We are almost at the end of the year, however nothing much has changed in terms of the smartphone business. It has maintained its surge in profits and popularity like it had at the start of the year. And that can be accounted for by the number of big name smartphones that have arrived this year.
While we have seen an immense growth in the number of native smartphone manufacturers in the last few months, the bigger ones in the group have gone on to make further claims in the market with the release of a host of flagships that are already in the list of the chose few.
Two names battling out in the mix are Samsung and Apple with their respective handsets. While Samsung has already introduced its new Galaxy Note 4 phablet, Apple's bigger iPhone 6 Plus is also here to check out its worth in the market. But where do these handsets stand when compared against each other? We take a closer look.
A lot could be said if we had a post dedicated just to the designing factor for both the handsets. However, in a nutshell, while the iPhone 6 Plus features curved aluminium in dark/light grey or gold shades, the Galaxy Note 4's metal edge with its plastic back is also a great treat. For the record, Samsung has finally ditched the not-so-appealing stitching we saw in the Note 3 for the new Note 4 phablet
Although the Note 4 sports a bigger screen, one handed operation isn't really a tough ordeal. On the other hand, he curved aluminium body of the new iPhone is nice to hold. While it's a little taller than the Note 4, but it's also slimmer in comparison to the phablet. Apple's numbers read 7.1mm thickness, compared to the Note 4's 8.5mm. And that's pretty visible.
As we mentioned earlier, the Apple-made iPhone 6 is much slimmer than what the Note 4 offers. The Galaxy Note 4 is a bit much thicker at 8.5 mm, although both weigh very similar amounts at 172 g and 176 g respectively. Apple knows that this the largest of all iPhones, and accordingly, has moved the power button from the top to the side on the iPhone 6 Plus to prove that.
An advantage the Note 4 has over the iPhone 6 Plus is the ability to access to the battery via the phablet's removable back, making it a bit easier to service than the iPhone 6 Plus with its unibody. While we have seen both Apple and Samsung using contrasting type of material for its handsets, the Note 4 still comes with a metal edge, while using a faux leather rear cover. The iPhone 6 Plus, on the other hand, is a great combination of glass and aluminium.
Getting the numbers out of our systems once and for all, while the iPhone 6 Plus offers a 5.5-inch display with 1920 x 1080 LCD resolution and scratch resistant glass, the Note 4 offers a 5.7-inch screen with 2560 x 1440 Super AMOLED display. And it has to be said that while Apple has played it out well in terms of screens in smaller iPhones, it hasn't done particularly bad either in the bigger dimensions as well.
With display resolutions being a major thing in the smartphone business, we have to say that Samsung narrowly edged past Apple on this one. We have to say that the Note 4's Super AMOLED display is much better than Apple LCD offering this time around. Super AMOLEDs rank better when it comes to contrasts and black level, meaning the screen will look vibrant in darkness. Although, Apple's screen does offer sharp outdoor visibility and bright color reproduction as well.
While the Apple-made iPhone 6 Plus runs the new iOS 8.1, the Note 4 offers the Android 4.4 KitKat OS with TouchWiz UI. The iOS platfrom remains as exciting as ever with first time users not needing to relate to self help books to get around it, although not many customization options as you may have seen in Android. Plus, the new iOS has been updated with a host of features, although Android users have been using them for a long time.
Samsung, although running the Android-based KitKat, has made some major changes this time around. For starters, it has done away with some of the bloatware we have been complaining about, alongside a few other gimmicky settings that are never really explored. However, you will still a host of quirky platform additions that are only possible on Android. Stuff such as multi-window feature is still some distance away from featuring on Apple.
Again, going through the numbers, while the Note 4 offers a revamped 16MP primary camera with optical image stabilization, alongside a 3.7MP front-facing camera with 4K video recording, the Apple-made iPhone 6 Plus offers an 8MP camera sensor with optical image stabilization, TrueTone flash and phase detection. There's also a 1.2MP front-facing camera with support for 1080p HD video recording.
On close comparison, you will notice that both the devices are capable of shooting brilliant photos. If you don't read too much into the aforementioned numbers, you shouldn't notice much difference in quality of the end products. Apparently, (and interestingly enough) these are also the first phones from both Samsung and Apple to features optical image stabilization. The major benefit being that they shoot better quality photos in low-lit conditions.
In case you didn't know, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has become one of the first devices to have arrived with a 2.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805. It also has 3 GB of RAM. It also offers 1.9/1.3 GHz Exynos octa-core processor in some markets. In comparison, the iPhone 6 isn't a glacier either. It runs on the new A8 processor and alongside its quad-core PowerVR GPU, it can easily cope with high intensity gaming as well.
Apple's A8 is a yet another 64-bit ARM-based processor, and it could seem a lot less impressive to many as the chip is still dual-core, with the iPhone 6 Plus only having 1 GB of RAM. But know that Apple does this to save power and improve the overall battery life. The A8, in comparison, is more powerful than the A7, with the M8 co-processor can being able to detect activity and elevation.
The Battery units for both the handsets are pretty massive as well. And you could easily know that since none of the handsets fall in the smaller category. While the iPhone 6 Plus offers a 2915mAh battery unit, its Samsung counterpart offers a larger 3220mAh battery unit. However, let not numbers fool you as both of them offer effective power management.
While the Samsung-made phablet offers a bigger battery, you also have to consider its slightly larger high resolution 5.7-inch display. However, in terms of performance, the Samsung phone does manage to go for two straight days without even taking the help of the ultra-power saving power mode. And although the iPhone 6 Plus also manages to churn out or less the similar kind of performance, we have to say that the battery unit in the Note 4 is much more satisfactory.
With top end models such as these, it's hardly anybody's guess that both the handset makers will cram the devices with a host of features and functionalities. And that's justified since selling points involving core specs and designing are getting out of hand now.
For instance, both the handsets come with a fingerprint scanner. And although they both have NFC, the iPhone's is currently restricted to Apple Pay which might or might not make an entry into the Indian scene anytime soon. The Galaxy Note 4 also has the S Pen stylus that will also be a key reason to buy the phone for most of the fans. However, aside from the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, the unique feature of the iPhone 6 onli lies with the iOS.
While the iPhone 6 Plus offers Bluetooth 4.0, 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, NFC (Apple Pay only), Lightning connector USB 2.0, Airdrop, Continuity and Car Play, the Note 4 offers Bluetooth 4.0, 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, NFC, Infrared, USB on the go, USB host, Mirror Link. Similar to the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus also is one of the most connected smartphone yet, although it still only works well with other Apple devices.
Both the handsets have Bluetooth 4.0 support to wirelessly connect to a plethora of options such as headphones, speakers and even wearables like an Android Wear-based smartwatch. Moreover, NFC has been features on Samsung phones for some time now and unlike its introduction to the iPhone 6 Plus, it's not just restricted to making mobile payments for the time being. Also, while both phones offer 4G support, the iPhone 6 Plus offers a bigger list of 4G/LTE networks.
The Note 4 is only available in a 32GB model at Rs. 57,500, meaning it doesn't really come cheap. In comparison, while the 16GB variant of the iPhone 6 Plus is priced at Rs. 60,990, the 64GB variant of it has been made available at Rs. 71,400.
The price factor for the both phones spell that they aren't for everyone. With price tags as such, while it's quite justified with the kind of features and core specs embedded inside, we don't really see too many takers for either for the time being. However, the popularity of both might go up in the coming months if the prices are decreased.