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5 big Galaxy S5 features dropped for the Galaxy S6

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Galaxy S6

Samsung has announced the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Samsung Galaxy Edge, with the general consensus being that they represent a major step forward from the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The thing is, while last year's flagship phone undoubtedly disappointed in a variety of ways, it was a supremely well-specced device.

Indeed, while the bleeding-edge Galaxy S6 might seem pretty advanced, it actually drops a number of features from its forebear...

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S5

1. Waterproof design

The reason the Samsung Galaxy S5 attracted the kind of subtle, creeping antipathy that saw it reviewing strongly but suffering over the long term was its conservative design.

Place the Galaxy S5 next to the Galaxy S4, and it's tough to tell which is the newer phone. Place it next to one of its contemporaries, like the HTC One M8 or the iPhone 5S, and it looks like a mid-ranger.

But the thing is, the aspects that made the Galaxy S5 so prosaic – its solid plastic components – are precisely what made it so robust. The Galaxy S5's IP67 rating meant that you could take it in the shower with you, drop it in the toilet, take it for a dip in the pool, and generally subject it to the kind of abuse you'd reserve for a GoPro action cam.

Try that with your expensive new Galaxy S6, and the odds are you'll either be shopping for a new phone or sheepishly ringing up the insurance company.

SEE ALSO: Best Samsung Galaxy S6 cases

Battery

2. Removable back

Another result of the Samsung Galaxy S6's more premium design is that you can no longer take its back off. This is a first for a Galaxy S device, and it's caused a bit of a stink among the die-hards.

Why is that such a big deal? Because a removable back in the Galaxy S5 meant a removable battery, which was a very handy feature to have for frequent travellers.

Of course, these days, those who have absolutely no access to a wall socket for a whole day or more make up an ever-shrinking minority. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S6's fast-charge capabilities go some way to addressing the issue in a more elegant way, while its impressive wireless charging support has one eye on a future of Qi-equipped coffee shops and wireless charging Scandinavian furniture.

But the simple fact that you can't carry a spare battery around with you will be enough for some to forgo the Galaxy S6 in favour of its more utilitarian predecessor.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy S6 Edge

S6 top

3. microSD card

Another somewhat controversial move with the Galaxy S6 is its lack of microSD card slot. Android fanboys have long cited the lack of expandable storage as a weakness in the iPhone range, but now their own platform champion has abandoned the cause.

It's possible to see this as another byproduct of the Galaxy S6's sleek design, but it's just as likely to be a deliberate choice based on performance considerations and straightforward usability.

Either way, the Samsung Galaxy S6 will be limited to the memory that ships with it in a way that the Galaxy S5 never was.

S5

4. Bigger battery

Not only will the Samsung Galaxy S6's battery not be removable, it'll also be considerably smaller than the Galaxy S5's. The old phone had a generous 2,800mAh battery, while the Galaxy S6 will have a mere 2,550mAh. The Galaxy S6 Edge variant will be slightly bigger at 2,600mAh.

We'll be honest with you, of all these points, this is the only one that genuinely concerns us. Poor battery life has ruined many a great phone, and it would be a shame to see Samsung, of all companies, falling down on this fundamental area.

It's particularly concerning given the fact that the Galaxy S6 will sport a much sharper and hence more power-hungry display than the Galaxy S5.

In its defence, the custom Exynos CPU at the Galaxy S6's core is said to be 35 percent more energy efficient than the Galaxy S5 equivalent. It's the world's first 14nm SoC, which means that it's smaller than previous efforts. Smaller means less heat, which means less wasted energy.

Here's hoping it's enough to make up for that 200mAh shortfall, eh?

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9

S5

5. USB 3.0

This final difference has been slightly overlooked in all the fuss surrounding the Galaxy S6. Among all the advanced components to be found in the new phone, its Micro USB 2.0 port represents a step back from the Micro USB 3.0 port of the Galaxy S5.

Of course, the reason this has been overlooked is because it doesn't really matter all that much. There's a reason the Galaxy S5 remains one of very few smartphones to adopt USB 3.0 in its current mobile form factor.

USB 3.0 may be significantly swifter than USB 2.0 when it comes to data transfers – around ten times faster, to be precise – but the accompanying mobile connection standard is larger and a lot less wieldy.

A better Micro USB standard called USB Type-C does exist, with a compact reversible connector – rather like Apple's Lightning standard – and double the data speed of USB 3.0. It's a shame the Galaxy S6 didn't adopt this, but then, no other flagship phone has incorporated it as yet either.

Add in the fact that few people actually bother transferring data over a physical USB connection these days, and a move back to USB 2.0 in the Galaxy S6 makes a lot of sense.

alnakatani

March 3, 2015, 8:03 pm

Will wait upon upgrading to S6 until real world performance reviews will answer most of the questions one has about battery performance are in....and at the same time, hope prices will start to drop.

shnatiw

March 3, 2015, 8:58 pm

A good article that anyone thinking of upgrading to the S6 should ponder over. I went from the S2 (a great phone) to the S5, but will think long and hard about sticking with Samsung in 12 months time if this is the direction they are heading in. Although I haven't held one the design of the S6 seems dated to me. Apple and Sony championed glass rears a couple of generations back. Wasn't the Z1 also waterproof. The HTC M9 has a non removable rear but still manages to include a microSD slot and a larger battery! My S5 has a reassuring heft to it, and to my mind Samsung should have switched to a metal side frame and kept the plastic back. I like the soft touch dimpled effect. It doesn't feel cheap. It feels practical.

Anadiscus

March 5, 2015, 8:01 am

From usb 3 to usb 2, what makes sense?

xXshadowXx

March 5, 2015, 6:32 pm

Sticking with my s5, it's way better than this "S0" as i'm going to call it because the bottom looks like an iPhone.

DeadReckoning

March 9, 2015, 2:23 pm

Who needs resolution beyond full HD - maybe 1% of users. Who needs decent battery life - 99% of users. Samsung need to wake up. I am forever worrying if my S3 charge will last or not. What a stupid thing to have to be concerned about day in day out.

Chase Payne

July 25, 2015, 1:48 pm

I'm kinda pissed off how they went back to 2.0, it was amazing connecting your phone to the PC and being able to see it in full resolution in real time. Now USB 2.0 simply can't handle the bandwidth.

Axekick

August 28, 2015, 7:07 pm

I just upgraded my S3 to a S5 after careful consideration. My carrier offered me $150 off any phone they sell for being a loyal customer. My S3 was slow, it was the original non LTE version. Personally "form always follows function" for a phone and I couldn't justify spending an additional $100 on a lesser phone.

Edit: So far the S5 has been great, exceeding my expectations except for the camera. I may have to tinker with it or something I am not getting the quality results I was expecting.

Alan

November 2, 2015, 3:27 pm

I can tell you from experience the battery is poor, worse than my 3 year old Note 2. Even worse is the fact you cannot practically replace it, so when it starts to fail you'll have a pretty useless phone. And forget the wireless charging, as it doesn't work with a case.

alnakatani

November 2, 2015, 4:16 pm

I have the S6 Edge+, use Nova Launcher, disabled apps I don't use, use a case, configure to primarily using apps that enable black theme, switched from chrome to rbrowser and battery lasts 16 hrs without a problem. I also use an autocleaner that cleans the phone every so many hours. I also never use vibrate, turn off most notifications. But also am not on the phone to where I would be called a heavy user, so for me, the Edge+ is fine. I don't miss the S5, which was a good phone also, but due to being visually impaired I need the phablet that allows maximum personalization....and Android allows such. Oh yeah, wireless charging works for me....have 4 chargers around the house. The above experience with the battery is when I pick the phone up about 5 am in the morning, and dont recharge for the entire day. Now that I know that the battery can last all day without charging (when not at home), I do use wireless charging intermittently when at home, having read that it is good for the battery (don't know if it is true) but since I have the wireless chargers around may as well use them)

Alan

November 4, 2015, 9:15 am

So your much larger smartphone with it's larger battery works OK, as long as you dumb it down enough? Well would ya look at that?

alnakatani

November 4, 2015, 2:32 pm

I explained what I did for MY phone, for my purposes and am happy with the results. In my opinion, what Android allows is one to personally configure what is not always a perfect device to the users own satisfaction. My intent was not to diminish the opinions of others. I guess there are those who see these kinds of comments worthy of sarcastic statements, which is too bad, but not unexpected; as there is much in the way of such comments these days.

Alan

November 10, 2015, 10:25 am

Well "YOUR" phone is not the S6, is it? It's the S6+, a much larger phone with a larger battery, so your input was misleading at best.

Brad Larsen

November 10, 2015, 6:32 pm

Me too. S3 to S5. My "careful consideration" had a lot more to do with getting a mint 5S for $215 off EBAY. I can't distinguish it from a new one. Now I'm happy to hear I've narrowly escaped some stupid decisions by Samsung Corp.

DaN^

February 23, 2016, 9:36 am

I own an s6 and my battery life is just fine, I also spend a lot of the day randomly taking pictures on jobs and just general use all day. Not once has my battery failed me, you must be raping your battery somehow.

Alan

February 29, 2016, 5:18 pm

Oh I'll grant you it rarely "fails" as in shuts down, it just goes uncomfortably low, considering it's so new. Batteries don't hold their charge so well as they get older. This thing is brand new, and if I look at it right now.. 46%. That's pathetic. My old Note 2 would still be around 70% at this time, though I used it a lot more. Literally I don't use this phone so much, i don't like the smaller screen, I don't like how fast the battery drains, I don't like the tinny sound.. It's just a crud phone. I should have got a new Note I spose, but this will be my last Samsung. Sony, LG, anything but Samsung now.

Sean Nosecondname

May 21, 2016, 3:00 pm

I'm on my S5 since January 2015. Never a day's bother. I work in a mobile network call centre and the S6 has far more issues. The S7 has adressed some of these concerns but not all. The decision to go integrated with the battery has alienated me and lost Samsung my custom. I will be regrettably moving on to the LG G5 which for obvious reasons, offers a more durable phone in my opinion. It's a real shame because I swore by Samsung previously. Never a day's bother with my ace, s3 mini, S4 and S5. If I want an iPhone, I'll get one. I don't and that's why I chose Samsung for the hitherto advantages it had. Total self sabotage by Samsung. Planned obsolescence is what it is. Replacing the battery is very difficult to do yourself on this model and people won't want to pay to do so outside warranty. Not me.

Matt Faraday

July 1, 2016, 2:57 pm

Copying 30GB from my S6... 4 hours 45 minutes... awesome. Never Samsung again... the S6 owners got shafted by Samsung. No memory slot, not waterproof, non removable battery.. Only USB2.0 and extremely slow storage.... next phone will not be a Sammy.

Vaclav Kuba

October 16, 2016, 5:04 pm

Looks like there is something wrong with your phone, ask for replacement. My new S6 can transfer 30-40 MB/s, that is 2 GB in a minute. Copying 30 should take about 15 minutes.

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