The end of the latest versions of Android such as Oreo being available for smartphones dating back to Samsung’s Galaxy S6. Why the S6 is still worth considering.
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 smartphone range – originally released in March 2015 and replaced just under a year later by the Galaxy S7 – is the most recent model from the South Korean electronics giant unable to take the latest release of the Android mobile operating system, Oreo. While surprising that Samsung effectively appear now to only offer support to devices barely three years old, it’s not all bad news.
The Support Question
As new versions of operating platforms are released they are designed to be backward compatible with older mobile devices to a certain degree; this helps in terms of usability and security and means that users can often get newer technology without having to upgrade their handsets.
Like Apple’s iOS for its iPhone, the Android platform has been updated on various occasions during its lifetime and Oreo, the eighth version of the most widely used mobile platform in the world, was originally released in August 2017.
New versions of Google’s mobile platform often take a while to appear on existing smartphones as different manufacturers of Android powered smartphones often have their own routine for adopting the new releases; indeed as of April 2018 less than 4.5% of all Android phones in use featured Oreo.
Take a Bite of Nougat
This contrasts sharply with main Android rivals Apple; they make new versions of their iOS mobile platform available immediately to all versions of iPhone and the iPad tablet that are compatible with it and the latest version, iOS 11, is backward compatible as far back as 2013’s iPhone 5S.
Owners and those considering buying a used S6 needn’t be put off though; the still powerful and fully featured handset is fully compatible with Oreo’s predecessor, Nougat, which received an update as recently as December 2017.
Nougat itself was only released as recently as August 2016, and some of the benefits of Oreo would only be released on newer versions of the Galaxy anyway.
The S6 Bargain
A premium priced handset when on sale new, the S6 represents an excellent value used buy; for less than £150 you could buy a refurbished Galaxy S6 and own a smartphone bristling with some features that are only just appearing on Samsung’s rivals:
- Wireless charging – top up the battery easily when out and about
- Fingerprint scanner – the first Samsung smartphone to use the now common fingerprint recognition for unlocking the phone and accessing certain apps
- AMOLED screen – this modern screen technology moves the game on from LCD and offers deeper and richer colours; it only appeared for the first time on the iPhone late in 2017 (and then only on the £1,000+ X variant)
- Attractive colour options – something to suit most tastes with a range of finishes including blue, black and gold
- Superb camera – Samsung smartphone cameras are among the very best available, and the snapper on the S6 is capable of excellent photographs
- Storage – there’s a minimum of 32GB available
- Top Class Standard of Construction
The S6 was a signifiant step forward for Samsung in that the general look and feel of the Galaxy moved up several gears as the company switched from the plastic cases of its predecessors to metal and glass; a move that has been maintained through subsequent releases. Coloured acrylic has been considered an option for future models.
This has helped improve the Galaxy’s image from being not only a top spec smartphone but one that can be classed as a premium product. This was – and is – reflected in the Galaxy’s pricing when new but, as mentioned earlier, this doesn’t apply when buying used.
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If you don’t need the ultimate in smartphone cutting edge technology, it often makes sense to buy at a generation or two behind the latest releases where top grade technology can be had at bargain prices. The Galaxy S6 still represents a sound choice even if you can’t run the latest Android platform on it.