Tech critics: Galaxy S6 looks like a premium device, but iPhone similarities can't be ignored

From most of the initial reactions, the new design and look of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge that has impressed critics.

Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are finally out, as the company showcased the smartphones at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. From most of the initial reactions, the new design and look of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge has impressed critics.

Samsung Galaxy S6 has bid goodbye to plastic and most critics have pointed out how the device now looks worth the premium tag that Samsung was charging for its flagships. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have a metal frame and a glass body both on the front and back. The S6 Edge has a curved screen on the side, but unlike the Note 4 it doesn't show anything specific on this 'curved screen'. The Samsung Galaxy S6 is 6.8 mm thin and weighs 138g, while the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is 7.0mm and weighs 132g.

While most critics were quick to point out that Samsung Galaxy S6 was probably the best designed flagship to come out of the South Korean company, the iPhone design reference wasn't hard to miss.

As Re/Code's Bonnie Cha notes, the new Galaxy S6 phones represent what "the Galaxy S series should have been all along,". She however notes that it was hard to miss the similarity to the iPhone and writes, "At one point, I looked over at the table and saw just the bottom of a phone. I thought it was my iPhone. But when I looked closer, it was the Galaxy S6. It’ll be interesting to see if Apple has anything to say about it." And she isn't the only one commenting on this similarity.

According to The Verge's Dan Siefert, if you "look at the S6 from certain angles and you’d immediately think it’s an iPhone." He notes that the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are what the S5 should have looked like and while "Samsung finally has made flagship products that look and feel like they are worth the premium price tag they command", the company "is still going to be playing catch up with Apple."

TechCrunch's Darrell Etherington pointed out that the Galaxy S6 looked like "a cross between the iPhone 5/5S and the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus", while Gizmodo's Darren Orf felt that in case of the Samsung Galaxy S6, it was like iPhone 4 and the iPhone 6 had a baby.

The way Samsung has placed the speaker the bottom of the Galaxy S6 in a design similar to Apple's iPhones was also noted by many tech experts.

However as Gizmodo's Orf notes, it's not fair to say the Galaxy S6 is a complete "clone" and points out that the both phones from Samsung have certain design differences. For instance, in the S6, he points out the "metal edge actually extends at every point slightly above the glass, which Samsung says is designed to help make sure any impact from a drop is absorbed by the part of the phone which is shatter-resistant, instead of the glass surfaces."

Engadget's Chris Velcazo was all praise for the device's performance, noting that "both devices ran terribly smoothly" and that even though he went through "webpages, jumping in and out of open apps with the manic frenzy of a rabid squirrel" didn't affect the S6's performance in the least. He notes that TouchWiz has definitely been dialled down and giving a more cleaner look to the Galaxy S6's UI.

Where the Galaxy S6 Edge and the curved screen go, not everyone was convinced that it was needed. Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo points out that he couldn't quite see the point of the curved screen. He also questions if users would pay a premium price for the Samsung smartphone, as say compared to Apple products.

With the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge there's no doubt that Samsung has done a good job with the design, but this comes a year late, a year that has been disastrous for the company which has seen sales fall. Let's not forget that cheaper competition like Xiaomi is rising fast in China and India, while Apple which entered the phablet market has registered the largest profit ever for any company ($18.1 billion) in Q1 of 2015.

Even as critics note that the look and feel of the phone is refreshing, the biggest question remains is whether users will want to pay a premium price for this Galaxy S6, when the smartphone market seems saturated. Post the April roll-out, how the Samsung Galaxy S6 does with consumers will remain closely watched both by tech critics and even Apple and Samsung.

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