It’s no longer a mystery that Samsung will introduce the Samsung Galaxy S6 next year. The Galaxy S line-up gathers all the flagship smartphones of the South Korean company since 2010 and it’s by far the most popular family of high-end Android smartphones.
The Galaxy S5 is already out and since Samsung’s flagship for 2014 has unveiled all its secrets to us, the tech publications have turned their attention towards the Samsung Galaxy S6. Even though we’ll have to wait more than three quarters until the Samsung Galaxy S6 launch, rumors and speculations of the next-gen Samsung flagship have already surfaced online.
This article aims to keep you up to date with the latest Samsung Galaxy S6 release date, specs, and rumors so feel free to return to this article on a regular basis, as we will update it each time new details about the Galaxy S5 follow-up hit the web. We will also strike out the rumors that prove to be inaccurate as soon as information in this direction is revealed.
Even though it’s a bit early to speculate about the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date we could at least make estimations based on the previous releases of the South Korea-based phone maker.
As you may know, the last two Samsung flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S5, were introduced in the first quarter of the year, in March and February, respectively. Both devices were officially released on the market in April, so expect a similar strategy for the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Other voices say that Samsung might act a bit different next year. If the rumors saying that the South Koreans will begin launching two flagship smartphones a year (excluding the Galaxy Note phablets), then the Samsung Galaxy S6 release date might be pushed forward a one or two months. Therefore we might actually see the Galaxy S6 announced at CES 2015 (early January) or MWC 2015 (late February) and released on the market late February or early May, followed by the launch of an upgraded S6 model in the first months of summer.
Even though it was initially rumored that the Galaxy S5 will arrive with a Quad HD (1440 x 2560) resolution display, Samsung has settled for a 5.1-inch Full HD unit, most likely keeping the Quad HD screen for a later model.
LG, one of Sammy’s biggest rivals, has already released a Quad HD smartphone, so Samsung is bound to make a move in this direction. It’s rumored that the Galaxy S5 Prime will be Samsung’s first smartphone to arrive with a Quad HD display and we are 100% sure that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will pack a 1440p screen, too.
The rumor mill has also speculated that begging with the Galaxy Note 4, the Asian phone maker will use bendable displays for their high-end smartphones. Anyway don’t think bendable like G Flex or Galaxy Round, but rather like the Youm concept presented at CES 2013, a smartphone that had the screen bent over one of its edges.
In terms of size, the Samsung Galaxy S6 might arrive with a 5.3 or 5.5-inch screen, which will of course make use of the company’s proprietary Super AMOLED technology.
Update: A new report says that the Galaxy S6 would actually pack an UHD (3840 x 2160) display. Anyway, we advise you to take it with a pinch of salt as it doesn’t come from a reliable source.
Update 2: The Galaxy Note Edge is now officially official. As you may know, it has a Youm-like display, bent over one of its edges, so you shouldn’t be too surprised to hear that S6 might also come with a bent display.
Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S5 is 142 mm tall, 72.5 mm wide, and 8.1 mm thin and expect the Samsung Galaxy S6 to have similar dimensions even though it will feature a slightly larger display.
Because they won’t want to step on phablet territory, Samsung will try to achieve S5-like dimensions despite the larger screen. How? They will most likely narrow down the bezels surrounding the display.
If the rumors prove true and the next-gen Sammy flagship will indeed arrive with a metal body, expect the handset to be a bit heavier than the Galaxy S5 which weighs 145 grams.
Apple has already made the jump to 64-bit computing last year with the Apple A8 chipset integrated in the iPhone 5S and the same will happen with 2015’s Android smartphones. We believe we already know the chipset that will equip the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Earlier this year, Qualcomm announced its top chipsets for the first half of 2014: the Snapdragon 808 and the Snapdragon 810. Just like everybody anticipated, they are both 64-bit enabled, so Android flagships will make the jump to 64-bit processors, as well.
Qualcomm revealed that the Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 processors will be available in commercial devices by the first half of 2015, which coincides with Samsung Galaxy S6’s release date. Because the Snapdragon 810 is the more potent unit, that’s what Samsung will use for their 2015 flagship.
The octo-core Snapdragon 810 SoC is based on four Cortex A57 cores (up to 2 GHz) and four A53 cores with 64-bit support, plus an Adreno 430 GPU. It also comes with integrated 4G LTE Advanced modem.
Update: Sources in the industry point out that the South Korean phone maker has a 64-bit enabled Exynos processor in the works.
There will be nothing spectacular in terms of storage. Given the current trends in the smartphone world, the Samsung Galaxy S6 will either be launched in 16/32 GB variants or 32/64 GB variants. Of course, Samsung will also include a microSD card slot that will allow the users to expand the storage with up to 128 GB.
But how about the amount of RAM? This is where the fun part begins. Because the S6 will arrive with a 64-bit processor, Samsung may be tempted to squeeze 4 GB of RAM under the hood.
They could as well go with 3 GB of RAM and be capable of providing a great multitasking experience, but Sammy likes to show off, don’t they?
Besides the usual features like HSPA, LTE, NFC, IR blaster, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, and microUSB 3.0, the Galaxy S6 might come with a couple of surprises in terms of connectivity.
The new smartphone will arrive with LTE-A connectivity courtesy of the integrated modem of the Snapdragon 810 chipset and Bluetooth 4.1, also a part of the Qualcomm’s SoC.
Of course, the South Koreans will also keep their connectivity-related features like Download Booster which combines LTE and WiFi to increase download speeds.
Well, it’s pretty hard to guess what camera module the South Korean company will use for the Galaxy S6, but I am sure we’ll find out more about it towards the end of the year.
We believe that it will have a higher resolution than the current 16 MP ISOCELL sensor that equips the Galaxy S5, that it will integrate an OIS module, and that it will be capable of recording 4K videos. Samsung’s Dual Shot will also be there, along with HDR photos and videos.
For what it’s worth, it was rumored that Samsung planned to fit an OIS module on the current Galaxy S5. Sources in the industry reported that the S5 didn’t arrive with optical image stabilization, because of Samsung’s capability of producing enough OIS modules for the smartphone’s launch.
Each Galaxy S smartphone brought a new TouchWiz version with it and we are confident that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will make no exception. Samsung will probably throw in a lot of proprietary features in there and we are pretty sure that they will want to expand the fingerprint sensor’s functionality since Apple already did that in iOS 8.
Samsung will probably upgrade the S Health app with new features and pre-load a slew of Camera software features.
What version of Android will the Galaxy S6 run out of the box? Because we don’t know Google’s plans for future Android versions we can only speculate that it will be either Android 4.5 or Android 5.0. New Android versions are usually announced in late October – early November time frame and the S6 will surely run the latest one.
Update: Now that Google officially introduced Android L, we are sure that the Galaxy S6 will come pre-loaded with the new Android iteration.
Update 2: According to sources in the industry, Samsung has patented a new interface called Iconic UX. The interface is a reminiscent of Samsung’s Magazine UX and we might get to see it on the Galaxy S6.
Samsung has always been mocked that their flagship smartphones are not premium enough and they will probably want to change that.
The Galaxy Note 3 and its faux-leather back was the first sign that Samsung wants to tell the world they can build premium smartphones, too. Yes, it was still made of plastic, it it looked and felt way better than the company’s previous high-end devices.
If the rumors prove true, the Galaxy S6 might be made of metal and it could depart from the company’s current design philosophy, especially that Samsung’s President of Mobile Design, Chang Hyoong-Douk, was sacked in May following less than positive reviews of the Galaxy S5.
Update: Leaked photos of the Galaxy Note 4 surfaced online, showing a premium design. The yet-unannounced Samsung Galaxy S6 will probably mimic many of them.
Update 2: Leaked photos of an alleged Galaxy S6 frame have surfaced online. Just like it was previously rumored, the device has a metal-made chassis.
Even though the Motorola’s Atrix 4G had a fingerprint sensor back in 2011, these only became “cool” after Apple fitted on their iPhone 5S.
The Galaxy S5 also came with a fingerprint sensor and, even though I personally can’t find its utility, we are sure that Samsung will want to keep the feature on their next flagships just to be able to compete against Apple’s TouchID. The heart rate monitor is also here to stay since the iPhone doesn’t have one, but we might be dealing with a complete new biometric sensor from Samsung.
Rumor has it that the company plans to introduce an iris scanner on their future smartphones and the Samsung Galaxy S6 might be the first one to feature this technology. Earlier this year, a Samsung representative said that the South Korean company is looking into the possibility of equipping their future devices with an iris scanner since the public is so interested in them.
Update: A new report is indicating that the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 might arrive with an ultraviolet sensor. If the rumor proves true, then you should expect the Galaxy S6 to integrate the new UV sensor, as well.
Update 2: There are some rumors floating around saying that the Galaxy Note 4 might get an ultrasonic cover for the visually impaired. If the new case becomes a thing, the Galaxy S5 would also receive a compatible accessory.
Samsung’s flagship smartphones were always cheaper than Apple’s iPhones and we are pretty sure that the South Koreans will adopt the same strategy for their next-gen flagship handset.
In the US, both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy S5 were launched at a price of around $650, contract-free. Because it’s rumored the price of the iPhone 6 might climb even further, don’t be surprised to hear that the same will happen with Galaxy S6’s. Anyway, we believe that its price will not be raised with more than $50.
US’ biggest retailers sold the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S5 at $199 with two-year contracts, so expect no changes here.