We all love Samsung again, but should we really?

We all love Samsung again, but should we really?

In all honesty, for the past year or two it has looked like Samsung was circling the drain. A very unimpressive succession of devices from the Galaxy S4 to Galaxy S5, flat-lining sales, rumors that Lee Kun-hee, Samsung's Chairman, had actually died following a heart attack that hospitalized him in May 2014, and a pervasive sense that investors, analysts and consumers all thought Samsung's heyday was in the past. My, how things have changed.

Samsung Galaxy S6 top speaker
Samsung really looks to have turned things around very quickly. / © ANDROIDPIT

3 great phones in a row

But then the Galaxy Note 4 arrived late last year and things started to look up. The device was, once again, exceptionally good. So good we crowned it the best Android phone of the year (until the S6 came along). TouchWiz, notorious for being the most heavy and sluggish user interface on Android, suddenly looked a lot better and the version delivered recently on the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge is better than ever.

androidpit galaxy note 4 lollipop teaser 3
The Galaxy Note 4 was a truly great device with a much bigger impact than the S5 or S4. / © ANDROIDPIT

TouchWiz finally doesn't suck

With the Project Zero overhaul of TouchWiz, Samsung fixed one of its biggest problems: a terrible software experience. As if that wasn't enough, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge also delivered a significant blow to another of Samsung's biggest weaknesses: lackluster design. All of a sudden, Samsung's tired and slow software was lightning fast, clean and coherent and the company had also effectively stolen the title of best-looking phone on Android from HTC with an ultra-premium look with no plastic in sight.

samsung galaxy s6 quick settings
TouchWiz is suddenly far from the worst interface on Android. / © ANDROIDPIT

A gamble that paid off

Even though the S6's design reeks of the iPhone, that glass back is a terrible fingerprint magnet, the Edge display is largely pointless and that bulgy camera module sticks out so the phone cannot lay flat on a table, the S6 can seemingly do no wrong. The camera alone is so good it makes the iPhone camera look cheap, and that's saying something.

Samsung took a lot of risks in delivering the S6 to consumers (and even more on the Galaxy S6 Edge). For example, ditching the ubiquitous Qualcomm Snapdragon chip to promote its own Exynos chip was a huge risk that fortunately paid off in incredibly positive ways.

android samsung galaxy s6 edge benchmark antutu geekbench 3 01
The Exynos 7420 is posting seriously impressive benchmarks and real-world performance. / © ANDROIDPIT

Processors and price

Not only did the Snapdragon 810 turn out to be a serious dud (so much so that other OEMs are now opting for the lower-powered Snapdragon 808 for their 2015 flagships instead), but the Exynos 7420 also proved itself to be a very fast and efficient chip. So much so that it might remain the best processor in any Android phone for the rest of the year. At least until the Snapdragon 820 arrives in Q4 anyway.

Furthermore, the massive price hike on both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge looks to be working in Samsung's favor too. Outpricing even the overpriced iPhone 6, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are capitalizing – literally – on that ever-so-Apple characteristic: the perception that if it costs the most then it must be the best. Sales are soaring and production has been shifted up a gear.

galaxy s6 vs iphone 6 03
If Samsung did just make an iPhone, the gamble has certainly paid off. / © ANDROIDPIT

Getting away with everything

Even not disclosing the fact that different Galaxy S6 models have different camera sensors – some made by Sony and others by Samsung itself – doesn't really seem to bother anyone. Nor does the biggest shock of all: that Samsung removed expandable storage and a removable battery from its latest flagships. Some fans are justifiably upset, but the sales figures don't lie.

There were some that thought this was a suicidal move. A misguided and fatal decision that failed to appreciate the significance those two features played in getting Samsung to where it is at the top of the Android food chain. And yet, those extra internal storage options and faster memory seem to make one point moot and that crazy fast charging adapter, power-sipping processor and battery saving modes make the other almost irrelevant too.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S6 galaxy s6 software update notification
Samsung is even delivering Android updates faster than before. / © ANDROIDPIT

A new lease on updates too?

Samsung has also turned a corner where software updates are concerned. Android 5.1 is being prepared for the S6 already and could well become the fastest Android update ever to arrive to a Samsung device. The Android 5.1.1 update for the Galaxy S6 is also bringing enhanced camera features to that already mind-blowing camera as well as further performance improvements and a memory leak fix.

Samsung Galaxy S6 rear camera
The Galaxy S6 has an incredibly good camera. / © ANDROIDPIT

The road to recovery 

I for one never thought Samsung would make it out of this as unscathed as it has. Heck, Samsung is not only unscathed, it has come out with a sheen it hasn't had in years. Samsung is once again being seen as a risk-taker and innovator. Of course, some are saying Samsung just made an iPhone and left its loyal fans behind. But the fans of the S6 and S6 Edge are putting their money where their mouth is. Samsung just doesn't seem to be able to put a foot wrong anywhere right now.

It will take some time to see just how much money Samsung can make out of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, and it will take even more time for the company's fortunes to swing back the other way to resemble its standing in 2013. But the future is suddenly looking very bright again for Samsung and we couldn't be happier. For the first time in a while, the world's largest Android manufacturer has a complete range of flagships we think are all great.

What do you think about Samsung at the moment? Is this the start of the road to recovery?

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  • Bojan M. May 11, 2015

    Pardon me for saying this, but an iPhone user couldn't tell innovation even if her life depended on it.


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  • ns77 May 16, 2015 Link to comment

    Had galaxy phones for years now,the whole house is samsung tv's & gadgets, we have also used the samsungs at work (except for half a dozen windows phones) but it looks like it's time to move over to Htc one m9, as for the works phone we need changeable batteries,as for mine i have around 100gb on my sd card & i aint spending around £750 on a 128gb version.Gutted :-(

  •   11
    Deactivated Account May 13, 2015 Link to comment

    Reviewers love the galaxy S6 because Samsung made an I pone copy. It does beat the I phone in most departments. With out removable battery they are SOL with me. The Note 5 looks to be going the same way. So bye bye Samsung

  • BigBear Mato Tanka B May 13, 2015 Link to comment

    I'm sorry galaxy S6 sucks number one can't replace the battery number two you can't put a Sd card in an S6 ,have to buy the really huge expanded edition of the S6 . The side by side comparison of the iPhone and the S6 they look too much alike , I bought a Galaxy S5 instead updated it to lollipop factory reset it then put all my apps on it battery last 10 hour worth steady use 15 with moderate use 23 hours of stand by time . maybe they with name the next one with removable battery in the SD card port..

  • Leonardo Alves May 12, 2015 Link to comment

    Answer: no.


  • Rogue Tomato May 11, 2015 Link to comment

    Everybody loves Samsung? Well, most consumers do, I guess, since they sell so many phones. But based on the comments at Android sites, lots of people have an irrational hate for Samsung and usually blame it all on Touchwiz, which can be easily replaced. Oddly enough, most of these haters prefer "Pure Android" with the world's crappiest launcher, the only launcher on the planet with fewer customization options than Touchwiz.

    I love my Note 4. It's not because it's Samsung. If someone else made a better phone (for my needs/wants), I'd buy it.

    • Moni Mihailov May 12, 2015 Link to comment

      Same here. I have had 4 Nokia phones but then i just needed an android phone and bought the S3 Mini 2 years ago. Now I'm loving my S5 because it has the features i want not because it's Samsung.

  • claudiohfg May 11, 2015 Link to comment

    In my opinion, Samsung is still running after Apple. I don't see many innovations here. The edge is different but still pointless. The fact that the camera sensor on S6 is a lottery to me is a bummer. If I were to buy an Android smartphone I'd buy Moto X or LG G4.

  • simfan May 11, 2015 Link to comment

    no replaceable battery ?
    KNOX ? Locked, ...
    For true power users the S6 is a mere dud.
    Once more people realise that the 'apple' way is only good for the apple-like money
    hungry companies they will realise their acquisition is not the Nexus type phone they
    should really long for.

  • Lee May 10, 2015 Link to comment

    So hot in fact my old Galaxy S4 charging plug melted 😕

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