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Apple iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S6

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Apple iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S6

Introduction


If you can't beat them, join them, right? That, at least, is what we felt like Samsung is going for when it made the Galaxy S6 official back in the beginning of the year. Untrue to itself, instead of garnering the existing feature set of its flagship Galaxy S line with a few new perks, with the S6 Samsung chose to go the other way around. The ultra-utilitarian approach in software was dropped, and the company proved that it, too, can do hardware design. If anything, the Galaxy S6 is more alike Apple's iPhone than ever before, and we tend to like this new direction.

Apple iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S6
Apple iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S6
Apple iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S6
Apple iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S6
Speaking of Apple, its iPhone 6s may sound like your typical s-cycle evolutionary upgrade, but this time around Cupertino truly intrigued us: novel 3D Touch tech, significantly improved processing and graphics-crunching capabilities, more RAM, and even a higher resolution camera. Even battery life received a much needed boost!

So, what we have here are two remarkable, heavy-hitting smartphones. Let's throw them into the steel cage and enjoy the show!

Design

Samsung finally did it: For the first time, we actually have to sit down and make up our mind as to whether we like a Galaxy S flagship more than an iPhone. It's close, but we still prefer Apple's creation a little more.

True to tradition, the iPhone 6s is a near replica of its predecessor, the iPhone 6 — just slightly thicker and heavier due to 3D Touch. So we've still got that distinctive, metal unibody — this time made out of stronger, 7000-series aluminum — with the distinctive antenna strips on the back adding some character to the plate.

As mentioned, this time around Samsung went for a similarly industrial feel for the Galaxy S6, with a blend of glass on metal, and a resulting body a hair slimmer than the iPhone 6s' (0.27 inches versus 0.28 inches). Both devices have their power keys located on the upper right side of their respective frames, and volume keys on the upper left. Above the latter, the iPhone 6s also features a mute switch.

Similarities don't end there. Both devices have their physical Home keys on the bottom front bezel doubling up as fingerprint scanners (of the touch type, too), both have their camera lenses protruding on the back, and neither of the two features a removable battery door. They're very different devices, sure, but these similarities are striking nevertheless.

Of course, one way in which they're stilldifferent is their physical size: at 5.44 x 2.64 inches, the iPhone 6s is easier to handle than the 5.65 x 2.78-inch body of the Galaxy S6. That said, Samsung has managed a more impressive screen-to-body ratio of approximately 70.48%, while the iPhone 6s sits at about 65.71%.


Apple iPhone 6s
5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches
138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)

Apple iPhone 6s

Samsung Galaxy S6
5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches
143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
4.87 oz (138 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display

Great displays here, but not without their problems. The iPhone 6s' is a bit too cold, while the AMOLED on the S6 needs better gamma response.

When it comes to iPhones, so far we've always been able to count on Apple to be sensible. So while competing Android makers were rushing to deliver hungry Quad HD displays, some with overblown color reproduction, the company decided to stick with what it thought right — a very good pixel density and generally correct color profiles, with the added benefit of improved system and battery performance. This is still the case with the iPhone 6s, with its unapologetic, 750p screen, good for a density of 326 pixels. That's quite sufficient in our book, and we consider this a more logical trade-off in comparison with a Quad HD display, but worse performance and battery life. However, we do see Apple eventually going up to something like 1080p, though this doesn't seem very likely to happen in the next couple of generations.

Turning to Samsung, the decision to go for a 5.1-inch, Quad HD panel is unsurprising, but still coming off as an overkill with that 577 pixels per inch density that not only adds little visual benefit on top of 1080x1920, but also puts a lot of unneeded load on the chipset and the battery.

Despite our disappointment with the needlessly high-res screen on the Galaxy S6, we nevertheless have to give it to Samsung for its work on color accuracy, and the ability to switch between different profiles that favor different looks in specific. So while your S6 will come out of the box with a rather artificial-looking display, you can always switch to Basic to get a close to ideal color calibration. With the iPhone 6s — for better or worse — you don't have that option, and instead get a very well balanced panel, though not one without room for improvement.

Starting with color temperature, both companies have struck a nice balance, with the iPhone 6s sitting at 7050K and the Galaxy S6 (under Basic mode) at 6584K. Considering that 6500K is ideal, we get a better reading out of the latter, with the former exhibiting a slightly colder (bluish) look than preferable. The iPhone 6s, however, is generally a tiny bit more correct when producing primary and secondary colors, with an average color error of 1.47 versus the 2.02 of the S6. Both phones are about as bright, achieving around 550 nits. To get there, however, the Galaxy S6 radically boosts the contrast, and possible other aspects of the image too, ending up with a largely skewed image, but one that is readable nonetheless.In any case, the Galaxy S6's Super AMOLED panel can drop to just 2 nits of brightness, while the IPS screen of the 6s is limited to the higher 6 nits — a slight advantage when doing your before-bed Tinder bit on the S6. Finally, the iPhone 6s' average gamma, at 2.21, is spot on, and consistent across the range, while the S6's panel (gamma of 2.11) boosts contrast artificially, specifically by further brightening highlights (potentially washing them out a bit).

Ultimately? The Galaxy S6 has the edge in terms of detail superiority, but suffers with its less than optimal gamma response and slightly higher average color inaccuracy. On the other hand, Apple could have further polished the color profile by going for a warmer screen with a less dominant blue.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6s 554
(Excellent)
6
(Good)
1:1593
(Excellent)
7056
(Good)
2.21
1.47
(Excellent)
3.23
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy S6 563
(Excellent)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6584
(Excellent)
2.11
2.02
(Good)
2.94
(Good)
View all

71 Comments
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posted on 09 Oct 2015, 05:49 11

1. xdza1979 (Posts: 296; Member since: 08 Aug 2015)


Its like 5$ for each Iphone article. .

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 06:17 9

15. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Lol!!!

Better app ecosystem? WTH? This should be common for both. Where S6 has Play Store, Galaxy Store and other third party app stores are also available.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 06:28 8

18. mistercarter (Posts: 360; Member since: 01 Sep 2011)


like it or not the AppStore still has better apps and get apps exclusivities really often...

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 07:09

32. pooma (Posts: 60; Member since: 01 Oct 2015)


This just goes to show that optimization is everything. Android's baller ass specs that fanboys keeping blabbing about ain't s**t with a s**tty UI.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 09:20 9

43. janis (Posts: 358; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)


Phone arena, is like apple marketing company. complete BS article

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 09:42 7

51. Shocky (unregistered)


Rubbish, there are exclusive apps for Android as well, if you include root apps the number grows massively.

High profile apps and games are available for both, if the developers are still sticking to iOS then they've been paid off or they're stupid.

posted on 11 Oct 2015, 06:29

66. gaming64 (unregistered)


Devs earn more on iOS so stfu.

posted on 12 Oct 2015, 05:50

68. Shocky (unregistered)


It was only a 9% difference in Q1 and it was closing, it's true they spend more but lets not get carried away.

You have to compare like for like, so IPhones vs Android smartphones and not iOS as a whole.

posted on 12 Oct 2015, 13:54

69. ElixieR (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 May 2013)


butthurt Detected

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 05:52 3

2. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2236; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


Seriously, preference of design is subjective, but actual design is not in this case. The S6 is an iPhone 4/4S derivative with an iPhone 6 frame, except that Samsung lacks attention to design details. All you need to do is look at the alignment of buttons and ports on an S6 to see something Apple would never do. Yes, the S6 is thinner, but if being thinner means having your ports and buttons misaligned, then from a design standpoint it's a failure.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 06:01 4

5. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3260; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


I Think Both Phones Have Great Designs. But Everything Is A Copy Of Something Right Just Look At The iPhone 6 It Takes Plenty Of Design Aspects From The One m7. And I Honestly Don't See The iPhone4/4s When I Look At The GS6, I See The Design Of The iPhone 6 Crossed With That Of The GS4.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 17:47

58. Diezparda (Posts: 879; Member since: 23 Oct 2013)


I know right, design was subjective matters but not this time S6 has more benefit including better design over their predecessor (while 6S remain unchanged), more edge to rest your palm compared to rounded iPhone, better screen to body ratio, capacitive back & multitasking button, larger screen for almost same dimension, and those antena lines on the iPhone was annoying.

Did you guys remember this? i think they probably do something about plastic antena on 6S but it seems like any other patent, it never happen...
http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apple-files-for-a-patent-on-a-material-that-looks-like-metal-but-allows-for-wireless-reception_id70671

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 05:55 12

3. androidwindows (Posts: 199; Member since: 04 Oct 2014)


"A color-correct screen with great gamma response"

This should've gone under Galaxy s6's pros.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 06:07 18

11. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


Do a survey with 100 people asking which screen is better. If even one person say it's the iPhone, I'll eat my hat.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 06:32 3

20. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3260; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


LOL You'll Defiantly Have To Eat Your Hat, Cause iFans Are Everywhere And Someone Will Pick The iPhone Just Because Its And iPhone.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 07:02 10

29. bucky (Posts: 2982; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


stop typing a capital in every word. It makes my eyes bleed.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 07:23

34. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3260; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Never Cause This Is Me And I Can't Stop Being Me.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 08:44 2

38. mistercarter (Posts: 360; Member since: 01 Sep 2011)


so you want to be forever dumb?

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 09:26

45. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3260; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


I'm Actually Very Smart Thank You Very Much.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 09:26 1

47. Shocky (unregistered)


bUt it'S RealLy AnnOyinG, pLeasE stOP.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 10:13 1

52. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3260; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


LOL That Style Of Typing Is Way Worse. And Sorry I Can't Do What You Ask Even If You Say Please.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 05:58 4

4. SirYar (Posts: 351; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


Prepare your popcorn people, the iFanboys and Samsung Fanboys are going to ravage this comment section! Let me start - the S6 is a clear winner in specs and price.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 06:03 8

7. xondk (Posts: 1861; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Oh come on design pro for iPhone when it is a subjective thing?
and 3D touch 'looks promising'? really? there's a reason other phones went away from such things, pressure sensitivity has been there for a while,
Better app ecosystem? again seems highly subjective?
And iPhone screen gets a "A color-correct screen with great gamma response" when Samsung screen is better on all numbers except one?

Come on seriously, is this the whole you don't say good stuff about Apple, Apple will blacklist you rumour thing true? because it really seems to be stretching it?

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 06:05 4

8. Shocky (unregistered)


You don't even need to read the review if you know enough about the devices, just look at the Pros for each device and laugh.

So biased.

PS: some of the benchmark results for the Galaxy S6 are wrong, less than 60k in Antutu? please, should be around 70k. single core in geekbench should be around 1500 and on-screen gfxbench scores don't represent real performance as most games scale down to 1080p.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 06:05 2

10. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3260; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


One More Pro For The GS6 Is That It's Display Is Not Only Bigger But Better As Well. QHD Should Be Considered A Pro Over A Phone That Doesn't Have One.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 06:29

19. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3260; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Have It*

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 09:02 2

39. Shocky (unregistered)


Indeed it should, seems the test they use for battery life is a load of rubbish, gsmarena did their usual endurance test and the iPhone 6s scored 10 hours less than the Galaxy S6.

Considering Apple themselves said battery life is about the same as the iPhone 6, I know which results I believe.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 09:25 1

44. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3260; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Pa Using Some Outdated Battery Benchmark I Guess Or One Made By Apple LOL.

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 06:10 5

12. Mikele (Posts: 53; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)


Hmm PA with their one sided analysis assumptions haba?!

Only IOS is polished and runs smoothly

Better audio quality for 6s non for S6?

Few days back we read articles why S6 is better compares to 6s from PA what changes that now?

posted on 09 Oct 2015, 06:13 12

13. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


The pros made me laugh so f**king hard. This is the only site which will prefer the iPhone's display and design over the GS6. The S6 has a much better screen to body ratio, and it doesn't have the fugly antenna lines.

And don't even get me started on the displays. No one will say: 'oh look, this display has a gamma so high'. In fact, a little high gamma looks more dramatic and a usual person prefers it. Same about the basic mode. Use the adaptive display for a day and switch to basic mode. You'll go 'ugh' and switch back. No one likes accurate colors. Because they are not accurate. sRGB is not even 50% of all colors we can see. So it can't ever be accurate. And a 100% accurately calibrated display won't look 100% calibrated in real life as ambient light desaturates colors. So a little bit extra saturation is good.

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