Apple has recently launched its new line-up of flagship phones, mainly the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The Plus is the larger version, falling into the phablet category with its 5.5 inch display. As such, it’s going to compete directly with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 4, highly anticipated phablet that Samsung will be releasing on the 17th of October. With two major companies pushing out two flagships in a relatively small timeframe, it might be difficult to decide between the two. That’s what we’re going to try to address, to see whether the iPhone 6 Plus can provide better value for your buck than the Note 4 or not.
First off, as you can image size isn’t everything, but it’s certainly important in this comparison. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm device with a huge 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution and 515 PPI. Pretty much any device will be hard pressed to compete with an impressive screen like that, but the iPhone 6 Plus will definitely try. Apple’s latest flagship measures 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm and comes equipped with a 5.5-inch IPS LCD panel with 1080 x 1920 resolution and 401 PPI. We do need to give props to Apple for all the considerable improvements they made since the iPhone 5s, but it’s just not enough to beat the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Sadly the iPhone 6 Plus didn’t end up featuring a Sapphire glass screen like we all hoped so it doesn’t really have any advantage over Samsung’s phablet in the display department. On the bright side, the device is certainly thinner so that’s something to take into consideration.
Hardware-wise, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes in two variants, each more impressive than the last. One of them features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor @ 2.7 GHz Krait 450 with 3GB of RAM and Adreno 420 GPU. The other model comes equipped with an Exynos 5433 octa-core processor with four 1.3 GHz Cortex A-53 cores and four 1.9 GHz Cortex A-59 cores along with a Mali-T760 GPU and 3GB of RAM. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 also packs a 16MP primary sensor with OIS and LED flash, 3.7MP secondary camera, 32GB internal storage memory with microSD card support good for up to 128 GB additional storage and a massive 3,220 mAh battery. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes with some great specs, but its competitor isn’t anything to sneeze at either.
The iPhone 6 Plus runs on Apple’s new 64-bit A8 chipset complete with a dual-core Cyclone CPU clocked at 1.4 GHz, PowerVR GX6650 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The iPhone 6 Plus features an 8 MP primary sensor, just like its predecessor, but comes with OIS, dual-LED and various other features that greatly improve image and video quality. There is also a rather small 1.2MP secondary camera. As for the internal storage memory, Apple announced three iPhone 6 Plus variants that come with 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage, respectively. Unfortunately there is no microSD card support, which is definitely a disadvantage over the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Apple didn’t announce the battery size for the iPhone 6 Plus, but presumably we can expect to see a vast improvement over the iPhone 5s so take that as you will. The battery is expected to last around 384 hours in stand-by mode and 24 hours of talk time.
Now, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a lot of advantages over the iPhone 6 Plus, but the latter arguably has the upper hand when it comes to the operating system. This isn’t an Apple vs iOS battle so I’m not saying that one is better than the other, don’t get me wrong. However, the iPhone 6 Plus runs on the iOS 8, the latest major update to Apple’s operating system, which was officially launched together with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch a couple of days ago at the special event. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 runs on Android 4.4.4 KitKat, which is also the latest version of the operating system, but it’s not the latest major update. Indeed, Android L will only launch later this year so we didn’t expect to see the phablet running it just yet. Unfortunately, Samsung devices have not been a top priority for the latest versions of Android in the past and this will likely not change any time soon.
That being said, the iPhone 6 Plus is generally more interesting when it comes to the OS just because of the fact that it comes equipped with the newest major update and that’s always appealing to many customers. Admittedly, NFC and other new iOS 8 features have already been available for some time on Android so that’s not much of a novelty. But the operating system has other tricks up its sleeve such as the new Metal gaming technology, which sets the bar pretty high when it comes to mobile gaming and a lot of major developers have already jumped on the bandwagon and confirmed that they will be making games for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. This means that a lot of mobile gamers will likely switch to iOS in the future and that’s pretty bad news for Android. We’ll just have to wait and see if Android L can offer something else that will sway customers to its side once it launches. But even more importantly for the sake of this comparison is the question: will the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 upgrade to Android L in due time after the final build of the OS is released by Google? I suspect that we’ll have to wait at least a few months for that to happen, but it’s pretty hard to say at this point since there wasn’t any official announcement from Samsung so I’ll just leave it at that.
A two-year contract iPhone 6 Plus is priced at $300 for the 16GB version, $400 for the 64GB and $500 for the 128GB. But if you don’t want to commit to any carriers, you can purchase an unlocked iPhone 6 Plus for $750 (16GB), $850 (64GB) or $950 (128 GB). The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has an estimated price of $900 carrier-free, which is also quite a hit to the budget.
All in all, the iPhone 6 Plus seems to be priced on-par when compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but this isn’t all that surprising. Still, considering both are high-end products, the difference in pricing is quite insignificant. In regards to the specs, it’s pretty safe to say that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is overall superior, but the iPhone 6 Plus is arguably not that far behind. Also, Apple is offering a device equipped with a newer operating system, which is certainly important for many potential customers. If you’re already an iOS user the iPhone 6 Plus is pretty much a dream come true even if you’ll have to pay quite a pretty penny if you want the maximum amount of storage. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 offers increased performance and a truly impressive screen that puts most other devices to shame. Not to mention that the S Pen now comes with several new features that are bound to delight users. The drawback is that you may have to wait a while until the device upgrades to Android L, but it will happen eventually so all you need is patience.
As always, the final decision is up to you and it’s definitely not an easy one. However, unless you’re a fan of iOS and its simplicity (keep in mind that in its current state, iOS 8 is quite buggy), we’d recommend the Note 4, simply because it provides that extra value to the dollar.