In just a few short weeks, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will be joined by an all new Samsung Galaxy S6, a successor to the Galaxy S5. With rumors now in full bloom, some consumers are obviously starting to debate between the two Galaxy smartphones. With those people in mind, we want to relay our own Galaxy S6 expectations and today we’ll examine what we expect from the Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy Note 4.
Last summer, we started to hear a whole lot about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, a rumored successor to the Galaxy Note 3. Galaxy Note 4 rumors were rampant all the way up until Samsung took the stage in Berlin, Germany to announce the device. Shortly after the announcement, Samsung released the Galaxy Note 4 onto shelves and it quickly became one of Samsung’s top smartphone options next to the Galaxy S5.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is one of the best smartphones that money can buy. It’s a device that we recommend and one that comes highly recommended from many other publications. We just wouldn’t buy one right now. That’s because Samsung has a massive launch date planned for March 1st in Barcelona, Spain where we’ll likely see the arrival of the next Galaxy S, the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have been swirling for a number of weeks now. And as we’ve started to approach March 1st, the Galaxy S6 rumor cycle has started to mature to the point that we now have a pretty good read on what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date, Galaxy S6 specifications and the Galaxy S6 design.
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 for those comparing the Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy Note 4.
This early look at the Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy Note 4 will take you through 10 things we expect from this internal battle. It covers specs 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.
Galaxy S6 Release Date Soon
Going hands-on with smartphones before you buy them is a good idea. Blindly buying your next smartphone from behind a computer screen is not. You need to go hands-on with these devices before you decide on one, or the other, or neither, and we expect you to be able to do that a lot sooner than you think.
Samsung Galaxy S6 release date rumors suggest that the device will arrive a little bit earlier this year. The latest intel points to an arrival in and around March 22nd. A specific date hasn’t been rumored just yet but it’s looking like we’ll see the start of the Galaxy S6 release take place in late March, a little earlier than last year’s Galaxy S5 release in April.
Now, we expect there to be some kind of way to go hands-on with the Galaxy S6 ahead of its release. With the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung put the device into Best Buy stores ahead of launch. We could definitely see the company getting the Galaxy S6 into stores ahead of the release so that consumers can compare it to top rivals like the Galaxy Note 4.
Either way, we expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 release to take place shortly after the announcement date. We would not expect it to be months out in the distance.
We expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 displays to share at least one thing in common. We also expect them to be different. Here’s what we mean.
Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors are all pointing to a 5.1-inch display on board the Next Big Thing. If true, and we think that it probably is, the Galaxy S6 should feature the smaller display and smaller size. That’s important because the Galaxy Note 4 and its 5.7-inch display leave a huge footprint behind. The big screen, and the Galaxy Note 4’s S Pen, should remain unique.
Galaxy S6 rumors also continue to hint at a Quad HD display. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 also uses 2K resolution so we’re expecting the Galaxy S6 to at least match the quality found on Samsung’s current Galaxy Note. We could see the company make some tweaks to its display panel but we wouldn’t expect the resolution to be any different.
Galaxy Note Edge Competitor
We also are expecting Samsung to release a Galaxy Note Edge (a variant of the Galaxy Note 4) competitor with a curved display. Rumors have consistently hinted at the arrival of a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge with two bent edges. The Galaxy Note Edge only uses one. There’s a ton of smoke here and when there’s a ton of smoke there’s usually fire and we’re expecting the two-pronged approach this year from the Galaxy S.
One other thing to note. The Galaxy S6 release date leaks seem to hint at two separate release dates. If that is the case, and it makes sense given the company’s staggered Galaxy Note 4 release, we’d expect the Galaxy S6 Edge to come second.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 appears to have set the stage for the Galaxy S6. Instead of a full on plastic design, the Galaxy Note 4 arrived with a form factor that sports both plastic and metal. To us, the inclusion of metal in the device’s design language hinted at future designs like the one coming with the Samsung Galaxy S6. Unsurprisingly, it’s looking like that’s exactly what we’re going to see.
Samsung Galaxy S6 design rumor after Samsung Galaxy S6 design rumor all point to the same exact thing. A shift from the usual plastic designs to a new all-metal design that’s in line with the iPhone 6.
If true, and we expect that it is given the amount of rumors we’ve seen, the Galaxy S6 design will be different than the Galaxy Note 4’s. Now just because it’s all metal doesn’t mean that it’s going to be better but those hoping for something other than plastic will likely get their wish in 2015.
We’ve put together a Samsung Galaxy S6 concept, based on recent Galaxy S6 rumors, that shows what the device could look like when it arrives. We’ve also seen a number of other leaks, many of them from accessory makers, hint at what the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge designs could look like. We’re expecting a Galaxy S6 form factor that’s smaller than the Galaxy Note 4 and made out of metal.
We should see some similarities (sensors, home button) but we’ll see some differences as well (non-removable battery).
Improved Fingerprint Sensor
The Galaxy Note 4 comes with a fingerprint sensor embedded in its home button. It’s swipe-based, just like the Samsung Galaxy S5’s. We’ve found that the Galaxy Note 4 fingerprint sensor is a little better than the Galaxy S5’s but there is still room for improvement. We expect Samsung to improve the fingerprint sensor with the Galaxy S6 release.
Specifically, we expect Samsung to upgrade the with a touch-based sensor that’s similar to the Touch ID sensor found inside the iPhone 6’s home button. Touch ID is far more accurate than the Galaxy Note 4’s fingerprint sensor and the improvement would set the feature up nicely with Samsung’s rumored Apple Pay competitor.
Over the years, we’ve seen Samsung make marginal improvements to the Galaxy S camera. This year, the company is promising some big changes. Rumors suggest that those changes will include a new sensor, possibly a 16MP or 20MP, Optical Image Stabilization, and a 5MP camera in the front.
The Galaxy S6’s new camera module should deliver better photos in low light and the switch to a larger sensor on the front should come with support for wider angles, something that will benefit those that love taking selfies.
We expect a big step forward from the Galaxy S5 though we’d be surprised if the Galaxy S6’s rear camera completely blew the Galaxy Note 4’s out of the water. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 features a powerful 16MP camera sensor that comes with Optical Image Stabilization. As we noted in our review, it shoots excellent photos and video.
Samsung’s promoting its Galaxy S camera like never before with blog posts and teasers so we definitely expect to see some improvements. OIS and better low light photos appear to be the front-runners at this point.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes with a unique set of software features thanks to its S Pen stylus. It also comes with some excellent multi-tasking features that take full advantage of its massive display. While we do expect the Galaxy S6 to come with similar multitasking features, it probably won’t feature an S Pen stylus. That’s one key difference.
Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors also point to a toned down version of TouchWiz. Samsung began stripping down its user interface with the Galaxy S5 but we expect it to take it to another level with the Galaxy S6. From what we’re hearing, it looks like the device could be void of pre-loaded Samsung applications. It’s also expected to deliver some other changes including more themes, changes to the default keyboard and more.
We expect the Samsung Galaxy S6’s version of Android 5.0 Lollipop to differ from the Galaxy Note 4’s and for it to include unique features that help set it apart from the rest of Samsung’s lineup. We expect Samsung to tout some of these features in an effort to sell upgraders and buyers on its new and improved Galaxy S.
Lots of Storage
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 features 32GB of internal storage plus a microSD card slot that can hold up to 128GB microSD cards. Throw in cloud storage and you get a device that offers a ton of storage for photos, videos, apps, and more.
It’s not clear if the Samsung Galaxy S6 will come with a microSD card slot but even if it doesn’t, we expect it to offer a ton of storage. 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models are rumored for arrival. If it doesn’t have a microSD card slot, we’d expect carriers to offer at least a few different options to make up for that loss. If it does have one, we’d expect the 32GB model at the very least.
Speaking of carriers, we expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 to emerge for more carriers in the U.S.
The Galaxy Note 4 is stuck on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Traditionally, the Galaxy S has emerged on those five in addition to smaller regional and pre-paid carriers. We’ve seen all five major carriers rumored for the Galaxy S6 and we’d expect to see a few more added to the list once the Galaxy S6 arrives.
This is a phone that must compete with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and both of those devices are available on tons of carriers inside the United States and around the world.
Galaxy S6 Price
Finally, we expect the Galaxy S6 to be a little cheaper than the Galaxy Note 4, the regular model at least. Historically, the Galaxy S has been priced at $199.99 on-contract, same as the iPhone. We’d expect the regular Galaxy S6 to be priced in and around that price point at most U.S. carriers with the Galaxy S6 Edge commanding $100 more.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is currently priced at $299.99 while the Galaxy Note Edge costs $399.99 on-contract. We expect the Galaxy Note 4 price to taper off in the weeks after the Galaxy S6 launch though we would not expect to see massive discounts at U.S. carriers. That probably won’t happen until we get close to the Galaxy Note 5 release.