Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Review

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Camera and Battery Life

For years, Apple's smartphone cameras have been considered some of the best available. Because it operates a vertically integrated supply chain, whereby it controls both the hardware sourcing of the sensor and the software development surrounding it, it's able to optimize the camera in a way that most Android-centric manufacturers cannot.

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Samsung has done a great job with the rear camera on the S6 and S6 Edge, though. Low light performance is excellent, shutter lag is nonexistent, and color reproduction is spot-on.  Samsung was obviously listening to feedback and spent considerable resources optimizing camera performance on these devices.

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In our estimation, this is the best camera performance we've ever seen from an Android phone. In daylight or low-light situations, image quality is superb. Below is a gallery of unedited photos shot with the S6's rear-facing 16MP camera. (For those obsessed with front-facing selfies, there's a solid 5MP sensor on the front and a shutter that can be triggered by tapping one's finger over the flash array on the rear.)

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Unedited images from Samsung's Galaxy S6 (click any to enlarge)

On the battery front, the news isn't quite as great. Not only is the battery within the S6 and S6 Edge smaller than most rivals at 2550mAh, but it's not user-replaceable. This means that you'll actually see a slight hit in battery life compared to the S5 and competing phones with some workloads and use cases, but you get a far sleeker device overall. The S6 can re-charge rather quickly, however. 30 mintues on the charger will bring it back to up 50% charge or so.  Streaming HD video for three straight hours took our phone's battery meter from 100% to around 63%, so those who tend to keep their phone's screen on for long periods might want to keep a USB battery pack nearby.

gs6 antutu battery chart

We also ran our own HotHardware Web browsing test, where we set up a webpage with a mix of graphics, media, and text. The page automatically refreshes every few minutes. This is a simple baseline test that measures up time while browsing the web. For this test, we set both displays to 50% brightness and connected to the web via Wi-Fi. In this test, the Galaxy S6 lasted for around 7.76 hours, while the S6 Edge managed just over 8 hours.

gs6 battery browsing chart

In average use, you shouldn't have any issue with either phone lasting a full day, but you'll probably want to charge it overnight. These phones are designed to get through two days of medium to heavy use, but everyone's mileage will very depending on their particular use case.

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