Samsung Galaxy S6 edge vs Apple iPhone 6: first look

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Introduction


We're at MWC 2015, friends, and here with us, we have the unorthodox Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, and the best Apple iPhone ever! Now that the storm brewed by HTC and Samsung's announcements has dwindled a bit, we're going to sit down with the edge and the iPhone 6 for our first look at how the two are going to compete in the months ahead.

Design


While the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 were the most forgettable Android flagships around, the Galaxy S6 is one to remember, and the Galaxy S6 edge is the one to awe over! It's not only the display that curves to its sides, giving it a liquid, flowing look! Those who own it won't be holding creaky plastic in their hands, but rather a blend of metal and glass that's decidedly premium. Fully paneled with tough Gorilla Glass 4, and rocking a sculpted aluminum frame, the smartphone is durable enough to withstand the rigors on daily use, but makes no design compromises. And not only is the Galaxy S6 edge full-on premium, but it will come in a bunch of lively colors too! But how will it sit in your palm? Well, dimensions-wise, the Galaxy S6 edge measures 5.59 x 2.76 x 0.28 inches (142.1 x 70.1 x 7 mm), which means it won't sit in there much worse than the iPhone 6 does, although it is a considerably bigger device.

It's been a good six months, but Apple's crown jewel is still looking great next to the innovative Samsung Galaxy S6 edge. The polished anodized aluminum, the smooth laminated display, and the shiny Apple on its back - the iPhone 6 is the best the iPhone ever looked! Everything about it has been heavily thought out - even those plastic strips that diminish the design harmony, but still fit in the picture. But it has to be noted that the Galaxy S6 edhe has an important safety advantage with that Gorilla Glass 4 covering its front and back - you will have a much harder time scratching or destroying it than you'd do with the iPhone 6's bare aluminum shell. However, that glass back is prone to fingerprints! Anyway, the iPhone 6 measures 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches (138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm), which undeniably contributes to its excellent look and portability. Alas, it is sold only in gray, silver, and gold - which is an excellent, but very limited selection of colors.

Overall, the Galaxy S6 edge and iPhone 6's design is of very high quality. The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge definitely has that feeling of novelty to it, even if the curved displays are there entirely for show. The S6 edge is something we haven't seen before from the likes of Sony, Huawei, Meizu, Oppo, and Xiaom, whichi have been making excellent variations of the metal/glass smartphone months (even years) before the Galaxy S6's announcement. Meanwhile, the iPhone has that Apple design quality that's being copied, emulated, studied, and otherwise taken advantage of by competitors - but never, ever matched. Even the HTC One M9 with its exorbitant looks doesn't feel quite as right as the iPhone 6 does.

Display


The display is the window to your smartphone's vast potential. The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge and iPhone 6 have completely different displays at the heart of their user experience. The S6 edge, being a finished product as much as it is a proof of concept, comes with a Quad-HD (1440x2560) resolution AMOLED display that packs a whopping 3,686,400 pixels on a panel that measures 5.1 inches by diagonal! This results in a mind-boggling pixel density of 576 pixels per inch.


Meanwhile, the iPhone 6 only has a 4.7-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution - 750x1334 - that seems laughably low in comparison. Its pixel density is "only" 326 PPI. Does that really matter? To us, it really doesn't. We like sharp screens, but we consider a display's color reproduction, image quality, and brightness levels as more important than the number of pixels per inch. And to get an accurate assessment of how the Galaxy S6 edgeperforms in these aspects, we'll have to put the former through our display test first. Still, in the time that we spent with it, the S6 edge's screen was always a pleasant sight to behold.


Processor and memory


Raw spec comparisons between Android and iOS devices never made sense, because the two operating systems have vastly different architectures. Software optimization explains why an iPhone 6 with its dual-core 1.4GHz processor and 1GB of RAM can stand up to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and its monstrous 2.1GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 chipset (that's also paired with 3GB of super-fast LPDDR4 RAM) for all tasks that don't throw 4K video in the equation. However, Samsung might have worked out a serious performance enhancer for the Galaxy S6 - its UFS 2.0 flash storage is said to be 2.7 times faster than the current NAND flash memory standard, and it could bring a tangible improvement to app and content load times over other smartphones. In terms of built-in storage memory, both the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 have up to 128GB of the stuff - non-expandable via microSD card, sorry.

Interface and functionality


At this point, comparing TouchWiz-skinned Android and Apple's iOS is, for the most part, pointless. They are two of the most popular operating systems in existence! You know full well what to expect from them, although we have to note that Samsung has continued its effort to tighten up TouchWiz. It gets its customers much better than it used to, presenting to them a refined, clean interface with way fewer menus, submenus, gestures, toggles, and generally confusing items to handle. 

Not just that, but it looks like those rumors of Samsung working on a competitor to Apple Pay really blossomed into truth! Samsung Pay, touted by yours truly as an "easy to use mobile payment service that will be compatible with more locations than any competing offering in a single application", is set to launch in the United States and Korea in the second half of 2015. It hopes to one-up Apple Pay with Samsung KNOX-protected fingerprint scanning and advanced tokenization security. The system works with both NFC and MST (magnetic secure transmission) terminals and is "device, merchant, and card issuer agnostic" - which probably means that it's supposed to work almost anywhere, with almost all terminals and merchants in the USA. Apple Pay is already successful on the US market, so we're rather curious whether Samsung Pay will be able to successfully attack its niche!

In addition, the Galaxy S6 features a heart-rate sensor, which is able to measure your pulse or double as a shortcut for camera-related functions. That, the iPhone 6 doesn't have - but the upcoming Apple Watch will fill in for that role.


Camera


For better or worse, those 20MP camera rumors didn't pan out in the Samsung Galaxy S6, and neither for the edge. They both come with a respectable 16MP unit on the back instead, while the front cam has been upgraded to 5 megapixels. This camera boasts Auto Real-Time HDR, Smart Optical Image Stabilization, and IR Detect White Balance features for advanced light sensitivity. In addition, it's got a brand-new 'Quick Launch' gesture which lets users simply double-press the home button and launch the camera app in 0.7 seconds (yes, Samsung measured it). Having had a great ride with the Galaxy Note 4's 16MP camera, we can't wait to take the Galaxy S6 edge out on a low-light photo taking spree! We also noted that the Galaxy S6 edge has a really fast camera app, and we generally have high expectations of it.



The iPhone 6, meanwhile, packs just an 8-megapixel main camera and a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime front camera. Megapixels aren't all that make or break a digital camera, though. The iPhone 6's camera - which is one the world's most popular cameras, by the way - is tuned to take remarkably sweet photos that nail the right balance between natural and artificially-sweetened colors. It also fares pretty good in the low-light shooting department, and takes pictures very quickly. In other words, it gives you everything you want from a point-and-shoot cam, but if you want larger photos and 4K video shooting, you'll have to pick up the Galaxy S6 edge.


Battery life


The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge has a 2600mAh unit, which sounds a bit less reassuring than we'd like it to. However, Samsung is giving it a pretty good prognosis! It should last a whopping 12 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 11 hours of browsing over LTE, up to 13 hours of media playback, and up to 49 hours of music playback with the display turned off! But still, we'd rather let our proprietary battery test be the final authority on the matter. In addition, the Galaxy S6 edge comes with fully embedded wireless charging, working with any wireless pad on the market that supports WPC and PMA standards. Not only that, but Samsung also developed a fast wired charging solution that's able to give you 4 hours of usage after just 10 minutes on the charger. Once again, we'll have to see about that.

As for the iPhone 6, Apple's flagship's strengths and weakness in the battery department are very clear at this point, and so is the Galaxy S6edge's absolute superiority over it in this aspect. The iPhone 6's 1810mAh battery is good for 10 days of standby time, 14 hours of 3G talk time, and an unimpressive 5 hours and 22 minutes of on-screen time in our battery test. In addition, Apple's flagship phone doesn't have wireless charging, neither a quick charging solution - and we think it's high time Apple figured something out to enable the latter. Our experience with Oppo's VOOC fast charger has made this feature a very desirable one in our book.


Conclusion


The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge will be sold globally from April 10, in 32/64/128GB variants. At first glance, it's one of the best competing products the iPhone 6 is about to face this year, not to mention one of the mobile industry's most intriguing productions so far! And if Samsung prices it right, it might turn the curved display into a feature that's highly attractive for customers.



Related phones

Galaxy S6 edge
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2600 mAh(26h talk time)
iPhone 6
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1810 mAh(14h 3G talk time)

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10 Comments

1. may_czos

Posts: 955; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

Wow, 69 000 in Antutu!

4. AnTuTu

Posts: 1620; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

S6 Edge any day, any time.

2. MyPhoneIsBetterThanYours

Posts: 60; Member since: Feb 22, 2015

I'll believe the battery claims when I see it.

3. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

There looks to be way more thought put into the S6 Edge than the iPhone 6. Camera, design, hardware, display etc. S6 Edge FTW all day, every day (maybe until Note 5).

5. remtothemax

Posts: 260; Member since: May 02, 2012

meh "winning" in this sense is so beyond meaningless the s6 edge really looks good and packs some serious specs, which is so exciting i have an iphone, but this is amazing and i love it i hope the camera on the s6 kicks the iphone camera's trash, because that will force apple to bring it next time only the small minded believe in the os race the best thing for all of us is for everyone to be on top of their game. then you can just pick the one that fits your lifestyle or your personal fashion choices best now what i really want to happen is for sailfish or fire os or blackberry or windows or someone to come out of nowhere with awesomeness and bring both samsung and apple to their knees and push for even more exciting inovations i'm so glad that samsung seems to have a real winner with the s6. and this fact does nothing to change the love i have for my iphone.

6. darkvadervip

Posts: 366; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

I second that " Remtothemax"

7. twens

Posts: 1180; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

well said but i have a feeling the more reviews that come out will only make people see how advance this phone really is. Samsung has raised the bar too high. No company has this level of hardware now to compete with the s6/edge. I predict record setting numbers for samsung, the king might possibly take back its crown.

8. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

You have got to be kidding me. s5 sales numbers at best!

9. steodoreben

Posts: 379; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

PhoneArena please SPELLCHECK this article. Thank you.

10. ameran

Posts: 344; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

GS6 Edge is the best engineered cutting edge device in the current time, which Apple would never be able to create in 20 years, but with help from the best tech manufacturer "Samsung".

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