Samsung Galaxy S6 edge vs Apple iPhone 6
The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge might have sounded like a sci-fi gadget a few years ago with its flexible screen that curves towards both sides, but fast forward to today and this futuristic gadget has become a reality: in 2015, the S6 edge will be battling for attention on store shelves with more traditionally shaped devices. Its biggest rival? The Apple iPhone 6.
While there are two edges that make the phone look cool, you get to pick to use only one - either the left or the right one - for quick access to contacts and notifications. For all else, the Galaxy S6 edge is identical to its S6 sibling.
How does it compare to the iPhone 6, though? Both are stylish devices - the iPhone is made from metal, while the S6 edge features glass on the front and back, and metal for the frame. In order to decide which one to buy, we look at their performance, camera capabilities, battery life and more. And yes, we do explore how TouchWiz has changed and whether the change is for the better.
Read on as we explore the Galaxy S6 edge, iPhone 6 and all their secrets to try and give you an answer to the big question: which one should you buy.
Samsung has stepped up to have a truly stylish and futuristic device with the S6 edge, almost on par with the all-aluminum iPhone 6. Both are impressively thin phones.
After years of uninspiring plastic designs, Samsung has finally listened in: the new Galaxy S6 edge is made of fine-quality materials and has a truly premium feel. The S6 edge features a sturdy metal frame sandwiched between two pieces of glass on the front and back. Samsung has also added new color options: the S6 edge is available in a choice of black, white, gold, and green. The Apple iPhone 6, on the other hand, features an all-aluminum build with a choice of space grey, silver, and gold.
Both the Galaxy S6 edge and iPhone 6 are impressively thin devices: the iPhone 6 is a hair thinner at 6.9mm, while the Galaxy S6 edge measures 7mm in thickness. The difference is barely noticeable, but what is noticeable is that both phones have a protruding camera module resulting in a hump on the back of both devices (a significantly larger one on the Galaxy S6 edge).
The two phones are fairly lightweight: 4.66oz for the S6 edge and 4.55oz for the iPhone 6. Given the larger screen in the Galaxy S6 edge, it’s also no surprise that the Samsung phone is also larger: 5.59” tall and 2.76” wide, while the iPhone 6 is a more manageable 5.44” tall and 2.64” wide. However, saying that the S6 edge is larger would not give Samsung credit where credit is due, and that is that the S6 edge is one of the most compact and single-hand-friendly phones for its 5.1” screen size.
Buttons are clicky, large enough and have a reassuring tactile feedback on both phones, and the positioning of the keys is identical: the lock key is on the right and the volume buttons - on the left.
We’re also happy to see a fingerprint sensor built in the home button on both phones: the Galaxy S6 edge is the first phone from Samsung to use a new tap (rather than swipe) based fingerprint reader, and it works quickly and accurately, just as the one on the iPhone 6. While you are limited to using the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone for Apple Pay, unlocking the phone and authorizing App Store purchases, though, the fingerprint functionality on the Galaxy S6 edge is not limited to that and you can use it to protect particular apps and functionalities (via third party apps).
The edges are a nice cool feature, but it’s more about the cool factor rather than any huge actual benefits. For all else, the Galaxy S6 edge has a remarkably well calibrated 5.1” Super AMOLED Quad HD display, taking it a step ahead of the already great iPhone 6 LCD screen.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge features a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display, larger than the 4.7” IPS LCD screen of the iPhone 6. With a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels (Quad HD), the screen on the Galaxy S6 edge is extremely crisp and paper-like with a pixel density of the record 577ppi. The iPhone 6, on the other hand, features a more modest resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels, which works out to a pixel density of 326ppi. The difference in the numbers is staggering, but the actually perceptible difference in sharpness is not that big at all: you’d notice a slight pixelization on the iPhone if you stare from very up close, while from regular distances the difference is minimal.
The big story for the S6 edge is clearly the curved rims on both sides of the display. The added functionality boils down to three main features: People Edge (where you get quick access to your favorite contacts), Edge Lighting (where the edge lights up when you get incoming calls, messages, or other notifications), and Information Stream (which brings you news/events ticker functionality). Also, the edges just plain look cool.
For all else, we will look at the S6 edge as a regular display. With sharpness now reaching a level where it’s hard to notice pixelization on all major flagships, the last remaining frontier to conquer in the way towards the ideal display seems to be image quality. Good news is that the Galaxy S6 edge and the iPhone 6 feature two of the best smartphone displays out there.
In the S6 edge you get to those nice colors in ‘Basic’ screen mode (go into Settings > Display > Screen mode, and select Basic), while other modes serve unnatural, overblown colors. Colors in Basic mode stick to the industry-standard sRGB color space with impressive accuracy: color temperature at 6800K means that you get natural-looking whites (with just a slight bit of a cold tint), and gamma at 2.2 is right where it should be, meaning that image brightness is accurate. Impressively, color saturations are practically perfectly seated in their reference values, resulting in great color calibration. The iPhone 6, on its part, also has a very good LCD display when it comes to colors, but it’s a step below the nearly perfect calibration of the Galaxy S6: whites are a bit colder, while color errors are minimal, but still higher than on the S6.
Samsung has made some notable progress with maximizing brightness on AMOLED displays. The Galaxy S6 edge, in particular, comes with Samsung’s most luminant AMOLED reaching 553 nits at maximum levels. Brightness on the S6 edge is still a step below what the iPhone 6’s LCD display, though, as that can put out with 606 nits of peak luminance.