Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The second half of 2014 proved to be an exciting time for fans of phablet devices. Samsung, the company which arguably started the whole phablet thing with the Note, released not one, but two new Note handsets. In addition to the Note 4 flagship, the company introduced the innovative Note Edge, which kept most of the Note 4's assets, but also added an intriguing curved screen edge to the equation. What's more, Samsung's arch-rival in the mobile space, Apple, also decided to jump on the phablet bandwagon with the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus. This means that lovers of excessively big screens on mobile devices have more choice than ever, and for the first time since the advent of phablets, that choice isn't narrowed down to Android.
We've already compared the Note 4 to the 6 Plus, and as you can imagine, it was an epic face-off. Now, however, we're going to experience something a bit more different. In comes the Galaxy Note Edge – Samsung's experimental phablet with curved screen, which is here to test the waters and see if the market is ready to welcome such an offbeat idea. Of course, the more pressing issue right now is to determine the exact benefits of the Edge screen, because, after all, that's what the Note Edge is all about – that little, curved screen area to the side. In order to prove that it's any good, the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge will inevitably have to face the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple's first phablet didn't quite redefine the way we think of phablets, but it did bring the iOS experience to the super-big-screen world, and for many consumers out there, that was enough to spark their interest in the 6 Plus, and the category as a whole. An experimental twist to a successful formula, versus an influential product with powerful characteristics that are easy to take advantage of... It's bound to be interesting!
Super-sized, super-thin iPhone design meets Samsung's futuristic, but elegant proposition
The Note Edge is among the better-looking Samsung phones, we dare say. Whether due to the curved screen edge, or the refined body with eye-pleasing proportions, the Note Edge simply isn't as uncouth as the Note 4. Instead, it has a more elegant, sophisticated kind of look. Even then, the iPhone 6 Plus is a very tough opponent to beat in the design department.
Apple's handset has an extraordinarily great in-hand feel, thanks to its high-quality materials and razor-thin profile. Because of their physical characteristics, the iPhone 6 Plus is way more comfortable to hold and work with; unfortunately, the edge near the curved screen side of the Note Edge is very thin, making it feel a bit sharp and unpractical for holding. Other than that, the Edge (6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches (153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm)) is pretty much of the same overall dimensions as the 6 Plus (6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches (158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm)), except for the thickness, that is. There also isn't a great difference in terms of weight - the 6 Plus is a just a tad lighter with its 6.07 oz (172 g), compared to the Edge's 6.21 oz (176 g).
Physical keys work well on both phones, but those on the iPhone 6 Plus are way better, thanks to their defined, clicky behavior. On top of that, we tend to prefer the positioning of the 6 Plus' power key, which is situated on the right hand side of the phone, instead of on the top, as it's on the Note Edge. When it comes to such massive smartphones, having the power button on the side almost always makes it easier to reach.
Both trying to be impressively high-end with their home buttons, the Note Edge and iPhone 6 Plus also offer integrated fingerprint scanners for a higher level of security. Once again, there isn't anything particularly bad about the Edge's home key, but that of the 6 Plus gets the higher marks for comfort and clickiness.
Is a curved display better than a flat one? Not necessarily, but the Note Edge also has a higher resolution and additional screen modes to help it out
Phablets usually come with ginormous displays, and the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note Edge do not disappoint. The Edge's screen measures 5.6” and has a spectacular resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels (515 ppi), while Apple's proposition sticks with a 5.5” 1080 x 1920 pixel panel (401 ppi). Both displays are extremely detailed, though that of the Note Edge is just a tad sharper and clearer, due to its enormous resolution. It's difficult to notice the difference through normal examination, but upon closer look, one can notice the subtle refinements that those extra pixels bring.
Aside from that, the screen technologies that these phones employ are drastically different. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge makes use of AMOLED – Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes. This technology is newer than the IPS LCD tech employed by the iPhone 6 Plus, but being newer doesn't always mean being better.
In terms of maximum brightness, the iPhone 6 Plus is capable of reaching a higher number (574 vs 496 nits), but the difference in outdoor visibility isn't that great. We would say that reading the 6 Plus' display under the hot, bright sun is just a tad easier than doing so with the Note Edge, but you wouldn't have much trouble with the latter either. Minimum brightness is excellent on both, with the Note Edge managing the extraordinary 1 nit! The 6 Plus gets to 4 nits, which is also great.
In its Basic screen mode, the Galaxy Note Edge has respectable color accuracy and fidelity, although its slightly yellowish tint may not appeal to everyone. In contrast, the iPhone 6 Plus tends to be colder with its color temperature, exhibiting a higher amount of blue, but it may seem a bit more realistic in many occasions. However, both displays are quite close to the reference Delta E values (they are almost the same), indicating that both are doing a fairly good job at reproducing colors in an accurate, yet satisfyingly vibrant way. Still, it's safe to say that we've seen better mobile screens than these two titans.