Samsung has launched its new flagship smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge follow on last year's Galaxy S5 and apart from the curved screen edges of the S6 Edge, come with identical specifications to one another.

With a 16MP BSI CMOS sensor, very fast F1.9 lens and an optical image stabilization system the Galaxy S6 camera, at least on paper, looks like a further improvement on the already very good module in the S5. Samsung claims that, thanks to the fast lens, the S6 delivers better low light performance than Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, especially when recording video. Additionally the camera features subject tracking and is always in stand-by mode which means it can be launched in under one second by double-tapping the home button.  

Samsung has also improved the front camera which now offers a 5MP resolution and 43% larger pixels than its equivalent on the Galaxy S5. It features real-time HDR and multi-frame low light modes. Compared to previous generation Galaxy S phones the entire user interface has been simplified with fewer menus and pre-installed apps, contributing, we're told, to an increased responsiveness of the device. The camera app has been included in the simplification process and comes with a slimmed down interface with most essential settings directly accessible from the main screen. There is also a Pro mode with a range of manual controls including exposure compensation, ISO and manual white balance but it appears the S6 does not support Raw capture or full manual control as specified in the latest Android camera API.

Other specifications include a 64-bit octa-core processor, a 5.1-inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 577 ppi, wireless charging and a fast charging mode that gives you 4 hours of normal use in just ten minutes of charging time. As with the Note 4 a heart rate sensor is built-in as well.

The S6 design has changed quite drastically from previous device generations. Both S6 models are only 6.8mm thin and come with dual-tone Gorilla Glass 4 at the back that changes its color depending on the angle light is reflected at. The frame is made from metal that, according to Samsung, is 50% stronger than the material used in other smartphones. The Galaxy S6 Edge does not have the original Note Edge's dedicated software that occupies the display edge at all times but allows you to pull up a contact manager and missed calls screen from the edges with a swipe. It appears the S6 Edge's curved display edges are more of a design rather than functional feature.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge will be available from April 10th in ten countries and globally soon after. No detail on pricing has been released yet. We are looking forward to putting a device through our usual camera test procedures as soon as we can get our hands on a production unit.

Key Specifications:

  • 16MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • F1.9 lens
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 4K video
  • Subject-tracking
  • 5MP front camera with F1.9 lens and real-time HDR
  • 5.1-inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED display, 577ppi
  • Exynos 7420 64-bit octa-core processor
  • 3GB DDR4 RAM
  • 32, 64 or 128GB of storage
  • 3GB DDR4 RAM
  • 2600 mAh battery
  • Wireless charging
  • Heart-rate sensor