Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge restyle Samsung's image with curves, metal, glass (hands-on)

Its twin, slim replacements, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and curved-screen Galaxy S6 Edge, finally ditch the utilitarian plastic build and removable battery of previous Samsung flagship phones. They arrive at the smartphone party dressed in sharp metal lines and plenty of glass.

The two new phones are nearly identical -- both run Android 5.0 Lollipop with 5.1-inch high-resolution displays. But the Galaxy S6 Edge competes for the spotlight with two curved-glass edges, each wrapping the long side of the phone with a smooth, readable display.

Some of the new S6 features -- upscale metal design, updated fingerprint scanner -- play catch-up with the iPhone 6, which, last year, pursued Samsung's pioneering large-screen phones. Samsung even used today's press conference to announce an Apple Pay competitor that will debut on the S6 phones called -- wait for it -- Samsung Pay.

Other upgrades force uncomfortable tradeoffs. The S6 and S6 Edge lack a removable battery and a microSD card slot, not to mention the Galaxy S5's waterproofing. Meanwhile, the curved strips of screen that make up the Edge's borders do so little compared to the  Note Edge's screen that it's hard to justify their existence. And Samsung's own untested Exynos processor (versus the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 that will be found in most of its high-end Android rivals) is a performance wild card. (We'll test it when we write our future full review.)