Samsung Galaxy S6 release date, news and rumors

Make it metal, make it awesome

Samsung Galaxy S6

Latest update: New leaks show the design of the Galaxy S6 in full, while a fresh report suggests the Galaxy S6 will come with just two (yes, TWO) pre-installed Samsung apps. Could this be bye-bye bloatware?

The wait is nearly over. The Galaxy S6 is (almost) certain to be launched on March 1 at a special 'Unpacked' event by Samsung in Barcelona at MWC 2015.

It will also be most likely joined by the Galaxy S6 Edge: a curved screen variant of the phone which won't be sold in as great a volume. Think Samsung Galaxy Note Edge to the Galaxy Note 4.

So without further-a-do let's run down everything we know about the Galaxy S6 so far.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next flagship smartphone from Samsung
  • When is it out? Early 2015, possibly end of March / early April
  • What will it cost? A lot, at least as much as the pricey Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S6 release date

The Samsung Galaxy S6 will follow last year's Galaxy S5 and be on show at MWC 2015. Samsung's even sent out an invite to an Unpacked event on March 1, teasing a curved frame and asking "what's next."

Samsung unpacked

The Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 both hit stores in April, of 2013 and 2014 respectively, so it's probable you'll be able to buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 from April 2015.

We've also heard a rumor that Samsung will release both the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S Edge in India in the second week of April, which could mean Samsung is sticking to the S4 and S5 release schedule.

On the other hand a recent alleged internal memo pointed to the Samsung Galaxy S6 being launched around March 22. The memo states that Samsung employees cannot take time off between March 22 and March 30, which could indicate something big is going down around those dates, quite possible the launch of Samsung's next flagship device.

Samsung Galaxy S6 LEAK

The same memo also informs employees that they can't take time off between April 19 and 27, which could be the release of the Samsung Galaxy S Edge or a new Note tablet.

Samsung Galaxy S6 design

Our clearest look yet at what's supposedly the Galaxy S6 has been accompanied by the reveal that it will apparently have metal sides and a glass back.

Galaxy S6 leak
Credit: XDA / graaler

If these images are genuine then it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S6 could sport a very similar appearance to the Galaxy S5, albeit with a more premium build. The leak also mentions that the battery won't be removable and there's no microSD card slot.

Galaxy S6 leak back
Credit: XDA / graaler

Ever since the lackluster reviews of the Galaxy S5 design we've been seeing rumors of a full blown redesign for the Galaxy S6 and other rumors have suggested we'll be looking at a full metal uni-body for the handset, while the first few images of the handset made it look like that would be true.

Galaxy S6 tease

So the revelation of a possibly similar design to the Galaxy S5 along with a not-quite-full-metal build is slightly disappointing. A number of other sources have also suggested the Galaxy S6 won't be waterproof like the Galaxy S5 was, so don't expect it to be as durable this time around.

Samsung Galaxy S6 screen

Samsung is set to stick with the excellent Super AMOLED displays we've seen from the company for quite a while on the Galaxy S6.

This time we can expect the S6 display to get a resolution bump, much like the Galaxy Note 4, with a 2560 x 1440 pixel QHD resolution.

Numerous sources including SamMobile, Cnmo.com and TechTastic have all published reports suggesting the Galaxy S6 will come with a QHD 1440 x 2560 display making it look very likely.

Galaxy S5 screen

As for the size of the display, it may be increased a little much like it has been for the last few iterations meaning it'll likely edge up to 5.2 or 5.3 inches.

It looks like there will also be a Galaxy S6 Edge with a curved edge on the display like the Galaxy Note Edge. A new advert from Samsung suggests it'll be happening with the first image of the handset – it isn't currently clear if this is the normal S6 or the Edge variant though.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge teaser

Samsung Galaxy S6 rivals

Samsung has a lot of big name competition surrounding it. The HTC One M9 is heavily rumored to be launching at MWC and is expected to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, a waterproof body and 2GB of RAM.

Sony isn't going to be launching a new phone for a couple of months so it's the Xperia Z3 is its main competition that boasts a Snapdragon 801 chipset as well as a waterproof body and a 1080p display.

Then there is of course the iPhone 6 that has been universally praised. We gave it 4.5 stars out of 5 loving its great new design and much improved battery life.

Samsung Galaxy S6 camera & battery

SamMobile has apparently got hold of a prototype Galaxy S6 packing a 20MP snapper with optical image stabilization, though it's still questioning whether said camera will make it to the final device.

It also dug up some software changes, including a new Pro mode, which has three shooting modes, one of which is manual, while the gallery app will apparently be more intuitive to navigate.

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung has also been heavily hinting at the Galaxy S6's photographing prowess on Twitter, with a recent tweet containing an image that says "Find clarity in darkness".

Galaxy S5 camera

This suggests that the Galaxy S6's camera will be especially adept at taking photographs in low light conditions, something that many smartphone cameras struggle with.

As for the battery power, it's heavily rumored to feature a smaller cell than the Galaxy S5 did.

A leaked report suggested the Galaxy S6 will feature a 2600mAh pack but it's expected to offer a similar, if not better, battery life down to processor and display testing that means it is more optimized than before and will use less power.

It is also looking likely to feature a fast charging feature meaning you'll be able to charge up the handset a couple of notches in a minimal amount of time - so far that hasn't been disclosed though.

Samsung Galaxy S6 power

Android Lollipop is here for a variety of different handsets and it brings with it 64-bit support that we expect to see on the Galaxy S6.

Historically Samsung has opted for the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor series but reports from both SamMobile and cnmo.com have suggested it'll use a 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420 processor.

One report has also suggested Samsung is producing a mass of 4GB RAM modules and it'd make sense if those are included to make use of that 64-bit processor.

There is also word from South Korea pointing toward a new type of flash memory featuring in the handset called UFS (Universal Flash Storage) to enhance data speeds and power consumption.

SamMobile also reckons the Galaxy S6 will come in 32, 64 and 128GB variants, presumably with a microSD card slot.

Samsung Galaxy S6 operating system

While Samsung is cooking up its own Tizen operating system, the Galaxy S6 will almost certainly stick with Android, and probably Lollipop since that's the latest version.

It's also tipped to run Samsung's TouchWiz UI on top, albeit streamlined once more to make sure it doesn't annoy consumers who are becoming aware of the simplicity of raw Android. In fact SamMobile claims the Galaxy S6 will have just two Samsung pre-installed applications. Fingers crossed.

Galaxy S5

We've heard that Samsung is going to completely strip down TouchWiz, and will drop all the pre-installed Samsung apps. This is great news for those of us who aren't fans of Samsung's bloatware clogging up our devices.

This means the likes of S Voice, My Galaxy, ChatOn, Samsung Hub and Scrapbook may no longer be pre-loaded on the new flagship.

There will be some pre-installed apps, though these will apparently come from Microsoft instead, with OneNote, OneDrive, Skype and Office Mobile (alongside a free Office 365 subscription) all pre-loaded.

Samsung Galaxy S6 other features

There are a few things that we can be pretty confident that the Galaxy S6 will include. Samsung has been putting its fingerprint scanner on a number of phones and tablets so we're sure the S6 will get it too.

But it might get an improved version of it, as SamMobile reports that Samsung is equipping the Galaxy S6 with one that features touch-based recognition, more in line with Apple's Touch ID than the S5's swipe-style reader.

Galaxy S5 Fingerprint sensor

Likewise it will probably retain the heart rate monitor from the Galaxy S5, since that's also been included on the Galaxy Alpha and Note 4.

We fully expect a microSD card slot too, since the Galaxy S range has always included one and we'd be very surprised if it wasn't water and dust resistant, since the Galaxy S5 is and removing a useful feature like that seems unlikely.

We may also see the Samsung Galaxy S6 inherit some of the new features which have been added to the Galaxy Note 4, such as fast charging, a UV sensor and multi-directional microphones.

Samsung Galaxy S6 cost

But of course a big part of it comes down to price. The rumors point to the Galaxy S6 costing more than the Galaxy S5, which at launch sold for £579 (around $972 / AU$1048) SIM free.

The most complete pricing leak for the Galaxy S6 currently pegs the handset at the following price points.

  • · Samsung Galaxy S6 32 GB: €749 (around £560, $855, AU$1100)
  • · Samsung Galaxy S6 64 GB: €849 (around £635, $970, AU$1240)
  • · Samsung Galaxy S6 128 GB: €949 (around £710, $1085, AU$1390)
Be sure to keep up with all the latest MWC 2015 rumors here and check back on March 1 for a proper look at our first hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S6.