Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Galaxy S6 Leak Promises Radical Samsung U-Turn

Samsung smartphones are known for two things: 1. Selling millions, and 2. Being jammed full of TouchWiz bloatware. But apparently Samsung is about to rethink the second of these with its upcoming radical Galaxy S6.

The news comes from an interesting source. Reddit user ‘SamsungRep2015’, whose identity was confirmed by a Reddit Moderator, is causing a storm on this thread discussing the company’s 2015 plans and top of the list is his claim that a dramatically streamlined TouchWiz will debut on the Galaxy S6.
Samsung smartphones are known for two things: 1. Selling millions, and 2. Being jammed full of TouchWiz bloatware

“Overall device responsiveness is vastly improved, and memory consumption is way down,” SamsungRep2015 claims. “Some builds have freed over a gig of memory consumption from cold boot.”

“As far as legacy features, in [sic] not 100% sure what is being brought forward, mostly because they didn’t just do a patch to the newest release from their existing codebase like usual, they built it from scratch… [It’s] not just specs Samsung is focusing on this time around.”

SamsungRep2015 also went on to say that on the Galaxy S6 itself that leaked specs “all line up with what I’ve seen/heard” but goes on to warn that “there’s quite a good chunk of time between now and April” – the handset’s expected release month.

What has been seen/heard to date? The mainstays are an upgrade to Qualcomm’s new 64-bit top of the range 810 Snapdragon chipset, a screen resolution bump to 2k (2560 x 1440 pixels), 3GB RAM and a new 21 megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS). As yet the screen size remains disputed with both a Galaxy S5-matching 5.1-inch and iPhone 6 Plus/LG G3-matching 5.5-inch panel mentioned.

Up to now hardware design has been the Galaxy S6’s main talking point though with a widely expected shift to a unibody aluminium chassis and curved Note 4 Edge display. To this end SamsungRep2015 admits that “I’ve heard lots of rumblings about crazy new designs (and I’m not just talking Galaxy Alpha ‘redesigns’ either.)”.

Regardless of whether the claims from SamsungRep2015 pan out, what is starting to build is a consistent theme of major change coming from Samsung in 2015 and it is a line the company has made no effort to publicly correct.

Of course the pressures are clear. Despite selling millions, the Galaxy S5 significantly missed company and investor estimates and it has come under increasing pressure from Google not to cover every element of stock Android. Google has even released the Google Launcher which brings the look of stock Android to heavily skinned devices.

But before the Galaxy S6 comes a fascinating acid test: the Galaxy S5 and critical darling the Galaxy Note 4 lead a plethora of Samsung handsets soon updating to Android 5.0 Lollipop. So will they also betray signs of this U-turn to a leaner, meaner TouchWiz?

The signs look good and while TouchWiz has its fans, I think I can speak for the majority in saying: we certainly hope so.