Has Samsung's first true iPhone killer arrived? The brand new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge certainly make a strong case. Sporting a stunning glass-and-metal construction, an optional curved display and a faster, brighter camera, the Galaxy S6 is the most refined version of Samsung's flagship yet. From design to functionality, here are our favorite features of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
Stunning Premium Design
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The Galaxy S6 has finally traded plastic for premium, with a sleek glass-and-metal body that comes in both standard and curved S6 Edge variants. The smartphone's reflective, Gorilla Glass 4 rear panel comes in attractive colors such as Topaz Blue and White Pearl, and changes appearance based on how much light is reflected off of it.
Curved and Standard Displays
Taking some inspiration from the Galaxy Note Edge, the Galaxy S6 Edge variant sports a 5.1-inch display that spills over to both the left and right edges. While these curved edges don't pack quite as many second-screen functions as the Note Edge, they allow you quickly access your favorite contacts by swiping from either edge, and create a more eye-catching display than we've seen on any other Galaxy S phone.
Whether you opt for the S6 or S6 Edge, you'll be a getting a 5.1-inch quad HD Gorilla Glass 4 display, which is a significant bump in resolution from the full HD Galaxy S5.
Speedier, Smarter Camera
The S6 is built to be the fastest-shooting Galaxy yet, with a camera app that Samsung claims takes 0.7 seconds to launch from the home screen. The phone retains the S5's 16-MP shooter while bumping the selfie cam up to 5-MP, with improved aperture that allows for brighter shots from both sensors.
The latest Galaxy packs optical image stabilization for low-light shots, as well as Auto Real-Time HDR for quick and easy color balance. There's also a new infrared-based white balance feature, which uses the phone's heart rate monitor to determine whether you're shooting indoors or outdoors, and sets the white balance accordingly.
The Galaxy S6 may have ditched the S5's replaceable battery, but you can now charge the smartphone wirelessly. The smartphone supports WPC and PMA wireless charging, so you can get some extra juice at select retailers or via one of Samsung's own wireless charging pad. When you're charging with a traditional microUSB cable, Samsung says you'll be able to get to 50 percent battery capacity in a half hour.
Samsung's answer to Apple Pay has arrived. The Galaxy S6 will help herald this year's upcoming launch of Samsung Pay, which allows for both NFC-based and magnetic secure transmission (MST) payments. This means that Samsung Pay should allow for hassle-free payments at a wide range of retailers -- not just ones that opt to support NFC.
A Cleaner TouchWiz
The Android 5.0-based Galaxy S6 retains Samsung's signature TouchWiz UI, but packs significantly less clutter than we've seen on previous models. Areas like the quick settings menu and camera app have been streamlined for better usability, and Samsung claims that the number of built-in features and necessary steps has been reduced by 40 percent.
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Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.