The Galaxy S6…
arrived in a slick little box with a slick little user experience. Samsung has made efforts to ensure this feels like a premium product, and overall they succeed. I will concede that it’s certainly not the same level of un-boxing experience that Apple has achieved, but it’s getting there. When I opened the box and was presented with the phone, my initial thought was something along the lines of “Oh that looks nice!”.
My previous phone, the LG G3 was a very nice phone with great specs and a decent implementation of Android, but the setup and user experience overall, for me, is superior on the Galaxy S6. Obviously the S6 has muscle under the hood with an octo-core processor setup (not a true 8 core CPU, but 2x Quad-Core CPUs) and the same resolution screen as my old phone.
This is a beautiful device that truly feels like a flagship phone.
Quirks with buttons…
There are a few things about this phone that are not really design flaws so much as things I loved about the G3/G4 design that I miss here. I thought the rear-facing power and volume buttons were a little weird on the G3 at first, but I grew really accustomed to them and the level of ambidexterity that it provides. There’s nothing wrong with the way the power button is on the Galaxy S6, since I use the dedicated home button to power it on (more on that in a bit), but the volume buttons I find to be a bit high on the left side. I have big hands, but when my hand is positioned in a way that I can access the home, back and multi-tasking buttons (are those their names? Meh. That’s what I’m calling them!), I cannot reach the volume buttons very easily. Maybe that is an intentional design choice to prevent inadvertent volume adjustments during normal use. Since the headphones that come with the phone have a built in volume control switch, this is a minor gripe.
The other thing that weirded me out about this phone was the home button. I grew so accustomed to virtual buttons on the G3 that having physical face buttons threw me for a loop. I’ve mostly adjusted, but I still prefer a single touch of a virtual button to having to physically push the button in. As I read what I’ve just written I realize that sounds like a ridiculous thing to complain about, but it is what it is.
I made the conscious decision to choose this phone in spite of one of my historically biggest complaints about modern smart phones: the lack of SD card slot. I store a ton of my own data up in a personal OwnCloud server, and can access stuff via that service, so I figured I wouldn’t have much issue with space constraints. So far, so good. I still like having 64GB of free space on an SD card as an idea, but I’m not having any data capacity issues at this point.
Things to love
With those minor complaints out of the way, I really do love this phone. I find Samsung’s skin to be agreeable, I get better WiFi and Cell signal with the Galaxy S6 than I did with the LG G3, as well as superior download speeds and page renders. The CPU combo is very, very fast and I love a few of the little touches that have been included in the UI, such as the “Close All” button when you pull up a list of your running apps. The screen is just as good as the G3, and the Galaxy S6 may not have a camera that’s quite as good as the G3 or G4, but it takes solid photos and good enough HD video that I don’t have any qualms with it.
While I’ve only had the phone for a few weeks, I have so far been very pleased. As previously stated, most of my complaints are more user hard-wire retraining than actual faults with the phone. Ultimately I have no buyer’s remorse on this one, which is a very good thing indeed!