The Galaxy S6 is slimmer and sleeker than last year’s Galaxy S5, but Samsung’s software and security features are really what make it our favorite overall business phone. In addition to blazing-fast performance and a brilliant display, you get a vastly improved fingerprint scanner, support for Samsung’s Knox security platform, and Galaxy standbys like split-screen multitasking.
Plus, the Galaxy S6 has an updated look, which includes a sturdy metal frame and a slick glass back. It’s a massive improvement over the plastic construction of previous models.
The S6 faces some stiff competition from the likes of Apple’s iPhone 6, HTC’s One M9 and LG’s G4 — three competing flagships with premium designs and plenty of muscle under the hood. But for business users, it’s hard to outdo the Galaxy S6′s combination of performance and productivity-boosting features.
Premium materials and an attractive design won’t necessarily help you do your job, but they do help to justify the premium price of a phone like the S6. Samsung outdid itself this time, with a fresh new design that makes the S6 arguably more attractive than even the iPhone 6.
The phone sports a sturdy aluminum frame, which is much better-looking and more durable than the shiny plastic trim on last year’s Galaxy S5. And, in contrast to the S5′s soft-touch plastic back, the S6′s back is made from the same Gorilla Glass as its front.
It looks and feels great, but the glass-and-metal design has one big drawback: It’s slippery. I never dropped it, but I caught the phone sliding off my desk a few times when it was set on an uneven surface.
I tested the “black sapphire” model, but it also comes in white and gold. The black model isn’t pure black, though; the body looks dark blue when light hits it at an angle, which is a very attractive effect.
Measuring 0.27 inches thick and weighing 4.9 ounces, the S6 is just as slim but a bit heavier than Apple’s iPhone 6 (4.55 ounces). HTC’s One M9 smartphone is quite a bit bulkier than both, measuring 0.38 inches thick and weighing 5.5 ounces.
A vibrant smartphone display is nice for viewing video clips, but business users should be more concerned with the amount of screen space they have to work on. I personally think that the Galaxy S6′s 5.1-inch display provides enough real estate for screen-intensive tasks like editing a spreadsheet, without being so big that the phone becomes unwieldy. It’s a good compromise between smaller screens like the iPhone 6′s 4.7-inch panel and huge screens like the 5.7-inch display on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4.
The S6′s display is also incredibly sharp, with a high resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. Text looks really crisp, even when I zoomed out while viewing a document. The display is also really bright, topping out at 521 nits of brightness, which is well above the smartphone category average of 381.9. A brighter screen is a perk, since it’s easier to view outdoors or in direct sunlight.