Camera

While the Galaxy S6 is a step ahead on paper, the performance of both phones' cameras is comparable. Although the Note 4 might use a UI redesign.

Firstly, let's look at the raw figures. The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge and Galaxy Note 4 both use Sony's IMX240 1/2.6" sensor with 16MP of resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio, backed by a single LED flash. In addition, both cameras feature optical image stabilization for smoother videos and steadier low-light shots. But identical the two cameras aren't. With the Galaxy S6 edge, you get a wider aperture of F/1.9 versus the F/2.2 on the Note 4, which is why the S6 edge is expected to have the upper hand when it comes to low-light performance. Its wider aperture will be letting more light into the camera, thus likely producing better stills. Another differentiating factor is the two cameras' focal lengths. Thanks to its focal length of 28mm, the Galaxy S6 edge camera has a wider field of view compared to the Note 4's with its 31mm focal length. We must also mention the new infrared white balance featured on the S6 edge, meant to help with adjusting the white balance more accurately, depending on the lighting conditions.

As we mentioned earlier, the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge can be launched with a simple double press on its home button. And the launch is almost instantaneous – the process takes under a second as the camera app is always on stand-by. In comparison, the camera on the Note 4 takes slightly longer to open as you have to wake the phone's screen and then trigger the shortcut placed on the lock screen.

Once in the camera menu of the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, we're greeted by a friendly and familiar interface. In fact, the UI doesn't differ much from the interface on the Galaxy Note 4, which is not a bad thing. The layout is simple, with almost nothing in the viewfinder's way. As before, there's a dedicated button for shooting video – you don't have to switch to a separate menu if you need to shoot a clip, which is convenient. Controls for the flash and for enabling the live HDR mode are placed on the left, where they're easy to reach.


After digging deeper into the phones' camera UIs, however, we came across quite a few notable differences. One of them is the overhaul of the advanced settings screen. On the Galaxy S6 edge, these are placed in a dedicated Pro mode, which, when enabled, lets you control the ISO, white balance, and the exposure compensation value, among other settings. What's more, these are adjusted with a simple slider at the side of the UI, with nothing getting in your way. In contrast, manual controls on the Note 4 are executed poorly. They are found in a menu within the camera's Auto mode and aren't convenient to adjust. That's because you can't see much of the change you've made as most of the viewfinder is occupied by the manual controls menu. This makes no sense, we hope you'll agree.


One ace up the S6 edge's sleeve is its tracking autofocus feature. It does exactly what its name implies, and it works pretty well in good light conditions – focus is locked on a moving object, which can come in handy when taking action shots. Furthermore, the Galaxy S6 edge gives you true manual control over the focus, while the Note 4's focus can be adjusted manually only if you tap on an object.


Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 2.3
2.8
No data
No data
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 2.8
2.8
353
273


Similarly, the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge and Galaxy Note 4 produce outstanding videos. Both can shoot 1080p flicks at a steady 30 or a fluid 60 frames per second, or 4K videos at 30 frames per second. What's more, videos are accompanied by loud and clear stereo sound. What makes the S6 edge stand out is its continuous autofocus. On the Note 4 it works well, but on the S6 edge it is noticeably faster.

We're happy to see that Samsung has not overlooked the front-facing shooter on its flagship phone. The Galaxy S6 edge features a 5-megapixel frontal camera with a wide, F/1.9 aperture for improved low-light performance. What's more, the camera supports live HDR for better images in tricky light. But the front-facing camera on the Galaxy Note 4 should not be underestimated. It features 3.7MP of resolution, wide-angle optics, and produces pleasing images, as we know from experience. We should mention that both selfie cameras can produce selfie panoramas by stitching a sequence of images together.



Multimedia

No doubts about it – to enjoy the best multimedia experience, the Galaxy Note 4 is the phone to go with.

The Gallery application part of Samsung's new TouchWiz interface hasn't really changed much. On both the Galaxy S6 edge and Galaxy Note 4, the app presents us with an overview of our folders where images are present, and once we open an image, we're allowed to edit it to our liking. In the Note 4's case, the S Pen comes in handy if you want to add hand-written text to your images.

Similarly, the TouchWiz Music player on the Galaxy S6 edge has been left mostly unchanged in terms of functionality. What's different, however, is that its interface and audio adjustments screen have been simplified significantly compared to what we see on the Galaxy Note 4.


If you feel like watching a video, neither of the two phones should have troubles playing one at up to 4K resolution. With its larger and flat display, however, the Galaxy Note 4 is the smartphone for watching flicks.

Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S6 edge with a single loudspeaker. Its output of 75.4 decibels is decent, yet average at best compared to other flagships. The Note 4, for example, outputs a whopping 85 decibels. On the downside, the Note 4's speaker is placed at the back, and when you're watching videos, for example, the sound is projected away from the user, which reduces the perceived volume. The S6 edge has its speaker placed at the bottom side, which would be somewhat better of a solution in a similar scenario.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 0.53
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 0.41
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge 75.4
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 85


FEATURED VIDEO

22 Comments

1. sobey1997

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

There's no one that comes close to the King. The note 4 is in a different league of its own

3. thegeneral7010

Posts: 437; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

yup +1

6. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Note 4 has everything except the full metal and waterproofing.

10. thegeneral7010

Posts: 437; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

guys plz stop saying full metal full metal if there is full metal smartphone with a removable battery i agree but there isnt so plastic back in the note4 is looking great and i dont lose a big advantage.

17. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

Full metal body is stupid.

8. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

+1 More than pleased with my Note ! Waiting Note 5 the beast !

11. Seattletech

Posts: 54; Member since: May 14, 2014

As a note 4 owner. The s6 destroys the note except for a bigger screen.

13. sobey1997

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

How so? Performance difference is marginal. Same RAM. Same resolution display. Same MP camera however the S6 does have a higher aperture but still very marginal. Note 4 has a huge battery which can keep up with anything you throw at it. Note 4 has a stylus which can come extremely handy time to time. Note 4 has removable back and SD card. Should I go on?... is the S6 better than the Note 4? Debatable, the only reason I see a note 4 user wanting to get the S6 is because they're not comfortable with the Note 4 screen size. The S6 doesn't DESTROY the Note 4. Note 4 easily keeps pace with the S6. This is 2015 when will people learn specs don't show the entire picture

14. g2a5b0e unregistered

You said it. +1. Perhaps he was referring to the Note 3.

18. Seattletech

Posts: 54; Member since: May 14, 2014

The note 4 is a 32bit old weak power hungry 20nm soc. The note 4 battery life isn't even that good compared to other notes. Specs didnt matter in 2013 when most flagships had the same components. This is 2015 and samsung has put 2016 tech inside the s6. Nothing comes close. The "hard drive" ufs 2.0 in the s6 is up to 4 times faster than the note 4 and can read & write at the same time. The s6 has lpddr4 not lpddr3 and has twice the transfer rate. The performance difference is far from NOMINAL. The camera in the s6 launches much faster. I was one of the first americans with a note exynos & snapdragon. I still have over 6 notes ( 1 2 3 4). It seems there are alot of note 4 people in denial.

20. g2a5b0e unregistered

Did you seriously just call the 805 weak & power hungry? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I've owned the Notes 2-4 & the latest iteration has the best battery life by far.

21. Seattletech

Posts: 54; Member since: May 14, 2014

Yes 800 801 805 are all basically the same clocked higher with better graphics which no games maxes out. My lg g2 800 oc to 2.9 runs circles around my note 4. A good way to describe it is that an 805 is an intel core 2 quad and the exynos 7 is an intel i7.

22. Joche_16

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Dude those changes provide MARGINAL improvment in real life usage... you can even ask the experts. So please... we all knwo it is better in terms of specs and yes it outperforms de Galaxy S6 but does it destroy ir...?

2. thegeneral7010

Posts: 437; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

note 4 is much better for me just need some damn care from stupid samsung enginners responsable for updates

4. Retrospective1

Posts: 45; Member since: Feb 24, 2015

I have Note 4... Have pre ordered S6. I'll keep both and enjoy best of both worlds. The S6 was way to tempting to pass up. Future proof to the nines. Hopefully I won't need to purchase another phone for a long time. Besides phones are reaching a plateau

5. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

Typ-O : "Not that the Galaxy Note 4 is a slow phone – its Snapdragon 810 can handle anything thrown at it" should be SD805

9. Ray.S

Posts: 457; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

Thanks. Fixed!

7. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Waiting for s6 edge vs note edge comparison.

12. hanumanbob

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

Yeah. I just spent 2 days playing with the s6 and s6 edge at BestBuy and add a result cancelled the edge and went with the standard. The edge is at the end of the day a gimmick and things look better on the regular s6. A few items of note. The display is sharper than the Note 4 and responds faster. The camera us super fast and quite amazing. Did not test in low light though. Do not buy a 32 gig! Bloatware is half of the available storage. I'll be selling my note on eBay.

15. g2a5b0e unregistered

Incorrect. The phone has about 23GB of usable storage...the same as the M9, for instance. Most 32GB Android phones have between 22-26GB of usable storage. No way is that out of tolerance.

16. Neil2me

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 01, 2015

S6 better be a better phone than my Note 4 cause my note 4 isn't much better than my Note 3.. To be honest if the note 3 an 4 had the same camera you wouldn't be able to feel the difference since the Note 3 lollipop update!! Piss on the S6 because once you use a Note " " no other phone will satisfy you !!! I'll set back and wait for the Note 5 an laugh at the S6 owners... Before you laugh about the Note 3, It's benchmarking a average 45,900 - 47,000 running Alliance lollipop Rom.. I shouldn't have even bought the Note 4 an just waited for the Note 5!!

19. kreemer

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

I use the stylus ALL the time. It's excellent for navigating, marvelous on Swype keyboard and all the link hovering etc makes browsing a joy. Can't live without it now.

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