Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy S4: What We Know So Far

With Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors starting to emerge at a furious pace and a Galaxy S6 launch date now rumored to be just weeks away, we’re starting to see consumers weigh the idea of waiting for the Next Big Thing to arrive. With those people in mind, we want to take an early look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4. Here, we examine the latest Galaxy S6 rumors and offer an early look at how the device could compare to the Galaxy S4.

In March of 2013, Samsung took to the stage in New York City to announce a brand new flagship Galaxy S to replace the immensely popular Samsung Galaxy S3. That device was the Samsung Galaxy S4, an overhauled Galaxy S smartphone and a device that teamed up with the Galaxy Note 3 to face the iPhone and the increased competition from Android manufacturers.


Samsung is well known for replacing its flagships every year and this year should be no different. With many Samsung Galaxy S4 users set to come off of their two-year contracts in April, it’s looking like they will be greeted with a brand new Samsung Galaxy S, a device that we’re currently calling the Samsung Galaxy S6.


Right on cue, Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have emerged, teasing consumers who are thinking about buying a new smartphone and more specifically, those looking to either buy or replace a Galaxy S4. In response to these rumors, we’ve received a number of questions from curious consumers who are trying to decide what they want to do about the Galaxy S6.


The Samsung Galaxy S6 is shrouded in mystery and we cannot profess to have all of the details. What we do have though are a number of credible Galaxy S6 rumors and years and years of experience. While we can’t offer a full Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy S4 comparison just yet, we can help set the stage for those debating between the two devices. Here’s what you need to know right now.


Samsung Galaxy S6 Release Date

We continue to get bombarded with a series of questions about the Samsung Galaxy S6. The most prominent question is about the unannounced Galaxy S6 release date. Readers, friends and family want to know if the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date is worth waiting for and how far away it is. We can’t answer that question for all of you, each situation is a little bit different, but what we can tell you is that we have some idea about when the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date might arrive.

Samsung has typically used the first half of the year to release its Galaxy S smartphone. The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 both arrived in April while the Galaxy S3 release was spread out over the months of May, June and July. Galaxy S6 release date rumors suggest that we’ll see the Galaxy S6 in the first half of the year, perhaps as soon as the first quarter. Galaxy S6 release date rumors have also hinted at the second quarter. Here’s why this is believable.

Galaxy S6  design concept.

Galaxy S6 design concept.

First off, Samsung’s track record. The company tends to stick to a year cycle for its flagships and this window fits the profile. Second, we’re seeing the Galaxy S6 launch mirror Samsung’s previous Galaxy S launches. Last year, Samsung was rumored to have shown off the Galaxy S5 behind closed doors at CES to select partners. This year, the Galaxy S6 was rumored to be at CES 2015.


It also helps that the few rumors we do have all put to a launch in the coming weeks. A new report from Business Insider suggests that for the moment, Samsung is planning a Galaxy S6 launch at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. MWC 2015 kicks off on March 2nd which puts a Galaxy S6 launch date just a few weeks out.

If this is true, and it certainly could be, it means that the Galaxy S6 release will probably arrive in late March or April. Samsung usually gets its devices out just a few weeks after their announcement. So, if you’re trying to decide between the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S6 or if you’re thinking about upgrading from the Galaxy S4 to the Galaxy S6, you probably have a few weeks to go.


We’ve seen a number of credible Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors emerge in recent weeks though very few of them have been related to design. Not that this comes as much of a surprise. Samsung always keeps a tight grip on design leaks. We’ve already seen several Galaxy S6 design rumors fail to pan out and we expect that trend to continue in the weeks ahead as Samsung keeps a tight ring of security around its new product.


The few credible Galaxy S6 design rumors we do have suggest that the company’s Galaxy S6 is dubbed Project Zero and that it will be built from the ground up. In other words, it’s expected to be a departure from the Samsung Galaxy S5. It’s still not clear what that might mean though many suspect that the new design will include premium build materials.


Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha arrived with a metal frame last year. So did the Galaxy Note 4. Samsung also released a Galaxy Note 4 with a curved display called the Galaxy Note Edge. The theory is that the company used these devices as a dry run for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and its design. Business Insider believes that Samsung will introduce a Galaxy S6 design that features metal and one that features a curved display like the Galaxy Note Edge. Other rumors agree.

Metal Galaxy S6 concept.

Metal Galaxy S6 concept.

Italian blog claims that the Samsung Galaxy S6 design will feature an aluminum chassis so it’s possible that this year will finally be the year that Samsung makes the move to a premium design that can compete with the iPhone.

This would obviously be a big departure from the glossy polycarbonate Galaxy S4. We also expect Samsung to include other bells and whistles that the Galaxy S4 doesn’t have. Features like a fingerprint sensor of some kind. Samsung always offers improvements and now that we’re two years removed from the Galaxy S4 release, we expect there to be a large gap between the two designs.


Just remember, while we will probably hear rumors, the Galaxy S6 design probably won’t leak out in full and there’s a good chance that we see the final design until it shows it off on stage.


The Galaxy S4’s 5.1-inch Full HD display was one of the display’s from 2013. 2013 was two years ago and screen technology has come a long way since then. So you’re more than likely going to be dealing with a Samsung Galaxy S6 that blows the Galaxy S4’s out of the water. There’s a chance it will blow the Galaxy S5 display, a display that’s better than the Galaxy S4’s, out of the water as well.

With the arrival of the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung made a change to Quad HD resolution, 1440 x 2650 for those taking notes at home. The screen is considered, by many, to be one of the best smartphone displays on the market. We agree. It’s simply stunning and it’s perfect for reading, playing games, watching content, and more.

With the Galaxy Note 4 making the jump to Quad HD resolution, we expected Galaxy S6 rumors to point to the addition of a Quad HD display and that’s exactly what we’re seeing, at least thus far. Alleged Samsung Galaxy S6 benchmarks have pointed to a jump in resolution and credible rumors suggest that the next Galaxy S will make the jump up to Quad HD.

Galaxy-S4-Best-Cheap-Phone-June 2014

If true, the display will put the Samsung Galaxy S4’s Full HD resolution to shame and put itself on the same pedestal as the Galaxy Note 4’s display. If not a little higher. Again, Samsung is always improving and tweaking its technology so we could see the Galaxy S6 become its best yet.

Galaxy S6 rumors also suggest that we could see a bump in screen size to 5.5-inches, same as the LG G3. Before you start to panic, know that this doesn’t mean there will necessarily be a huge bump in the overall size of the phone. LG’s G3 isn’t a whole lot bigger than the Galaxy S4 thanks to its thin bezels. It’s also smaller than the Galaxy Note 4.

As for the curved display, well, rumors continue to point in that direction though we’re still not sure if it will come with one curved edge like the Galaxy Note Edge or two. If Samsung does go this route, the curved Galaxy S6 will almost certainly be more expensive than the non-curved model. And for many consumers, it will be completely unnecessary.


Samsung’s well known for upgrading the internal specifications on its Galaxy S year after year so it’s not surprising to learn that the company is working on a collection of upgrades for this year’s Galaxy S6. These specifications will almost certainly blow the Galaxy S4 hardware out of the water. That’s just how the release cycle works.

Current Galaxy S6 rumors point to the arrival of a Snapdragon 810 processor from Qualcomm. The Galaxy S4 features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 chip. If true, there will be a noticeable difference in performance because the Snapdragon 810 is optimized with better graphics support, enhancements for battery life, and a whole lot more. The Snapdragon 600 is still solid but it’s old.

Galaxy S6 camera rumors allege that Samsung is trying to decide between a 16MP camera and a 20MP camera. The two alleged Galaxy S6 benchmarks that we’ve seen include both sensors so it appears that the company is still trying to come to a final decision. A recent leak suggests that Optical Image Stabilization, a feature found on the Galaxy Note 4, will be on board this year’s Galaxy S model. The front facing camera will also supposedly be a 5MP sensor. No surprise here.


Samsung’s new camera technology will almost certainly have a leg up on the tech found on the Galaxy S4 and so it will be up to you to decide if that’s a feature worth waiting for.

We’ve also heard that Samsung will shift to a 32GB base model for the Galaxy S6 instead of a 16GB base. In the U.S., the Galaxy S4 comes in 16GB form on all carriers and 32GB on AT&T and Verizon. A move to a 32GB base, plus a microSD card slot, would be a huge for prospective Galaxy S buyers. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t offer exclusives.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 currently runs an outdated version of the Android operating system, Android 4.4 KitKat, but it will be getting the bump up to Android 5.0 Lollipop in early 2015. A specific release date is unknown though we suspect that it will take place sometime in the next couple of months. This will be a huge update for the Galaxy S4 though it could be its last.

Samsung typically keeps devices updated for two years before kicking them to the curb. What this means is that the Galaxy S6, a device that should come stock with Android 5.0 Lollipop, will likely be supported for much longer than the Galaxy S4. This alone might be enough to persuade many of you to wait for the Galaxy S6 to arrive before buying into an almost two year old phone.


We still don’t know exactly what will be on board the Galaxy S6 though we imagine that it will be Android 5.0 Lollipop or another version of Android 5.0, possibly Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. That’s not what’s important here though. What’s important is that it will have lengthier support and that it will also come with new software tweaks, some that the Galaxy S4 probably won’t get.

Samsung is always tweaking its TouchWiz UI and it typically debuts new features on new devices. The Galaxy S6 will get the whole feature set while the Galaxy S4 will be lucky if it’s able to pluck a few of those features from it down the road.


Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is available on a number of U.S. carriers including all of the big boys. Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors point to the usual array of U.S. carriers including AT&T and Verizon.

We also expect the Galaxy S6 to come to the usual array of smaller, regional carriers in an effort to match the iPhone 6. Thus far, we’ve only seen major carriers rumored but smaller carriers typically aren’t outed until after the launch date arrives.


The Galaxy S4 is now dirt cheap thanks to its age. Those of you trying to decide between it, and the Galaxy S6, will almost certainly encounter a big price difference between the two.


The Samsung Galaxy S usually checks in at the $199.99 on-contract mark so that it can compete with the iPhone. With two Galaxy S6 variants seemingly on the way, we could see Samsung shift the price to $199.99 and $299.99 price points.

Whatever the case, the Galaxy S6, a device from 2015, will be more expensive than the Galaxy S4, a device from 2013. Keep that in mind as we inch closer to the Galaxy S6’s arrival.