We're still waiting on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but that doesn't mean we can't look beyond it to the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Samsung itself will surely already be hard at work on the phone and the first leaks and rumors are starting to emerge.
Not much is known so far, but there are a few whispers floating around and other things which we can take a good guess at from a mix of past history, common sense and the state of the market.
With more information likely to flood in soon, particularly once IFA 2014 is out of the way, stay glued to this page for all the updates.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next flagship smartphone from Samsung
- When is it out? Early 2015, probably March
- What will it cost? A lot, at least as much as the pricey Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy S6 release date and price
There's no official word on when the Samsung Galaxy S6 might launch, but Samsung has a yearly product cycle which it rarely deviates far from.
In fact from the Samsung Galaxy S2 onwards the company has always announced its phones at or close to MWC, so it's not a stretch to assume that the same will hold true for the Galaxy S6.
2015's MWC is set to take place between March 2 and March 5, so it's likely that we'll see the Samsung Galaxy S6 sometime around then. Possibly not at the show itself but perhaps at a press conference a day or two before it starts, much like Samsung is expected to do for the Galaxy Note 4 launch before IFA 2014.
There's no real information on what the Samsung Galaxy S6 might cost either, but this is a flagship phone we're talking about, so it's not likely to be any cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S5, which at launch sold for £579 (around $972 / AU$1048) SIM free.
Given that the specs will presumably be better and that it may even have a premium build for once it's possible that it could be even more expensive, but we'd be surprised if Samsung went much higher than £600 / $1000 / AU$1100.
Samsung Galaxy S6 screen
There's no sign that Samsung is ditching Super AMOLED in its screens, so we expect that to make a return in the Galaxy S6.
The resolution will likely get a boost though, as Samsung has already released a 2560 x 1440 Galaxy S5 LTE-A in South Korea and with the LG G3 bringing such resolutions to the mainstream (and the Galaxy Note 4 expected to do the same) we'd expect the Galaxy S6 to have at least that.
In fact Samsung has previously said that it hopes to have smartphones with 4K 3840 x 2160 displays on the market by 2015. It's possible then that the S6 will leapfrog 2K and go straight to 4K, but with an early 2015 launch expected we'd be surprised. More likely Samsung will save that for the Galaxy Note 5.
Either way, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is likely to have a slightly bigger screen than the Galaxy S5. The company has slowly been increasing the size of the screens on its flagships and we'd expect the Galaxy S6 to push things up by another 0.1 or 0.2 inches to 5.2 or 5.3 inches.
If Samsung can shrink the bezel then it could probably even achieve that without increasing the phone's footprint.
There's also an outside chance that the Galaxy S6 might have a flexible display. Samsung has been looking at this sort of technology for a while and there are numerous rumors that the Note 4 might have one so why not the Galaxy S6 too?
But we doubt Samsung would equip its flagship with such an untested technology, so if there's no mainstream flexi-phone launched beforehand, don't expect it here.
Samsung Galaxy S6 power
With Android L arriving shortly and bringing 64-bit support with it we fully expect the Galaxy S6 to have a 64-bit processor.
As for which processor specifically that's still rather up in the air, but traditionally it's been equipped with a Snapdragon chip of some variety and both the Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 are expected to start appearing in devices during the first half of 2015, so one of them seems likely.
The Snapdragon 808 is a six-core 64-bit processor with support for 2K screens, while the Snapdragon 810 is an octa-core 64-bit chip which can power screens of up to 4K resolution and includes an Adreno 430 GPU, which is said to be 30% faster than the Adreno 420, so either way it should be in for a boost.
There's no word on how much RAM it will have, but a 64-bit processor works well when imbued with north of 4GB, so the sky really is the limit. Having said that the Galaxy S5 only has 2GB of RAM, so we'd be surprised if the S6 had more than 4GB.
Samsung Galaxy S6 chassis
While we don't know what the Galaxy S6 will look like there's every chance that Samsung will mould it on the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, which launched with a metal frame but it still kept hold of the polycarbonate rear from the Galaxy S5.
At just 6.7mm the Galaxy Alpha is considerably thinner than the Galaxy S5, and we hope this is a positive sign for the Galaxy S6.
A metal frame would finally make Samsung's flagship look almost as premium as it is and it's hard to imagine that it wouldn't roll something similar or at least similarly high end out for its flagship.
In fact sources in Samsung's supply chain have been talking fast and loose about the Galaxy S6, claiming the Galaxy Alpha and Note 4 will test the waters for Samsung's metal design ahead of an all-metal flagship in the form of the S6.
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 Android L since it will arrive several months before the S6.
It will also almost certainly 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.
Samsung Galaxy S6 camera
One of very few rumours that specifically refers to the Galaxy S6 notes that it may have a 20MP camera, up from 16MP in the Galaxy S5. Samsung's always about more and bigger so this seems believable.
According to ETNews the Galaxy Note 4 was originally going to have a 20MP sensor but Samsung dropped it to 12MP to keep it thin while still including OIS, however the company will instead use the 20MP sensor on the Galaxy S6 apparently.
What it doesn't say is whether the S6 therefore won't include OIS or won't be all that slim, since reading between the lines one or the other is likely to be the case.
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. Likewise it may well retain the heart rate monitor from the Galaxy S5.
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.
Something that is unlikely but has nonetheless been rumored is a retina scanner, as Samsung has claimed to be looking at iris detection. Of course such technology may still be quite a way off yet and we're not all that convinced we'll see one in the Galaxy S6.
- Sony probably won't even wait till 2015 to launch the Xperia Z3.