All the leaks had pointed to a unique phone with a curved screen on both sides of the device, and that’s exactly what Samsung delivered on Sunday when it launched the new Galaxy S6 smartphone and its curvier cousin, the Galaxy S6 Edge.
Samsung has a lot riding on this latest pair of devices, which hit shelves on April 10.
It needs to revive flagging sales in the midst of greater competition than ever from Apple and Chinese smartphone makers on the low-cost end like Xiaomi and Huawei. The curved screen puts Samsung on the cutting edge of new form factors, but the obligatory upgrade in specs is also impressive, including faster processing speeds, quicker battery charging and a super-fast, high-resolution camera.
Ultimately the question is whether that will all be enough to attract consumers in the midst of some other potentially negative tradeoffs. Primarily: Samsung Galaxy fans love the fact that its phones allow you to pop out the battery and also insert a microSD card.
Yet the S6 got rid of both these features.
Samsung executives actually addressed this on stage at Sunday’s launch event, arguing that the battery life of the S6 was so good now, that owners wouldn’t even have to worry about replacing it. Still, the u-turn might drive some Samsung faithful away.
The battery for both phones lasts for up to 12 hours on Wi-Fi and charges “faster than any other smartphone in the industry,” Samsung CEO JK Shin said. It takes 10 minutes to charge the S6 to get four hours of battery life, he claimed. To get to 100%, it takes the S6 roughly half the time of the iPhone 6 to charge.