It’s premium Galaxy S6 time! We were on the ground in Barcelona to hear about the new S6 and S6 Edge (as well as the new Gear VR). Check out the news as it happened.
And we’re seated! Looking forward to seeing what we find with these new Galaxy devices.
All the media have orange glow sticks on their wrists. It’s like a rave with fewer drugs. Wait does anyone have any drugs? Imagine how great this would be with drugs.
4:31 And we’re underway with the event, being hailed by a Samsung marketing exec as “the biggest launch even in Samsung’s history”.
JK Shin, President and CEO of Samsung is here to introduce the product. “No more internet rumours,” he says. Stop leaking it, JK and we’ll stop writing it, mate.
JK Shin says that he may not be the best public speaker, because his first language is Engineering. Sigh x 1000.
JK Shin admits that they’ve noticed the market is pretty crowded, and there have been some missteps.
4:36 Here it comes, complete with the War of the Worlds-style, Inception-like BWAAAM sound.
4:37 Here they are: the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
Good news: no more plastic! Hurray!
Here are the specs: Galaxy S6: 5.1-inch SuperAMOLED display (577ppi) Samsung octa-core Exynos processor 3GB RAM 16mp rear-facing camera with OIS, 5mp front-facing camera LTE Category 6 support 32/64/128GB storage variants 802.11a/b/g/n/ac MIMO 620Mbps Bluetooth 4.1 LE 138 grams 2550mAh
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: 5.1-inch SuperAMOLED display (577ppi) Samsung octa-core Exynos processor 3GB RAM 16mp rear-facing camera with OIS, 5mp front-facing camera LTE Category 6 support 32/64/128GB storage variants 802.11a/b/g/n/ac MIMO 620Mbps Bluetooth 4.1 LE 132 grams 2600mAh
We’re taking a look at the design now, which Samsung says it went “back to the drawing board” on after the last model.
At least we were talking about it. It’s sort of just become a montage of dancing phones to music right now. Which is a little weird.
4:44 “This is the first dual-curved smartphone in the world.”
The glass is heated up to 800 degrees to curve it, which Samsung reckons was pretty hard to do.
“Your friends will think it’s verrrry cool,” promises the Samsung speaker. Hear that nerds? You’ll be cool.
The metal is 50 per cent stronger in the S6 Edge, and “we’re sure this stuff will not bend,” Samsung says. GET IT GUYS. Because that other one did.
4:48 Want to know something great? All of Samsung’s deep-dives into the features have been delivered by women so far. High five, you lot.
Back to the snark.
Samsung says that it has ditched its own notification panes and menus in favour of simpler menus. Essentially, it’s taking out the TouchWiz and bringing Android 5.0 Lollipop-style.
The Edge will illuminate when it’s faced down and someone calls, and the colour that illuminates is the one you pre-selected for your five favourite contacts.
4:52 With a super-cool fistbump, the speakers on stage switch out and now we’re talking about performance.
The 14nm architecture is faster than the 20nm processor architecture on the Note 4. LPDDR4 RAM has been used over DDR3, so that’s quicker, and SSD and eMMC memory is fused together to make it flash storage faster on the S6
It’s also packing 77 per cent more pixels than the S5.
The battery also reportedly charges faster than any in the industry according to Samsung. It takes 10 minutes to get enough charge for 4 hours of every day use, which is actually pretty impressive.
The battery is also integrated into the unit now, but wireless charging is also built in. So there’s that.
4:59 Onto the camera.
The front-facing camera is packing a brighter f/1.9 lens and a new low-light shot feature which come together to give you better low light shots.
The rear-facing camera is 16-megapixels, complete with an f/1.9 lens and OIS. There’s also a side-by-side photo and video shot on the iPhone 6 Plus, and the S6 certainly looks great in comparison. Instant shade thrown.
We’ll test that in our review, don’t worry.
The S6 camera is reportedly always on stand-by, which means a double-click of the home button gives you the first shot in less than 0.7 seconds.
There’s also a fast-tracking AF to follow your subjects around.
We’re moving onto Samsung Pay: a new feature which lets you buy stuff at stores. You can now use your phone to pay anywhere that accepts credit, debit and NFC cards by combining NFC with the use of MST. MST lets you use mobile payments on terminals that only support MagStripe. You authenticate a payment with your thumbprint then hold your phone next to the MagStripe and it authenticates and pays for it for you.
Something about that feels fishy, and certainly feels like it won’t work in Australia given our reliance on tap-and-pay and our move away from the use of MagStripe. We’ll follow up on that.
Enterprise time. Have a nap. The punchline is that it’s secure and stuff.
It becomes available on April 10 “globally”, and comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models.
And that’s all she wrote, folks. Thanks for joining us for this live blog in Barcelona!