With numerous mobile releases dominating the news agenda over recent weeks, the flagship device from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) has been forgotten to a certain extent. The Samsung Galaxy S range remains the second largest selling smartphone in the world after the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone series, and consequently is still a major player in the smartphone market.
Despite the fact that Samsung has been concentrating on the Galaxy Note series in recent months, ahead of the release of the Galaxy Note 4, upgrading the Galaxy S6 handset for a 2015 unveiling will be high on its list of priorities.
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Times have been hard for Samsung of late. The Korean manufacturer announced recently that its profits had tumbled by 60 percent; rather a contrast from its bullish statements earlier in the year that it intended to displace Apple at the very head of world mobile device sales. Instead of making ambitious prognostications, the next few months will in fact be a damage limitation exercise for Samsung to a certain extent, and it is essential that the company delivers something outstanding when it releases the Galaxy S6.
So what can we expect from this critical smartphone release when it finally hits the stores, and for that matter when will it be released? Here is all the latest on what we can expect from this flagship device for Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S6
It is still very early days to discuss this particular aspect of the Galaxy S6 considering that Samsung will probably not have made any firm decisions itself on this matter, let alone released anything significant into the public domain. However, it is reasonable to assume that the Korean manufacturer will look at including a more metallic look to the device when it is released, in response to the iPhone 6. The Galaxy range has not been universally praised for its looks, and Samsung will want to improve on this reputation with the Galaxy S6 handset.
Additionally, as mobile devices are increasingly pitched at health and fitness, particularly in conjunction with smartwatches, it seems likely that dust and waterproofing will be high on the list of priorities for the Galaxy S6. By the time this hits the stores, the Apple Watch will have been released, and Samsung will likely be pushing the collaborative qualities of the Galaxy S6 with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
Samsung has always prided itself on the quality of its displays, and this is one way the Korean manufacturer has made its products stand out from its great rival Apple. It seems likely then that the Galaxy S6 will be an ultra HD device, and may possibly even include a 4K screen. The odds are perhaps against the latter, even though Samsung is now releasing 4K displays for televisions. But we should certainly expect a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution, which would be an iPhone beater in this department.
With the Galaxy S series not having its own specialized operating system as is the case with the iPhone, Samsung has always felt the need to pack the range with processing power. So a quad-core, 64-bit processor is highly likely in the Galaxy S6. Analysts believe that a likely candidate would be the Qualcomm 808 or 810. On the other hand, octa-core Exynos chipsets have featured in previous Samsung devices, and this could also come into the equation.
Samsung opted for 2GB of RAM in the Galaxy S5, which is double that of the iPhone 6. But the Galaxy range has always required an extra boost in this department given the Android-related issues discussed previously. Thus, Samsung may decide to arm the Galaxy S6 with even more RAM to improve its performance measurably, so the most likely outcome in this department is that the Galaxy S6 will have 3GB of internal memory.
Apple has placed a high premium on storage in its devices, possibly because they view the iPhone as the ideal music player, and wish to encourage the usage of iTunes. Samsung has been a little more reticent in terms of providing high-level storage devices, possibly viewing this has not such an obvious selling point for the Galaxy range.
Nonetheless, it seems likely that storage will be ramped up with the release of the Galaxy S6, and the analyst community is already predicting that Samsung will embrace micro-SD with this handset. This would minimize the amount of internal storage required, but Samsung would surely be missing a trick if they do not offer 12 GB as an option, as Apple has done once more with the iPhone 6.
The Galaxy S5 has a decent battery, but consumers will unquestionably be looking for improvement in this area. While the Galaxy S5 outperformed the iPhone generation it was up against, and does pretty well against the majority of its other Android rivals (although the Sony Xperia Z3 is far superior in this department), things have moved on in the mobile sphere since the release of the Galaxy S5.
Thus, given the fact that the Galaxy S6 will in all probability feature a higher resolution display and quite possibly a larger screen than its predecessor, it seems almost certain that the 2800mAh battery included in the Galaxy S5 will be significantly upgraded.
The Galaxy S5 camera looks impressive in pure numeric terms; the 16-megapixel sensor in the device outranking most other smartphones. However, reviews of the Galaxy S5 continually pointed out that this Samsung smartphone was actually mediocre at taking photographs in low light conditions. There will therefore be pressure on Samsung to deliver an even better camera, particularly as it has strongly promoted the quality of Galaxy cameras in the past. Additionally, given that optical image stabilization features in the Galaxy Note 4, it seems likely that this will be introduced to the Galaxy S range as well.
It seems probable that Samsung will announce the Galaxy S6 at the Mobile World Congress 2015, which will take place between March 2 and 5 in Barcelona. It would be a high risk strategy to release the phone at the higher price point than previous variants, so one can expect the Galaxy S6 to retail similarly to its predecessor.