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It’s that time of year again. Most of the main flagship smartphones of 2014 have already launched and everyone’s eyes are on next year’s models. Finally, news of the Samsung Galaxy S6 has arrived. The bar is set high for Samsung in 2015, in light of lower than expected third quarter results, declining smartphone sales, and growing discontent among even its most loyal customers.
Updated on 12-31-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added in news from Reddit post of Galaxy S6 variants in testing.

Samsung testing many variants of the S6

Samsung is reportedly starting from scratch with the Galaxy S6 and the project’s code name is allegedly “Project Zero.” In late December, a Reddit moderator confirmed that an anonymous Samsung employee with the username SamsungRep2015 was posting details about the Galaxy S6 on the site. The Redditor stated that Samsung is testing numerous S6 variants, including the previously rumored curved edge.
“Project Zero is indeed a real thing. I’ve also seen two different GS6 Edge variants, one with the normal Youm display on the Edge, and one with dual curved edges,” SamsungRep2015 wrote. “However, when I went to my orientation, a few weeks before the S5 came out I got to physically see the 5.2 inch version. Samsung prototypes a lot and things change extremely rapidly.”
Based on the Redditor’s statements, it’s unclear which of the Galaxy S6 variants will actually reach the market. Earlier rumors also hinted of curved screens and multiple variants. However, there’s also the possibility that the poster’s information isn’t accurate, so take his comments with a grain of salt.
According to an analyst speaking at a display-centric conference in Korea, Samsung may use a version of the curved screen introduced on the Galaxy Note Edge on the Galaxy S6. What’s more, it could cascade down both sides of the display, instead of only the right-hand side. Apparently, this was the original plan for the Note Edge, but it was altered just before announcement for an unspecified reason. Perhaps the technology couldn’t be perfected in time. A Samsung executive has said the company hopesintroducing curved screens could help it sell more expensive smartphones in the future, making all Galaxy S devices possible showcases for the technology.
A later report from SamMobile claims that there won’t be an edge-screen variant of the Galaxy S6, but Samsung is planning to make different models. An insider told the publication that Samsung is testing another variant of the S6 with an unknown innovative feature. At this point, Samsung doesn’t appear to have made a firm commitment one way or another.

A bigger, Quad-HD screen is in the works

Next year’s flagship is currently in development under the name “Project Zero,” sources tell SamMobile, and it’s being pitched as the ultimate high-end phone. Although no screen size was listed in the projected spec list, the screen is said to sport a Quad HD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. It’s no surprise that Samsung’s considering a QHD screen on the Galaxy S6, especially after introducing it on the Galaxy Note 4. The screen will most likely measure between 5.3 and 5.5 inches, but no more, so as to preserve the distinction between the Galaxy S and Note lineups.

Image via Toranji
A leaked benchmark test result for what is believed to be the Galaxy S6 that was spotted by PhoneArena, pegs the S6’s screen size at a whopping 5.5-inches. The screen resolution is listed as Quad HD, which corroborates earlier rumors. One week later, a second benchmark test on AnTuTu and a leaked screen shot of the test results indicated the screen will sport a Quad HD resolution. Dutch publication Mobifo picked up the leak.

Galaxy S6 may be Samsung’s first all-metal phone

Rumors suggest Samsung will return to the drawing board with the Galaxy S6. So far, reports contradict one another as to the Galaxy S6’s design. An Italian site hinted that Samsung will encase its next flagship phone in a full metal, aluminum body. The report also suggests that the S6 will be curved in some way to make it more comfortable to hold. It’s unclear if the curved form factor refers the rumored curved-edge variant of the Galaxy S6, or if the standard S6 will simply be ergonomically styled.

Shortly afterwards, French site posted pictures of what it claims to be the aluminum unibody of the Galaxy S6. Seeing as the French site has a good track record with Apple and Samsung component rumors, it seems likely that reports of an all-metal Galaxy S6 could be true.
In early December, a leaked picture of what appears to be a prototype of the device surfaced on Dutch site die Top Mobiel. The image shows a large, nearly bezel-free screen said to be 5.5-inches. The space at the top and bottom of the handset looks much smaller than it is on current Samsung smartphones. There isn’t a curved edge though, so if it’s a real prototype, it’s not the variant we’ve heard rumors about recently.
The device is clearly a prototype, though, as the Samsung logo is off center and squeezed into a very small space. Samsung could easily change the design several times before deciding on the final model, and it’s impossible to know whether these images show us a device being prepared for production.

Image via Toranji
Just before the start of the new year, Iranian website Toranji posted pictures of what it claims is a completed Galaxy S6 that’s up and running. The blurry, colorful images show a device with a big screen and other signature Samsung design elements. When pictured alongside the Galaxy S4 and S5, the phone is clearly larger than the two previous generations.
Even though the image’s colors are somewhat distorted, it looks as though there are three different color options. The device appears to have a metal frame in the pictures, though it’s unclear if the entire device is encased in metal. Although these images certainly look like a Samsung device, Toranji doesn’t have a proven track record on high-profile device leaks, so consider these photos with a dose of skepticism.

Faster processor, and more internal storage memory

The report also hints that the Galaxy S6 will come in two variants with different processors, depending on the markets in which the handsets launch. The Korean market and a few others will most likely get the Exynos 7420 octa-core 64-bit processor, while those in North America, Europe, and most of Asia will get S6 handsets powered by Qualcomm’s zippy new Snapdragon 810 64-bit chip.

Leaked benchmark results seemingly confirm the 64-bit Exynos processor will power at least one S6 model. The results hint Android 5.0 Lollipop, 3GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage will be also feature. Meanwhile, another leaked benchmark result published by Dutch website Mobifo shows an octa-core ARMv8 and a Mali-T768 graphics unit, which correspond to the 64-bit Samsung Exynos 7420 chip. The screenshot also shows Android 5.0 Lollipop as the Galaxy S6’s operating system.
Samsung might integrate a Broadcom BCM4773 chip into the Galaxy S6, to help reduce battery drain by putting all the phone’s sensors in one place. The battery size isn’t known yet, but that’s likely to be finalized at a later date to match the finalized specs. Like most phones nowadays, Samsung will probably offer the S6 in 32, 64, and 128GB options. It looks like Samsung may have finally eliminated the hated 16GB version of its next flagship.

Galaxy S6 may have a 20-megapixel camera

Unsurprisingly, it looks like the Galaxy S6 will get a camera upgrade. Reports claim it will come with the same IMX240 sensor as the Note 4, but the resolution could be anything from 16 to 20-megapixels. Back at the end of 2013, a report stated Samsung intended to make 20-megapixel cameras common across its premium smartphone range during 2015, making the latter option sound highly likely. Meanwhile, the front camera is expected to follow the selfie camera trend and be a 5-megapixel shooter.
One set of AnTuTu benchmark results show a 20-megapixel back camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, apparently corroborating earlier rumors. However, another benchmark leak hints at a 16-megapixel back camera instead.
The rest of the specs, along with the launch and release dates for Samsung’s Galaxy S6 remain unknown, but so far it’s shaping up to be an interesting device. We’ll continue to update this post as more information becomes available.

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