Samsung unveiled the next generation of its popular Galaxy S series smartphone over the weekend with two models–the S6 and 6 edge–that are easier to use and have some new features important for use in the car.
The S6 and 6 edge are similar except the Edge display curves around both edges of the phone to create extra screen space to display notifications.
Samsung claims the new S6 and 6 edge have the sharpest screens on a smartphone to date.
From a 12 volt perspective, an interesting new feature on both phones is built-in wireless charging for the Qi and PMA standards. You no longer need to buy a special case to allow wireless charging. And charging may be the fastest in the industry–a 10 minute charge gives you four hours of usage.
Samsung went so far as to claim that by including wireless charging in its Galaxy series it will single-handedly jumpstart the advent of wireless charging in cars.
“With the launch of Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, we believe 2015 will be a landmark year for the adoption of wireless charging,” said Peter Koo, Senior VP of Technology Strategy team, Samsung Mobile. “We hope to accelerate the use of this wireless charging technology with compelling smartphones and making charging experience more convenient for consumers.”
Another feature of interest to 12 volters is that the 6 and 6 edge run a modified version of Lollipop, which may allow them to be compatible with Android Auto. Android Auto, Google’s version of CarPlay, is expected to be available in aftermarket radios this year from Pioneer, Kenwood, Parrot. Pioneer is expected to offer several Android Auto radios starting this month.
The new Samsung phones sport 5.1 inch screens (larger than the iPhone’s 4.7 inches). They have also been upgraded to use metal construction from earlier plastic.
On the 6 edge, users can check notifications by swiping along the curved edge of the screen without having to unlock the entire phone. Also you can assign some of your contacts a color, and the screen edge will light up in that color for an incoming call.
The camera on both phones offers 16 megapixels with optical image stabilization (image stabilization is found on the iPhone 6 Plus but not on the iPhone 6). The camera also has improved low light capability and a new auto-focus feature.
Yahoo Tech says the best improvement on the new phones is how fast the apps open.
Samsung is also entering the mobile pay market (like Apple Pay) but Samsung’s version, called LoopPay, will work with regular credit cards. Under the system you place your phone close to the credit card terminal and the S6 creates a magnetic field similar to that on the magnetic stripe on your credit card. So basically, you load your credit card info into the phone and then you no longer need to pull out your credit card for payments. Loop Pay should get a broader reach initially than Apple Pay, which requires compatible payment equipment.
Other features on the S6 and 6 edge include NFC, 8-core processor with 3GB of RAM and storage in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB options. The screen is a 2560 x 1440 QHD Super AMOLED (Active Matrix of Organic Light-emitting Diodes) display. (Gizmodo calls the screen “insanely crisp.”)
The phones go on sale in the US April 10.
For comparison with iPhone 6 see Yahoo Tech at https://www.yahoo.com/tech/how-does-samsungs-galaxy-s6-compare-to-apples-112455708759.htm
Photo via Gizmodo