Samsung's Galaxy S6 and S6 edge will make its consumer splash based on an improved camera, which cribs features from its NX1 line of smartcameras, an aluminum body, a new color palette and better speaker placements, but the electronics giant is also courting business people.
The goal of the enterprise push is simple: Remain the go-to Android device standard for corporations. Samsung has also pulled together security features, services and support plans to also target corporations. With that B2B messaging in mind, every feature touted by Samsung ranging from the 64-bit processor to the AMOLED screen to the edge design has a productivity play with it.
For many, Samsung's moves to amp its premium appeal and tone down its sometimes-confusing software add-ons are just the ticket to remake a Galaxy brand facing fierce competition by the likes of Apple and HTC. High-end hardware keeps up with the times, and new additions like wireless charging help the phones feel fresh. The Galaxy S6 Edge screen (which is rounded on both sides) adds some design intrigue that's matched only by the Note Edge and LG's Flex phones.
Samsung's Galaxy S6: A tour of the device, simplified software
In many respects, the Galaxy S6, available in the second quarter, does feel like a new, cleaner effort for the franchise. The software and hardware has been simplified and Samsung has dialed down its Android overlay strategy and adopted Google's Material Design principles.
Here's a look at a few moving parts and thoughts on how the Galaxy S6 will perform for work tasks.
Material design is a start. The version of Android with the Galaxy S6 simply looks cleaner and easier to navigate. Everything from contacts to phones to window management is easier. On the surface, the Galaxy S6 looks like it could be a cousin of Motorola's Nexus 6 that was created for Google. There appears to be some element of Samsung's TouchWiz interface, but it's downplayed.
Multiple windows are easier to launch and adjust. Hopping between apps and resizing windows should make the Galaxy S6's 5-inch screen more productive and better to view spreadsheets---all while taking a conference call. Samsung has been pushing multitasking, but the previous efforts have seemed clunky.
Work and personal personas. Samsung has simplified its entry into its Knox container technology. A prosumer can easily toggle between a work persona and a personal one with a click. This development also isn't new and BlackBerry has had something similar. What's unclear is how many workers are actually dividing up their phone. Samsung also has multiple hooks into enterprise mobility management tools.
Samsung bundles productivity tools, but largely leaves the Google vs. Microsoft Office debate to the user. Samsung bundles both Google and Microsoft apps, but steers clear of pitting the two directly against each other except for cloud storage.
The camera can be launched with two clicks on the home button and other tools are more readily used with one hand with the Galaxy S6.
The Galaxy S6 supports all wireless charging formats and has embedded them into the device. As a result, charging at airports and other locations will be easier. Using a cord, the Galaxy S6 can reach half of a battery charge in 10 minutes. Those features obviously cater to the road warrior.
No removable battery. That wireless charging is there for a reason. The Galaxy S6 doesn't have a removable battery. That said it's unclear how many road warriors will scream. After all, plenty of travelers carry iPhones that have had sealed batteries for years.
No SD card support in an about-face for Samsung. To compensate for the lack of SD card support the Galaxy S6 does start with 32GB of storage and includes 65GB of Microsoft One-Drive storage. As a business tool, it's unclear how many people will miss SD card support.