Samsung Galaxy S6: No MicroSD, Not Waterproof, Shorter Battery Life

The tech blogosphere is abuzz with the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge this morning. Specs and features of both devices were unveiled at the MWC 2015 event, and Android lovers everywhere are excited. The Galaxy S6 surely boasts some impressive specs (which we’ll get into everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S6 shortly), but what it doesn’t have seems to be the story here.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will not have a MicroSD expansion slot, nor are either of the new Android devices going to be waterproof — a feature which S5 users raved about. Samsung S6 buyers will also be stuck without a removable battery. The fact that Samsung has decided to keep these features out of the Galaxy S6 is certainly a headscratcher, but the company makes up for these missing features with other features and specs that the S6 has. According to Samsung, the company has also trimmed back the software features by nearly 40 percent of the features that the Galaxy S5 had. So what DOES the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have?

galaxy s6 images

Samsung will be including their own processor in the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which is a 64-bit Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, which has four cores running at 1.5GHz and four at 2.1GHz. Both devices will have 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and will have 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage (which is why there isn’t really a need for a MicroSD card now, anyway). The front-facing camera will be 5 MP with real-time HDR and the rear camera will be a whopping 16 MP. The phone has a fast-charge mode that will give the device an extra 2 hours of HD video playback or 4 hours of “normal” use in just 10 minutes of charging the 2550mAh (S6)/2600mAh (S6 Edge) battery. Both phones will support both Qi and Powermat wireless charging. This battery capacity is actually lower than the Galaxy S5’s (which has a 2800 mAh battery), so you’re likely going to need that 10 minute charge once in awhile.

The S6’s screen is a 5.1-inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED display with 577ppi, and will have a resolution of 1400 x 2560 (plus 100 for the Edge). The device will be 1.5x louder than the Galaxy S5, with an amplifier built in for high quality sound. The devices will also be NFC compatible.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which will have Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, will both be available in April, and will be available in white, black, gold and blue (and the S6 edge will have a dark green model instead of a blue one). It seems as though Samsung has taken a step backwards in some ways, and a step forward in others.

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Bobby Bernstein

Owner Nerdmuch, who believes the Back to the Future is the greatest trilogy ever made. Bobby has been writing on the web for over 10 years and expertise in all things home consumer tech and those related.

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  1. The major reason I never went for Google Nexus phones was because they were not storage-expandable. And every time I justified to my friends why I had chose Galaxy S3, S4 and now S5 over of an iPhone (Switzerland is an iPhone country), precisely the now missing reasons of microSD card and replaceable batteries were by first arguments.

    Sure, I could compensate for my 16GB (internal) + 64GB (external) storage by buying the 128 GB version, but if experience tells us anything, it is that that each higher storage level (32->64->128GB) will cost another 80-100 USD each time!

    So my question here is: what Alternatives do you propose? Assuming:
    – You like the good build quality and great screens of Sammy
    – Software: You appreciate some of the Samsung software features: Samsung keyboard is imho best type-ahead keyboards for people using 3 different languages frequently (can this be loaded separately?); the speech to text works quite well, etc.

  2. I can’t believe it!!!
    – Waterproof
    – Replaceable battery
    – Micro SD card slot
    The 3 biggest differentiators that cemented my loyalty to Samsung – gone!!! I was so excited about a new phone coming out, thinking that the waterproof aspect may even be improved, eg; providing a touch screen that works under water (I work on boats so this feature is invaluable to me!). Certainly not even considering that three of the main reasons some of my colleagues have even changed from Iphone to Samsung would actually be dropped!
    The other two important differentiators are camera and RAM which I’m pleased to see improved even more, but if the Samsung strategy is to continue without the big three then they’ve lost me and many of my friends and colleagues! :(
    PS; Anyone know where Samsung get their user requirements from? I’m hoping they research all the forums like this one but they must have an official process to gather customer requirements and feedback?
    PPS; Batteries deteriorate and if not replaceable this forceably limits the life of the phone – I wonder if this is the deliberate ploy of the Samsung business strategists!?!

  3. The only feature I care about is water-proofing. Maybe since they usually make many derivatives of the S-series will have a “Sport” or “Active” model that would include water-proofing. I love having that feature on account of I do a lot of outdoorsy stuff and value that extra security.

    1. James, that’s a valid point. And if the case is such, an obnoxious one (not your point, but that Sammy would do this to pad their bank account).

  4. I have recommended the S5 to over 200 friends, colleagues and relatives, many of whom had iPhones. They bought the S5 because I kept telling them about the waterproofing, SD memory card and the replaceable battery. They all switched to the S5 because of these 3 great features. Now I will have to find a replacement for my S5 and will no longer recommend the Samsung phones because of their stupidity to clone an iPhone and eliminate the few advantages they had over the iPhone. Sounds like the beginning of the end for Samsung.

    1. Agreed. It’s a step back in so many ways. While I use an iPhone 6 right now (my LG G3 is broken), I love Android because many of the phones have a microSD card slot – I’m currently relegated to 16GB of storage which is useless. Battery has never been a massive issue for me, and nor has waterproofing, so they’re largely a cherry on top.

  5. Samsung did NOT make up for the loss of removable storage. They simply took away one of the key differentiators from their biggest, most obvious competitor and gave no alternative. I keep saying it … the cloud IS NOT A FRIGGIN ALTERNATIVE to onboard storage options for mobile devices! PERIOD!

    I live in NYC and spend at least a couple hours a day underground in the subway, out of the reach of cellular signal. And all that time is precisely when I might want to view or listen to something I otherwise would have stored on an SD card. How exactly does the cloud help me then?

    1. It does if you lose your phone ;). Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Ron, it’s a valid point. It would seem that, as I indicated in another comment, Samsung sees the $$ signs.

  6. How could you possibly report that you’re “going to need that 10 minute charge once in a while” vs. The S5 over a tiny battery capacity difference, when the S6 employs a 14nm processor – something that, just so you know James Katt, is something that Qualcomm will struggle to reach?

    If you do not understand the importance of producing processors on a smaller die, or the power efficiency or technological achievements that this represents, you should NOT be reporting in this industry, and you must certainly not be claiming less battery life – that is a simply preposterous claim, and it is based on absolutely nothing, even an educated guess would suggest the opposite to this claim!

      1. Bobby – the actual headline of the article reads “shorter battery life” and I see absolutely no reference to the fact that the brand new 14nm processor is more power efficient – as we’ve seen time and again with processors when they are shrunk onto a smaller die. Not once is this mentioned in this article and what comments you have made on power usage suggest the opposite. The 14nm process is a huge step and is one that the other major player, Qualcomm cannot compete with because of Samsung’s own manufacturing capabilities.

        You don’t even need to look at the Mobile world to see these types of processor advances being prioritized, the PC market is forever pushing it’s processors onto smaller die’s as a priority and it’s a difficult thing to do – one of the best things about this phone is going to be the processor.

      1. Sure – the Galaxy S6 is using a brand-new, never-seen-before version of the Exynos processor. It’s not just an updated version of the old one, it’s being produced on a smaller die. The primary gain of this is power efficiency – the smaller the die, the less power is used! It’s why in desktops Intel have been pushing for smaller and smaller processor manufacturing processes and why we’ve seen some significant gains over the last few years in this area. It’s processor science at it’s simplest, a big die uses lots of power, a small one uses little power :)

        It’s worth noting that making a processor on a smaller die is no simple thing – Samsung are going to be mighty proud of the fact they are able to step ahead of the game with this 14nm process.

        Hope that helps!

  7. The Samsung S6 vs The Samsung S5:
    1. NO Removable Battery
    2. SHORTER Battery Life
    3. NO MicroSD Card Slot – needed even with 128 GB Storage
    4. NO Waterproofing
    5. SLOWER Chip than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
    6. 40 FEWER Software Features than the S5.

    1. James, fairness, however:
      #2 – that remains to be scene. A smaller battery capacity, yes, but that doesn’t mean a shorter battery life. But as of now, that remains to be seen.
      #6 – I’ll take this. Sammies have too much bloatware and are often beleagured by what are largely features used to market the phone and marginalize the competition. In actual use, they often go by the wayside.

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