Samsung Galaxy S 6 and S 6 Edge: Previewby Joshua Ho on March 26, 2015 9:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Galaxy S6
- Galaxy S6 Edge
Yesterday we received our Galaxy S6 and S6 edge review units. We’re still working on the final review but I wanted to share some early results from both devices. For those that are unfamiliar with these two phones, the Galaxy S6 range represents the result of Samsung’s “Project Zero”. In fact, the phones seem to have the internal name of Zero, which can be seen in terminal, and the build properties of both devices. For Samsung, these phones represent their attempt at completely rethinking how Samsung makes phones. There is a strong emphasis on a new unibody design, which has no visible gaps or screws. Rather than the plastic that previous Samsung phones have been known for, the new design is composed of metal and glass. Samsung’s design team has been given unprecedented control throughout the process of making this phone and the result of this is a Galaxy phone that looks unlike anything else they’ve ever released.
Even if design is important, it isn’t enough to make the phone. Samsung has also outfitted the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge with their latest technologies, from a new AMOLED display to a new camera module. The specs for both phones can be seen below.
|Samsung Galaxy S5||Samsung Galaxy S6||Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge|
|SoC||MSM8974ACv3 2.45 GHz Snapdragon 801||Exynos 7420 2.1/1.5GHz A57/A53||Exynos 7420 2.1/1.5GHz A57/A53|
16/32GB NAND + microSD
SAMOLED, Dual Edge
|Network||2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Qualcomm MDM9x25 UE Category 4 LTE)||2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 6 LTE)||2G / 3G / 4G LTE (Category 6 LTE)|
|Dimensions||142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm, 145 grams||143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm max, 138 grams||142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0mm max, 132 grams|
|Camera||16MP (5132 x 2988) Rear Facing with 1.12 µm pixels, 1/2.6" CMOS size, 31 mm (35mm effective), f/2.2||16MP (5132 x 2988) Rear Facing w/ OIS, f/1.9, object tracking AF||16MP (5132 x 2988) Rear Facing w/ OIS, f/1.9, object tracking AF|
|2MP Front Facing||5MP Front Facing, f/1.9||5MP Front Facing, f/1.9|
|Battery||2800 mAh (10.78 Whr)||2550 mAh (9.81 Whr)||2600 mAh (10.01 Whr)|
|Android 5 (64-bit) w/TouchWiz||Android 5 (64-bit) w/TouchWiz|
|Connectivity||802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2x2 +
BT 4.0 (BCM4354),
USB3.0, GPS/GNSS, MHL, DLNA, NFC
|2x2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac +
BT 4.1 (BCM4358),
USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, NFC
|2x2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac +
BT 4.1 (BCM4358),
USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, NFC
|Wireless Charging||N/A||WPC 1.1 (4.6W) &
PMA 1.0 (4.2W)
|WPC 1.1 (4.6W) &
PMA 1.0 (4.2W)
Both the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge have Samsung System LSI’s newest SoC, the Exynos 7420, which has a cluster of four Cortex A57s clocked at 2.1 GHz, and four Cortex A53s clocked at 1.5 GHz. Compared to the Exynos 5433 of the Galaxy Note 4, this brings a new 14nm LPE (low power early) process, an upgrade to LPDDR4 memory, and a Mali T760 GPU with two additional shader cores. Outside of the SoC, the new display is advertised to bring a higher 600-nit brightness and a higher 1440p resolution. The front and rear cameras are both different from the Galaxy S5 as well, although the rear camera sensor may be shared between the two as the camera sensors are of similar spec. For this preview, we’ll focus on the system performance and display of these new devices, but as one can see from the specification table there is far more to look at for the full review.
For our system performance benchmarks we’ll start with our browser tests which can give a rough proxy for overall CPU performance.
The Exynos 7420 is about on par with the Snapdragon 810 in these benchmarks. Strangely enough both tend to do worse than the Huawei Honor 6 in these tests, which clearly can't be correct. As we've previously discussed, the stock browser will often give far better results due to OEM and SoC vendor optimizations. As a part of our updates to the benchmark suite for 2015, we'll take a look at Basemark OS II 2.0, which should give a better picture of CPU performance in addition to overall device performance.
The browser benchmarks seem to hide some pretty enormous variability as the Galaxy S 6 edge (which is comparable to the Galaxy S 6) sets a new record among Android devices. The only challenger is the iPad Air 2, which uses the A8X SoC with three Enhanced Cyclone cores and the semi-custom GXA6850 GPU.
This system test contains a floating point and integer test, in addition XML parsing, which means that this test mostly stresses CPU and RAM. Interestingly enough, the Exynos 7420 pulls far ahead of both the Exynos 5433 and Snapdragon 810 in this test, and approaches the A8X. The difference between the 5433 and 7420 is likely a combination of the higher clocks on both the A57 and A53 clusters for the 7420 (1.9/1.3 on the 5433, 2.1/1.5 on the 7420), in addition to the ability to stay at a high 'overdrive' clock due to reduced leakage from the 14LPE process. The One M9 likely falls a bit short here due to HTC's governor settings restricting the use of all 8 cores simultaneously.
While one might guess that the memory test of 'Basemark OS II 2.0 - Memory' is of RAM, this is actually a test of the internal storage. Once again we see the S6 edge come close to leading the pack due to the use of the new UFS (Universal Flash Storage) standard. Casual examination reveals that the S6 edge has a queue depth of 16, and that it identifies itself with the rather cryptic model name of KLUBG4G1BD-E0B1.
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Novacius - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - linkAt the moment Qualcomm seems to have much bigger problems with S805 and S810. The S810 is throttling so much that it's GPU is just 15% faster than S801 (!) when running for a long time period.
Guest8 - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - linkNo Samsung 14nm is more like 20nm with fins. Same with TSM 16nm.
Novacius - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - linkIt's not that easy. They didn't just added FinFets and called it 14/16nm, there are other improvements, too. The density is higher for example, which wouldn't be the case if they only added fins. In my honest opinion, Samsung's 14nm process isn't too far away from Intel's.
Guest8 - Monday, March 30, 2015 - linkActually it is. It's denser because it is meant for a lower TDP. You will never see a 4 ghz version of this AP. If you do some searching you will see the characteristics for Samsung 14nm is very similar to 22nm Intel. Samsung only beat Intel to market in terms of naming convention ;-)
theduckofdeath - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - linkIt has the power efficiency advantages of 14nm, just not the density.
FlyBri - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - linkYea, the removal of a user replaceable battery has definitely been disappointing, but I'm going to wager a guess and say that Samsung will keep that feature in it's Note line and push users to a Note if they want/need a user replaceable battery.
hrrmph - Friday, March 27, 2015 - linkThat's fine for the phablet market, but this S6 marks Samsung exiting the true high-end market and bringing themselves down to the upper-middle of the market, which is where the iPhone has lived its entire life. I guess Samsung is giving up on the premium high-end phone market just like they gave up on the premium high-end mini-phone market.
A lot of people still want premium high-end 5" phones and 4.5" mini-phones. So who will make flagships in those size ranges with removable batteries, Micro-SD slots, and Dual-SIMs?
The S5 DUOS may have been the last of its breed. If the manufacturers keep going cheap like they have lately and removing important features, then there may not be a premium high-end manufacturer to serve that market.
Morawka - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - linkno they wont be screwed, they'll just have to take it into a service center and pay $99 and get it replaced. Just like any other sealed phone.
Morawka - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - linkregarding battery life.. yeah they added more screen and ram but you guys seem to be forgetting this uses 14nm.. leaps and bounds ahead of last years model when it comes to power consumption efficiency.
ASEdouardD - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - linkGPU performance would be class leading if Samsung didn't insist on 1440p displays, which are performance eaters. That's why the iPhone 6 and the M9 beat it in GPU tests. And CPU benchmaks are pretty much always dominated by Apple (for the last few generations anyway). For an Android phone, the cpu results are great too.