Nevada News Reporter

Samsung steps up game with Galaxy S6

Samsung steps up game with Galaxy S6

The monumental success that Apple has had with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus squarely put the pressure on Samsung to step up its game with its new flagship phones. Judging by my first look at the handsome Galaxy S6 and the curved S6 Edge handsets that were unveiled Sunday in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, Samsung has met that challenge.635607147340043526-XXX-SAMSUNG-GALAXY-S6009-71206978

Of course, I say that with a major disclaimer: I haven’t had a chance to test the latest phones out in the wild yet and only briefly gotten to hold them. I have seen them long enough to admire their colorful new designs, beautiful Gorilla Glass-protected 5.1-inch Quad HD displays and high-grade aluminum construction — yes, no more dimpled plastic as on prior devices. You see subtle color changes on the body of the phone depending upon how you hold it up to natural light.

But we still don’t know what the phones will cost. Or whether the fingerprint sensor that Samsung says has been greatly improved will live up to that claim. Speaking of which, you’ll be able to use the fingerprint sensor to authenticate everyday purchases at retail outlets and turn the phones into a digital wallet, just as Apple has done on the 6 and 6 Plus with Apple Pay. But while the new phones themselves are expected to arrive with full carrier support in April, the Samsung Pay feature won’t launch until summer.

Along those lines, the phones will be compatible with the contactless point-of-sale terminals that work with the NFC (near field communication) technology built into the phones. But Samsung Pay will also work at more traditional “magstripe” terminals at retail that have been in place for years, due in large part to Samsung’s recent acquisition of the start-up LoopPay. In theory, it means Samsung Pay has the potential to be accepted at a lot more places than Apple Pay, at least for now. Overall, Samsung says Samsung Pay will work in about 90% of the retail terminals in the U.S.