Ridgefield Park, N.J. — April 10 will be the first day that Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones will be available in the U.S., joining the April 10 debut of the HTC One M9 flagship.
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless will carry both models, which feature aluminum backs and sides, Samsung said. Both models will also be carried by Amazon.com, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, Walmart and Samsung Experience Shops at Best Buy. Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS will carry only the S6.
Preorders starts March 27, when consumers will be able to get their first look at the phones in participating AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular stores, as well as in Best Buy’s Samsung Experience Shops.
Both phones will be available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB memory options.
Samsung left it up to carriers and retailers to announce their prices and availability dates, and at post time, T-Mobile and AT&T confirmed their plans.
T-Mobile said the S6 and S6 Edge with 32GB storage will go on sale in its stores on April 10, respectively, at $28.33/month for 24 months (for a total $679.92), and $32.49/month for 24 months (for a total of $779.76). The phones will be displayed in T-Mobile stores starting March 27, when customers can also order them for pre-sale through T-Mobile’s website. The carrier said it would begin shipping both models to pre-sale customers before the devices go on sale in stores.
T-Mobile customers who order before April 12 will also get a free one-year Netflix subscription. T-Mobile’s versions of the phones will also deliver Wi-Fi calling out of the box.
For its part, AT&T said consumers can pre-order both models through its website on March 27 in Black Sapphire, White Pearl or Gold Platinum and select from 32GB, 64GB or 128GB storage options. Through the Next 24 installment-payment/upgrade plan, prices start at $22.84/month for 30 months for the S6 with 32GB and $27.17 for 30 months for the S6 Edge with 32GB through the Next 24 for the Galaxy S 6 Edge with 32GB. Information on prices through other next plans or with two-year contract were unavailable.
The Galaxy S6 Edge is the world’s first phone with a curved display running along the edges of both sides of the main display to display quick-access app icons and information, such as information tickers so users can discreetly view news updates and messaging notifications. A current Galaxy model, the Galaxy Note Edge phablet, features a curved display that wraps around one edge.
Both new phones also feature metal backs and sides, unlike the S5. Both phones are almost identical to each other in performance and functionality.
The phones deliver multiple performance enhancements over the S5, including processor, display, cameras, RAM and storage. They also jump to Android 5.0 Lollipop OS.
The new models step up to a quad-HD (2,560 by 1,440) 557 PPI Super AMOLED 5.1-inch display from a 5.1-inch 1080p display. The new model is said to sport more pixels per inch than other smartphones.
The processor goes from 2.5GHz quad core to a 64-bit octacore processor running at quad 2.1GHz plus quad 1.5GHz. RAM goes to 3GB from 2GB. Internal storage options are 32/64/128GB compared with a previous 16/32GB, and LTE technology goes to Category 6 for peak 300/50Mbps download and upload speeds from Category 4’s 150/50Mbps.
The cameras also get enhancements, retaining 16-megapixel main camera but upping the front camera to 5 megapixels from 2 megapixels.
In another change, both new models incorporate two wireless-charging standards: WPC 1.1 and PMA 1.0.
Other features include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, stereo Bluetooth with AptX, and ability to connect to fitness sensors via ANT+ wireless technology.
Both phones feature fast f/1.9 lenses on both front and rear cameras, auto real-time HDR, smart optical image stabilization (OIS), and IR detect white balance. A new quick-launch feature starts up the camera from any screen in 0.7 seconds when the user double clicks the home key button.
Via wired charging, the phones charge 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5 did, providing about four hours of usage after 10 minutes of charging.
They’re also said to incorporate the world’s first 14nm mobile processor with 64-bit platform and UFS 2.0 flash memory, which enhances memory speed with lower power consumption.
Both models will come preloaded on select carriers with Samsung’s streaming entertainment apps, Milk Music and Milk Video.