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Galaxy S6 first impressions: Why can’t I find anything to complain about?

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:58PM EST
Galaxy S6 Review
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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What on Earth is going on right now?

Smartphones are like anything else. When you pick one up it’s fresh and new, and the novelty overpowers everything else. You’re so excited to have this new gadget you’ve been waiting for that you can’t even see its flaws, serious though they may be. Then, over time, the novelty wears off and the flaws become more pronounced, gnawing at you each and every time you pick up your phone. And that’s when the complaining begins.

It has now been about a month since I first used Samsung’s new Galaxy S6… so why can’t I find anything to complain about?

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First things first: the Galaxy S6 is hardly perfect, and I’m not suggesting that it is. But when it comes to real flaws — serious issues that hurt the user experience — there really isn’t much to speak of.

The Galaxy S6 is particularly interesting to me because when it comes to Samsung’s flagship smartphones, I’ve had some serious complaints in the past. In fact, my complaints were show-stoppers; design and build quality are hugely important to me, and Samsung fell well behind the pack in this regard.

With the Galaxy S6, Samsung catapults from a distant last place to the top of the heap.

Android enthusiasts have two main problems with this phone. The first is the fact that the battery is not swappable, and the second is the phone’s lack of removable storage.

Neither issue concerns me at all.

Regarding the battery, I have yet to fully test it since Samsung didn’t deliver review units until yesterday. I haven’t seen any abnormal drain in the first 24 hours though, and it looks like the battery will easily survive a full day of typical usage, on par with other flagship phones.

Samsung also included quick charging compatibility so the phone charges very fast, and there are two different power saving modes to stretch out your usage time when you need to.

Where removable storage is concerned, it’s 2015. Samsung offers up to 128GB of internal storage in the Galaxy S6, and cloud-based services are readily available. For a very small group of users, the lack of microSD card support will be a deal breaker. For most people, however, it’s not even an issue — just ask Apple.

I covered most of the basics in my first Galaxy S6 hands-on earlier this month, but there are a few things worth stressing as I prepare my full review, which should be published early next week.

First, the Galaxy S6’s display is absolutely stunning.

Forget about the quad HD resolution and forget about the pixel density. Forget everything you’ve read on spec sheets, because there are far too many factors that impact display quality that aren’t represented at all on paper.

All that matters is how the display looks when you hold it in your hand — and the Galaxy S6’s display is simply amazing.

I have never seen anything quite so impressive on a mobile phone. The clarity is crisp and clean, the colors are bold and vivid, and the brightness is intense.

It’s the best smartphone screen in the world, end of story.

Also apparent now that I’ve been able to spend some more time with the Galaxy S6 is just how powerful this smartphone really is. Seeing the benchmark test scores are one thing — the Galaxy S6 absolutely obliterated everything else on the market in my tests, managing a multi-core score of over 5,200 in several Geekbench 3 tests — but the handset’s capabilities are far more apparent in the hand.

The Galaxy S6 is ridiculously fast, and it seems almost impossible to trip up during normal usage. The new 64-bit octa-core Exynos processor, 3GB of DDR4 RAM and UFS 2.0 storage combine provide a truly fluid user experience.

I’ll have plenty more in my full Galaxy S6 review next week.

As Samsung announced Thursday morning, the new Galaxy S6 will be available for pre-order beginning this Friday, March 27th, and it will be released on April 10th.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.