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Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. Galaxy S5 – The Biggest Upgrade Ever

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In the past, Samsung has paid more attention to the performance of its devices and neglected their appearance. While the Note 3 was a revelation, thanks to the new faux leather design, the Galaxy S5 was a total failure, because there weren’t many users impressed by the dotted pattern from its back. Samsung admitted its mistakes and put its designers to work, sending them to the drawing table. It seems that, this time, they were more inspired, because the Galaxy S6 was praised for its new design.

Designs

For starters, the Galaxy S5 came with these dimensions: 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, it weighted 145 grams and it was dust and water resistant. Last year, Samsung made use of plastic and tried different textures, but the ugliest one had perforated dots which looked odd, instead of pretty. Also, the frame was made of plastic, but painted to look like metal, and after a while, it peeled off, so a protective cover was mandatory. However, those who weren’t bothered by the dotted pattern, were able to choose one of the four color options: Charcoal Black, Copper Gold, Electric Blue or Shimmery White.

The Galaxy S6 was total overhaul and its high price was finally justified. The plastic back was replaced with a shinny glass made by Corning, which was available in four shades: White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and Blue Topaz. The sides are now made of aluminum, so they’re durable and don’t scratch anymore, but the water resistance is no longer available. The device became shorter, narrower, slimmer and lighter, measuring 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm and weighting 138grams.

Displays

Samsung hasn’t changed the screen size, but the resolution was increased from 1,920 x 1,080 pixels to 2,540 x 1,440 pixels, resulting in a higher pixel density of 577 ppi (from 432ppi). However, since both screens are Super AMOLED, both offer vibrant colors, a good contrast, a decent outdoors visibility and the brightness reaches 600 nits. The screen of the Galaxy S6 is sharper, but Samsung won’t stop here, because the company is planning to bring a sharper UHD screen on the Galaxy S7.

Hardware

The Galaxy S5 was powered by a 32bit Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor (20nm) which was clocked at 2.5GHz, and which was coupled with an Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB DDR3 RAM. Because it had some serious issues, Samsung decided to ditch the Qualcomm processor and focused on improving its own processor, building the Exynos 7420 Octo-core CPU using a 14nm process and paired it with a Mali-T760 GPU and 3GB DDR4 RAM. In the Geekbench 3, the Galaxy S5 obtained 2900 points, while the Galaxy S6 scored 5200, so this is really a huge improvement.

Storage

The Galaxy S5 was available in two storage options of 16 and 32GB, but they supported expansion up to 128GB. The new model ditched the microSD card slot and came with three variants of 32, 64 and 128GB.

Cameras

Both devices have a rear camera with the same resolution: 16MP, but Samsung improved the software and added some useful features which improved the image quality. The Galaxy S5 supported an aperture of f/2.2, while the Galaxy S6 came with an f/1.9 lens and faster shutter speeds and the possibility to lower the ISO sensitivity. Also, the successor supports optical image stabilization and the secondary camera is 5MP, being upgraded from 2.1MP.

Battery Life

The battery of the Galaxy S6 is smaller, having a capacity of 2,550mAh, which 13 hours of looped video, while the 2,800mAh battery of the Galaxy S5, which is removable, offers 11 hours of looped video.