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Samsung Wants To Start Galaxy S6 From Scratch With ‘Project Zero’

Samsung hasn't been doing too well financially over the last few quarters. Its sales have fallen, and its profits have sharply declined by as much as 60 percent year over year. Samsung has been getting quite a bit of criticism over the design and materials of its Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 devices, but the company didn't seem willing to pay attention to that criticism as market inertia and big advertising budgets continued to make its phones successful.

Now that the Galaxy S5 has done more poorly than expected, the company is finally listening and seems to want to change the direction for its design and build materials. Samsung has already made a few changes in design with the Galaxy Alpha, although it kept the same plastic back as on previous flagships. With the A3 and A5 series devices, Samsung is showing it can build full metal devices, too, although the designs still seem to rely too much on the old design language.

With next year's Galaxy S6, the company seems to want to be much more serious about the changes it intends to implement in the new flagship, so much so that it gave the project the codename "Project Zero." This is an indication that Samsung wants to start from scratch with this smartphone and make it as unique as possible.

Some leaked details about the Galaxy S6's specifications point to a Quad HD (2560x1440) resolution display, which likely uses the same panel technology as the Note 4 but with a smaller screen size. The phone will also use the same sensor found in the Note 4, although it's not clear yet whether Samsung will go with a 16MP or 20MP resolution. The front-facing camera will have a 5MP resolution.

Samsung will finally give up on the 16 GB storage option and make 32 GB the default, while also adding 64 GB and 128 GB options. Considering that Samsung's software has been getting bigger and bigger with each new generation and thus leaves less room for the user's own apps, and that 64 GB of storage now costs roughly as much as 16 GB cost in 2010, this move is both long-awaited and welcome.

The company will also finally adopt ARMv8 chips across its entire lineup of high-end devices, but once again the US market will get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip, while most other countries will get Samsung's Exynos 7420. This time, however, the chips should be very similar, as they both use ARM's Cortex A57 and Cortex A53 cores in the big.LITTLE configuration. The main difference will be in the GPUs and modems they use.

The Exynos model will use a Mali GPU (likely a Mali-T760, but with more cores or higher clock speed than Note 4), while the Snapdragon 810 will use Adreno 430.

Samsung will of course use Qualcomm's integrated modem that comes with Snapdragon 810, but it will also begin to use its own LTE mode, called the Exynos Modem 333. This modem will replace Intel's modem that Samsung was using with Exynos 5430/5433, which could be a big hit to Intel's LTE business just as it was taking off the ground.

The specs are impressive, but they're more or less what you'd expect to see in a flagship phone by mid-2015. What will be more interesting is to see whether Samsung manages to overhaul its design language for both its hardware and software, giving the Galaxy S6 a unique and iconic design and making its software much lighter, without being a burden on performance anymore.

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  • soldier45
    32gb and 64gb should have been standard with the last round. 16b just isn't enough space anymore for most.
    Reply
  • drapacioli
    Not for nothing, but metal isn't that great a material for a smartphone...We've seen countless times how it dents and bends easily, not to mention the fact that wireless signals can't easily penetrate an aluminum case, leading to all sorts of reception issues. As an owner of the S4 looking to upgrade to the S6 eventually, I'm looking for larger internal storage, better battery life, and better camera quality. These sort of things affect how the device is used, whereas a metal body only causes design and implementation flaws for the hopeful benefit that people will see the device as being "premium." Sadly it might work too, because to some people it's always a matter of form over function...
    Reply
  • ericburnby
    Using A57 cores? Seriously Samsung? These aren't even as fast as Apple's A7 cores from last year.
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    How about start making smartphone tough, like the Nokia 3310 with another 25%-50% better battery life over S5? Perhaps that could give S3/S4/S5 user a strong reason to upgrade their phones.

    People dont need more performance for now, they need other more useful features for everyday use.
    Reply
  • choctawfootball
    32 GB default ? what a joke.
    talking about 64 GB and 128 GB is pathetic.
    we need to be talking about 500+ GB capacity.

    the snap 810 will NOT be sufficient to run a quad screen (the adreno 410 part of it).
    hopefully qualcomm is holding something back.

    so samsung is going to go away from plastic backs ?
    To what ? metal ? yeah that's original.
    the only real option is glass.

    the big-little concept sounds catchy, but i think it's a fail concept.
    maybe a 4 big, and 1 little when you go in super battery saving mode.

    the s5 has a 2800 mAh battery...samsung will put a 3200 mAh battery in the S6 and they will call it revolutionary.
    i would easily take a heavier phone with a larger battery...4000+ mAh.

    samsung needs a cpu that rivals the iphone A8 processor.
    dear samsung...go partner with apple and get a A8+ chip to use (let apple use the A9 chip in their new phone next year).
    or go partner with intel.
    or go partner with amd so you can have one chip/ no gpu to run everything.
    amd is envisioning that one day the gpu will become obsolete, and that the cpu and gpu will become one (they obviously aren't doing crap in this area).

    skip quad screen resolution, it is an odd resolution.
    go straight to 4k.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    how about you stop throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks, and actually do some research on what people will like.

    i remember reading somewhere that samsung has more employees than google and apple combined. that is hilarious.
    Reply
  • edwd2
    the snap 810 will NOT be sufficient to run a quad screen (the adreno 410 part of it).
    hopefully qualcomm is holding something back.

    the s5 has a 2800 mAh battery...samsung will put a 3200 mAh battery in the S6 and they will call it revolutionary.

    samsung needs a cpu that rivals the iphone A8 processor.
    dear samsung...go partner with apple and get a A8+ chip

    or go partner with amd so you can have one chip/ no gpu to run everything.

    skip quad screen resolution, it is an odd resolution.
    go straight to 4k.

    wow, most uninformed comment i've seen in a while. guy talks about poor battery life and insufficient GPU yet tells samsung to add 4k screen and 500gb storage? did you know that you don't just randomly assemble the best hardware parts and expect to get a phone out of it. there are so many underlying tradeoffs and factors behind the design that affect the phone's final performance, size, battery life, etc. heck why don't you tell them to throw in a GTX980.
    Reply
  • tygrus
    My old Galaxy S3 needs more RAM than the 1GB because apps keep crashing in the background (<90MB free) and becomes a pocket warmer for no particular reason (WiFi & GPS turned off). I see 2GB as the bare minimum and would love the Korean S5 with 3GB RAM and better processor. I wish I could throttle low priority background processes to limit power usage. I wish I could set CPU/power/thermal limits for apps to reduce the battery burners. I don't want a 5+ inch screen (getting to close to phonepads and tablets). They should also focus on increasing the RAM bandwidth and NAND performance which would greatly improve GUI & app loads and actions. I'm hoping to hold on long enough to buy the S6 or a cheaper S5 sooner rather than later. Another die shrink is critical for delivering higher performance with lower power use. I've used a good silicone rubber case and screen protector for almost 2yrs I've had it, no damage to screen or case :)
    Reply
  • iamtheking123
    I'm a former GS3 and GS4 owner and a curent GS5 owner. The only changes I really care about are OIS on the camera and qHD screen. I played around with the Note 4's camera and it's so much less shaky than my S5.

    The noise about metal vs. plastic is probably mostly from people who are going to buy an iPhone no matter what, so they should be ignored when designing the S6. I like swappable batteries. I like a microSD card slot. I like the weight savings of plastic. My phone is a tool, not some stupid hipster fashion accessory.
    Reply
  • nuvon
    stop copying and start innovating....
    Reply