Samsung at Mobile World Congress on Sunday announced its latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, each compatible with a new mobile payments service called Samsung Pay. The smartphones are a significant refresh to the Galaxy lineup, featuring a slimmer and lighter metal and glass design, all-new front and rear cameras, improved hardware specifications under the hood and more.
The Galaxy S6 Edge is notable in that it is the first smartphone to feature a curved display on both sides of the device, constructed from Gorilla Glass 4. Both smartphones have 16-megapixel rear-facing cameras and 5-megapixel front-facing cameras with f/1.9 lenses for improved low-light photos, Auto HDR, optical image stabilization, IR white balance and a “Quick Launch” feature for accessing the camera from any screen in less than one second.
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have improved hardware specifications in most areas, each featuring a 5.1-inch 2560×1440 Super AMOLED display at 577 ppi, Exynos 8-core processor, 3GB of RAM up, 32GB to 128GB of internal storage, Category 6 LTE, 802.11/a/c Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, NFC and 2,550 mAh and 2,600 mAh batteries respectively. The devices will run Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box.
Notably absent from the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge is a MicroSD slot for expandable storage, waterproofing and a removable battery, three features that Samsung often promoted over the iPhone in the past. The smartphones do gain a feature that the iPhone does not have in wireless charging with support for WPC and PMA standards, allowing you to charge the device at Starbucks or using Qi-enabled chargers.
Samsung introduced a new fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, to be used for Samsung Pay, that functions like Touch ID on iPhone by no longer requiring swiping. Samsung Pay will be available this summer and rival Apple Pay with NFC and magnetic secure transmission (MST) technologies that make the service compatible with both NFC-enabled payment terminals and older magnetic swipe readers.
The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge will be available April 10 across several countries worldwide in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, and Gold Platinum color options. A special Blue Topaz edition will be exclusive to the Galaxy S6. The smartphones will be available on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile in the U.S., and will also be on sale through Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Target, Walmart and Sam’s Club.