Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy S4: 10 Things to Expect

With many Samsung Galaxy S4 users set to come off contract in April and a Samsung Galaxy S6 launch date just weeks away, some Galaxy S4 users are weighing the idea of upgrading to Samsung’s Next Big Thing. Today, we want to relay our own Galaxy S6 expectations and here we’ll examine what we expect from the Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy S4.

Nearly two years ago, Samsung took the stage in New York City at Radio Music Hall to announce its fourth-generation Galaxy S smartphone. That phone? The Samsung Galaxy S4, a replacement for the wildly popular Galaxy S3 and a device that Samsung hoped would help it sustain its mobile growing mobile business.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 wasn’t the big success that the company had hoped for but it was still bought millions of times over around the world. Many of those Galaxy S4 users signed two year agreements with their carriers.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 turns two in April which means that many Galaxy S4 owners are going to be coming off contract in just a few short weeks. Some users we’ve spoken to have already opted to hold onto the Galaxy S4 but others are looking at making a move to something else. The all new Samsung Galaxy S6, perhaps.


Rumors continue to assert that Samsung is planning a Galaxy S5 successor for 2015 and those rumors suggest that that successor will be coming soon. Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors continue to emerge and more importantly, they continue to firm up ahead of Samsung’s big day.


In the past month, we’ve seen alleged Samsung Galaxy S6 specs, Galaxy S6 design details, Galaxy S6 launch date details, and Galaxy S6 release date details flow ahead of Samsung’s Unpacked event on March 1st. We’ve started to get a ton of questions about the Samsung Galaxy S6. Many people want to know how it will compare to the top smartphones on the market.

We still can’t answer those questions with 100 percent certainty, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is still a rumored smartphone, but there is enough information, enough evidence out there, to start putting together some early expectations. Today, we want to offer our own set of expectations to those comparing the Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy S4.

This early look at the Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy S4 will take you through 10 things we expect from this internal battle. It covers specs, yes, but it will also take a look at some of the finer details that will become important once the Samsung Galaxy S6 arrives later this year. We expect the Galaxy S6 release date to arrive sometime between March and May though that remains unconfirmed.

Improved Display

When the Samsung Galaxy S4 arrived on the scene back in 2013, it was boasting one of the top 5-inch smartphone displays on the market. Now, it’s showing its age in a market that’s starting to shift to Quad HD (2K) displays. The Samsung Galaxy S6 display will almost certainly put it to shame.


This could be the new Galaxy S6.

This could be the new Galaxy S6.

Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors, literally every single Galaxy S6 display rumor that we’ve seen, points to the arrival of Quad HD resolution. Quad HD resolution is found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and that makes it likely for this year’s flagship device. 2K resolution isn’t just some gimmick. It actually offers tangible improvements over Full HD resolution. If you don’t believe us, read our Galaxy Note 4 and LG G3 reviews. You can also take a look at DisplayMate’s Galaxy Note 4 display review.

We’re still not sure about the screen size though from the various design leaks that we’ve seen, we’re thinking that we’ll probably see a display that’s closer to 5-inches rather than 5.5-inches. The 5.5-inch rumors never sat too well with us mainly because it would put the Samsung Galaxy S extremely close to the Galaxy Note’s screen size. The Galaxy Note 4’s display is 5.7-inches. Besides the S Pen and some of the software features, the larger screen is the biggest difference between the two.

Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 arrived with a few different variants. A Galaxy S4 Active for those that take their device into rugged environments. A Galaxy S4 zoom for photographers. And a Galaxy S4 mini for people that wanted a smaller, lesser-spec’d version of the flagship. None of these devices were really all that inspiring and all of them saw limited releases in the U.S. We expect something different from the Galaxy S6 and all signs point to a crazy display.

While Samsung may opt to release an Active model and a smaller version of the Galaxy S6, we expect there to be a far more intriguing variant this time around. Rumors point to the arrival of a Galaxy S6 Edge, a device that could be similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. For those that don’t know, the Galaxy Note Edge is a Galaxy Note 4 variant that offers a curved display. The display wraps over the right side of the device offering a unique toolbar and enhanced viewing angles.


Count on a Galaxy S6 edge with a curved display lie the Note Edge shown here.

Count on a Galaxy S6 edge with a curved display lie the Note Edge shown here.

The Galaxy S6 Edge will reportedly be a little bit different than the Galaxy Note Edge. It’s expected to feature two curves, one on each side, that are significantly smaller than the curves on the Galaxy Note Edge. There’s a ton of smoke here and when there’s a ton of smoke, there is usually a ton of fire. We’re fully expecting Samsung to make use of this technology this year and offer an extremely intriguing, and perhaps, expensive version of the Galaxy S6.

Two intriguing options is certainly better than one for those looking to get rid of the Galaxy S4. In the world of smartphones, it’s all about choice.

Premium Design

One of the biggest Galaxy S4 disappointments, at least in our eyes, was the plastic design. Samsung’s polycarbonate, glossy plastic design wasn’t much of an upgrade over the Galaxy S3’s design and over the years, companies like Apple and HTC have really made the Galaxy S4 design look stale. It can no longer compete, not even against the current Galaxy S or Galaxy Note.


This year, we expect some big changes from Samsung. Every single Samsung Galaxy S6 design rumor points to the use of premium build materials. Either all-metal or a combination of glass and metal. We’ve heard rumors about a metal design in the past but it has never been this concrete ahead of launch. There’s always been uncertainty. This year, there isn’t any of that.

Note the metal design of the Note 4 that we expect to see show up on the Galaxy S6.

Note the metal design of the Note 4 that we expect to see show up on the Galaxy S6 in some fashion.

The Galaxy S6 design leaks that we’ve seen make the device look more like the iPhone 6 than the Galaxy S5. There’s no way of knowing if these design leaks are legit but they do seem credible. And logical. The Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Alpha both used metal in their design language and those appear to have been trial runs for this year’s flagship.

We expect the Samsung’s Galaxy S6 design to put the Galaxy S4’s design to shame. This should be the year that we finally see a flagship Samsung smartphone compete, from a design standpoint, with the big boys.

Fingerprint Sensor

The Galaxy S4 doesn’t come with a fingerprint sensor embedded in its home button. As many Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 users know, having access to a fingerprint sensor is quite convenient. It makes logging in and out of the smartphone a whole lot easier.

Expect an upgraded fingerprint reader on the Galaxy S6.

Expect an upgraded fingerprint reader on the Galaxy S6.

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 fingerprint sensor was swipe-based and that decision led to complaints and poor reviews. We expect Samsung to upgrade this feature with the Galaxy S6. Rumors point to a touch-based sensor rather than a swipe-based sensor and that could work wonders for the Samsung Galaxy S6’s home button and the company’s rumored Apple Pay competitor.

Lots of Storage

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 comes with a ton of storage space despite the fact that it only comes in 32GB form on two U.S. carriers. That’s due, in part, to the device’s microSD card slot. Those that use cloud storage have it even better.

We expect nothing less from the Galaxy S6, even if Samsung decides to jettison the microSD card slot. Galaxy S6 rumors point to 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models. That’s more than we’ve ever seen from a Galaxy S variant. There’s no way Samsung will skimp on storage space. Expect the Galaxy S6, a flagship, to offer comparable storage.

Large Battery

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 comes with a removable 2,600 mAh battery that provides solid battery life to its users. Those who need more can simply pop it out and replace it with an extended battery for more juice.


We’ve heard rumors that the Galaxy S6 might be non-removable. If true, that’s be a huge trade-off. Either way, we expect Samsung’s Galaxy S6 battery to be huge and for it to pair with the device’s processor and software features to deliver excellent battery life. We’ve seen all sorts of numbers being thrown around 2,500 mAh, 3,000 mAh, and others. We’d expect it to be in around 3,000 mAh.

You can’t release a flagship smartphone in 2015 with terrible battery life. There’s too much competition. And there’s too much on the line for Samsung’s mobile division this year.

Better Camera

No-brainer. Flagship devices from 2015 will all come with better cameras than flagship devices released in 2013. Each and every year, Samsung improves its camera sensor and its fantastic camera application. This year, we’re expecting Samsung to make another jump.

Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors point to a larger sensor, either 16MP or 20MP, with Optical Image Stabilization. OIS is found on the Galaxy Note 4 and so we’d expect Samsung to outfit this year’s flagship with the same feature. We wouldn’t be too worried about the camera.

Different Software

Samsung also makes yearly improvements to its TouchWiz software and we expect the same from the Galaxy S6. Galaxy S6 rumors suggest that Samsung will be stripping down TouchWiz to make it more efficient. This makes sense given that we started to see this shift with the arrival of the Galaxy S5. The software is still a bit bloated so we’d expect to see some trimming this year. Rumors suggest that it will be close to Nexus but that seems a little extreme.


We also expect Samsung to tack on some exclusive software feature that it will use to help sell consumers on the idea of buying the Galaxy S6. We would expect the Galaxy S4 to get maybe a few of the Galaxy S6’s features but not them all. This is a two year old smartphone after all.

Both devices will wind up running Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google’s new software. The Galaxy S4 Lollipop update is rolling out and there’s no way the Galaxy S6 runs something different.

Similar Carriers

The Galaxy S6 is heavily rumored for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. We haven’t seen any smaller carriers rumored just yet but we rarely see smaller carriers rumored in the buildup to a massive smartphone launch. This would be huge for those of you that are thinking about becoming free agents in just a few short weeks.

Galaxy S6 Price

If you’re planning on upgrading, expect to shell out.

With a metal design and its new high-end features, we’d expect the regular Samsung Galaxy S6 to start at $199.99. Same as the Galaxy S4 when it first arrived, same as the iPhone 6. We can’t see a base Galaxy S6 model being sold for any more than $250 on-contract, not with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus breaking records.

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S3 vs Galaxy S4 - Cameras

We’d expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 to stick in and around $199.99 with a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge around the $299.99 mark as another competitor for the iPhone 6 Plus.