Samsung Galaxy S6: Five things you need to know

Libby Plummer
Yahoo News.

Hot on the heels of the HTC One M9, the new Samsung Galaxy S6 finally made its debut after numerous online leaks.

Like HTC's new smartphone, the S6 was unveiled at the international mobile phone show - MWC 2015, alongside the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge which sports the same specs as the flagship handset along with an unusual screen that curves round the edges of the phone.

Samsung also introduced the new Gear VR Innovator Edition - its latest virtual reality headset, made by Oculus, that's designed to work with both the S6 and S6 Edge.

Here are five things you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S6:

The plastic back of the S5 is gone!
Thankfully, Samsung has ditched the unpopular plasticky back found on the S5. Both the S6 and S6 Edge feature metal frames, but the back panel is made from super-tough Gorilla Glass 4.

According to Samsung, the metal used in the chassis is 50% stonger than that used in other top-tier smartphones and "will not bend"  - a reference to the iPhone 6 and 'Bendgate'.

JK Shin, CEO of Samsung's mobile division, shows off a new Galaxy phone (AP)

The new handset will be available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz (Galaxy S6 only) and Green Emerald (Galaxy S6 edge only).

It has a super speedy battery charging
This is the first of Samsung's flagship phones not to feature a removable battery. Instead, the battery is built-in, but Samsung is confident that it packs enough power and claims that it can charge faster than any other battery in the industry.

Samsung claims that a 10-minute charge will offer four hours of power, while the battery can be charged from 0-100% in half the time of the iPhone 6.

Say goodbye to your cables, as the S6 offers wireless charging
To power up the phone, you simply need to place it on a compatible charging pad and you're not limited to Samsung's own charger. According to the maker, both of the new handsets are compatible with the two main wireless charging standards (WPC and PMA) so you can use any public charger that supports these.

The interface has been streamlined
The phone will offer no more needless notifications, says Samsung, as the interface has been streamlined to make it as easy to use as possible.

Samsung lifted the lid on its new Galaxy S6 (Sky News)

According to the maker, the interface is now "insanely responsive" and menu screens and icons have been pared down to the bare minimum to offer a more logical structure.

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The S6 Edge makes it possible to assign different colours to up to five contacts, and the phone will then glow with that colour when they call.

The camera just got a whole lot better
Like every other manufacturer, Samsung has gone to great efforts to make sure that the cameras on its phone work well in low light. That's why both the front and rear cameras feature a large f1.9 lens, designed to let in as much light as possible.

Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones debuted at MWC show (Sky News)

A 5MP front-facing camera is joined by a 16MP snapper on the rear, the latter of which includes the same image stabilising software that was introduced on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

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Samsung has also introduced a feature that offers instant access to the camera from the lock screen, using a double tap of the home button.

Samsung Pay
Samsung Pay is a new mobile payment service, that uses NFC (Near Field Communications) and a new proprietary technology called Magnetic Source Transmission (MST) to pay for goods on existing point-of-sale terminals. Samsung has already teamed up with Visa and Mastercard, with more partners set to be announced in future

The Samsung Galaxy S6 replaces the S5 as the brand's flagship (Sky News)

The service will launch in the US and Korea in the summer, rolling out to Europe at a later date.

Samsung Galaxy S6 specs:
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Quad octa-core processor
5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, 577ppi
32/64/128GB storage
16MB rear camera
5MP front camera
143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge specs (as above, plus):
142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0mm

Samsung Galaxy S6 release date: 10 April 2015, prices TBC