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Samsung Galaxy S6: It all hinges on price

Samsung got most things right with the Galaxy S6.

Recent Samsung Galaxy phone launches have been a mixed bag. There were smartphones that are too plastic and phones with cheesy-looking exteriors.

Until now Samsung has focused on function, not form.

Even when the hardware is promising, the product is damaged by a conga-line of questionable features. These include Samsung’s horrible TouchWiz Android overlay and unnecessary, unwanted apps clogging up the system.

Over-egg the pudding

Samsung tried so hard to add value, it ended up spoiling otherwise good products.

This time is different. Both Samsung Galaxy S6 versions look good on the outside. There’s a resemblance to the iPhone 6. That’s not surprising, Samsung sales have taken a beating from Apple’s phone.

Mercifully Samsung hasn’t overstuffed the Galaxy S6 with tons of new, unneeded features.

Galaxy S6 where less is more

FInally the company has realised less is more.

Indeed, Samsung stripped-back TouchWiz. When I’ve used earlier Galaxy phones, this has been my biggest complaint. If only Samsung could serve up Galaxy hardware with a stock version of Android. Or, at least, a minimal overlay. The latest version seems to have delivered.

Getting rid of the SD card slot makes sense, despite this being something many Galaxy fans tell me is a reason they purchased an earlier version of the phone. You can no longer replace the battery. Samsung booted both features in the name of simplicity.

Samsung bumps Galaxy camera

Samsung has bumped-up the camera and processor. The S6 is a more powerful phone able to take better pictures. These improvements should be enough to convince happy owners of earlier Galaxy models to upgrade.

At the time of writing the price is still an official TBA (to be advised).

Price is likely to be the most important feature of the phone. Typically Samsung Galaxy phones appear on sale with iPhone-like price tags, but unlike with Apple phones, they decline over time.

When the Galaxy S5 first launched in April 2014 it sold in New Zealand for NZ$1050. Last week you could shop around and buy one for less than NZ$650. That’s a lot less than an iPhone 6 where prices start at NZ$1000.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

The Galaxy S6 is a premium phone. The S6 Edge more so. This hints at a price strategy.

Samsung can launch the standard Galaxy S6 at a discount on Apple’s price while pricing the S6 Edge at around the same level as Apple’s phone. That way it can get a competitive boost without sending the wrong signal to the market about the phones’ value and quality.