Samsung is looking to revive last year’s lackluster smartphone sales with the Galaxy S6… but that’s easier said than done
The Galaxy S6 hasn’t even been unveiled yet (The unveiling is scheduled for March 1), but already we’re hearing comparisons between it and the iPhone 6. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 was a total flop compared to Apple’s iPhone 6, so is there anything Samsung can do to beat Apple’s last-generation iPhone 6 with its next-generation Galaxy S6?
Forbes contributor Jay MacGregor offers some suggestions, although it’s a little late now for Samsung to be incorporating these in the Galaxy S6 if it hasn’t already done so.
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The Galaxy S6 needs better hardware
There’s no denying a bigger battery will attract consumers. In fact, a recent survey suggested battery life is the most important thing consumers consider when buying a smartphone—for those who are willing to switch from the brand they currently use, that is. MacGregor points out that the Galaxy S5 already has an excellent battery life, but he adds that there is room for Samsung to improve it. He says the “standard” size for a flagship phone is about 3000 mAh, and the Galaxy S5 has a 2800 mAh battery.
There have been rumors that the Galaxy S6 will back a 2K display, and a larger battery will certainly be needed in order to do it. The journalist points out that the rumor about Samsung making its own ePoP memory means there may be more space inside the smartphone to pack it with a bigger battery life. In fact, he suggests that a single charge may even last for days.
MacGregor also makes the case for a metal chassis for the Galaxy S6, and this is one argument that frankly I’m tired of hearing. It doesn’t seem like Samsung will ever do this because of the expense of using a metal chassis. But then again, someone leaked what they claimed is a metal frame that will be used for the Galaxy S6, and it looks a lot like that of the iPhone 6, so who knows?
Of course what people really want to see is something that only looks expensive, so maybe Samsung can get away with not using metal—maybe.
Under the hood
We’ve also heard that Samsung is working on simplifying its operating system. This is certainly one area that needs a lot of help because of how many annoying extras the company stashes on its smartphones. Google’s stock Android phones have been well-received, and Samsung would do well to get as close to stock as it can.
We’ve also heard that Samsung is working on a competing service for Apple Pay called Samsung Pay, and MacGregor thinks the Galaxy S6 needs this to compete with the iPhone 6. Apple Pay has done pretty well so far as it’s catching on more quickly than Google Wallet did. But then will those who didn’t use Google Wallet on their Galaxy S5 turn to Samsung Pay instead? Or will it be seen as just another one of those annoying extra apps Samsung crams into its phones?
MacGregor also thinks the Galaxy S6 needs a better fingerprint scanner, and he’s probably right about this, but I’m really not sure the iPhone 6’s scanner is that much better. Nonetheless, this is technology that should improve over time, so it shouldn’t be too much to ask that the Galaxy S6 have a better fingerprint sensor than its predecessor.
He also wants to see “something innovative” on Samsung’s next smartphone. Exactly what that might be is unclear, but this one seems like a tall order.