Samsung Galaxy S6 review: Still a top notch phone
A stunningly pretty smartphone, packed with features, but it's the Samsung Galaxy S6's incredible camera that stands out
The Samsung Galaxy S6 has now been superseded in the range by the newer Samsung Galaxy S7. The S7 is an improvement in most regards over the S6: it has a better camera, quicker performance, better battery life, and Samsung has also brought back storage expansion and water/dust resistance for this year's model.
That doesn't mean the S6 is a bad phone that isn't worth considering, all of a sudden. You can still buy the Samsung Galaxy S6, and it remains a great phone, with a good performance, a sumptuous design and a cracking camera. And downward pressure on prices means it's much more reasonably priced than the S7 now. Two-year contracts are available from £24 per month, or you can buy one outright for £365, where the S7 costs around £550 SIM free.
You can read our original Samsung Galaxy S6 review below, or click here to go to and read our Samsung Galaxy S7 review. Alternatively, check out our list of 2016's very best smartphones here.
Samsung is no stranger to manufacturing smartphones jam-packed with the very latest in technology, and the Samsung Galaxy S6 is just that. One thing had eluded the Korean giant prior to the launch of its latest handset, however: the ability to design a phone that's as gorgeous as it is functional. For more on the latest Samsung Galaxy S6 news see Expert Reviews.
The arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S6 sees the company finally break free of those shackles; and even halfway through 2016, the Samsung Galaxy S6 remains among the best smartphones you can buy anywhere, at any price, even if it has been eclipsed by the Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S6: Design
No two ways about it, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a stunner, framed in cool-to-the-touch aluminium, and with a coloured Gorilla Glass 4 rear and front, it's a beautiful phone to behold. It's clad in Gorilla Glass 4 front and back, and the way it gleams and glistens in the light is quite entrancing. The S6 is available in "White Pearl", "Gold Platinum" and "Blue Topaz", but we think it looks best in "Black Sapphire", which you see pictured here.
As you'd expect from a modern smartphone, the S6 is extremely slim (6.8mm) and light (138g), and it feels surprisingly compact in the hand, especially considering there's a 5.1in display up front.
In our view, the S6 delivers the perfect compromise between screen size and one-handed comfort – in fact, it's slightly smaller overall than the Samsung Galaxy S5 – and it combines that with impressive build quality and attention to detail. Even the volume, power and home buttons feel like they've been upgraded: everything about this phone feels perfectly on point.
There are some downsides to the design, however. First, in order to produce such a gorgeous work of art, the removable rear panel, replaceable battery and microSD slot for storage expansion have been consigned to the dustbin.
Second, neither the S6 nor the S6 Edge has an IP rating, so they're not not water and dust resistant like last year's Samsung Galaxy S5 was.
And third, the glass rear of the phones picks up fingerprints like they're going out of fashion. It's easy to clean, but if you own one of these phones, you're going to be spending a lot of your time wiping it on your jeans or the hem of your T-shirt to keep it spotless.
Samsung Galaxy S6 specifications
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge specifications
vs HTC One M9 specifications
|Processor||Octacore (quad 2.1GHz and quad 1.5GHz), Samsung Exynos SoC||Octacore (quad 2.1GHz and quad 1.5GHz), Samsung Exynos SoC||Octacore (quad 2GHz and quad 1.5GHz), Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC|
|RAM||3GB LPDDR4||3GB LPDDR4||3GB|
|Screen resolution||1,440 x 2560, 576ppi (Gorilla Glass 4)||1,440 x 2560, 576ppi (Gorilla Glass 4)||1,080 x 1,920, 441ppi (Gorilla Glass 4)|
|Screen type||Super AMOLED||Super AMOLED||Super LCD3 (IPS)|
|Rear camera||16MP (f/1.9, phase detect autofocus, OIS)||16MP (f/1.9, phase detect autofocus, OIS)||20.7MP (f/2.2)|
|Flash||Dual LED||Dual LED||Dual LED|
|Storage||64/128GB (UFS 2 flash)||32/64/128GB (UFS 2 flash)||32GB|
|Memory card slot (supplied)||No||No||MicroSD|
|Wi-Fi||802.11ac (2x2 MIMO)||802.11ac (2x2 MIMO)||802.11ac|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.1 LE, A2DP, apt-X, ANT+||Bluetooth 4.1 LE, A2DP, apt-X, ANT+||Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP, apt-X|
|Wireless data||4G, Cat6 (300Mbits/sec download, 50Mbits/sec upload)||4G, Cat6 (300Mbits/sec download, 50Mbits/sec upload)||4G|
|Size (WDH)||71 x 6.8 x 143mm||70 x 7 x 142mm||70 x 9.6 x 145mm|
|Operating system||Android 5 Lollipop||Android 5 Lollipop with Sense 7|