It’s easy to fall in love with the Galaxy S6. Samsung’s design is refined, there’s plenty of raw power under the hood, and the feature list is impressive. But as wonderful as it is, you can still find flaws. We’ve been gathering user feedback, checking out complaints, and searching for solutions to the biggest Galaxy S6 problems. Here’s what we’ve got so far:
Problems with refreshing apps, battery life, Wi-Fi, and more
Problem: Refreshing and restarting apps
There has been quite a bit of chatter about the Galaxy S6 having poor memory management. A lot of people are irritated to find apps refreshing when they return to them, or apps closing by themselves, despite the device apparently having free RAM. The S6 has 3GB of RAM, and you can get a snapshot of what’s in use by opening up Smart Manager and tapping on the RAM. The cause of the problem is unclear, but you can still try a few things:
- It’s a good idea for general performance and battery life to disable or uninstall any app you aren’t using regularly.
- Facebook and Facebook Messenger are known memory hogs. If you can live without them, it will probably make a discernible difference.
- Use another launcher. TouchWiz is better than it used to be, but it can still be pretty demanding. The Google Now Launcher or the Nova Launcher might help.
- This could be some kind of bug in the software. Samsung will roll out updates to alleviate issues like this, if it can, so keep an eye on Settings > About device > Software update > Update now.
Issue: Battery life is poor
The 2,550mAh-rated battery in the Galaxy S6 is not the biggest battery on the block, and a number of users are having issues with poor battery performance. The phone is quick to charge, but it’s also quick to drain, and a lot of people are not making it through the day without a top-up. The fact that there’s no removable battery makes this a bigger issue for some people.
- Start by turning off features that you aren’t using, and set the screen brightness as low as you can without making it tough to read. You can check out more general battery saving tips for the basics.
- Background syncing is likely to be causing a lot of battery drain. Do you need all that syncing? Check in Settings > Accounts, and turn off anything you really don’t need to sync in the background. Remember that this stuff will still sync when you check it.
- Some people report an improvement after switching off VoLTE or Wi-Fi calling. It will depend on your carrier whether these are available on your S6, but it’s worth checking.
- Go to Settings > Wi-Fi > More and turn Smart Network Switch off.
- Go to Settings > Wi-Fi > More > Advanced and turn Always Allow Scanning off.
- Some people report that connecting to a Wi-Fi router on 2.4GHz instead of 5GHz reduces battery drain. Your connection won’t be quite as fast, but it might be a trade-off worth making.
- Head into Settings > Battery, and you’ll find a Power saving mode that can really boost your battery life. However, there is a cost in terms of reduced brightness, vibration, and performance. Ultra power saving mode is only really suitable for emergencies, because it severely limits your S6 functionality.
- Consider getting a portable battery charger as a backup.
- Take a look in Settings > Battery and check out Battery usage. You can find power-guzzling apps and replace them, or try to reduce their consumption by turning off notifications.
- Go to Settings > Application manager and run through the list on the All tab. Any app you don’t use, tap on it, and Uninstall or Disable it.
- You may as well try wiping your cache partition — It can help sometimes, and it certainly won’t do any harm. Turn your S6 off, then hold down Power, Volume up, and Home together. You’ll get the recovery menu, and you can use the Volume buttons to highlight wipe cache partition, and then hit the Power button to select it. When it’s done, you want to highlight reboot system now with the Volume buttons, and then press Power to select it.
Glitch: Wi-Fi slow, won’t connect or drops
A lot of people run into problems with Wi-Fi when they get a new phone, and the Galaxy S6 is no exception. There are a lot of potential causes of a Wi-Fi problem. You might find that the connection is slow, maybe it simply won’t connect, or maybe it keeps dropping the connection at random.
- Turn your S6 and your router off, and then turn them on again. This often works, but it’s rarely a permanent fix.
- Go to Settings > Wi-Fi, long press on your troublesome router, then tap Forget network, and try setting it up from scratch.
- If you’re connecting to 5GHz and there’s a 2.4GHz option, try switching to see if it makes a difference.
- Use a free app like Wifi Analyzer to make sure that your channels aren’t too crowded. If you find that you’re using a busy channel, then try switching — It could make a huge difference.
- Check that the MAC filter on your router is off or add your Galaxy S6 MAC address. You should find it listed in Settings > Wi-Fi > More > Advanced.
- Make sure that Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep is set to Always. You’ll find it in Settings > Wi-Fi > More > Advanced.
- Make sure that your router firmware is up to date. Check with your ISP or manufacturer about updates.
Problem: Signal strength is weak
A few Galaxy S6 owners have been complaining about terrible signal strength and frequent dropped calls. There appears to be a major issue for people on Sprint specifically, but some people with other carriers have also had problems.
- Go to Settings > Mobile networks > Network mode and switch to CDMA/LTE, if you’re on Sprint or Verizon. If you’re with a different carrier, then Global might work better.
- For some Sprint users switching to CDMA only actually resulted in a faster, more stable connection than they could get with LTE. This could be because your local tower is being upgraded. If this is the case for you, then you’ll also want to complain to Sprint about it.
Issue: GPS not accurate
Most people are finding that the GPS on the Galaxy S6 is excellent, but a few people are having trouble getting accurate positioning. There are reports that it keeps losing the lock, and some fitness apps that track runs are returning odd results. Start by going into Settings > Location, make sure it’s on, and set to High accuracy.
- If you have Power saving mode turned on in Settings > Battery, then try turning it off. Now turn your Galaxy S6 off and on again.
- Go into any app that you are using GPS with, via Settings > Application manager, and tap Clear cache.
- To determine if you have a real fault, try installing the free GPS Test app. Ideally, compare results with another phone that also has the app running. If it’s not picking up the same satellites, then it may be a hardware fault. Contact Samsung, your carrier, or your retailer to ask about a replacement.
- You could try a factory reset. Backup everything first, and go to Settings > Backup & reset > Reset device > Erase everything. Now be careful about what you install afterwards, and take note of any app that impacts your GPS performance.