When the Samsung Galaxy S6 was first unveiled as the Galaxy S5’s successor, naysayers pointed to the loss of a MicroSD slot, a removable battery, and water resistance as deal breakers. Consumer Reports agrees and points to those changes as strong enough reasons to actually recommend the older Galaxy S5 over the newer Galaxy S6 today.
In Consumer Reports’ latest smartphone rankings, the product review company gave the throne to the Samsung Galaxy S5, which earned a score of 79. The LG G3 followed with a score of 78, and Apple’s iPhone 6 tied with the Galaxy S6 with a score of 77.
“We would normally expect the new ones to surpass the predecessor, but in this case it didn’t,” said Consumer Reports heads of electronics testing Maria Rerecich in a video titled Why Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Doesn’t Top Our Ratings. She pointed to the lack of a removable battery, lack of expandable memory, inferior battery life, and lack of water resistance as ways the Galaxy S6 is a step backward for Samsung’s latest flagship.
On the flip side, Rerecich gives the Galaxy S6 kudos for its fast charging and two-standard-friendly wireless charging.
“I think the idea that you can add memory and be able to replace the battery — some people like to be able to have that flexibility,” Rerecich said. “I think other people really won’t mind and won’t care that you cannot do that anymore.”
That segment of “other people” could hit 70 million by the end of this year, according to a Samsung executive’s expectations. For those who are diehards when it comes to expandable memory, replaceable batteries, and water resistance, the Galaxy S5 can be had at a handsome discount now that it’s considered outdated.
The Galaxy S6’s stellar camera, improved fingerprint reader, and less hateful TouchWiz interface are, of course, some of the major upgrades that can be used to counter Consumer Reports’ conclusion.
Consumer Reports notes that Samsung is offering free battery replacements if charging capacity for a Galaxy S6 battery drops below 80 percent in the first year. After that, it will cost $45 plus shipping and local taxes to replace the battery. Samsung will also repair a cracked Galaxy S6 screen for $199.