Samsung Galaxy S6 (Project Zero) rumor round-up: specs, features, price, release date and all we know so far

by Victor H    26 Nov 2014This is the internal codename of the Galaxy S6, the supposed next Samsung flagship. So far, Samsung has been quietly code naming its flagships with letters from the alphabet - the S4 was Project J, the S5 -- Project K, but rather than the S6 being ‘Project L’ (which also coincides with Android 5.0 ‘L’ollipop), it decided it is time for a reset.It’s all back to the basics. After a few prosperous and worry-free years of growth, Samsung has to go to the drawing board to re-think its ‘next big thing’, which no longer looks so big after sales tumbled and the Galaxy S5 sold slower than the S4.And frankly, a lot of the fairy tale growth for Samsung thus far is  not least due to the fact that Apple was inexcusably late with its product cycle, taking years to make an adequate, large-sized iPhone. Now that there are two of them, and a mature market with a plethora of strong offerings from China, Samsung is starting to feel the heat and this time it’s serious. Samsung mobile head JK Shin is said to be leaving, replaced by Samsung electronics head BK Yoon.One thing is certain: the Galaxy S6 will be a vastly different smartphone, aiming to show the best of Samsung in one device

Design: entirely new vision

We’ve been criticizing Samsung a long time for its uninspiring, all-plastic, cheap-looking devices, and that chant reached a crescendo in the Galaxy S5, where the company ignored all hopes and pleas for a more refined style, and stubbornly released the S5 with the same plastic design.With ailing financials, though, and a series of well-made, metal devices, Samsung might finally make a change.Going back to the ‘Project Zero’ codename, it’s very likely that the reset it implies refers to the visual style of the device at most. After all, previous Galaxy S series devices were never criticized for their processors and performance power. All of this leads to one logical conclusion - Samsung is probably developing an entirely new style for the Galaxy S6.
Take a look at how its predecessors looked like right below.

Display: wave goodbye to 1080p, welcome Quad HD

The Samsung Galaxy S5’s other big disappointment was the screen. The 5.1-inch Super AMOLED panel - despite being praised by Samsung loyalists - has one big shortcoming - its green tint that throws it off in terms of color accuracy, making it look unnatural.The recent advancements in the land of Samsung AMOLED displays that the company showed with Galaxy Note 4 make one thing clear: it can do a good-looking display, if it wants, so we have high hopes that the S6 will finally have a well-calibrated display. As to the size? We do expect it to be slightly larger, going from 5.1” to not more than 5.5”.The road towards higher-resolution screens has been a one-way street, and despite the little perceived difference of going from 1080p to Quad HD (1440 x 2560-pixel) displays, the Galaxy S6 is said to make that jump.
Samsung Galaxy S6 (Project Zero) rumor round-up: specs, features, price, release date and all we know so far

Interface: an unknown direction for TouchWiz

The Samsung TouchWiz custom user interface on top of Android has been the source of controversy for many years. It’s an extremely feature-rich skin, but it has consistently fallen behind in terms of speed, and despite Samsung flagships boasting state-of-the-art processors, they still stutter and lag in certain moments.Nonetheless, it will be extremely difficult for Samsung to turn this around so quickly, and while we do expect a small step towards simplicity and speed in the Galaxy S6 TouchWiz version, it will likely take more time until we can enjoy a truly sleek-running version of the skin.

First 64-bit Samsung flagship: Snapdragon 810 and Exynos 7420 models

The Galaxy S6 will be the first truly important, widespread Android phone with a 64-bit chip, but it will still come a year and a half after Apple kickstarted the transition to 64-bit in mobile with the A7 chip in the iPhone 5s.Android will likely take a couple more years to get NDK apps updated to 64-bit and even then, we do expect it to run with some issues due to the multi-tasking on Android which will conflict older, 32-bit apps with 64-bit ones.Nonetheless, it’s great to finally be in 64-bit territory and feel future-proof with the Galaxy S6.
The S6 is expected to arrive in two versions for different markets: the United States and other Western markets are said to get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810-powered model,while other territories should get the Samsung Exynos 7420-based version.
Samsung Galaxy S6 (Project Zero) rumor round-up: specs, features, price, release date and all we know so far
Qualcomm has a reputation for making its own, custom CPU cores, but it has also been caught off-guard with Apple’s 64-bit announcement, and in order to fit into a more aggressive timeline, the Snapdragon 810 no longer ships with a custom Qualcomm core - instead it uses an ARM-based setup: four Cortex A53 cores and four Cortex A57 cores.In fact, this makes the Snapdragon 810 version of the Galaxy S6 very similar to the Exynos 7420 model, which also comes with four Cortex A53 cores and four Cortex A57. Both are also expected to feature 3GB of RAM.

Camera: Galaxy Note 4-like excellence

The Galaxy S5 took a hit for its 16-megapixel camera. Samsung’s decision to go with such a large resolution came with the downside of smaller individual pixels, and this is said to be one of the major reasons behind the less than inspiring low-light performance of the S5 main shooter.The company has improved its technology, though, and in the Note 4 we are seeing a much better performing 16-megapixel camera. Since the Galaxy S6 is not a finished design yet, internal discussions are still going on to decide whether to use a 16-megapixel or 20-megapixel sensor.Chances, however, are that after a seemingly not very successful run with its own Samsung sensor in the S5, the S6 could feature a sensor like the Sony IMX240 (often said to be in the Note 4), with optical image stabilization (OIS).Another interesting upgrade on the camera end is a 5-megapixel front camera said to arrive on the S6.

Storage: 32GB in the basic model

While processors and cameras have improved at a staggering pace in the last few years, an area that they both depend on has largely stagnated.We’re talking about internal storage, of course. 16GB of internal storage has been the standard for flagships in the past 5 or so years, and luckily, Samsung is finally planning to pick up the pace and introduce the S6 with a 32GB base model. The handset should also be offered in a 64GB and 128GB storage tiers, all with support for expandable storage via microSD cards of up to 128 gigs.

Connectivity: first with all sensors on one chip, in-house LTE modem

4G LTE connectivity might still be a rarity in the majority of the world, but lucky customers in the U.S. and the Western world in general (let’s count Korea and Japan there as well) are enjoying astonishing download speeds.4G LTE, however, has so far come with a taxing battery budget. With the Galaxy S6 this might be less so, as the phone is expected to arrive with a Samsung in-house LTE modem, the SS333, or Exynos Modem 333.Moreover, with Broadcom’s new BCM4773 chip on board that combines GPS and all other sensors on a single die (a first in the industry), we should see some great improvements in battery longevity on the S6.

Samsung Galaxy S6: release date, price, and carriers

Samsung Galaxy S6 (Project Zero) rumor round-up: specs, features, price, release date and all we know so far
Finally, knowing all this about the Samsung Galaxy S6, you might be wondering: when can I get it? Given the history of Samsung announcements, we’d bet on an Unpacked 2015 event for the Galaxy S6 at MWC 2015, or shortly after. The release date of the Galaxy S6 will likely be around a month after the official announcement, so it should arrive in retail stores around the end of March-early April 2015.So far, we have seen the following codenames leak out, and they do reveal a lot about the S6’s carrier availability (yes, it will naturally be on all four major U.S. carriers, and many more).Samsung Galaxy S6 codenames:
  • Zero-F US - VERIZON SM-G920V_NA_VZW
  • Zero US - AT&T SM-G925A_NA_ATT
  • Zero EUR - OPEN SM-G925F_EUR_XX
  • Zero-F CA (Canada) - BELL MOBILITY SM-G920W8_NA_BMC
  • Zero-F US - SPRINT PCS SM-G920P_NA_SPR
  • Zero CA - BELL MOBILITY SM-G925W8_NA_BMC
  • Zero US - VERIZON SM-G925V_NA_VZW
  • Zero-F - EUR OPEN SM-G920F_EUR_XX
  • Zero US - T-MOBILE (US) SM-G925T_NA_TMB
  • Zero US - SPRINT PCS SM-G925P_NA_SPR
  • Zero US - US CELLULAR SM-G925R4_NA_USC
  • Zero-F US - AT&T SM-G920A_NA_ATT
  • Zero-F US - US CELLULAR SM-G920R4_NA_USC
  • Zero-F US - T-MOBILE (US) SM-G920T_NA_TMB‏
Samsung has never surprised us with price, so we do expect the Galaxy S6 to sell for $199 on a two-year contract, and $649 when you buy at a full retail price. With all this in mind, how do you like the way the Samsung Galaxy S6 shapes up to be?Read full article at Phone Arena

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Author: phreak

Hi. My name is Jay and I am awesome.

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