Benchmarked: The Galaxy S6 is the fastest Android phone. Period.

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Benchmarks scores are nothing but numbers. The realmeasure of a phone’s performance is how well it runs popular software, and how that performance holds up over time. That’s what we care most about.

Still, we thought we would take a closer look at the performance of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, including industry standard benchmarks. This is the first time Samsung’s bundled its own Exynos chip inside the U.S. variant of its flagship smartphone. That’s a big deal, especially with all the unfortunate—if not slightly exaggerated—press surrounding Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810.

We want to see how Samsung’s new phones perform against some of its competitors, and last year’s Galaxy S5 flagship phone. The results show that these are, hands down, two of the most powerful phones you can buy.

The first Exynos of its kind—in the U.S.

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Samsung’s new flagships are powered by the 64-bit Exynos 7 Octa 7420 processor and 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The chip consists of four 2.1GHz Cortex-A57 cores and four 1.5GHZ Cortex-A53 cores—the way Samsung explains it, four are devoted to delivering top performance, while the other four are aimed at battery efficiency. The Galaxy S6’s 14nm chip (the first 14nm chip in a phone) has been optimized to dramatically reduce its power consumption, boosting battery life.

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Snapdragon 810—in every performance benchmark we threw at it; including AnTuTu, Vellamo, Geekbench, and PCMark.

gs6 performance antutuJason Cross
AnTuTu tests overall device performance, including user experience, which the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge apparently deliver on. Notice the jump from last year’s Galaxy S5 to this year’s flagships.

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The Vellamo benchmarks test CPU performance. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge far beat out the One M9.

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PCMark tests the device as a whole, based on everyday activities like photo editing and video playback.

It’s hard to ignore the numbers. Samsung’s Exynos processor outperformed the competition across the board, scoring exceptionally high in both PCMark and AnTuTu. With TouchWiz lighter than it’s ever been, our experience using the phones mirrors these benchmark results—they’re incredibly fast and responsive.

Made for high-powered graphics

Early Exynos processors weren’t exactly graphics powerhouses, the Galaxy S6 delivers really excellent 3D graphics performance thanks to the Mali-T760 MP8 GPU. The GPU runs up to 772MHz, and together with all the memory bandwidth from that LPDDR4 memory, Samsung’s chip is no slouch in the gaming department.

gs6 performance 3dmarkJason Cross
The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge performed well in 3Dmark, though this was one area that the One M9’s Snapdragon 810 succeeded.

The only time the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge fell short was against the One M9’s Snapdragon 810 SoC in 3DMark’s Ice Storm Unlimited test. I tried testing the device with Futuremark’s new Slingshot benchmark, too, but the Exynos’ ARM Mali GPU doesn’t support a couple of OpenGL’s extensions necessary to run that test. (The developers have noted this on the Google Play store page and stated they’re currently “exploring a possible workaround for this.”)

You’ll like gaming on the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, though the latter might end up being a weird experience because of its curved edges. Regardless, you’ll be able to move in and out of applications and quickly fire up games when you’ve only got a few minutes to spare without experiencing any hassle.

A bounty of battery life

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The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge come equipped with a 2550 mAh and 2600 mAh battery pack, respectively. That’s a bit of a downgrade from the Galaxy S5’s 2800 mAh battery. I was particularly impressed by how little I had to charge each phone in the week that I used them.

My experience with the last few Samsung devices was that after the honeymoon period was over—essentially, a few months after I’d posted the review—they turned into these nasty little battery suckers. I feel optimistic that’s not the case this time around, especially since that wasn’t the case with the Galaxy Note 4. It’s still one of the most battery efficient phablets on the market and I’d like to think whatever tweaking Samsung did there, it also did it to the Galaxy S6.

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(We are re-running the Geekbench battery test and will update with those numbers shortly.) With the display calibrated to 200 cd/m2, Samsung’s new phones outlast many of its rivals. They’re not going to last longer than low-end phones with small displays and weaker processors like the Moto E, nor bigger, thicker phones with massive battery packs like the Droid Turbo. But compared to other thin, light, high-end premium flagship phones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge avail themselves well.

On standby, with their displays off, both phones seemed to hibernate. It took over three days of on-and-off usage to kill the Galaxy S6, while the Galaxy S6 Edge stayed quiet on top of my dresser over the weekend. That device only drained 20 percent of its battery power when I went to check on it two nights later.

Heed warning that both phones do eat through a lot of energy with the brightness turned up—their bright Super AMOLED displays are battery hogs. On the drive in to work, the Galaxy S6 Edge burned through 20 percent of its battery life powering Google Maps’ turn-by-turn directions, though I had left the screen on at mid-brightness and allowed notifications to push through all at the same time. Afterwards, I turned off turn-by-turn directions and the GS6 Edge’s screen, and it stayed at 79 percent for a good portion of the morning. That’s true battery efficiency: when you can use the hell out of your phone for about an hour, and then not worry that will prevent you from using it the rest of the day.

If the phone does die on you in the middle of the day, you can rest assured that it’ll charge up in no time flat. The Galaxy S6 charged from 20 percent to 54 percent in just 20 minutes, from 0 percent to 86 percent in 50 minutes, and from 0 percent to 100 percent in an hour and 18 minutes. The “Oh crap my battery is low, I wonder how much I can charge it in 15 minutes before I board the plane” scenario looks great for this phone.

Better storage performance

Remember when you switched your computer from regular ol’ mechanical hard drives to solid state drives? Well, the performance improvement of the Galaxy S6’s storage isn’t quite that dramatic, but it’s still really flippin’ fast.

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The Galaxy S6’s storage performance in AndroBench. Far left is sequential read. Middle is Random Write. Far right is Random Read.Samsung’s new flagship phones are the first to ship using the new Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 standard, which offers higher read and write speeds and increases reliability in flash memory storage. That means shorter loading times on big apps, faster application switching, and less lag when saving those hi-res burst photos. UFS 2.0 is also supposed to be more energy-efficient, which may contribute to the GS6’s ability to squeeze good battery life out of a somewhat smallish battery pack. We’ll see UFS 2.0 in more phones over the coming year, but Samsung’s the first to bring it to the mass market.

TouchWiz: no more tantrums

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TouchWiz has not only changed aesthetically, but it’s less of a memory hog, too—or at least it feels like it. It definitely feels faster than it did on its predecessors, though Android 5.0 has a lot to do with that, too. TouchWiz also has a new Theming engine, which I figured would eat away at battery efficiency, but it just ended up making everything look real cute. I’m also happy to report that there’s nary a delay when I slide down Notifications Shade.

I’m looking forward to revisiting these performance benchmarks in about six months time—you don’t see a phone’s true abilities until after they’ve been used and abused for a while. Samsung’s new flagship may be a powerhouse now, but it could be a different story a later on.

The Galaxy S6 is one of the best camera phones ever

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We have a lot to say about the new Samsung Galaxy S6. For one, I can’t get over the fact that it kind of looks like an iPhone—my Macworld colleagues certainly agree—and two, it’s obvious Samsung put a lot more effort into this phone than the past few generations of its flagship Galaxy family.

We talked about the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge quite a bit in our initial hands-on with the devices at Mobile World Congress. One of its standout new features is its new camera hardware. Rather than simply increase the megapixels and tout a higher number, Samsung worked meticulously on this year’s camera to ensure it outperformed its predecessors.

Thus far, we’ve only had about a day with the phone, so instead of rushing a half-assed review, we took the Galaxy S6 out for a spin on the streets of San Francisco to focus on testing out its new camera capabilities. Whatever Samsung did to its camera software really worked, because this is seriously one of the best camera phones I’ve ever used.

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I took the Galaxy S6 to the photo lab to begin testing its photo-taking capabilities. I was astonished at how much Samsung actually improved its camera. It’s not just clever advertising.

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The Galaxy S5’s “ghosting” effect seems to have been effectively reduced in the Galaxy S6. This is not only a boon for those who do serious photo editing with their smartphone, but it’s also a testament to the fact that Samsung did right by its users in equipping the Galaxy S6 with a camera that takes in more light, rather than simply upping the megapixels.

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Low light performance has increased exponentially between the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S6. The end result is no longer grainy and almost indecipherable, though I’ve honestly yet to take the Galaxy S6 into a bar setting to really test its low-light chops. Check back in the review next week for that particular low-light, real life test.

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For a while there, I could barely believe the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, or Galaxy S5 had Macro abilities because of how frustrating they were to use. Taking Macro shots on the Galaxy S6 is much more stress-free. I still have to hold the lens at a bit of a distance to allow the camera to focus, but it’s more akin to using a 50mm lens on an DSLR.

Indoors, the Galaxy S6 camera was inconsistent, though that’s to be expected considering the lighting in our building is a bit inconsistent, too. There are some rooms that are brightly lit by windows, while others have fluorescent lights, and still others utilize spot lights. That said, the Galaxy S6 was better at adjusting to the different lighting situations through the building than other smartphones, and it was consistently quick when choosing the mode in which to shoot. The live HDR preview certainly helped in some cases, too.

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Outdoors, the Galaxy S6 produced a myriad of stunning shots. In fact, it inspired so much confidence in me, that I posted photos directly to Instagram with the hashtag #nofilter. I hardly ever do that because I’m usually too embarrassed by the quality of the photos I take with whatever Android hardware I have in hand. (This exact reason is also why I switched to the iPhone for six short months in 2012. Seriously.)

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In our initial look at the Galaxy S6, Samsung said that it did a lot of tweaking to the camera sensor’s focus abilities. It definitely shows: I tapped the screen to focus in on the stop sign you see above, and afterwards the app instantly brightened just that area of the stop sign. It was previously too dark to see it in the shade

Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge Promotion Leaks Design and Names

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Samsung is expected to launch its next Galaxy flagship smartphone alongside a curved-display variant at the company’s Galaxy Unpacked 2015 event during MWC scheduled for March 1, which is just a couple of days away from now. But the leaks related to the device just don’t stop coming in.The latest in the series of leaks is from mobile carrier Sprint. The US carrier along with T-Mobile, and AT&T earlier this week unveiled pre-registration pages that featured a side view of the Galaxy S6 Edge along with the words ‘Six Appeal’. Soon after, AT&T’s site code confirmed the names – Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

More recently though, Sprint briefly put up a contest page (now pulled down) which showed the top-halves of both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. In the meanwhile, more live images of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have surfaced on the Internet, matching the phones seen on the Sprint contest page, alongside new details about UI on the handset.

First spotted by Android Police, Sprint’s promotional teaser pages are for interested consumers to sign up for alerts on the handsets. Another promotional contest page shows the front panels of both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.

The image only shows the upper half body of both the Samsung handsets that house the company logo just above the display while the screen has March 1 date potentially tipping the launch day. Sprint’s contest page seemingly also spills the names of the two handsets, in-line with previous reports, and says, “Pre-register for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge that are coming soon and you’ll be entered for a chance to win one of six GS6 (Galaxy S6) devices that are given away each week for a limited time.”

In another leak, Sammobile reports that the Galaxy S6 will come preloaded with just two in-house apps while it will also include the themes feature that debuted on the Samsung Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5. The report claims that Galaxy S6 users will be able to change “icons, colour bar, voice tones, background image and background colour in menus.”

samsung_galaxy_s6_s6_edge_leak_xda.jpgThe report adds that the new themes should be available to download from the company’s Theme Centre; though there is no word on whether the handset will support third-party themes.

Lastly, more live images of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have emergedon XDA forum (via GSM Arena). On Thursday, some images of the Galaxy S6 were leaked via XDA forum showing the brushed metal frames alongside front and rear panels, as well as the lack of a microSD card slot and removable battery.

The latest images show the front and rear panels of both the yet-to-be-announced handsets. In one of the images the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are seen with switched-on screens. The curved-display edge of the Galaxy S6 Edge on one side is also visible in the image. The rear images of both the Galaxy S6 and the curved-display variant look identical with a protruding camera, a notable feature that’s visible. As mentioned before, the images match that of the Sprint contest page, and we can now be reasonably sure the two phones will arrive in the form leaked by the carrier.

samsung_galaxy_s6_s6_edge_front_leak_xda1.jpgBased on previous reports, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is likely to feature a 5 or 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display; run Android 5.0.2 Lollipop; octa-core Exynos 7420 processor; 3GB of RAM; a 20-megapixel camera with OIS (optical image stabilisation); 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 2600mAh battery with fast charging features.

Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked 2015 event on March 1 will kick off at 11:00pm IST and you can tune into NDTV Gadgets for live updates from the event.

[source : gadgets.ndtv.com]

Samsung Unveils World's First 10nm FinFET Chip Technology

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Samsung recently announced that it started mass production of mobile application processors on its 14nm FinFET process technology, which is likely to be seen in theExynos 7 Octa series. Now, taking another leap ahead, Samsung has revealed it is working on 10nm FinFET semiconductor technology.The South Korean company announced what it touts is the “world’s first 10nm FinFET semiconductor technology” at the ongoing 2015 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

Samsung’s Kim Ki-nam, President of Semiconductor Business, stressed that the 10nm FinFET chips will be a major step in “the advent of IoT (Internet of Things).” Additionally, Ki-nam also talked about use of the 10nm technology coming to DRAM and 3D V-NAND chips. Samsung however has not revealed much detail about the 10nm FinFET chips. The launch was first reported by ZDNet Korea.

Interestingly, Intel at the ISSCC event also talked about 10nm FinFET; though the company confirmed that it will showcase the new chips only by 2016 while 7nm chips can be expected in 2018. Intel previewed its planned presentations, which largely dealt with the viability of Moore’s Law as transistor widths shrink to 10nm and below. To recall, Intel’s migration to 14nm transistors was delayed, it was rolled out successfully with the Broadwell (Core) and Cherry Trail (Atom) product lines.

Coming back to Samsung’s Exynos 7 Octa series, the company is yet to announce specifications of the chipset. It is likely that this processor will be used in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, widely expected to be announced at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.

[source : gadgets.ndtv.com]

Samsung Galaxy S6's Large Display and Unlikely 'All-Glass' Body Teased

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Samsung’s Norway website has again teased the yet-to-be-launched Galaxy S6 in a couple of ‘rumour’ slides. This time the South Korean Norway website has teased about extended screen and an all-glass body with representational pictures.Following up on its three ‘rumour’ slides posted earlier this week, the fourth rumour slide talks about the display on the upcoming flagship Galaxy handset. The fourth slide notes, “It has been rumoured that the new Galaxy will feature a larger display”. The fifth slide is a bit unusualm and says, “Rumours point to an all-glass Samsung Galaxy,” which is unlikely to be the case.

The first three ‘rumours’ slides posted by Samsung Norway with representational images showed front-facing stereo speakers; a durable handset, and three-sided display. Of the three, the front-facing stereo speakers rumour seems to be the most unlikely.

The official Samsung Norway site has also put up a countdown for the Galaxy Unpacked 2015 event scheduled for March 1, where the company is expected to unveil its next flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S6, alongside a curved-display variant, the Galaxy S6 Edge. Samsung also teased the flagship Galaxy S6 in video teasers over the weekend that indicated the handset might sport a dual-curved display and a metal build.

Based on previous reports, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is likely to feature a 5 or 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED display; run Android 5.0.2 Lollipop; octa-core Exynos 7420 processor; 3GB of RAM; a 20-megapixel camera with OIS (optical image stabilisation); 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 2600mAh battery with fast charging features.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone names were spotted on AT&T site. The names, which are yet to be confirmed by the company, were present in the source code of AT&T’s teaser page.

[source : gadgets.ndtv.com]

Samsung Says Still the 'Clear Leader in the Indian Tablet Market'

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Samsung is pointing to data provided by market research firm GfK that finds the South Korean firm was the India market leader in terms of volume market share and value share in Q4 2014 – the same period that IDC found iBall to be market leader in terms of tablet shipments.

The company says its volume market share was 40.6 percent, and its value share was 49 percent. Asim Warsi, Vice President, Marketing, Mobile Business, Samsung India Electronics, in an emailed statement on Tuesday said, “In fact, our syndicated research shows that our volume market share in the fourth quarter is more than the combined market share of the next four brands. The volume share of Samsung tablets for the year was nearly five times more than the next player, while the value share was three times bigger.”

Further citing GfK figures, which the firm says is based on actual sales data, Samsung in the statement added it had achieved a volume market share of 42.9 percent and value market share of 51.2 percent in the Indian tablet market in 2014.

“It is quite obvious that Samsung continues to be the clear leader in the tablets market in India. We are the number one choice of the Indian consumers,” Warsi added.

In the meanwhile, in the Indian smartphone and mobile markets during Q4 2014, Samsung retained its lead according to IDC’s figures, with a 22 percent market share.Micromax was close behind with an 18 percent share, followed by Intex with a 8 percent share, Lava with a 7 percent share, and Xiaomi with a 4 percent share.

IDC’s figures for the overall mobile phone (feature phones and smartphones) vendor market share for Q4 2014 saw with a 17 percent share, followed by Micromax with a 15 percent share, Nokia with a 10 percent share, Lava with an 8 percent share, and Intex also featuring an 8 percent share.

Notably, Samsung had recently disputed another market report, that time for the Indian smartphone market shipments in Q4 2014 by Canalys. Once again citing GfK sales data, Samsung had claimed a dominating volume market share of 34.3 percent.

[source : gadgets.ndtv.com]