With Apple having launched its iPhone 6 to much critical acclaim and consumer commotion, the ball is now back in Samsung court. The Korean manufacturer is set to release the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge next month, but the more obvious rival to the iPhone range is the Galaxy S series. The Galaxy S5 was released in April of this year to no small fanfare, and Samsung will already be making plans for its successor, which we can expect to see probably around the same time in 2015.
The Galaxy S series really represents a flagship smartphone for Samsung. While the Korean consumer electronics giant has opted for a more diversified mobile range than its great rival Apple, the Galaxy S is the most recognizable mobile product that it produces. Certainly it is the biggest seller, being edged out by the Apple iPhone 5s as the biggest selling smartphone of the last 12 months.
While Samsung has established a market position which is the envy of most of its competitors, the hierarchy of the company has nonetheless signaled its intention to overtake Apple at the very pinnacle of the mobile marketplace in the near future. This has not quite been achieved yet, and additionally Apple continues to carry a cachet which no other consumer electronics manufacturer can come close to matching. Despite this, the prospects for Samsung are not exactly gloomy. The Brand Directory rates Samsung as the second most valuable brand on the planet, exceeding google and second only to Apple.
One of the interesting aspects of the Galaxy S series is that it has been Samsung’s most successful mobile device, yet the company continues to be inherently associated with phablets. Apple has, of course, just entered the phablet market for the first time with the iPhone 6 Plus, which can be considered something of a moral victory for Samsung. After staking a lot of resources and reputation on this category of device for sometime, Apple’s decision to produce a phablet indicates it considers the concept to be a particularly relevant revenue stream.
Nonetheless, Samsung will be placing great expectations on the next Galaxy S release and so it will have to pull out all of the stops in order to deliver something of suitable quality. Already a few rumors and murmurings are appearing with regard to what we can expect from the Galaxy S6, so this article will scrutinize the latest news surrounding this critical smartphone release for Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S6
The biggest rumor related to the Galaxy S6 will center around the display. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, Samsung has particularly made its name as a producer of high-quality screens both in the mobile sphere and also through its range of television sets. And secondly, because of this Samsung has always tried to touch upon new ground with its mobile releases.
With this in mind, there are already rumours are circulating that the Galaxy S6 will be the first mainstream 4K device, sporting a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution screen which will continue the trend of Samsung promoting its super AMOLED displays which have been so successful both critically and commercially. (Technically this resolution isn’t actually 4K, because, as the name would suggest, 4K resolution must be over 4,000 pixels in the horizontal direction. However, the 3,840 x 2,160 resolution has become regarded as an industry 4K standard).
It will certainly be a challenge for Samsung to produce such a device, and ensure that it runs smoothly, is affordable for the mass market, and yet delivers the sort of image quality which the Korean manufacturer will yearn for. But Samsung has implied that such a resolution would be included in mobile devices in the past, and it seems merely a matter of time before this prognosis comes to fruition.
This will be another extremely hot potato for the next few months, until Samsung confirms details of the Galaxy S6 explicitly. Samsung at first broke the concept of the curved screen with its range of ultra high-spec televisions, and given that it has chosen to release a Galaxy Note Edge device, whether this will be the first fully curved screen smartphone from Samsung will be a source of speculation for quite some time.
Samsung itself has played a part in this process by making public statements which indicate that it intends to include such screens in its mobile devices at some point. However, the odds are probably against such an occurrence in the Galaxy S6 given the relatively small timescale involved. But rest assured that Samsung will be working on this slavishly in private.
Samsung has made a big deal of the photographic capabilities of its recent mobile devices, and thus one would expect the same approach to the Galaxy S6. The snapper in the Galaxy S6 will be at least a 16-megapixel one, but it is possible that Samsung will really attempt to excel in this department and fit the device with a 20-megapixel camera.
Considering the very high spec that Samsung evidently intends to arm the Galaxy S6 with, it will certainly need a nifty processor in order to remain user-friendly. Early rumors indicate that the Galaxy S6 will have a 64-bit processor, which is highly likely to be produced by Qualcomm in common with earlier Galaxy S devices. Qualcomm has reportedly announced and scheduled new processors for an early 2015 release, and this would fit in quite neatly with the presumed schedule of production for the Galaxy S6. It is possible that the processor in question will be octa-core.
Rumours from Samsung’s supply chain indicate that the Galaxy S6 will be fully metallic, with previous Samsung devices having already tested this process out to some degree. We can also expect to see a higher quality fingerprint scanner, a heart rate monitor, improved micro-SD card support, an improved charging mechanism, a UV sensor, multi-directional microphones, and a retina scanner. The common consensus regarding RAM would appear to be in the 4GB ballpark.
With Samsung feeling the need to respond directly and rapidly to the iPhone 6, it is possible that the release date of the Galaxy S6 could be moved forward compated to its predecessor. On the other hand, Samsung may wish to unveil this device at the Mobile World Congress, which takes place this year in Barcelona, Spain from March 2-5.