Is the Galaxy S6 Samsung's biggest mistake?

Is the Galaxy S6 Samsung's biggest mistake?

I recently wrote about a feature of the Samsung Galaxy S6 which I believed to be a standout feature. I love it. I wrote an article and shot a video about why I loved it. The Galaxy S6 is also at the top of AndroidPIT's best Android phones in the world list. But I don't love the Galaxy S6, and I think it might be Samsung's biggest mistake.

The design

Look, I can’t deny the design of the Galaxy S6 is great. The camera is high-quality, its display is gorgeous and it has a premium feel overall. But it just feels soulless, doesn't it?

Samsung galaxy s5 vs Samsung galaxy s6 1 5
The Galaxy S6 (left) and the Galaxy S5. / © ANDROIDPIT

Samsung turned its back on many long-time Galaxy S series fans when it abandoned removable batteries and expandable storage. It decided customers of their latest flagship didn't need them anymore, so they were cut. Forget user experience and options and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

This notion of loyalty is key. One of the reasons Samsung has been so successful is for creating a huge fan base with devices which offer what people want. I can't help but worry that those core customers, who were unlikely to be won with weird advertisements, are going to fall out of love with Samsung.

Samsung has tried to create the most palatable smartphone design possible: it has smoothed away anything that, in my opinion, makes it unique or interesting. But in doing so, it has created a smartphone which has no personality. And constructing it with glass and aluminum is by no means unique to Samsung or the Galaxy S6 (hello HTC One M9 and Xperia Z3+).

galaxy s6 vs iphone 6 03
Look at the symmetry of the iPhone 6 (top) compared to the Galaxy S6. / © ANDROIDPIT

Slippery as a soapy marble and a chronic fingerprint magnet; the design is better than the Galaxy S5, but that doesn't mean it's a high-quality flagship. 

The competition

The HTC One M9, for all its foibles, is impressive because HTC stuck to its guns on the design. You don’t need to produce a myriad of gimmicks to make a satisfying handset - just create something which is well-priced and works. 

It has neither the best camera, nor the best display, nor the fastest performance, but as a whole it's a strong handset.

The LG G4, arguably the most impressive device to launch this year, almost has it all. Style, performance chops, removable battery, quick-charging and expandable storage, plus LG also maintained the rear-button setup from the LG G2. 

The rear-buttons divided critics at the time, but the LG G2 and LG G3 became popular Android phones, and if the LG G4 lost what made the G line special, it may have lost some devoted fans with it.

LG G4 1 Teaser
The LG G4 was a smartphone which really lived up to the hype. / © ANDROIDPIT

Then there's the Asus Zenfone 2. For my money it's the best flagship we've seen this year. Has a smartphone ever offered value like the ZE551ML variant does?

Fast-charging, expandable, powerful, Full-HD display with a solid camera for $299? This is going to be overlooked and forgotten because Asus doesn’t have the brand awareness or marketing budget of Samsung, but it’s basically the perfect smartphone.

You'd have to favor the Galaxy S6 over the Sony Xperia Z3+, which is so similar to the Xperia Z3 it could be mistaken for it. As for the Galaxy S6 Edge, I quite liked it. But the other Android competition has so much to offer now, and the specs war is waning.  


Samsung has made an iPhone 6 competitor that nobody asked for. If a person wants an iPhone, they can buy an iPhone - it's only marginally more expensive. In taking away the things that separated the Galaxy S series from the iPhone, Samsung has taken away the soul of its crown jewel.   

I can't deny that the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a remarkable piece of technology, but with Samsung neglecting its core fans and needlessly chasing Apple, I've lost a love of the Galaxy S series. And if I'm not alone, this could spell even more trouble for Samsung in the future.

Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below. 

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  • Lue Croshere Nov 9, 2015 Link to comment

    transfer data between any two smartphones from iPhone and android

  • el c Oct 9, 2015 Link to comment

    They cagged it eh

  • HeartStrong07 Jul 14, 2015 Link to comment

    Yes, Samsung buckled ... Removal battery and expandable storage where part unique brand ...

  • kingboudi1 Jul 12, 2015 Link to comment

    Hold on a second, if Samsung released a galaxy s6 that stuck withe plastic, and had the same design, and was water resistant, no one would have bough it, and this article would be hell of a lot different, this is just stupid, every year you guys tell the poor company what you want, they do it , then you all go bitching about it, I mean, what the hell do you want ? You wanted a premium design and metal , you go nag about how there is no removable battery , WTF, if you want a phone with a metal removable back go buy a fucking Nokia !

  • Jeff Bourn Jul 9, 2015 Link to comment

    I couldn't agree more. Unless they bring back the removable battery and sd card slot I'm done with Samsung.

  • Nick White Jul 8, 2015 Link to comment

    I totally agree. What was Samsung thinking? This is not what their customers wanted. Will probably buy the Galaxy S5 - or even a competitors' phone when contract expires next month. I want the micro SD slot and the replaceable battery. While I'm complaining - we don't need super thin phones that must be put in a case, rendering them thick anyway. Make the phone a bit thicker and stronger, put in a bigger battery and we're good to go!

  • Jerry Phenney Jul 5, 2015 Link to comment

    This is a no brainer decision.

    No sd card, no interchangeable battery, no purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S6 or higher.

    I am looking at the new LG G4 and other phones for my next upgrade.

  • Robert Dale Jul 5, 2015 Link to comment

    No it is not their biggest mistake.

    It is a very good phone that should/ could have been great.

    A casualty of the ridiculous " Thinness Race" - S6 could have been about 3/4 millimeter thicker and have a 3100 Mah to 3200 Mah Battery.
    No one would be disappointed AND the ergonomics are NOT affected by slight thickness.

    Huge screens affect ergonomics NOT .7 mm of thickness.
    Also PRETENDING to be thinner and having Camera protrude out the back is ridiculous.
    If you wear a size 8 shoe but your toe sticks out 1 inch- you really wear a size 11 shoe.

    A Slimmer body may get you more attention/ dates but NOT a slimmer phone.

    SD Cards are nice as Hardware Back up storage- different from the Cloud etc.
    And of COURSE it should have been included.

    Galaxy Alpha - another near miss- thicker with bigger battery about 2600 Mah 1 millimeter thicker with Camera from Note 4 and higher res screen and an SD Card and maybe even 3 Gig RAM like a Note 4 Compact business phone with no stylus...Worldwide Hit.
    Near misses ...people don't buy iPhones because they are THIN.

  • babylon lion Jul 3, 2015 Link to comment


  • William A C. Jul 1, 2015 Link to comment

    I am on my 4th Note (Note 4) and am eagerly awaiting the Note 5. If the Note 5 doesn't have the features I've come to love from a Samsung smartphone i.e. removable/replaceable battery and SD card I shall be very disappointed and may just stick with my Note 4. Removable battery and external storage are the very features that set Samsung apart from iPhones.

    • Robert Dale Jul 5, 2015 Link to comment

      Note 4 although too large for me and most Active types is still probably the best Android so far.

      I was thinking an S6 Pro - thicker with Bigger Battery and SD card could really be great but would anger many S6 owners....

      However a 5.0 or 5.1" screen Note Compact no stylus with beefy Battery and SD support might be great....priced just like Note 5 ..same Camera etc.

      OR a prettier metal/ glass version of S6 Active - no armor no ugly pushbuttons called
      S6 Lifestyle non exclusive might be great.

  • William Saywell Jul 1, 2015 Link to comment

    Yes - big mistake.

    SD card not just for storage - sometimes you need to swap them out as you have say music on one card, photos on another. Might need to plug card into PC etc, too.

    Battery likely to fail before the rest of the phone, so that's why replaceable batteries are beset. A cynic might think Samsung eschewed them to speed up the refresh cycle for owners, to boost profit!

    The camera sounds great, but the above deficiencies make it unlikely that I'd buy one.

  • Carlos Ferreira Jun 30, 2015 Link to comment

    Why you people need to replace battery?
    If you want to buy a $800 phone (32GB) and add an 128GB sd card, because is cheaper than buy an 128GB phone, or you can't afford the extra $150 (you will save $75, because an 128GB sd card costs another $75), man you have a problem, think better about your life! :)

  • Reg Joo Jun 30, 2015 Link to comment

    There's an excellent article, from anandtech, that if you can afford samsungs best(128gb model ), you may not worry too much about the phone's faults( or if you do, to each their own). Excellent, but so is this, real concerns from users count. Can't post a link, so you gotta search for it, yourself.

  • Dan Neumann Jun 30, 2015 Link to comment

    I won't upgrade from my Note 4 anytime soon because I prefer the expandable memory and changeable battery. It's also why I won't own an iPhone.

  • Gif Romeo Jun 29, 2015 Link to comment

    I agree. For me this is a drawback. Not having an expandable storage. Not having the option of battery replacement. I have a note 3 and a s 5.

  • sinkster Jun 29, 2015 Link to comment

    I just think it's an outrageous price for any phone. Obviously the average person has a carrier contract (and therefore probably a Samsung Galaxy/iPhone of some type), but to justify nearly £600 for a 32gb phone is hard. It is a nice piece of kit, true, but not what I would call a truly great device; I was using an S6 edge for a couple of weeks last month and it's still not usably or noticeably faster than the Nexus 5, it doesn't charge hugely quicker, the display is not usably better, and so on. While on paper it should make the old Nexus 5 look slow and outdated, it just doesn't.

  • Marcus Richardson Jun 29, 2015 Link to comment

    On the HTC front. I think a lot of what you have said about the S6, rings true for the M9, but for different reasons. The M9 is bar far the worst phone I have owned since my last Samsung, the SGS2. For me, the best thing about the modern HTC range (specifically the One devices) has been their predictability and reliability, and HTC dropped the ball in both aspects with the M9. Physical (external) build quality is fine, but internally there are heaps of issues. I have already replaced one M9 due to faulty hardware (dead vibration motor, unresponsive power button, faulty light sensor), not to mention the camera quality and overheating. The second M9 I have now is still not working as well as I feel it should. If HTC want to progress with limited design changes between models, then each model must be better than the previous, in terms of performance and reliability. So far with the M9, the only changes I have noticed between my previous One have been for the worse.

  • Timothy Clement Jun 29, 2015 Link to comment

    I agree 100 percent with the author on the Galaxy 6 I have one and I absolutely hate it I loved my s5 and when I get a new screen installed I will be switching back to it.
    the battery is dead 12 hours into my day and I can't switch it out like the s5 I should have read up on it before just ordering it when it came out shame on me.
    also I work on and around water and last year lost my phone for an hour lol found it in the lake shook it off and away I went with my phone nice and clean and working would not be good with my galaxy s6.

  • Tim Richardson Jun 28, 2015 Link to comment

    The s6 is a great device. I'm not religious so I don't think about whether my phone has soul, although Master Yoda tells us the Force is in all things, even stones, so I guess the S6 at least has that. The s6 has the best camera, display and cpu. It has wireless charging. It runs a great OS. The audio quality via headphones is outstanding. No sd card, but extremely fast built in storage. On cpu, ram and flash it leads a new generation of technologies.

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