Since it introduced the first Galaxy S phone in 2010, Samsung ruled the high-end Android phone market. But two years ago, the situation started to change. Other phone companies like LG and HTC caught up to Samsung. Last year, however, the situation became drastic for Samsung as Apple came out with an iPhone that had large screen.
The Galaxy S6 (and the Galaxy S6 Edge) is the product that is Samsung's answer to the mighty iPhone. And it is a damn good answer. Just like Apple moved out of its comfort zone and decided to put a bigger screen in the iPhone to make the phone remarkably good, with Galaxy S6, Samsung has moved away from the plastic bodies for its phone.
While it looks good, the design of the S6 is still not all that original. The rounded corners of the metal frame and the speaker grill seems to be inspired from the design of the iPhone 6. But the overall effect is pleasing to the eye. The glass back cover and the metal allow frame make for a nice combination, although the phone is a little slippery to hold.
The phone is very slim with thickness of just 6.9mm and is astoundingly light at 138 grams despite packing in a 5.1-inch screen. This makes carrying it in the hand or putting it in one's pocket very easy, which is a welcome change compared to much bigger phones in the market like the Moto X.
What makes the S6 really good is its core hardware. The screen has a resolution of 1440 X 2560 pixels, making it extremely sharp. This means text and images look super sharp and clear on the screen of the S6. The screen is also extremely bright and shows vivid colours.
Other components are equally good. The octa-core processor in the phone is fast. Unlike many other phones that use Qualcomm processors, the new Galaxy is using Samsung's own Exynos chip. Whether a user is playing a demanding game or editing a photo with Instagram, the phone doesn't feel slow. It also helps that the phone has 3GB RAM and according to Samsung, a rather fast 32GB internal speed.
The 16-megapixel camera is one of the best ever put in a phone. It is so good that for the first time an Android phone rivals the camera performance of an iPhone 6. It clicks extremely detailed photos with excellent colours in good light. Even in low light the performance is very good due to the wide aperture (F1.9) of the camera. The 5-megapixel front camera too is one of the best in its class and comes with an ultrawide lens so that a user can fit in more people in the group selfies.
The Galaxy S6 has a number of unique features. It comes with a fingerprint sensor, which can be used to lock or unlock the phone. Unlike the scanner in the Galaxy S5, this one works in a much better way. Then, there is the heart rate sensor at the back. It is a hit and miss so it's more of a gimmick. The phone is powered by Android Lollipop.
But Samsung has customised it with its own user interface called Touchwiz. This is the only weak point of the Galaxy S6. While TouchWiz and Android are versatile and full of unique features, the iOS that powers the iPhone or even Sense, which is inside HTC phones, is more streamlined.
Battery life is also could have been better. The phone lasts around 12 to 13 hours - good enough for a single day of use - but falls short of what some other Android phones can manage. But overall, the S6 is one hell of a phone. With it, Samsung has finally created a phone that can not only match but in some cases surpasses the iPhone 6. The fact that it does so at a price of Rs 49,900, lower than the price of the iPhone 6, is even more impressive.