz. But it is far from enough.
As suggested by rumors, Galaxy S6 will probably get a overhauled TouchWiz.
But how bloated will Galaxy S6 be?
Very likely, some non-essential features will be removed and offered as individual apps at least.
Anyway, do not expect stock Android.
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