Apple iPhone 6s Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note5
Danger, danger, big screens incoming! The new Apple iPhone 6s Plus and Galaxy Note5 are poised to become the most talked-about phablets for the foreseeable future, so we are left with no choice but to stage a cage fight between these two juggernauts of the mobile industry.
Thin and with premium build, the phones are not only stuffed to the gills with the best that the mobile hardware industry can offer, but also offer two distinctively unique extra input methods – the new and clicky S Pen on the Note5, and the 3D Touch pressure-sensitive screen on the 6s Plus. Which one is to prevail? Read on to find out...
With a premium chassis and record screen-to-body ratio, the Note5 design is now a match for the larger iPhone.
Both handsets feature premium materials in their design build, with Apple betting on a durable 7000-series aluminum unibody, and Samsung cladding its Note5 in a glass and metal chassis. The Note5 uses thermal nanocoating, applying numerous layers to achieve transient, reflective mirror effect. The metal side frame feels quite slippery in the hand, though, and so is the metal body of the iPhone 6s Plus. The choice of premium materials, and the extra functions that both phablets boast, are making them rather heavy in the hand, especially the iPhone, which clocks in at the cringing 6.77 oz (192 g), while the Note5's chassis comes in at 6.03 oz (171 g) .
Apple's handsets, including the iPhone 6s Plus don't have good screen-to-body ratio. Meanwhile, the Note5 excels in that metric, thanks to slim bezels all around.
Long story short, the 5.7” Note5 is more compact than the 5.5” iPhone 6s Plus; moreover, it still finds a place for the S Pen stylus silo on the lower right corner. Nevertheless, Samsung's phablet is still a pretty big device that is not comfortable to use with one hand, or carry in tight pockets, and the iPhone 6s Plus takes those portability dramas even further.
6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches
158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm
6.77 oz (192 g)
6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches
153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm
6.03 oz (171 g)
To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page
Apple's 3D Touch screen technology adds extra layer of input possibilities that will likely see more use on a daily basis than the stylus input.
Apple and Samsung are renowned for their display quality prowess, and their poster kids don't disappoint. Equipped with diametrically opposite screen technologies – LCD for the iPhone 6s Plus and AMOLED for the Note5 – they converge when it comes to the quality of their panels. The Note5 has the upper hand when it comes to pixel density, as it sports 1440x2560 pixels Quad HD resolution, against the 5.5” 1080p panel of the iPhone 6s Plus, which can't really be considered a disadvantage at today's crazy pixel densities.
When it comes to color presentation, brightness, contrast and viewing angles, the phones deliver on all fronts. The iPhone 6s Plus displays slightly colder colors overall, when measured against the 6500K white point benchmark, but not to the point of this being severely noticeable, whereas the Note5, on paper, comes out closer to the reference point, yet this is only in one of its screen modes – Basic – and not in the default Adaptive Display regime. Moreover, even in the Basic mode, when you tilt the phone about 30 degrees or further, the colors become every bit as cold as we were accustomed to with AMOLED displays before Samsung started outing them with more credible color presentation in the last year or so. Speaking of viewing angles, they are great on both phones, even to the extremes.
When it comes to outdoor visibility, the two phones seem about on par. The iPhone 6s Plus has higher peak brightness, though in auto mode, the Note5 can boost its brightness well beyond its measured peaks, and perform admirably, too, due to the low screen reflectivity, and its high contrast. The Note5's display has a supersensitive mode, allowing you to operate it with gloves on, but this has nothing on the iPhone 6s Plus pressure-sensitive screen layer, called 3D Touch, that can distinguish between a normal tap, and a deeper press, and react accordingly.
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