Posted by Ashleigh Allsopp 06 March 2015
The Galaxy S6 makes Samsung look stupid
Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy S6 smartphone this week at MWC 2015, surprising us with its many similarities to Apple. Now, I love the iPhone, but I don't love everything about it. I love the design, for example, but I don't love the non-removable battery or the lack of microSD card slot, or the fact that it's not waterproof. Weirdly, Samsung seems to have taken several steps backwards with the S6, and those aforementioned Apple similarities are things we don't like about the iPhone, all of which the S6's predecessor boasted. What's going on, Samsung?
Yes, that's right, the S6 doesn't have a microSD card slot so you'll have to pick from 32GB, 64GB or 128GB when you buy it in the same way that you have to with the iPhone 6. You won't be able to replace the battery easily, so if something goes wrong it's not a simple case of popping the back off and slotting in a new battery.
Additionally, damaging the horribly shiny glass back is worse than ever because you won't be able to simply buy a new one and pop it on. What's worse is that if you were used to the stress-free waterproof factor that came with the S5 you'll have to readjust to the fact that if you drop the S6 down the toilet or into a puddle it's probably going to be a costly mistake.
Above: Think that's an iPhone 6? Think again...
It seems that these sacrifices have been made in favour of a more premium design that does away with the plastic and introduces an iPhone 4/iPhone 4S-like glass front and back combined with sides that have an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus complete with drilled speaker holes along the bottom and even a protruding camera on the rear. Unfortunately, though, we think the new design is quite ugly, and the glass portions have a mirrored effect that take bling to a new level.
Samsung has been bashing Apple in its adverts for years, but this backtrack highlights one of the reasons its Apple-bashing ads were a mistake. When the S3 came out, for example, Samsung published its “it doesn't take a Genius” print ad comparing the new smartphone with the iPhone 5. Some of the qualities it mentioned about the S3 included the microSD card slot and the removable battery – looks like you'll need to cross those off the list now Samsung.
What's even weirder is how Samsung has backtracked when it comes to software, highlighting that the company has actually taken away 40% of its software features as if that's something to brag about (if it was so unnecessary why was it there in the first place?).
The S6 does still have a lot going for it. It has an amazing 577ppi screen, the powerful processor and that improved fingerprint scanner (one of the only qualities that we're glad it copied from Apple). The S6 Edge also offers additional option for those looking for something a bit more innovative, even if the Edge doesn't actually do an awful lot. (You can find out more in our Galaxy S6 hands-on review and Galaxy S6 Edge hands-on review).
But I'm not sure that'll be enough to stop Samsung's fans feeling let down by the decisions it's made with the S6. Samsung fans have always had pride in being different from Apple, but it's suddenly become more difficult, and while it doesn't mean they'll suddenly become Apple fans, there are plenty of great Android competitors that have just become more appealing than ever.
What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy S6? I'd love to know your thoughts either on Twitter or in the comments section below.