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Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6 review: Gone but not forgotten

Nathan Spendelow David Ludlow
28 Feb 2020
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
600
inc VAT (SIM-free)

The Galaxy S6 was once the Android standard bearer, but its legacy lives on

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Samsung Galaxy S6 review: Battery life

We only run our battery tests at 170cd/m2, which is just over half brightness when auto's turned off, but you should still get a full working day's use out of the S6 regardless of how much you use it. The S6's 2,550mAh battery isn't quite as large as the Galaxy S5's 2,800mAh battery, or indeed the one in the S6 Edge, which is 50mAh bigger, but we still managed a respectable 13h 37m in our continuous video playback test.

Admittedly, we were a little disappointed it couldn't match the S5's 17-and-a-half-hour battery life, or even the S6 Edge, which managed another two hours under the same conditions. However, this is still pretty good compared to the rest of the competition, as the HTC One M9 only lasted just over 9 hours, the LG G4 just two minutes shy of 12 hours and the iPhone 6 last just under 13 hours.

Of course, some will be upset that the battery is no longer removable, but thankfully Samsung's added in wireless charging for extra convenience. It supports both the WPC1.1 and PMA 1.0 standards, so it should work on practically any charging mat. There's also a fast charging mode, with 10 minutes on the mains providing four hours of use.

Samsung Galaxy S6 review: Performance

With a brand-new 64-bit Samsung Exynos 7420 CPU inside, the S6 is very snappy indeed. The performance increase over the S5, in particular, is impressive, as apps load in a heartbeat with hardly any signs of lag or delay. This is partly down to the processor's 14nm fabrication process, which means it will run cooler and use less power than the S5's Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip, or indeed any other Qualcomm-based rival, such as the One M9 and LG G4. Along with the S6 Edge, it's the first smartphone chip to use this fabrication process, so it should maintain a comfortable lead over the rest of the competition throughout the rest of the year.

The processor also uses ARM's big.LITTLE technology, as it has four cores running at 2.1GHz for high-intensity tasks and another four running at a slightly slower 1.5GHz for more low-powered jobs, which should help save battery life when the phone doesn't need to run at full speed. Finally, the chip is 64-bit, making the most of the 64-bit Android 5.0 OS.

Either way, the S6 is considerably faster than almost any other Android phone out there, as it managed a huge score of 1,427 in the single-core test of Geekbench 3 and 4,501 in the multi-core test. Both of these scores are way out in front of the HTC One M9, which scored 945 and 3,649 respectively, and even further ahead of the LG G4, whose slower hexa-core processor only managed 692 and 2,547. In practice, though, we're talking mere milliseconds of difference in app loading times, so it's not something you're likely to notice on a day to day basis.

Buy preowned Samsung Galaxy S6

Web browsing speed was also largely identical, at least between the Galaxy S6 and One M9. For instance, in Futuremark's Peacekeeper browser test, the Galaxy S6's score of 1,257 was only a fraction faster than the One M9's score of 1,257, translating into roughly similar performance when we browsed the same websites on both phones side by side. Pages loaded in an instant, and scrolling was judder-free. The LG G4 wasn't quite as smooth, which was reflected in its slower Peacekeeper score of just 818, but it's still more than acceptable for a top-end handset.

The S6 was back out in front when it came to our graphics benchmarks, though, as its Mali-T760 GPU produced an outstanding 1,429 frames in the offscreen Manhattan test in GFX Bench GL, which renders at 1,080p. This translates to roughly 23fps, which is impressive considering how demanding the test is. By way of comparison, the One M9 managed 1,220 frames (roughly 20fps), while the G4 lagged behind with 921 frames (or 15fps). However, much like its day-to-day performance, the S6's extra horsepower is likely to go unappreciated by the vast majority of users, as there are currently very few games which require this much speed. Continues on Page 3

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