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Reasons to upgrade from the Samsung Galaxy S4 to the Galaxy S6 or S6 edge


Last updated: May 4th, 2015 at 11:34 UTC+02:00

Samsung’s latest and greatest smartphone offerings till date, the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge, will be available next month, and there would be a lot of people who are willing to upgrade. In the US, Europe, and other developed parts of the world, many people opt for two-year contracts with mobile phone carriers. Samsung had managed to sell over 40 million Galaxy S4 units within 6 months of its release, and I am sure there are a few million users out there still using the Galaxy S4.

I get it, your device will be upgraded to the latest version of Android (Lollipop) sooner or later (the update has already started rolling out in a few regions), but do you know what you are missing out on? I strongly believe that you should upgrade your S4 to the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge, and here are seven important reasons why.

Reason 1: Sleek metal-and-glass design that stands out

Whenever you think of a Samsung smartphone, an image of the S Pen-toting Note series or a white-colored cheap, plastic smartphone floats in front of your eyes. However, gone are those days when Samsung devices meant cheap, glossy plastic designs with traces of fake chrome finish around the front. Samsung has crafted the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge with beautiful and premium materials including metal and glass.

The Galaxy S6 edge is unlike anything you’ve seen before. It instantly stands out in a crowd of slim smartphones, thanks to its dual-edge curved display (more on that later) and metal-and-glass body with chamfered edges. You’ve always hated those bezels besides the screen, didn’t you? Well, have a look at the S6 edge, and you’ll scream “Where are the damn bezels?” as your heart springs with joy.

Samsung says that the metal used in building these devices is 50 percent stronger than the metal used by the competition. The front and back of the devices are protected by shiny-yet-strong Gorilla Glass 4 from Corning. Yes, the camera sensor protrudes slightly, but its color matches with the rest of the body, so it doesn’t look hideous.

To make the devices even more pleasing to our superficiality loving eyes, Samsung offers dual-tone colors as the color tone changes slightly when you tilt the phone against the light. Samsung has not only created strong yet beautiful smartphones, it has also managed to cram every piece of modern technology inside profiles less than 7.0 mm thick.

Reason 2: Super AMOLED display with QHD resolution, Dual-edge curves

Since the start of the Galaxy S series, Samsung has been on the forefront of display technologies, thanks to its home-brewed Super AMOLED screens. Moreover, the Korean electronics giant has been able to improve its screen technology every year, and recently, every six months.

The Galaxy S6 edge features a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with QHD resolution, which is curved on two sides, hence the naming convention “Dual-Edge Curved Display”. Samsung claims that it is the best screen in the world ever used in a smartphone, and which has been certified on scientific grounds. According to a report from DisplayMate, the screen on the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge is much brighter (784 nits when set to automatic screen brightness mode) and sharper (577 ppi) than the one on the Galaxy Note 4. This is a huge feat in itself considering the fact that the Note 4 was released just six months ago.

Reason 3: Hugely improved cameras

Samsung has not only upped the resolution, but also the camera sensor size on the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge when compared to the Galaxy S4. They feature a 1/2.6-inch Sony IMX240 camera sensor (as we correctly reported even before the official release) with a resolution of 16 megapixels and also include OIS for shake-free images and videos. Thanks to F/1.9 aperture, the images will have a better “Bokeh” or “Depth-Of-Field” effect.

There’s IR-assisted white-balance mechanism (using the heart rate sensor), auto real-time HDR, dual-video recording, and Pro mode. Now, you don’t have to turn on the HDR mode manually while clicking selfies against the sun or other light sources, thanks to auto real-time HDR.

As every other smartphone brand started using high-resolution front-facing cameras, Samsung had to do the same, but since it is Samsung, it had to do something extra. The front-facing camera on the Galaxy S6/S6 edge not only has higher-resolution than the S4, it also has larger sensor size, wider lens (to fit in more people or scenery in the image from the same distance), auto real-time HDR, Panorama (for even wider selfies), and Interval Shot (Photo Booth like mode). The front-facing camera can also record QHD videos (a first in smartphones).

Samsung says that it has worked hard on the software side as well, largely simplifying the camera UI. It is true that most people want their smartphone cameras that “just works”, so Samsung seemed to have worked on improving the auto mode, which clicks the best possible images. For other enthusiasts, there’s Pro Mode, which not only allows manually changing ISO, exposure compensation, focal length, white balance, contrast, saturation, temperature, tint, highlights, and shadows, but also shows all these effects in real-time, so that you could know how the final image would turn out to be.

It claims that the image processing is mature and the noise suppression has been toned down. You can double-click the home button to start the camera in under 0.7 seconds, even from the lockscreen. The whole camera software is based on Google’s new Camera2 API, so you get access to advanced camera functionalities. If you don’t like Samsung’s camera app, you can install Camera2 API based camera apps like FV-5 or Manual Camera. All in all, you get greatly improved cameras.

Reason 4: Blazing-fast processing

The octa-core processors in the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S6 lineup might look similar, but there’s a lot of difference. The new Exynos 7420 processor is based on 14nm FinFET technology, with 64-bit CPU cores (4 x Cortex-A57 + 4 x Cortex-A53) and Mali-T760MP8 (772 MHz, 209 GFLOPS) GPU. All this means more processing grunt for all those heavy tasks like web browsing, 4K video playback, and gaming, but not at the expense of more power consumption.

People often ignore things like RAM and storage speeds, which play a huge role in day-to-day performance of a smartphone. The S6 and S6 edge feature 3GB of LP-DDR4 RAM (as opposed to 2GB LP-DDR3 RAM on the Galaxy S4) and at least 32GB of UFS 2.0 storage, which is said to be much faster than NAND storage. As a result, the S6 and S6 edge blazed through benchmark tests, especially in the storage file transfer tests, and are guaranteed to offer a faster experience than competing flagships in 2015.

Reason 5: Toned-down, re-imagined software

The Galaxy S4 will be upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop, and it will probably not get any major Android update in the future. On the other hand, the S6 series comes pre-installed with Android 5.0.2 along with a newer version of TouchWiz.

Speaking of TouchWiz, didn’t you ever blame Samsung for making the software on its Galaxy devices heavy and clunky, so much so that even day-to-day tasks like opening the dialer and the gallery took ages to open? I certainly did, and so did our Editor-in-chief Abhijeet. You often had to root your device in order to remove useless apps and features.

Also Read: It’s 2014, Samsung. Why does your software still lag, even on a flagship device?

Well, during the Unpacked 2015 keynote, Samsung claimed that it has removed 40 percent of “features”, and placed it on Galaxy Apps store, so that people who want to use them can download those apps. Starting with the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung has started to trim down bloatware in TouchWiz in order to improve software speed and responsiveness. We will examine this thoroughly in our in-depth review of the two devices, but based on what the company has claimed and what we experienced in our brief time with the devices, TouchWiz seems to be more optimized than it has ever been.

Reason 6: Fingerprint sensor goodness

After reading reviews of the swipe-based fingerprint sensor, you were glad that you didn’t upgrade to the Galaxy S5, didn’t you? The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge feature a faster, more accurate touch-based fingerprint sensor that not only unlocks your devices, but also assists you in making hassle-free payments using Samsung Pay.

Samsung Pay features NFC payments as well as MST (magnetic-secure transmission), which makes it compatible with existing magnetic-stripe point-of-sale units. According to Samsung, 30 million vendors worldwide use MST payment system. This gives Samsung Pay a real headstart over Apple Pay and Google Wallet. All VISA and MasterCard cards will be compatible with Samsung Pay when it launches in the US and Korea shortly.

Reason 7: You’ll love owning a future-proof smartphone

Apart from all the six reasons listed above there are a lot of little yet important things that make the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge worth your money. They feature LTE Cat. 6 (300Mbps/50Mbps), Bluetooth v4.1, and wireless charging (with support for the two most popular charging standards). All these things are considerable upgrades over the Galaxy S4, making the Galaxy S6 phones rather future-proof, at least for the next two years. In the software department, both devices should get major updates for at least two years, if not more.

The Galaxy S4 was a great flagship phone for its time, but there’s no question the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are massively better in basically every aspect. If you’re due an upgrade, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t grab one of Samsung’s newest two flagships if you’re looking to use the latest and greatest the smartphone market can offer.

What do you think? Is there another major reason that would make you want the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge? Let us know down in the comments!

Phone Galaxy S4Galaxy S6Galaxy S6 Edge
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