Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: in-depth specs comparison


Introduction


Samsung released the original Galaxy Note phablet in 2011 to widespread customer confusion followed by widespread customer adoption that set its large display as a trend. This is how a winning new product category usually gets created. And for the three years that followed, Apple neglected to address this category. As each generation of the Galaxy Note sold better than the one before it, the Apple iPhone - somewhat stubbornly - remained the smallest smartphone in the high-end market segment. In September 2014, though, mere days after Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note 4 and the unique Galaxy Note Edge, Apple stole headlines with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus - the latter, a long-awaited competitor to the Galaxy Note. Although the two devices compete for big-screen buyers' wallets, they are are wildly different in all other aspects. It's time we put their hardware and software features against each other.


Design

Classic approaches for modern phablets.

The Apple iPhone 6 Plus is crafted out of anodized aluminium and features an unibody build, while the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge boasts a finely sculpted metal frame positioned between two layers of plastic. The back panel is covered by a faux leather texture and contains the signature S-Pen stylus slot. Both smartphones feature fingerprint sensor-housing Home buttons on their bottom bezels. But the Galaxy Note Edge has its button surrounded by two capacitive keys - a task-switching key on the left, and a back key on the right. The iPhone 6 Plus has its power and volume keys positioned on the right and left sides, respectively, while the Galaxy Note Edge puts the power button on the top, and the volume keys on the left. A classic approach for a modern phablet.

In terms of dimensions, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus measures 6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches (158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm) at 6.07 oz (172 g), while the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge scales up to 5.96 x 3.24 x 0.33 inches (151.3 x 82.4 x 8.3 mm) at 6.14 oz (174 g). Although the Apple phablet is 0.05 inches (1.2cm) thinner than its rival, it is 0.26 inches (6.8mm) taller. The Galaxy Note Edge, though, is 0.18 inches (4.6mm) wider.


Display

Big screens, high expectations.

The Apple iPhone 6 Plus' IPS LCD screen measures 5.5 inches by diagonal. It has a 1080 x 1920 resolution with a pixel density of 401ppi. The iPhone 6 Plus's color calibration is merely good, not excellent, as it measures 7318 Kelvins. Although this is close to the reference value of 6500 Kelvins, the difference results in colder colors. The iPhone 6 Plus's display has excellent minimum and maximum brightness levels - 4 nits at lowest, and 574 nits at most. This ensures comfortable use in all indoor and outdoor situations. The contrast ratio is excellent at 1:1376, ensuring proper white and black representation. Finally, the viewing angles are not exceptional, but they are on par with most smartphones in the high-end category on the market.

The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge has an unconventional display, to say the least. It measures 5.6 inches by diagonal, and instead of a right bezel, it has a curved side, which displays dedicated shortcuts, notifications, and menus. The curved Super-AMOLED panel has a very high resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 525ppi. We haven't had the chance to run our display tests on the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge yet, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which uses the same screen technology and performs superbly, has raised our expectations to a high degree. We have included the Galaxy Note 4 in the benchmark comparison as a loose reference.

Interface and functionality

Phablets emphasize productivity.

The Apple iPhone 6 Plus runs iOS 8, which adds even more functionality to the familiar operating system, while preserving the revamped look introduced in last year's iOS 7. To capitalize on the iPhone 6 Plus' larger screen real estate, Apple added an additional row of icons to the homescreen. Additionally, there are more additions to the interface, which enhance the way certain apps are interacted with on the bigger screen. The Plus also features support for landscape mode.

Of course, Apple realized that screens are growing while our thumbs aren't! Thus, it introduces a one-handed mode which shrinks down the interface appropriately. This is accomplished with a light dual press on the home button. The interface collapses, and the content is brought closer to the bottom of the display. Additionally various core apps are optimized to take advantage of the bigger display. For example, the Calendar app features an extra pane which gives us more visibility on one screen.

The Galaxy Note Edge brings a twist to Samsung's familiar TouchWiz interface- a number of shortcuts and controls are moved to the display's curved edge. Operating the device's camera and menu commands from the edge of the screen is a fun novelty, but history will tell if it has potential for a killer feature. Curved screen apart, the Galaxy Note Edge differentiates with its S-Pen functionality and heart-rate sensor. The S-Pen software suite is, arguably, the best stylus experience on a smartphone to date. As for the heart rate sensor, the S-Health app makes pretty good use of it to keep your vitals in check. Speaking of sensors, both phablets feature fingerprint sensor embedded in their Home buttons.


Processor and Memory

The pinnacles of Apple and Samsung's technological pursuits.

The Apple iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge represent the pinnacles of Apple and Samsung's technological pursuits. The iPhone 6 Plus runs on a dual-core Apple A8 64-bit processor paired with a PowerVR GX6650 graphics unit and 1GB of RAM. The Galaxy Note Edge runs on a quad-core Snapdragon 805 32-bit processor paired with the Adreno 420 GPU and 3GB of RAM. 

The Apple A8 processor is made on a newer 20nm process, while the Snapdragon 805 is made on an older 28nm process. The A8 also has the advantage of being 64-Bit, which is a future-proofing advantage. It also supports AES for faster encryption and decryption operations. However, the Snapdragon 805 features enhanced multimedia capabilities such as 4K Ultra-HD resolution support and up to 55MP photo support.

Storage-wise, the iPhone 6 Plus is available in 16, 64, and 128GB variants, while the Galaxy Note Edge is available in 32GB and 64GB variants and its memory is expandable with a microSD card.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: in-depth specs comparison

Camera

The megapixel war never ends.

The Apple iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note Edge are wildly different in terms of their cameras. The former has an 8-megapixel Dual LED flash with a back-illuminated (BSI Sensor). Its feature set includes Phase detection autofocus, Touch to focus, Optical image stabilization, Face detection, Exposure compensation, Burst mode, Digital zoom, Geo tagging, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Panorama, and Self-timer. It is able to record videos at up to 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second. Its front-facing camera has a 1.2 megapixel sensor.

The latter has double the megapixel count - a 16MP camera with a single LED flash and a feature-set that includes Autofocus, Touch to focus, Manual focus, Digital image stabilization, Optical image stabilization, Face detection, Smile detection, Exposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets, Burst mode, Digital zoom, Geo tagging, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Panorama, Scenes, Effects, Self-timer, and Voice activation. The camera can record video at resolutions up to 4K (3840X2160), and with active Optical Image Stabilisation - which is not the case with the iPhone 6 Plus. Meanwhile, the front-facing camera is a 3.7MP unit, which is another advantage of Samsung's phablet.

Battery life

Big batteries for big screens.

Due to their large displays, phablets need a bigger bank of energy juice to operate. That's why Apple opted for a 2915mAh battery to power the iPhone 6 Plus, while Samsung went the extra mile and stuck a 3000mAh unit inside the Galaxy Note Edge. In our battery test, the Apple phablet lasted for 6 hours and 32 minutes of on-screen usage. We haven't measured the Galaxy Note Edge yet. Additionally, the iPhone 6 Plus battery is non-removable, which is not the case with the Galaxy Note Edge.


Conclusion

Two of the best smartphones you can buy!

Both the Apple iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy Note Edge are the most specs-intensive mobile devices released by their respective makers. They are also two of the best smartphones you can buy. Which brings us to the final factor of importance - their prices. The iPhone 6 Plus is available for $299 (16GB), $399 (32GB), and $499 (128GB) on the four major US carriers, and $749 (16GB), $849 (64GB), and $949 (128GB) unlocked. And the Galaxy Note Edge? Recently, Samsung confirmed that the unconventional phablet is a "limited edition concept", "technology-intensive" device that may or may not be manufactured in an initial volume of just 1 million units. Its release date and pricing are still murky, with a South Korean roll-out tentatively expected in late October, and alleged Chinese pricing reported at a steep $1139. We're obviously looking at expensive, high-end devices. While the Galaxy Note Edge packs even more cutting-edge technology than the iPhone 6 Plus, it will be up to you and your individual needs and preferences to decide whether its bustling spec sheet, curved screen, S-Pen functionality, and a plethora of sensors justify a higher price tag.

Related phones

iPhone 6 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh(24h 3G talk time)
Galaxy Note Edge
  • Display 5.6" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 3.7 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, Quad-core, 2700 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(18h 3G talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

34 Comments

1. blitzkreig

Posts: 103; Member since: Aug 18, 2014

"To capitalize on the iPhone 6 Plus' larger screen real estate, Apple added an additional row of icons to the homescreen." LOL..

4. neops

Posts: 297; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

And how you compare displays with so much specs missing?

2. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Read this article while you have the chance, people. Before PA goes ahead and deletes this article too. -.- Such unprofessionalism, PA.

5. silencer271

Posts: 254; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Its normal for them. iPA has some of the worst bloggers on the internet.

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

What other one did they delete?

9. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

It was a speed test video article (carried out not by PA but someone else) between iP6, M8 and GS5. This is not the first time it has happened. They even left it for more then half an hour before deleting it.

11. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

I expect it was because the iPhone was so much better than the "faster and better specced" Android devices it created a rage vortex which half the posters here couldn't handle and all the resultant heavy keyboard bashing was causing site crashes... Or something like that.

12. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

15. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Have you watched the ones in which the year old Nexus 5 whips the brand new iphone 6 in the same type of test? The last article I saw deleted here was the one which reported that Displaymate had tested the Note 4 display and found that it was the best display ever tested. That did cause a rage vortex (and rationalization/conspiracy vortex) , but not from Android users.

18. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Yes, I've seen that too, but it wasn't the test the article was on about - I also commented on it in the deleted thread and said about trying it again in a couple of months when iOS 8 and Apps will have undergone a lot more optimisation. That test featured the 0.0 version of iOS 8 and by the time it's been out as long as whichever version of Android the Nexus is running it will no doubt be running far smoother, as would the associated apps. I'm not saying the iPhone 6 would win but that it would be a fairer comparison. Also - in any of these "debates" about iPhone vs everything else how come everyone cherry picks as if all Android devices are one? So the Nexus is faster, the Note has a better screen, the HTC has better speakers, the Sony has a better camera etc etc - well the iPhone seems to be competitive in all areas and near the top in each so surely that's a far more impressive feat than being good in one area and average in the rest? There's always ONE device that will be top in any specific area yet the iPhone 6 seems to be holding it's own in ALL areas pretty well.

24. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

All the flagships of the major players are competitive in all those areas. Even some lower grade devices, like the Nexus and the Moto X are competitive in all areas.

28. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Yeah, that's fair - I like the Nexus (hopefully they'll keep the next one at a reasonable size rather than forever increasing to phablet dimensions) and the Moto X does look good. The battery tests on the Moto concern me but that's just based on what I've read and know from friends with Android devices too - the iPhone 6 review on here says the battery life is poor but it's great on mine so I take it all with a pinch of salt...

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Be honest bro, did the android guys go nuts in the comment section?

23. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

If you even look at the YouTube link there are loads of people going mental and saying it's fake/conspiracy/unfair, if the Samsung has this and that settings changed or if it was running Android L it would be different etc - thing is, it wasn't, it was running in "real life" and not fantasy land. Quite a few comments being made about the iPhone battery life there too saying it's so poor that the test is irrelevant - I still can't see how people who don't own one can comment since all those actually with them say it's very good. I can get nearly a day and a half with 10 hours use out of my 6, now it's all settled down I take it off charge at 9am and go to bed at 12am with at least 60% left. I'd imagine your 6+ goes even further... http://i940.photobucket.com/albums/ad245/Jimrod/BF161BE4-6AEC-4384-A591-D15E7B9D29C1_zps99kujglk.png

32. KingDingaLing

Posts: 324; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

My 6 + will go 2 days with a good amount of use.

31. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

As usual, yes. But it weren't only the android guys who went nuts. Irrespective of that, it's not the reason to pull down the article. Infact, they would rather have people fighting in the comment section so that it brings more traffic to the website and more traffic = more $$$ I suspect they themselves are in progress to make such speed test comparison video. Hence, there is no point propagating some else's video.

3. Cicero

Posts: 1106; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

ios vs. TW on top of Android. This is what we see above. Everybody have some strengths. Finally Note is better, especially on productivity side where is the winner by far.

6. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

From the article title, "The Galaxy S5 display is far from the best, here's why..." on PhoneArena. "If you set the Galaxy S5 to the so-called Cinema mode, its color temperature gets considerably better at around 7300 K, but there's still a lot of red color lacking, making for visuals that we'd describe as 'lifeless'." Fast forward to today, and the iPhone display with a color temp of 7318 K is described as "good", not lifeless.

13. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Colour temp isn't the only variable with a screen.

14. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And, as displaymate found, the S5 is better in nearly every respect compared to the iphone, so that point is moot. The point is, they claimed that the color temp of S5 was lifeless, while an identical color temp from the iphone was good. Color temp was all they were talking about then.

16. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

No, saying it's lifeless doesn't equate to colour temp - maybe the S5 screen does look lifeless at that colour temp rather than how it normally looks with oversaturated colours, while the iPhone may have more contrast and "pop" at the same temp. One site says one thing and another disagrees - Phonearena rated the iP6 screen better than the S5's and Anandtech's review also seems to put it ahead in most categories - http://www.anandtech.com/show/8554/the-iphone-6-review/8

20. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

PhoneArena display tests are useless, Ray is just some guy who downloaded some test software and had no knowledge in the field. You might as well go by Jon Geller's review. The S5 is old news. The latest display from Samsung is the Note 4, and it is one again the best in the market, beating the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus displays.

26. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Great if it does, competition is good. I'm just glad so many companies are making competitive devices which keep pushing tech further ahead. I do think Apple got lazy with the 6's (too much time flaffing about with watches) and could definitely do better, especially with the design which is starting to age rapidly and look awkward with the larger sizes to me. If the Android devices I tried before upgrading from my iPhone 5 to 6 were better I'd have gone with one of those - sadly the options at the smaller size end of the market are limited and I didn't really want a mid-range device, the Samsung Alpha lagged compared to my 5 and it instantly put me off, the Sony Z compact also didn't feel great to me and little things like my mate forever having to wipe dust off the screen on his put me off. It's getting very close, the HTC One was really good I felt but the M8 just a bit too big, I like the Nexus but didn't want to wait for the next version or buy the old one. Just picky I guess!

25. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And, they did directly equate the color temp to the lifeless look - it was to cool, too blue. that's want me equating it, that was the author.

27. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Aye, I'm not sure why that would be, I calibrate screens as part of my job and if the panel is good then it should always look good when it's near the "standards", I haven't calibrated an OLED screen though so it could be they behave differently at different intensities - most I've seen look oversaturated but that's most likely just manufacturer settings...

7. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

The Note Edge has me worried. I am a Galaxy owner and love how it has given me no problems at all in almost two years except the battery. Fortunately, Samsung keeps the removable battery alive. My problem with the Note Edge, is the side controls on the curved part of the screen. I am right handed and perceive a possible depression of inadvertently hitting these icons while holding the phone. Also, I use a case for virtually all my phones. I'm seeing a problem designing a proper case for this phone. I will hold a reservation until I actually physically hold one before casting a final judgement. But, as it stands, I question the popularity of this design. The Note 4 has my attention at this point. John B.

19. cleat-glitch

Posts: 109; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

i rather hav a display that i can acidentally touch...then useless top and bottom of the iphone six plus

22. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I tried one the other day, though just for a few moments. It felt solid, the display was beautiful and it was smooth and fluid. That said, the curved screen didn't work well with the way I hold the device.

10. John.v2

Posts: 35; Member since: Sep 08, 2014

the only reason to buy either of these two phones is to show off....

21. cleat-glitch

Posts: 109; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

true that...im inn

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.