Galaxy Note 7 vs iPhone 6s Plus: big-screen flagship comparison

Apple and Samsung have each built enough smartphones by now to know that one-size-fits-all doesn't work, and that there's always going to be a demand for larger-screen models. Samsung may have got the memo a little sooner as the Galaxy Note family enters its sixth generation, while Apple's only much more recently begun producing iPhone Plus handsets. Now with this year's Galaxy Note 7 making its formal debut, we wanted to take a look at how Samsung's latest phablet compares to Apple's most recent model, going hands-on with both the Note 7 and the iPhone 6s Plus.

Despite Apple's model having a 5.5-inch screen, and the Note 7 going with another 5.7-inch display, the Samsung handset is the more compact of the pair, with a face that's both shorter and narrower than the iPhone's. Part of that's due to Samsung's decision to make this year's Note a curved-edge-screen model, drastically reducing bezels. Apple's handset does come in a little thinner, with the iPhone 6s Plus measuring 7.3mm deep compared to the Note 7's 7.9mm, but the Galaxy phone is still significantly lighter, hitting the scales at 169g to Apple's 192g.

While that mass and Apple's use of metal helps the iPhone 6s Plus feel like an exceptionally sturdy handset, the Galaxy Note 7 still has a very comfortable feel to it, with that curved front glass meeting an identically curved back panel to produce a handset that tapers to a narrow edge that fits nicely in the hand.

Even with the phone's compact face, Samsung has to deal with the realities of users interacting with a big 5.7-inch screen, and the implementation of its Edge UX side-swipe gestures offers a friendly one-hand way to get to key apps and things like news updates with ease.

Samsung can't quite hit Apple's 128GB storage option for the iPhone 6s Plus, but the move to 64GB as the base level is a really nice one for a phone that's got a rep as a power-user handset; Apple would do well to ditch its 16GB configuration. Though to be fair, with the return of support for microSD expansion, this year's Note 7 empowers owners to seriously super-charge their storage limits – and a promotion that offers a free 256GB microSD for early orders only sweetens the deal; who doesn't want a 320GB smartphone?

And then there's the S Pen. Each year it seems like Samsung is able to squeeze more and more functionality out of the Note's unique stylus, and this year is no exception, picking up software enhancements like a magnification and translation mode, as well as new hardware that improves pressure sensitivity and delivers a much more real-pen-like stylus tip.

But maybe the coolest thing about the new S Pen is its waterproofing – a feature it shares with the Galaxy Note 7 itself. The pen will still operate while fully submerged, letting users write on the Note's screen underwater. Waterproofing is still one nut Apple's yet to crack, and while this might not be the Note 7 feature you take advantage of on the most regular timetable, it's still a really impressive one to have access to.

One move that brings the Note 7 a little close to the iPhone is this year's switch to USB Type-C, giving the handset a wired interface that now is just as reversible as Apple's. Just like Apple's switch to Lightning, though, that also means new accessories are needed, and Samsung's got a fresh Gear VR headset all ready to take advantage of the Note 7's new port.

We're going to be taking a closer look at how the new Galaxy Note 7 compares with Apple's iPhone 6s Plus as we put Samsung's latest phablet through our full review treatment, but for the time being you can get an early look at how these big-screen handsets stack up in our hands-on gallery:

Related phones

Galaxy Note 7
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh
iPhone 6s Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9, Dual-core, 1840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2750 mAh(24h 3G talk time)



1. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 707; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

There is no discussion. Samsung is two generations of screens ahead of Apple. Even though it hurts to say but also the design of Apple looks like one century older than Samsung. For me, it is only the software that puts Apple ahead of Samsung but Samsung becomes better and better every year with Touchwiz as well.

4. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I don't know about that. Samsung's hardware is top notch, no question about that. However, I refuse to purchase a Samsung device as long as TouchWiz exists. It's all over the place color scheme, cartoonist icons, and jumbled settings are a serious turnoff. Give me a stock Android S7 Edge, and you can have my money Samsung. Oh, and an unlocked Bootloader as well just for lulz.

9. Landon

Posts: 1247; Member since: May 07, 2015

The icons are a serious turnoff? Seriously? Just download a custom theme.

15. foxfoxfox

Posts: 23; Member since: Jul 10, 2016

it is not 2014 anymore s7 exynos touchwiz can beat htc 10 lg g5 oneplus3

22. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

It's gotten better.

26. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

I find it a bit funny that people used to criticize iOS 7 for being cartoonish and overly colorful and toyish yet now it's preferred over TouchWiz. What is wrong here?

29. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

you can't do much with iOS icon, well jailbreak doesn't count

11. phonegeek1212

Posts: 58; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

Sammy is no match for apple..

13. kennethsmith117

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 02, 2016

Except for the fact that it's been outperforming Apple in almost every aspect for the past couple of years. Don't be a fan boy and look at the phone itself and not the brand.

14. Unordinary unregistered

Dont be a fan boy lol. Outperforming? Apple has had the best SoCs the past several years. Just wait for the Note 7 to iPhone 7 comparison.

16. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 707; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

True that. Apple custom tech is absolutely competitive to the market and probably a step ahead of the competition. Let's hope this will also apply to Apple's new custom camera concept that they will introduce this year.

17. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I would love to see an iPhone with a QHD display. Instead idiots always love to bring up that the iPhone 6s outperforms every Android device. IPhone 6s pushing only 1 million pixels, whereas all QHD devices are pushing 3.7 million pixels. Yet the benchmarks don't reflect that the iPhone 6s is not 3.7 times faster. It's a complete farse. Let's throw in a couple of lol like unordinary. Typical imoron.

19. bucky

Posts: 3794; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

You realize those tests are not including the screen resolution right? Typical insecure fanboy. That said, this phone is a beast and you can't really knock it for anything (except touch wiz).

18. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Samsungs current offerings do look better than the iPhone product right now. With that said, the iPhone design is 2 years old and counting. Also, the current Galaxies look like current iPhones mixed with an iPhone 4. It's a good look, but let's not fool ourselves. People keep saying that Apple has lost its design edge, but they haven't really redesigned anything lately to say that. The current iPhone doesn't look bad, I just see it as the worst of the iphone designs, but not ugly. People are just tired of it and know they have to deal with it another year. Lets see what Apple does with a redesigned iPhone in 2017. If it's terrible, then we can start talking about them loosing their edge.

20. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

A 5.7 inch phone that's significantly smaller than a 5.5 inch one is the clincher for me. I won't even bother to debate the other stuff. The iPhone 6s+ is bigger than the 6 inch Huawei Mate 8 ffs. Huge bezels make the iPhone 6s+ fugly. Design wise the smaller iPhone 6 is much better. Waiting for Apple to "invent" an iP68 smartphone for the iSheep to wank over.

33. Loveneesh

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 14, 2015

Apple iphone 6s plus is 2015 launched phone. Whey they were comparing note 7 with almost a year old phone.


Posts: 943; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

I agree with you but they need to get better at sending out software updates.

2. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Sure, compare a phone almost twelve months old to something that's just been announced. That's totally logical./s We get it! You gotta spam the Note articles for the next few days. Just try to keep it within the realm of sanity......please.

3. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 707; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

I am an iPhone 6 user myself but one has to give credit where credit is due. Apple is well behind Samsung in screen tech and camera tech. Also the design of Samsung looks more classy than Apple's right now. One can only hope that Apple fixes at least the camera department this year. Next year design and screen fix are more than overdue. Personally, I will not upgrade to iPhone 7 this year but will give Apple one more chance to fix its issues with next year's iPhone. If Apple does not deliver next year, I am forced out of iOS. Android will feature split screen and picture in picture by default with Android 7 now for smartphones will Apple is artificially limiting this feature to its tablets. Apple simply has to react.

6. willard12 unregistered

I can agree with that. We'll see what the real comparisons are in another month. But, PA is pretty consistent on comparing the latest devices, whatever the latest is. And when the Iphone 6se is out, we can probably expect some spam. However, it is better than the S7E comparisons. The comparisons with a phone that is slightly less than a year old is a lot less ridiculous than the constant comparisons to a device that is 4 months old from the same manufacturer. In 6 months we'll see a million comments about the S8 Edge being a Note 7 without the stylus. You read it here first.

7. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Not necessary... They could do a vs with the last note or s7 edge and it's still miles behind other than some software.

39. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

And what do you think happen when the iPhone 7 is released? Omfg you isheep.....

40. yyzamin

Posts: 383; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Samsung has a higher market share that Apple yet Apple users are sheep? Please...

5. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I'm digging the Note 7, but save the comparison till the iPhone 7 Plus launches. As for now, it's the usual, Note 7 way more features, much more better looking, and that addictive S-Pen.

8. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Like everyone knows here, I don't care about samsung, not even in the slightest but boy does the Note7 run circles around the Iphone 6+. Just take a look at both of them. The Ip even looks like plastic next to the GN7 ffs. Especially if you compare it to the onyx black version. Samsung has knocked it outta the park here (in looks). Touchwiz seems to be buttery smooth too. But that not withstanding, ithe N7 is the most boring and most underwhelming note release in the history of samsung. Infact, I don't even see the N5 owners or S7E owners even considering it, well, except you're a die hard samsung fanboy that is.. To think the htc 10 and OP3 were the most boring phones of 2016. At this rate, I'm ready to put my money on the line that the ip7 (or whatever its called) would be at least more interesting than the N7 when its announced (and that's saying a lot, considering the rumors so far, lol). What the hell happened to the 6gig ram, SD821, 4,000 mah battery, dual cameras, 256 gig in built storage, continuum feature? Smh

12. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

They got dumped out of fashion (in Samsung style atleast)!

24. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

I completely agree, I don't see why they didn't put in all the features you listed in your last paragraph. I'd easily take that over an iris scanner. But even still, it destroys any smartphone on the market so far, I doubt the IPH7 will be able to compete.

10. kennethsmith117

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 02, 2016

The comparison between Note 7 and iPhone 6 plus can be something that yall can use, but how far behind is it that the Note 3 offers a bigger screen, faster processor, smaller device, and RAM that can compare with the 6 plus. The Note 3 is a good comparison to a 6 Plus even though the phone is about 3 or 4 years old now. Maybe Apple needs to step up their game a bit. They have the resources and technology to do it. I am a non biased person when it comes to technology. Personally for the past couple of years I feel like Apple has been more of a "name brand" purchase rather than a quality purchase. I have multiple friends who spent 900 dollars for an iPhone just to say they had one. Until Apple designs a phone that can outperform the others, I will not buy one again. Samsung might get on a high horse eventually and try to float by on the name, but for now they are continually making their phones better and more user-friendly than Apple's devices. Just my 2 cents.

25. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

"Faster processor" mate, where did you get that from?

31. kennethsmith117

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 02, 2016

If you read closely. I said I wouldn't get an iPhone AGAIN. Which means I had one and it wasn't as awesome as it was hyped up to be. Maybe I'll try one again soon enough. As far as processor goes, the Note 3 runs a quad core 2.3 GHz processor and the 6 Plus runs a dual core 1.4. You don't know me personally so I'll let you think that I'm clueless about technology.

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