With a Samsung Galaxy S6 launch date now rumored to be just a few short weeks away, we’re starting to see consumers weigh the idea of buying Samsung’s Next Big Thing. With those people in mind, we want to take an early look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 5s. Here, we examine the latest Galaxy S6 rumors and offer an early look at how the device could compare to Apple’s former flagship.
In the fall of 2013, Apple released a new iPhone flagship to replace the popular iPhone 5. That device was the iPhone 5s, a device that came with a similar design and a similar design but a host of other new and impressive features that convinced many consumers to upgrade.
Apple’s iPhone 5s no longer serves as the company’s flagship but it’s still sold on the Apple Store and through various carriers and retailers. It’s also still in the hands of millions of people, some of whom are looking to buy a new smartphone this year. There are a ton of options on the market right now but we’ve started to get a ton of questions about this year’s Galaxy S, a device that’s currently called Samsung Galaxy S6.
Over the past couple of weeks, Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors have begun to pick up, teasing consumers who are thinking about buying a new smartphone and those looking to either buy or replace a iPhone 5s. 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. iPhone 5s 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’ve gotten a ton of questions about the Samsung Galaxy S6 though maybe the most prominent one pertains to the still unconfirmed Galaxy S6 release date. Readers, friends and family (some of whom own the iPhone 5s) 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 first 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 Galaxy S6 release date might arrive.
If you look back at Samsung’s track record, you’ll notice that it historically has 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 May, June and July. Galaxy S6 release date rumors suggest that we’ll see the device land in the first half of the year with rumors pointing to an arrival in the first or second quarter. The latter appears to be more likely at this point. Here’s why this is all believable even though it’s just rumor at this point.
The first reason is that track record. Companies like Apple and Samsung stick to year cycles for their flagships so a release in the first or better yet, the second quarter makes a ton of sense. You’ve also got Galaxy S4 users coming off contract in April.
Second, the Galaxy S6 launch is mirroring 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. Even the timing of the first Galaxy S6 rumors align with the start of last year’s pickup.
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 asserts that as of right now, 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, it means that the Galaxy S6 release will probably arrive in March, April or May. Samsung usually gets its devices out just a few weeks after their announcement date.
What this also means is that if you’re trying to decide between buying the iPhone 5s or getting rid of it in favor of the Galaxy S6 , you still have some time to think about your options. Make good use of your time.
Apple’s always used a premium design with its iPhone. Even its plastic iPhone models were ahead of the curve. The iPhone 5s and its metal, glass and Touch ID fingerprint sensor still put the device ahead of most flagship Android’s including the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S5 uses a plastic form factor with a perforated back shell. It’s nice but it’s not iPhone nice.
Samsung’s started to inch closer to the iPhone’s design language though and this could be the year that Samsung finally puts a smartphone on the market that’s worthy of the iPhone’s design. Samsung always keeps its designs under lock and key but the few rumors that we have heard suggest that it could be a departure from the Galaxy S5.
Rumors suggest that the company’s Samsung Galaxy S6 is dubbed Project Zero behind the scenes and that it will be built from the ground up. It’s still not clear what that might mean though many suspect that the new design will include premium build materials. All signs point in that direction.
Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha arrived with a metal frame last year. So did the Galaxy Note 4. The company also released a Galaxy Note 4 with a curved display called the Galaxy Note Edge that incorporates a metal frame. One popular 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. We’ve seen other rumors agree with that information. Italian blog HDBlog.it claims that the new Samsung Galaxy S design will finally feature an aluminum chassis.
We haven’t seen the Galaxy S6 design leak out just yet and design rumors are extremely hard to buy into. That said, it’s clear that Samsung is trending toward a new design language so this could be the year that the Galaxy S finally is able to match the iPhone. Unfortunately, you might have to wait until the Galaxy S6 is announced to find out.
The iPhone 5s comes with a small, 4-inch Retina Display. The device is much smaller than most flagship smartphones including the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. The Retina Display is solid but Samsung’s new Quad HD panel is, considered by many, to be the best display available. DisplayMate, one of the leading voices in display technology, seems to think that it is. With that Quad HD display now on the Galaxy Note 4, there’s reason to believe that Samsung will deliver a similar screen, or better, on the Galaxy S6.
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. It’s a natural evolution and one that should put the iPhone 5s at a disadvantage in terms of quality. Size is another story though and this is where those of you trying to decide between the two are really going to have to hone in.
In addition to Quad HD, Samsung could be toying with increasing the screen size of the Galaxy S to 5.5-inches. Before you start to panic, note that this doesn’t mean there will necessarily be a huge bump to the overall size of the phone. LG’s 5.5-inch G3 is much smaller than the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4 thanks to its thin bezels. It’s also comparable to the 5.1-inch Galaxy S5. It will, however, likely be much larger than the 4-inch iPhone 5s. Most phones are. That’s something to keep in mind pre-launch.
As for the curved Galaxy S6 display we mentioned, 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 Edge will almost certainly be more expensive than the non-curved model. And for many consumers, it will be unnecessary. We suggest checking out the Galaxy Note Edge so that you get some idea about what to expect.
Apple’s iPhone specs never jump off the page but they consistently deliver one of the best all-around experiences money can buy. The iPhone 5s was once one of the best all-around smartphones on the market thanks to its specs and while it’s now older, it’s still a very powerful phone.
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, on paper, appear to have the Galaxy Note 3 beat, but until you’re able to compare them physically, it’s a tough comparison to make. Here’s what we know.
Galaxy S6 rumors point to the arrival of a Snapdragon 810 processor from Qualcomm. If true, the Galaxy S6 will feature one of the latest chips and one that is optimized with better graphics support, enhancements for battery life, and a whole lot more. Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip, found in the iPhone 5s, is powerful in its own right and it too delivers solid battery life, graphics and more.
Samsung Galaxy S6 camera rumors allege that Samsung is still 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 weighing both. 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.
Apple’s iPhone 5s comes with an 8MP iSight camera that was once the talk of the town. It’s getting older though and it has since been surpassed by the iPhone 6’s camera. It does not come with OIS technology.
We’ve also heard that Samsung will shift to a 32GB base model for the Galaxy S6 instead of a 16GB base like the Galaxy S5. The iPhone 5s is available in 16GB and 32GB through the Apple Store. If the Galaxy S6 comes with a 32GB base and microSD card, it will provide a lot more storage to its users. Something you app and file hoarders need to be aware of.
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, possibly Android 5.0.1 or Android 5.0.2 Lollipop.
Samsung Galaxy S6 software rumors also suggest that the Galaxy S6 could come with a trimmed down version of TouchWiz that’s closer to the software found on the Nexus 6.
The iPhone 5s does not run Android. It runs iOS 8, Apple’s latest piece of software. Android and iOS do share some things in common but the look and feel of Android 5.0 and iOS 8 is vastly different. You’ll need to investigate both before coming to a decision. Software is a very personal thing.
As far as software support goes, well, the iPhone 5s could potentially match the Galaxy S6, even though it’s a year older. Apple tends to keep its devices updated for three years. The iPhone 5s is only a year old. Samsung on the other hand tends to keep devices updated for 24 months before kicking them to the curb. Plans could change but these phones could wind up matching each other in the support department. Something to think about going forward.
iPhone 5s is available on a number of carriers including the big five and a series of regional and pre-paid carriers. The Galaxy S6 is rumored for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon but smaller carriers remain out of the picture for now.
The Galaxy S usually comes to smaller regional and pre-paid carriers so there’s a chance it will match the iPhone 5s. That is uncertain at this point but we’d bet on it getting a widespread release in the United States.
With the arrival of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 5s has dropped to $99 for a 16GB model and $149 for the 32GB model. It’s a cheap option and it will almost certainly be cheaper than the Galaxy S6.
We haven’t heard anything yet but 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 rumored to be on the way, we could see Samsung shift the price of the Galaxy S6 to $199.99 and $299.99.
Whatever the case, a phone from 2015 will almost certainly be more expensive than a phone from 2014 so if you’re debating between the two, prepare to shell out more for the Galaxy S6.