Partnering with TELUS is easily one of the best things to happen to me so far in 2015.
And to think — it all happened by chance.
Since our not quite humble beginnings cheering Canada on in the IIHF World Junior Championship, that relationship’s only deepened as we explored the quid pro quo needed to make sure everyone would wind up satisfied.
Even so, I was — and still am — blown away that this brought the opportunity to become one of but a handful of bloggers helping TELUS launch the Samsung Galaxy S6 nationwide, because my people, I kid you not… this phone is a game-changer for me!
When is a Phone Not a Phone?
When I won my Samsung Galaxy SIII as a raffle prize at HoHoTO 2012 and laid my BlackBerry Bold 9700 to rest, I was over the moon. I’d never owned a smartphone before, and the Android operating system let me do things I couldn’t have dreamed of doing before… and I don’t just mean playing Candy Crush!
However, there was still a massive gulf between my SIII and the professional equipment I’d use for the blog. And with professional equipment comes professional workflows — setting up with the camera, tripod, flash and remote to get the photos; import the photos into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and devote some editing time; export the photos with SEO-friendly filenames; uploading them to WordPress and copying each name into the Alt Text….
The point is this — it’s a solid workflow for creating stellar content, but when you’ve got a full-time job, a growing family, and a bajillion blog posts you’re trying to publish, you need every second you can get, and spending them all prepping content isn’t always the best use!
Enter the Samsung Galaxy S6, whose 16 MP rear-facing camera alone was reason enough to get me to try it out! With power and speed that help me think of new ways to do what I do, here’re 5 things I’d say you need to know about Samsung’s new flagship device!
1. More Than Your Average Cam
I’ve rocked phones since 2002, and for the most part, their cameras have been a joke compared to their stand-alone counterparts. With the grainy photos they’d often take, you’d usually find me carrying my SLR everywhere with a point-and-shoot as a backup to make sure I got the shots I needed.
When I started using the Samsung Galaxy S6, I said goodbye to the point and shoot, putting it in a permanent resting place in my desk drawer.
You’ve heard the tales — the S6 rocks two f/ 1.9 cameras, built for solid low-light sensitivity, with a 16-megapixel sensor on the back and a 5 MP sensor in the front!
I don’t think you understand just how much of a game-changer it is — I can do daily videos with these cameras. I take family portraits with these cameras. My only complaint? That I’ve yet to master the art of capturing moving subjects (read: my toddler son) with the Selective Focus mode, but I’ll get there.
Add all this to the fact that you can use the camera at any time by simply double-clicking the home button, and it’s perhaps the greatest strength of the Galaxy S6!
2. Enough Power to Handle Even the BUSIEST Bloggers
I’ve bogged this phone down with a ton of content — videos for VEDA, photos pretty much wherever I go, and tons of other stuff like GPS data when I’m tracking my routes — but the S6 won’t quit!
The Samsung Galaxy S6’s built atop an Exynos 7 Octa 7420 chip with 64-bit architecture and more processing power than the first computer I bought back in ’04! For anyone not conversant in technobabble, that makes it one of the most powerful mobile devices on the market, capable of just about anything you can throw at it!
While the absence of a microSD slot in the Galaxy S6 miffed die-hard Samsung fans, it seems a necessary evil to harness the phone’s true potential — without having to access microSD card memory for the files and data to run your apps, the device is blazing fast, whipping through menus and media with ease!
Can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs, right?
3. Light as a Very Pretty Feather with all the Bells and Whistles
I love how far technology’s come. Back in my day, a phone was just that — a phone. Sure, you could play Snake, but you’d barely text, since not all your friends had cell phones yet. And if a friend was brazen enough to call between 7 AM and 7 PM, you’d throw a fit — who do they think they are using up your minutes like that?!
These days we Instagram, Facebook, control our TVs, get directions, change our thermostats from halfway across the world… technology’s come a very long way, and it’s all packed into what’s easily one of the lightest smartphones on the market!
Using materials like an all-glass exterior (which is 100% more frightening as you realize just how slippery that makes your phone) and lightweight internal components, it’s a great smartphone to carry with you daily!
4. See Even the Faintest Blemishes When You’re Using it as a Mirror!
I don’t think you know what 577 ppi looks like.
You generally don’t expect to get much detail from a phone screen. I mean, sure — you can watch movies in 1080p and play games with rich colours, but there’s nothing mind-blowing about what you’re seeing. Most devices just let their screen do their job and leave the jaw-dropping to other features, like seamlessly transferring activities from one device to another or self-healing technology.
But the Samsung Galaxy S6 has a screen that’s something to rave about!
When you first boot the Galaxy S6 up, everything just looks great. Rich colours and sharp details make everything pop, giving a visual experience you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else! I used to send photos to my computer for editing, making sure I could see them in their full glory for the right effect — but no more. With apps like SnapSeed available and the ridiculous clarity of the S6 screen, it’s easy enough to do the edits on the spot — or if you really need a bigger view, it’s easy enough to mirror your screen to a TV with the Google Chromecast, an HDMI-based peripheral that won’t break the bank!
I promise — you’ll never look at lesser screens the same ever again!
5. Charges Quicker than a Bull Seeing Crimson!
You know what else Samsung die-hards bemoan about the Galaxy S6? That they did away with removable batteries, eliminating the ability to carry extras for backup juice when you need it!
But what they’ve managed in lieu of this change is arguably far better.
First things first — with Fast Charging, you can get up to 4 hours of standby power with ten minutes of charging! I can already hear the naysayers, though — “Who cares about standby power? It’s not like anyone leaves their phones sitting around doing nothing!”
True. With a 2550 mAh battery, the S6’s battery life isn’t perfect — but it’s a far cry from paltry!
Though I always carry a high-capacity portable charger with me to make sure I’m never left high and dry, there’re times I slip up and forget to keep it charged, making it utterly useless at times where I may need it most! But even that’s not the problem it once was with the S6’s Ultra Power-Saving Mode — a mode stripping the phone down to its essential functionality to help the battery last longer for the things you really need.
Because what good is an amazing smartphone when you’ve got no power to back it up???
The Samsung Galaxy S6 — A New Phone for a New Age!
So there you have it — five reasons why I think you’ll want to get one of the most amazing devices I’ve ever owned in your hands! It’s changed what I can do each day; changed my expectations of the technology in my life; and changed the quality of content I can offer to my readers. I’ve since laid that old Samsung Galaxy SIII to rest, now knowing there’s so much more I can do with a smartphone.
If you’re in the market for something new, the Samsung Galaxy S6 does not disappoint — the hype is real and it’s well-warranted; welcome to a 2015 mobile experience… please enjoy your stay!
Disclaimer: TELUS loaned me a pre-production Samsung Galaxy S6 to play with so I could write this review. I ran it through rigorous testing (i.e. my everyday life) to make sure it was up to the task and was definitely happy with the results!
If you want to know even more about the Samsung Galaxy S6, you can check out more on TELUS’ website here: https://shop.telus.com/
If you want to reach me or question my credentials as a tech reviewer (hint: I’ve been building computers since before I could grow facial hair), hit me up at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube!
As said in the immortal words of rapper Big Sean circa 2007, “Gon’ getcha some!”