Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Big-Screen Showdown

Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Big-Screen Showdown

Posted via PCMag

Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Big-Screen Showdown

BY EUGENE KIM

Samsung may have fired the first shot with the category-defining Galaxy Note, but Apple appears poised with a volley of its own. Now big-screen fans will have an even tougher choice ahead of them—the Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus go on sale this week, though Samsung’s only opening up pre-orders at the moment. The stage is set for showdown of epic proportions. Is bigger better? Can Apple beat Samsung at its own game? Read on for a side-by-side comparison.

Let’s start with the most obvious comparison: size. Though it sports a larger 5.7-inch display, the Galaxy Note 4 isn’t proportionately bigger than the iPhone 6 Plus. The Note 4 is shorter at 5.95 inches to the iPhone’s 6.22 inches, which could factor into pocket friendliness. The iPhone 6 Plus is slightly narrower at 3.06 inches to the Note 4’s 3.09 inches, and generally speaking, the narrower the phone, the more comfortable it is in the hand, but this difference is pretty marginal.

Samsung steps up its build quality game with this generation, framing the Note 4 in a sturdy metal band that should help quiet the plastic haters out there. Still, Apple’s unibody design looks as impressive as ever and continues Apple’s dominance on this front. To Samsung’s credit, the Note 4 retains the removable battery and microSD card expansion that fans have come to expect from the Galaxy line.

Name Apple iPhone 6 Plus Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Editor Rating
Lowest Price
$299.00MSRP
Operating System as Tested iOS 8 Android 4.4
CPU Apple A8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 Quad-Core
Dimensions 6.22 by 3.06 by 0.28 inches inches 6.04 by 3.09 by 0.33 inches
Weight 6.07 oz 6.21 oz
Screen Size 5.5 inches 5.7 inches
Screen Type Retina Super AMOLED HD
Screen Resolution 1,920 by 1,080 pixels 2560 by 1440 pixels
Screen Pixels Per Inch 401 ppi 515 ppi
Camera Resolution 8 MP Rear; 1.2 MP Front-Facing 16 MP Rear; 3.7 MP Front-Facing
Video Camera Resolution 1080p 4K, 1080p
NFC Yes Yes
microSD Slot No Yes
Read the Review Read the Review

Apple finally steps into the world of full-HD displays, though it still calls it Retina HD, while Samsung appears one step ahead with its quad-HD panel. That makes for 401ppi for the iPhone 6 Plus and 515ppi for the Note 4. Will you actually notice a difference? Maybe if you have above-average vision, but even that’s a stretch in most situations. The big differentiator here is the screen tech—Samsung’s Super AMOLED panels have been drawing rave reviews since the Galaxy S5, and DisplayMate has already crowned the Note 4’s display as the best yet.

I won’t dive into sheer performance or software—both phones have top-of-the-line processors and run the latest versions of Android and iOS. Some other key differences to keep in mind are stylus support and camera performance. Samsung’s best stylus gets even better with the Note 4, while Apple’s camera prowess is well documented.

This might be the most hotly contested smartphone battle of the year, but we’re reserving final judgment until we can get both supersized handsets into our labs for thorough testing. That shouldn’t stop you readers from chiming in, though, so let us know which phone you’ll be clamoring to grab this fall. I’d say keep it civil, but, well, you know how these things go.

For more, check out PCMag’s hands on with the iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy Note 4, as well as our other spec comparisons:

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