back to article Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in Vulture's claws: we find looks AND brains

Samsung's gone for beauty and brains with its new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but hasn't fallen into the trap of style over substance. Last year's S5 packed all sorts of features into a tired-looking package and while the phone was a technological marvel, it wasn't easy on the eye and didn't set the pulse racing. Both S6 models …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Storage?

    100GB of bundled, free-for-two-years OneDrive cloud storage is said to be the remedy for the missing expansion slot. Samsung makes that assertion by assuming you've got an LTE connection with plenty of download allowance to spare.

    There must be a good number of Mobile providers rubbing their hands with glee at this.

    Walk into any large Tesco's at the moment and see their package offers. 500Mb or 1Gb is not uncommon. This is easily used up with a few uploads to the cloud.

    Imagine the punters face when they see their data bill for their backups....

    The more savvy of us will make sure that this is strictly controlled. The average sucker? not a chance.

    I even wonder if a few operators might make 'backup everything to the cloud' a default=ON 'feature' with some offerings.

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      Re: Storage?

      Mind you, all this curved edge malarkey give us a fascinating glimpse of the 2018 iPhone.

    2. John H Woods

      Re: Storage?

      "This is easily used up with a few uploads to the cloud." -- Steve Davies 3

      ^^THIS^^

      I was offered a "MASSIVE ONE GIGABYTE" by a Tesco rep the other day. When I replied that it would last me less than a week he laughed and said he didn't think I knew what exactly how big a gigabyte was. He was right, as it turns out --- when I pulled up my data usage graph I could see that 1GB wouldn't last me a single day.

      I should be on commission - two other people in the vicinity immediately asked me which network I was on, I reckon two others were listening in keenly when I told them.

      Now, not everyone tethers 0.5GB a day, but nearly 5GB of what I've done in the last fortnight is Google+, i.e. photos and videos up and down to the cloud. But I've listened to nearly 500MB of internet radio in the last two weeks so I'm pretty sure that it's time to stop calling 1GB MASSIVE.

      A phone like this, which does not take SD cards, almost always necessitates a huge/unlimited data bundle on a network that doesn't have shameful data provision. Will they tell you that in the shop when you purchase it?

      1. Lee D

        Re: Storage?

        I'm a luddite when it comes to my personal hardware.

        Yet my (first ever) smartphone is still on a 4G 3Gb data plan. Because, you know, I can do that without even thinking.

        And that's when I deliberately and mindfully don't let things update over 4G, use Wifi when at home and in work (I control the work Wifi, so I know it's safe, other people don't have that luxury), etc.

        Damn, a basic user could burn through 1Gb every day no problem at all. All they need is a gaming app, or a satnav with the "download offline maps while on data" turned on.

        1Gb is bare minimum, for myself and my girlfriend. 3Gb is what I consider a basic package for myself. God knows what you have to do if you're a proper business user.

        Giffgaff, though, are quite good about their data but if you want 4G they don't offer an "unlimited" one any more. The 3G one was removed/changed quite recently as well I think. Even prohibiting tethering, it's all too easy to burn through any "unlimited" allowance, even.

        1. cambsukguy

          Re: Storage?

          Using a phone with built in maps and a tethered device that knows that the WiFi is 'limited' means that I reduce my monthly all-you-can-eat needs (£17) to 500MB (£8). I can use my £84/year saving to pay for Netflix or a part of the TV licence I guess.

          I rarely use the amount I have, I don't watch movies on my phone - they were designed for the cinema screen after all. TV is fine sometimes but I use my TV for that.

          I almost always use WiFi for downloads, automatic app updates use WiFi, Automatic photo and video uploading use WiFi. I update maps using WiFi.

          So, I use the data for some map searches, traffic info on top of the navigation system, Cortana cleverness occasionally and web browsing type stuff.

          Of course this is not for everyone but it is a reasonable use case that would suit a reasonable proportion of folks - which is precisely the reason there are packages that small.

          If you want oodles of data, you pay the £17/month (or whatever non Three people have to pay) - that seems a reasonable premium for using the vast majority of the system's capabilities.

          1. Sanctimonious Prick
            Boffin

            Re: Storage?

            @cambsukguy "I almost always use WiFi for downloads, automatic app updates use WiFi, Automatic photo and video uploading use WiFi. I update maps using WiFi."

            I really hate to pull you up on this, but WiFi is _not_ broadband, it is not unlimited data, and nor does having Wifi mean that there is an Internet connection.

            I was chatting with a telco rep the other day, and she asked me "do you have WiFi at home?"

            me: "Yes I do."

            telco: "Excellent. Then you have nothing to worry about. With your WiFi and the 6GB mobile data allowance, you should be fine using our 6 month free trial of <insert SVoD service of choice>."

            me: "Oh. Hang on. Yes, I have WiFi at home, it is used for streaming media around the home - it is not connected to the Internet, even when my phone is tethered to the main computer."

      2. P. Lee

        Re: Storage?

        On the other hand, I rarely come close to breaking my 150MB monthly phone allowance.

        Tethering will do it, especially if you have automatic OS updates switched on, but usually there are settings and enough wifi/cabled ethernet around to avoid that. Photo's and videos synced to the cloud would probably do it too, but I guess I'm not vain enough for a zillion selfies that my daughter takes and I don't do the facebook or the twitter. When everyone is on their phone on the train in the morning I prefer "downtime." I don't want to be constantly fed with input, I like time to think about things and consider their importance rather than consume data and be constantly harrassed to know things which really have no real impact to my life. Obviously, if you work with photos and video, you'll be out of luck and you may not want auto-updates turned off for Aunt May.

        1G isn't a lot, but with relatively little effort, its quite easy to reduce your consumption of stuff. I work in IT and think tech is great fun, however, perhaps its age, but I find elegance in simplicity. I enjoy processing data myself and I find it far more fun to sort and do multi-pipe greps than to run a report using some complicated software with a web interface and five backend servers. Yes, browsers are easy on the eye and I really like them, but we shouldn't overlook the fact that this page is around 1,500,000 bytes supporting a reply to a comment of 1096 bytes.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Storage?

          "1G isn't a lot, but with relatively little effort, its quite easy to reduce your consumption of stuff"

          It requires you having to think about what each app consumes and making a decision about how it connects. Most people have no idea where to start and are so bad at maths that they don't realise that all those "10-20Mb" requirements add up quickly.

    3. druck Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Storage?

      OneDrive? Samsung wants us to rely on the Microsoft cloud on an Andriod phone? Surely some mistake. No Thanks.

      (S5 owner)

  2. cs94njw

    Hmm... with Amazon's new Unlimited Storage for photos, it would be extremely interesting to have photos automatically stored/uploaded to there.

  3. Loud Speaker

    A slight failure to mention the lack exchangeable storage and battery. The two main reasons why people who actually USE Samsung phones choose the brand.

    Those of us who don't spend our lives posing for selfies, but have to make business calls away from the office, keep our phones in a tacky looking case to avoid damage when it is dropped down the fire-escape or sat on when left on a chair.

    This phone is clearly not for real people. A metal chasis is NOT an attractive feature for people whose life involves running and jumping - plastic is far more robust. It may be nice for those who live in Starbucks. Shiney features ("edge" and metal cases) are for people whose life is about triviality.

    As for UI's, change for change sake is the worst possible way to go. We spend ages learning how to use a UI, then someone takes it away (Win7, Win8, Gnome 3, Unity, new Coca-Cola). NO!!!!!!!! A thousand times no!!!! We just want the ability to DELETE all that bloatware.

    (Yes, I do have Cyanogenmod on my S3, and five spare batteries, and I use a different SD card for each client I visit).

    1. fruitoftheloon
      WTF?

      @Loud speaker... rtfa...

      Loudspeaker,

      'Lack of removable storage and battery', not mentioned in the article eh?

      May I suggest that you read it again?....

      And I agree with you 100%.

      Cheers,

      J

    2. Joe 48

      For the most part I agree. However Cyanogenmod has in recent years lost track of what it wants to be. Its simply too buggy and can't use the newer hardware correctly any more, mostly due to the vendors not releasing their proprietary stuff, finger print readers etc.

      On the S3 I'm with you, I ran it all day long. Not so on the S5, nor will I run it on my edge (when I get it) but I will of course give it a try as we all love to play with these things. TW wasn't too bad on the S5 and to me it looks almost the same on the S6 so can't see the learning curve being that big.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Cyanogen

        "Cyanogenmod has in recent years lost track of what it wants to be"

        For those who care about such things, there's always Omni. :)

    3. MrXavia

      was mentioned, BUT I agree, that is one of the reasons I choose a Samsung phone, the MicroSD and removable battery

      Now with neither they loose the two things that kept me buying Samsung phones over the rest..

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For info and Curious

      You can delete the bloatware, by default in this new phone. In fact Samsung were very clear this release they'd give you the ability to either remove or at the very least shutdown any Samsung service you don't need/want.

      Regarding the UI. Its not hard to move on. A GUI is a GUI. If you can't manage slight changes its time to step away from the keyboard/touch screen.

      As for plastic. Not exactly a hard wearing material. Metal v plastic.... Quite sure I know which one will win when it comes to a strength test.

      I used to think I needed a changeable battery and SD card but to be fair I've never swapped the battery on my S5 or ever removed the 128GB SD card that's fitted so for me its not a game changer. If it is for you then just get a different phone. There's something on the market for everyone.

      I did chuckle slightly as the Samsung fans have suddenly lost their argument for why the Galaxy range was better.

      Just a query but why do you use a different SD card per client?? Racking my brain trying to figure out the use case.

      1. Roj Blake

        Re: For info and Curious

        "As for plastic. Not exactly a hard wearing material. Metal v plastic.... Quite sure I know which one will win when it comes to a strength test."

        Because those metallic iPhone 6s are so durable and never bend at all.

      2. Loud Speaker

        Re: For info and Curious

        Because the accidentally revealing information relating to one client to another would destroy my credibility with both. Far safer to put the correct SD card iin the phone before leaving home.

        Incidentally, I still use a Nokia E61 at locations where phones with cameras are not allowed for security reasons. I suppose a more modern phone would do the job, but would its battery last as long?

    5. Jim 59

      S6 no longer offers a removable battery, nor a micro SD card slot. Samsung reckons fast charging mode takes care of the first issue by delivering a promised four hours of use after ten minutes of jolting

      No expandable storage ? No removable battery ? Don't want one then.

      As well as offering flexibility, a removable battery can be renewed. These things have a limited life, if my media player and laptop are anything to go by.

      Removable storage lets your phone follow Moore's law

    6. Alan Brown Silver badge

      chassis

      "A metal chasis is NOT an attractive feature for people whose life involves running and jumping - plastic is far more robust"

      Take a look around and see how many phones are actually used bare.

      Just about everyone has some form of cover on the things. So why bother with a metal case you can't see?

  4. MikeHuk
    FAIL

    S6 Fail

    As others have commented Samsung must have gone mad! one of their big advantages over the competition and the Iphone in particular were there additional SD storage and removeable battery.

    I bought a Note 4 which has both is certainly the best smartphone I have ever owned,

  5. Brenda McViking
    Thumb Down

    Very poor show

    I predict a flop.

    I absolutely must be the target market for this phone, a 20-something having too much disposable income to spend on flagship gadgets but using the functionality within them to the maximum possible extent (i.e. apple doesn't cut the mustard as it too seems to want to favour form over function)

    And then Samsung go and tell me that a 4 hour charge in 10 minutes is supposed to replace the current way of doing it - flip off the cover and get 24 hours of charge in 20 seconds.

    And now I have to mess around with the cloud to get some films to watch on my flight, when I'm leaving my computer and wifi internet connection in 5 minutes. before it was a simple slot out uSD, load a film from the hard drive onto it and slot it back in.

    When I complained about the lack of a high quality back cover on the S4 and the S5, I most certainly didn't expect Samsung to cripple the next phone by implementing it, but, in a move that makes them as moronic as Apple, they seem to have done just that.

    You've just gained a sale Samsung - I'm buying another battery for the S4 when you could have got me to shell out for an S6 if you didn't mess it up so badly.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Very poor show

      Why not go for a Note Edge? It has the removables and the design?

      While I always get a phone that can take extra storage myself I don't reckon I've changed the SD card very often since buying it. Then again I wouldn't really want to watch films on a phone. I haven't changed the battery on any phone I've bought in the last 15 years.

      1. g e

        Re: Very poor show

        Yep, might be a SONY Z5 (or whatever) when my S4 upgrade comes round (I skipped the S5 as it didn't seem much of a step up). My Z2 tab is *so* good I've already preordered the Z4 tab and the current Z3 phone seems have received much praise so maybe my phone money won't be going to Samsung next time round either.

        1. John H Woods

          Re: Very poor show

          +1 for the Z3. I have one - love the camera, love the screen, love it. Most of all I loved showing it to a girl down at the yard and, as I handed it over, causing her to fumble it so it fell into her horse's water.

          Getting a smart-looking smartphone out of a bucket full of water* without missing a beat? Well, I won't say it never gets old, but it hasn't yet. Bonus marks for doing it mid call.

          You don't think you need waterproofing until you have it - actual submersion is, of course, a rare occurrence but if you spend a lot of time outside in rainy old Blighty, it's really quite nice.

  6. Phuq Witt

    I want bezels!

    Seems lack of bezels is taking over from "teh thin" as the new utterly pointless benchmark by which a phone is judged.

    Why?

    Give me a nice wide bezel, so my fingers aren't obscuring the screen when I hold the damned thing.

    ...and because—equally utterly pointlesy every phone nowadays seemingly must have a lovely smashable glass back as well as a smashable glass front—so the case I have to put on it has something to grip onto.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: I want bezels!

      "...and because—equally utterly pointlesy every phone nowadays seemingly must have a lovely smashable glass back as well as a smashable glass front—so the case I have to put on it has something to grip onto."

      All the glass / metal is just for show and has zero functional benefit. In some cases it can affect the function - glass has less grip / friction to grip a surface so it adds risk of the phone falling and external metal can interfere with radio signal and must be shielded.

      It's doubly pointless because the first thing most people do with their phone is shove it into some ugly cover / bumper anyway. It's just an excuse to jack up the price of the device and command a hefty premium.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I want bezels!

      "a lovely smashable glass back as well as a smashable glass front"

      Tempered glass protectors are the dogs wotsits for the new phones. If they get subjected to an impact which will break the screen, the protector will smash first and dissipate most of the energy.

      Unlike plastic films they're oleophobic and won't scratch at the slightest provokation.

      What surprises me is that phone makers don't include sacrifice panels by default. Motorbike makers have been doing it for decades.

  7. Ashton Black

    Convergence.

    As hardware converges, it seems to me, that the only differentiator will be in who's walled garden you want to be in. The design philosophy behind these Samsungs seems to lean more towards the walled garden than in the past. Lack of SD and Removable battery was this very differentiator, now, sadly not.

    Shame.

  8. Unicornpiss
    FAIL

    Lack of removable storage=deal breaker

    I would have rather stuck with Motorola when I upgraded my phone last time, but none of the Moto offerings had an SD card slot. So I got an S5, which I've overall been pretty happy with, once I got past the 1950s kitchen table styling.

    Cloud services are nice for backups and LT storage, but speed, bandwidth, connectivity, and convenience concerns are why I like having onboard storage. Plus, you break you phone, pop out the SD card, drop it in a new phone or USB reader, and there are all your files, including what didn't get a chance to sync with "the cloud". This is one of my main peeves about iStuff as well. (though there are many others too) A non-removable battery is also a minus, though not that big of a deal.

    I will be looking to another company when it's time to replace the S5 unless there are current models with an SD card slot available from Sammy.

    1. Dave K

      Re: Lack of removable storage=deal breaker

      I'm in full agreement. I was eagerly awaiting the S6 as a possible replacement for my ageing S3, but the lack of removable storage is a complete deal breaker. It's not just the ability to cheaply add storage that's the problem, it's the way I currently just pop the SD card into my PC, manage the music on it via a PC-based sync tool, then pop it back into the phone. Very fast, very easy. And where I live in the north of Scotland, 3G/4G is just too patchy to be of any reliable use.

      HTC manage to create a phone which has a premium metal feel, yet still includes an SD slot, so it's certainly possible to do. By removing one of Samsung's key features / selling points from this phone, they've ensured that I will not be buying one.

      Instead, I've gone down the custom ROM route instead. It's completely re-vitalised the performance of my S3 and it includes an important feature that the S6 doesn't. Vote with your wallets everyone!

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: Lack of removable storage=deal breaker

        Is it faster to take an SD card out, put it in the PC, update the files and put it back in the phone compared to plugging a USB cable in and manipulating the file system presented? It also seems more convenient since they are bloody fiddly blighters and I assume you have to also place it in an adapter before putting it in the PC. I suppose you might have a tablet with micro SD but they have similar amounts of memory to phones anyway so storing all the music is just as difficult. One also gets a little bit of a battery recharge while doing it - bonus.

        The last time I had an SD card device one had to tell the phone you wished to remove it, I assume that is not the case anymore but still. I assume they have some mechanism to ensure they don't easily fall out, a cost and a hassle especially if everything on the card is not encrypted - so that makes for more fiddly extraction also.

        It certainly would not be enough for me to not buy a phone I liked - I never change the music on my phone anyway. I used the cable to transfer the music originally a couple of years ago.

        I used to connect the cable to transfer the Hires versions of my photos (which clog up the memory eventually) but these seem to get uploaded to OneDrive in all their glory now so I don't even do that.

        1. Shovel

          Re: Lack of removable storage=deal breaker

          Is there any information on whether a MicroUSB adapter will work on the S6? With an OtterBox on my Sammy4 it is too inconvenient to access the SD slot. I use the MicroUSB->USB cable to load 32 and 64Gb flash drives for xfer. File manager loads instantly, and I'm copying within seconds. Even movies play off of the flash.

        2. Brenda McViking

          Re: Lack of removable storage=deal breaker

          Is it quicker? yes. My uSD cards tend to be USB3.0 compliant with a sustained 35MB/s write. So when I'm loading up films then it takes 2 minutes with the sd card out than using the cable attached to phone (uses usb2.0) which takes around 12 minutes.

          And you don't have to use the god-awful sumsung kies, or the clunky windows explorer interface which seems to be a hangover from windows mobile 4.0 asking me if I want to "convert" video files to remain compatible.

          Don't get me wrong - there is a time when I'll admit that uSD cards are dead, but until we have 4G-esque wireless transfer speeds from device to device without any limits which are compatible with all my devices (cameras, gopro, laptop, tablet) then you can take them from my cold dead hands.

  9. Tristan

    but has fallen into the trap of style over substance.

    Can't put microsd cards into it = can't perform the same job as my aging s4.

    Skipped the s5 because it had the same screen, so no significant benefit - but now I can't use a s6 :(

    Every device I have which has data in it has a microsd slot - I often use my phone to modify data or upload files from some other device's card - should I carry a USB otg cable and card reader everywhere? Or just not buy a s6?

  10. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    No SD card

    I have a 64GB microsd.. even if a have a "all you can eat" contract. Is is obvious that there are certain places you can't access your stuff online: planes, ships, countryside.. and these are the places that you would like to listen to music, watch movies, etc.

  11. Harry the Bastard

    still on my s2

    with no sd card it seems they're trying to head down the fruity lock-in path, but they're not apple, they don't have the content infrastructure with over a decade of itunes behind them and the cross-device integration, imho the more they try the less they'll succeed

    if only they'd stop adding bloatware and undeletable apps, instead just ship good hardware with a straight build and then maintain it

    unless/until samsung (and others) commit to providing timely, long term updates for their android-based devices i'm not buying something that's going to be hung out to dry in a year or so

    waiting for a nexus of similar size/weight to the s2, at least i'll get updates for a reasonable period and have only one set of garbage apps to ignore

  12. cpage

    Samsung have removed their best features

    The main reason I use a Samsung phone is that it has a removeable battery. For people like reviewers who get a new phone every year whether they need it or not, a fixed battery is not a problem. For ordinary users like me who keep a phone for several years, it is a deal breaker. Modern phones lose so much charge during a day's use that they need to be charged up nearly every 24 hours. Batteries only last at most for 500 cycles, so after a year or two you need to buy a new battery. How can Messrs Samsung possibly have failed to notice that? The omission of the SD card slot is equally stupid. I will never buy the S6.

  13. Julian 3

    32GB S6 only has 23GB of usable storage

    A word of warning to anyone wanting to buy the 32GB version of the S6 the core OS uses 9GB which leaves you with only 23GB for personal use (see picture in review of 25% storage used). Now people would normally buy a SD card to get round these short comings but Samsung decided to ditch that useful feature along with the removable battery.

    Rumour has it Samsung will release an Active version of the S6 in the summer with a removable battery and SD card slot and will be water resistant (another feature missing on the S6). Samsung already has S4 and S5 Active versions available in certain territories if you don't mind waiting.

    Clearly Samsung want to appeal to the iPhone crowd. The S6 even features a glass back which even Apple ditched (yes there were a lot of broken back glass panels on iPhone 4/S a few years ago). Samsung have obviously calculated that they will loose some customers but hope to gain some of the trendy iPhone crowd. Time will tell.....

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: 32GB S6 only has 23GB of usable storage

      "the core OS uses 9GB"

      Root, plus remove the bloatware in /system/

      The 'core OS' is only a couple of Gb, the rest is apps.

  14. Vimes

    but hasn't fallen into the trap of style over substance.

    Really?

    - worse battery

    - no micro SD card slot

    - no removable battery.

    What's also funny is how some people have been warning this type of case is easier to break. I remember seeing a brand new S6 in the shop the other day.

    It was already cracked.

    'Nuff said really...

  15. Vimes

    This article sounds little better than the sort of marketing material put out by Samsung themselves.

    I thought this site normally marked articles that were advertising as such?

    (speaking as somebody distinctly unimpressed with the S6 and will be sticking with their S5)

  16. Cosmo

    It would be interesting to see the stats..

    Although Reg readers are more likely to be "power users", it would be interesting to see what the stats are for people buying Samsung phones and to see what percentage take advantage of the memory card slot and removable battery.

    My GF had an S3 and then upgraded to the S5. She has never removed the battery, and never installed an SD card. If the vast majority of punters are the same, then maybe this is why Samsung have decided to dispense with these options.

    I wonder also how many support calls Samsung have received due to someone putting a slow/poor quality/corrupted SD card in their phone and then having a go at Samsung because of it.

    I have a Nexus 4, so am used to the no removable battery and no SD card. However, my Hudl 2 does have an SD card, but obviously no removable battery.

    1. Vimes

      Re: It would be interesting to see the stats..

      The only time I ever bothered removing the battery was to replace it. It was a 1st gen Galaxy Note and at that point if I hadn't been able to do that I would have had to buy an entirely new Galaxy Note.

      Even non-power users can find that sort of thing potentially useful given the high cost of the handsets...

    2. Dave Fox

      Re: It would be interesting to see the stats..

      I tend to agree that the average user really probably doesn't care about a removable battery or SD card.

      I used to care and up until a year or so ago, it would have been a deal breaker for me too, but over the last generation of phones I've bothered less and less. I used to always carry spare batteries for my Galaxy Notes 1,2, and 3, but never bothered with my Note 4. Similarly, I used to carry multiple SD cards but now with 64GB+ cards, I don't bother at all and just carry a USBToGo stick (such as this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transcend-Stick-JetFlash-32GB-silver/dp/B00SGPG6I6/ref=dp_ob_title_ce )

      I can fully understand and sympathise with those for whom these missing features are a deal breaker, but I think they're a relatively small minority now. The vast majority of Android users that I know have never had more than one battery, or changed the SD card (if they even had one in the first place).

      That being said, since I've two phone contracts with one up this month, I've preordered a 128GB S6 Edge so that storage won't be a concern.

      1. Vimes

        Re: It would be interesting to see the stats..

        but I think they're a relatively small minority now

        What about the users that don't expect their phones to easily fall to pieces?

        For that matter what about battery life, which seems to be worse in both when compared to the S5?

  17. eJ2095

    Well i fancied a change

    My wife now uses my S3, returned it back to stock OS as she would only winge (She had S3 mini before)

    And i have now wondered over to the LG Camp with my G3

    Its not a bad specced phone to be fair i even make phone calls on it!!

    Got Bored of Samsungs to be fair s2/s3 fantastic then s4 onwards not much change

    And i still can remove my battery :-0

  18. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    Let's get this one straight...

    "Samsung reckons fast charging mode takes care of the first issue [battery]"

    The reason I want a replaceable battery isn't because I'm struggling to find somewhere to charge it up, it's so I can replace it every year or so when the performance has degraded sufficiently.

    Two words: Planned Obsolescence.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence

    Frankly, in this day and age of environment and resource awareness I find it repugnant.

  19. itguy

    People seem to assume that all customers want an SD card and a removable battery - if you do you are in the small minority (Apple has been very successful in selling boatloads of phones with no sd card and a fixed battery).

    If you still want an S6 with these features then check out the soon to be on shelves S6 Active with waterproofing, sd card etc.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Batteries

      " (Apple has been very successful in selling boatloads of phones with no sd card and a fixed battery)."

      If you wander past a phone repair shop sometime, ask how much of their work is changing out the apple battery.

      $HINT: A decent compatible battery is less than £10 (OEM = £20) and they'll charge you another 15-20 quid to change it out - not bad for a 5 minute job.

      Walk into an apple store and they'll want about £90 for the same thing (that's what was quoted when my wife's iphone 4S needed a new battery), once they get it into their heads that you DO NOT WANT a new phone.

    2. Lee D

      I quote sources that aren't definitive, but I'm sure you can find confirming facts if you dig hard enough.

      2015: "Shipments [of Android smartphones] dropped to about 205 million"

      2015: "iPhone sales ballooned to 74.5 million in the quarter, a gain of about 90 percent from the third."

      Even with 90% growth this quarter, iPhones are being out-sold 2:1, nearly 3:1. Even today.

      And Samsung make 95% of those Android phones.

      So, not saying you can't sell phones without them, but the people selling Android phones that (in the majority) allow SD cards and removeable batteries are TWICE as popular as iPhone. And that's in Apple's best (and Samsung's worst) quarter.

      Please, stop believing the iPhone hype. For every guy out there with an iPhone, there are three with other models of phone, and they probably collectively cost less than the iPhone did. The same applies to tablets / iPads.

      Sources:

      http://www.cnbc.com/id/102417855

      http://www.slashgear.com/samsung-dominates-95-of-android-phone-sales-say-analysts-15282170/

      1. Michael Thibault

        Plus ça change, plus c'est pareil.

        It seems that the writing is on the wall: the swappable battery and the SD cards so commonly found in phones (and tablets) are going away. They've historically been included because they've been included elsewhere; their inclusion once made a me-too product differentiator. And, for some--but not all, evidently--a deal-maker. Now they're being excluded from flagship offerings. When there's a version (of the S6) with the battery and SD card options built in--if it comes at all--, it will largely signal that these two features play second fiddle. Eventually you can expect them to disappear entirely. Get used to it, I guess. Apple pointed the way, and others are following, albeit at a distance.

  20. Cassini
    FAIL

    They have just tilted the balance the other way.

    I put up with Samsung's bloatware and we'll-update-the-os-once-then-you're-on-your-own rubbish because I could change the battery and, most important, use an SD card.

    Not any more.

    I used to buy Samsung phones.

    Not any more.

  21. Yugguy

    Don't want bells and whistles

    I want cpu power and speed, battery-life, storage, screen quality

    I couldn't give a flying shite about bevelled bloody edges.

  22. ecofeco Silver badge

    $1000 for a phone?

    One thousands dollars for a phone? A fucking phone? And people think this is normal?

  23. Jim 59

    I guess the market for new phones is people buying their first smartphone, or converts from the other side (Apple, Android). People who already have an S3 or S4, say, aren't going to foam at the mouth to acquire an almost identical black cuboid with a better camera but few other benefits and storage/battery drawbacks.

  24. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Battery capacity.

    "The innards did, however, warm up in a hurry. And half an hour of poking an S6 Edge knocked ten per cent off the battery capacity."

    Try doing that on the train from Guildford to Victoria using 4G: You can _watch_ the battery percentage decrease before your eyes (about 1% per minute on a Note4).

    "That might be a problem because the S6 no longer offers a removable battery, nor a micro SD card slot. Samsung reckons fast charging mode takes care of the first issue by delivering a promised four hours of use after ten minutes of jolting."

    In a word: Bullshit.

    Yes, you might get that if you turn on powersave modes but there's no way you'll get 4 hours from a 10minute zap if you're using the full fat 4G experience, even with the S6's slightly larger battery capacity and slightly lower power consumption.

    External pattery packs might be one answer (I use that for my note4 rather than changing out batteries) but the number of "Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0" portable packs on the UK market is a number approximating zero(*).

    Until about 2 weeks ago there weren't any car or wallwart QC2.0 devices either, so I had to go through Aliexpress to buy mine.

    You _can't_ keep these devices charged up on a standard USB charger, even the 2A ones. They automatically throttle to 600-900mA on 5V and require the special Qualcomm Quickcharge gubbins to bump supply voltage to 7.5/9/12V before allowing higher currents. (You need the Qualcomm charger no matter whether the phone's internals are Snapdragon or Exynos-based)

    Older "intellicharge" high current chargers won't work with these phones. They're treated as 1A chargers by the phone.

    You also can't keep these phones topped up using Qi under full-use conditions (it works well for parking the phone when you're at a desk, but only provides 5V1A to the phones internals at best). I've tried that already and in the car's Qi holder, had to strip down the running services in order to run CameraAlert+Torque+Autoguard without discharging the battery (NFC dots + Tasker are tres useful for automating this kind of thing)

    (*) I see one external QC2.0 pack has finally shown up on Amazon, but at 40 quid for 10,000mAh it's not exactly cheap. Aliexpress to the rescue yet again. (There's virtually no point in buying an external pack smaller than 10,000mAh for this kind of phone or phablet)

  25. SpiderPig

    They Still Break....

    As with all smartphones on the market today, drop the blasted thing and then you are up for a fortune in having the display replaced. I have had several HTC's, Samsung's and the odd Apple over the years and they just cannot stand even the simplest drop from your pocket.

    When I had Nokia's they were indestructible, my N8 was dropped on so many occasions I lost count, the only noticeable damage was dings in the corners of the case. My communicator was run over after I dropped it on the street, it still worked no problems.

    I now have a Galaxy S5 and to overcome all the shortfalls (excuse the pun) of smashing the display when dropping I now have a shockproof/waterproof case on it which makes it a big lumpy device, a far cry from the sleek design it had when I opened the box.

  26. Phil Kingston

    Am I alone in wishing Sammy et al would cut gimmicks and just start making handsets HTC-Wizard thick with a flipping big battery in there?

  27. regprentice

    My wife hit her 500gb data allowance on her contract yesterday and was clueless as to how she had done it. A 'kids mode launcher' called Zoodles, which she thought was keeping the phone safe from tampering, was actually streaming sesame street videos from you tube. The app offered such a small selection of poor quality video files we had assumed they were stored locally.

    I think a lot of people will buy these handsets blindly assuming they have an sd slot and not work out they dont till tjey get home. Think returns will be high.

    For me personally an sd card does lots of things...it allows me to move my 'daily' music collection between my phone/tablet/car stereo/ pc with ease.... it means i dont lose my pictures if my handset bricks (which has happened to me in the past) ... android file transfer doesnt work between my mac and my s4 so its the only data transfer solution that makes any sense.

    Im due a new co tract in mid may and will be looking to the release of the l4 or z4 to replace my s4... which is a shame as i was genuinely gutted when i finally saw the specs for the s6 edge.

  28. Slacker20012

    to all the naysayers

    Personally I can't wait to get my hands on one. The removable battery may eventually prove to be a problem, but I for one won't miss the SD card - I thought I would, so I took the sd card out of my s4 a few weeks ago, and I haven't even noticed it. Will have to get a couple of those wireless chargers though hahaha

  29. Green Nigel 42
    Devil

    Steve Jobs vinticated, No swapable battery, no Sd card, no waterproofing, a metal case, an iPhone 6 in all but name and build integrity in Software & hardware.

    (Ok Steve said no to a big (edgy) screen phone but 4 out 5 not bad!)

  30. Roboiii

    No removable battery?

    No removable battery I might be able to live with but no memory slot??? C'mon.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GFlex 2

    Looked at the S6, don't like them (Had a try on both at a Samsung thing). Not impressed at all, so picked up a GFlex2. Not got a swappable battery, but I'll grab an external battery for it. The SD card slot was what I was looking for as well as something with an 810 to see if they are as good as I am led to believe.

    Seems OK so far. The S6 Edge feels like a case of them planning of replacing the screen when you drop it on it's side as well rather than just face down.

  32. JustNiz

    Samsung makes masive marketing mistake

    >> there's no reason the phones won't become very popular indeed

    Actually there's 2 very big ones:

    No SD slot = No Sale. No removeable battery = No Sale.

    Samsung have now stupidly removed the 2 most important differentiators that made their phones better than most of the competition. If I wanted a phone without those things I'd have already bought a Nexus phone so that I could also get more regular updates and less bloatware, and better styling.

    At the time I chose my S3 several years ago, the upside of an SD slot and removable battery far outweighed the downside of its plasticky utilitarian styling. And its still true. The lack of those things is exactly why I wont even consider moving to an S6, since it would be an obvious downgrade in usefulness from my S3.

  33. Hubert Thrunge Jr.
    IT Angle

    is it?

    Is it as good as the 8 core, 64GB OnePlus One?

    Which is half the price.

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