Since their release, the Verizon versions of Samsung's 2015 flagships (well, the smaller ones anyway) have been given only a couple of minor service updates. That changes today, at least according to the carrier's support site: both the Galaxy S6 and its curvy brother the S6 Edge are getting bumped from Android 5.0, which they've been running since launch, to 5.1.1, the latest official release. The software version is LMY47X.G920VVRU3BOG5 for both phones.
Do you want to pay full price for a phone? Probably not, especially when they're as expensive as Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge. This is a phone that launched at roughly $800—enough to buy two or four times as many less glossy handsets.
Do you want a killer discount on a Galaxy S6, and do you also happen to be in the market for a new T-Mobile phone? Then today is a good day to be you. The carrier is offering $80 off of any T-Mo version of the Galaxy S5or Galaxy S6 with the checkout coupon "DEAL80OFF" (that's eight, zero, capital O, capital F, capital F). If you use the coupon with a Galaxy S6 you get a free car charger too, but we didn't have enough room to fit that in the headline.
Fast charging is one of the most prevalent solutions nowadays to the problem of battery life in modern smartphones. Battery capacity hasn't changed a lot in recent times, yet we keep on demanding more and more out of our phones, so fast charging was introduced as a way to juice them up faster than usual. However, not all fast charging phones are created equal, whether it's in terms of technology, charger used, or battery capacity to fill up. To figure out the fastest charging phone(s), Tom's Guide set out to test 7 different smartphone models in a variety of situations.
The list has the Galaxy S6 (proprietary Samsung technology with its high-wattage charger), Asus Zenfone 2 (Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 based "Boostmaster technology"), LG G4 (Qualcomm QC 2.0), Motorola Nexus 6 and Droid Turbo (Qualcomm QC 2.0 branded as "Turbo Charge"), and finally the OnePlus 2 and Apple iPhone 6 (no fast charging technology). Putting aside the logistics of the test, which you can read in details on the original article, here are the noteworthy results.
While the Note 5 and S6 edge+ are far from the first Samsung phones with reported issues killing background tasks with unusual aggressiveness, they are the first ones with four freaking gigabytes of RAM to do so. We've long assumed that Samsung's background task issues on certain handsets are related to a lack of RAM headroom due to TouchWiz, and yet, the Note 5 and S6 edge+ may exhibit the most aggravating task killing of any Samsung devices we've yet seen. Let's cut to the video for a complete explanation. (I realize it's long, but I'd recommend watching all the way through to see what's going on here.)
The issue was readily reproducible on both our S6 edge+ and Note 5 review units, and we aren't the first people to point this out.
The hot ticket for Samsung seems to be its Edge models, but if all you want is a solid flagship at a good price, great deals can be had on the standard Galaxy S6 model. If you head over to eBay's Daily Deals portal, you'll see a vendor selling an unlocked 32GB model for $469.99, a solid $130 off the unlocked retail price and $10 less than our previous best price for the phone. Get an order in quick if you want one, this isn't likely to last very long.
This is a brand new phone, not refurbished as many eBay deals tend to be, and it's available in black, white, gold, and "blue" (read: teal).
Samsung isn't leaving its flagship of yesteryear completely high and dry in this age of Stagefright vulnerability. An update is being sent to the Verizon Galaxy S4 today that patches the Stagefright vulnerability, and adds a few more fixes for good measure.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 are going to launch in a huge number of countries around the world starting next week, despite having been unveiled just a few days ago.
The general take of the Android Police team is that both phones are essentially blown-up Galaxy S6s. The S6 Edge+ is, of course, a giant S6 Edge. The Note 5 is basically an S6 with a stylus. (Oddly, though, both lack the S6's infrared blaster.)
They use the same basic version of TouchWiz, the same basic version of Android, and have very similar styling. They have the same chipset, the same RAM, the same storage, the same cameras, and the same display technology and resolution.
If you've been watching today's coverage of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ with bated breath, you won't have to wait too long to pick one up from an American carrier. All five major US networks have confirmed that they'll be carrying Samsung's new flagships, with varying degrees of availability and pre-order status. The official release date from Samsung is August 21st, and AT&T is already selling phones. Here's the breakdown for the other carriers:
Big Red is already taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5. The S6E+ can be had for a whopping $768 in its standard 32GB model or $864 for the 64GB model (ouch) at unlocked prices.