iPhone 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3: What We Know So Far

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is still relatively new. And because it’s new, it’s going to have to contend with the best smartphones that 2014 has to offer. One of those devices is the new Samsung Galaxy S5, another should be Apple’s 2014 iPhone that is currently known as the upcoming Apple iPhone 6.

In early September, Samsung debuted the Galaxy Note 3, a successor to the Galaxy Note 2 and a device that joined the Samsung Galaxy S4 on shelves ahead of the holiday shopping season.

As expected, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is powerful, powerful enough that when we reviewed it, we dubbed it Samsung’s most powerful smartphone. With the Galaxy S5 entering the equation, the balance of power could shift, but we certainly expect the Galaxy Note 3 to remain formidable in the months to come.

See, the great thing about Samsung’s flagship devices is that they are built to last. The Galaxy S4, for example, is still a fantastic option a year after it first touched down on shelves. Even the Galaxy S3, which arrived back in May of 2012, remains a solid choice for those that don’t need all of the bells and whistles.

What this means is that the Galaxy Note 3 will be doing battle with the high-end smartphones throughout the year. While it will be challenged by the iPhone 5s, Galaxy S5 and HTC One, the device that could pose the biggest threat not only to the Galaxy Note 3, but to the Galaxy Note series as a whole, is the next iPhone.

Right now, the device is dubbed iPhone 6, a name that makes a lot of sense given Apple’s naming pattern. Historically, the company has released a new numbered model after releasing an ‘S’ model and last year’s iPhone was, of course, the iPhone 5s.

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iPhone 6 rumors unanimously point to bigger screens and that has current and prospective Galaxy Note 3 users curious and asking questions.

We can’t profess to know everything about the iPhone 6 and how it compares to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 but we certainly have a start thanks to credible rumors that have emerged from the shadows. While this comparison won’t answer every single question, it will serve as a good start point for those that are curious about the iPhone 6.

Here, we take a look at how the iPhone 6 currently matches up with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Release Date

When we get asked about the iPhone 6, the first question out of the mouths of friends, family and readers is usually about the iPhone 6 release date. This isn’t surprising or new. Consumers want to know when they’ll be able to get their hands on a device. In this case, current Galaxy Note 3 users and prospective Galaxy Note 3 buyers are wondering when they might get to see a larger iPhone.

Those who are curious are likely going to have to wait a few months at least. iPhone 6 rumors center around two specific launch windows, launch windows that should be familiar to anyone that knows anything about Apple and the iPhone.

iPhone 6 release date rumors still haven’t agreed on a specific date but they do point to two well known windows. Apple historically has launched its iPhones in the summer or the fall with a release taking place just a few weeks after the announcement and iPhone 6 release date rumors, you guessed it, point to either the summer or the fall.

Release date rumors all point to an iPhone 6 release this summer or this fall but a majority of rumors hint at an arrival in the fall. The iPhone 5s, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s all were launched and released in the fall just ahead of the holiday shopping season. Most recently, an Apple partner seemed to tip the iPhone 6 release for autumn rather than summer.

The iPhone 6 release date may come in the fall based on a new earnings report.

The iPhone 6 release date may come in the fall based on a new earnings report.

The Wall Street Journal claims Apple is preparing two iPhone 6 models with larger screens and that the smaller one is, “further along in development, and is being prepared for mass production,” while the larger iPhone 6 is in, “preliminary development.” This could explain why we’re hearing about two release windows.

As we’ve pointed out, most of these rumors come from sources on the supply chain. Companies in the iPhone supply chain are likely on a need-to-know basis. That means that they probably have been given target dates for their own pieces to the iPhone puzzle but not the iPhone 6 itself.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is made out of plastic though its plastic design is different from those found on devices like the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2 and even the Galaxy S5.

Instead of the subtle curves of the Galaxy Note 2’s design, the Galaxy Note 3 uses a design that is more angular with straighter lines. And instead of a smooth plastic back, the device uses a stitched faux leather backing that gives it a more elegant feel than even the Galaxy S4. It doesn’t feel as premium as the iPhone 5s’ design but it’s nice nonetheless.

The iPhone 5s design is much nicer than the Galaxy Note 3.

The iPhone 5s design is much nicer than the Galaxy Note 3.

Samsung managed to slim down the design of the Galaxy Note 3. Good thing because the device is a monstrosity and dwarfs phones like the 4-inch iPhone 5s. The Galaxy Note 3’s huge frame is only 8.3mm thin, almost as thin as the Galaxy S5, and it weighs 168 grams.

The device also includes the usual perks of a plastic Samsung smartphone design: A microSD card slot for expanded storage and a removable back plate that makes it easy to install an extended battery for even more juice.

At the moment, it’s not entirely clear how the iPhone 6’s design will match up. iPhone designs usually don’t emerge until much closer to the actual launch date, so it could be awhile before we have its exact dimensions and form factor nailed down. What we do know is this.

Over the years, Apple has stuck to a design pattern, a pattern that sees it keep a design around for two years before ditching it for something new. The iPhone 5s utilized the same design as the iPhone 5 which means that some type of change is likely in order with the iPhone 6. Rumors have pointed to some possible tweaks but the bulk of the design remains in the shadows.

The same Wall Street Journal report claims that the iPhone 6 will use the same anodized aluminum material found on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5. However, there will reportedly be some differences.

A 9to5Mac report recently revealed that Apple is fast tracking the output from a Sapphire factory that it invested in during its 2013 campaign. This, and other credible rumors, suggest that Apple will use Sapphire on the front of the iPhone 6 in an effort to make the device’s display almost impossible to break. The Galaxy Note 3 uses Corning Gorilla Glass, not Sapphire.

Numerous reports also point to a larger display. This would obviously increase the size of the iPhone though it’s not clear how much of a size increase we’d see. We’ve theorized that we could see is a new design with thinner bezels, similar to what Apple did with the iPad Air, which would allow Apple to keep the size increase to a minimum. A recent iPhone 6 concept shows what a larger iPhone could look like next to the iPhone 5s.

This iPhone 6 concept shows small, medium and large iPhone 6 models.

This iPhone 6 concept shows small, medium and large iPhone 6 models.

As for the dimensions, a report from LEDInside of TrendForce claims that the iPhone 6 will be thinner than the 7.6mm thin iPhone 5s, thanks to a shift from 0.6 mm thick LED backlights to backlights that are just 0.4 mm thick. The precise difference isn’t clear but if true, it could mean a frame that is thinner than the Galaxy Note 3’s frame.

Display

The first thing people usually notice about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is its display. It’s hard to miss because it’s ridiculously large, checking in at 5.7-inches.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S Pen and software is an advantage over the iPhone 5s.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S Pen and software is an advantage over the iPhone 5s.

There is, of course, a method to Samsung’s madness. Not only does the screen offer more real estate for gaming, multitasking and viewing films, it’s also large enough to accommodate the device’s S Pen stylus that comes bundled with the Galaxy Note 3. Users can not only write and draw on the display but they can take advantage of beautiful applications that are designed specifically for use with the S Pen.

Like the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4, the Galaxy Note 3’s display utilizes 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution, something that makes games, television shows and the web pleasant to look at.

The Galaxy Note 3 isn’t the only big screen smartphone on the market but we consider it to be the best and that’s what makes these iPhone 6 rumors so intriguing.

The iPhone 6 could use a new display technology with many benefits.

The iPhone 6 could use a new display technology with many benefits.

For years, consumers have pleaded for Apple to release an iPhone with a larger display and right now, the loudest iPhone 6 rumors point to exactly that.

The Wall Street Journal believes the company will deliver two iPhones, one 4.5-inch model and one 5+-inch model. NPD DisplaySearch believes that two iPhone 6 models with higher resolution displays will be coming in 2014.

A recent KDB Daewoo Securities report uncovered by OLED-Display includes two iPhone 6 display sizes. And Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who accurately predicted many of the iPhone 5s features ahead of time, thinks Apple is planning an iPhone 6 with a screen between 4.5-inches and 5-inches. Here is how it breaks down at the moment:

  • 4.5-inch display – WSJ
  • 4.7-inch display – 1600 x 900 resolution – NPD
  • 4.7-inch to 4.8-inch display – 1920 x 1080 resolution – KDB
  • 4.5-inch to 5-inch display – Kuo
  • 5+ inch display – WSJ
  • 5.5-inch display – 1920 x 1080 resolution – NPD
  • 5.5-inch display – 2272 x 1280 resolution – KDB

In addition to the larger size, the iPhone 6 may also use a newer screen technology, similar to that found on the Kindle Fire HDX 7 to deliver a better looking display.

The video below shows what iOS 7 looks like on larger screens from 4.5-inches all the way up to 5.7-inches and will give Galaxy Note 3 users and buyers an idea about how a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch iPhone 6 might look.

Specs

The iPhone 6 will come with more than just a new display and a new design. There will be other specifications on board including cameras, processors, memory, and more.

The research note from KDB Daewoo Securities reveals a number of possible iPhone 6 specifications. Drawing from that note and from other reports, we have drawn up a list of features currently rumored to be aboard the new iPhone.

iPhone 6

  • Apple A8 64-bit processor
  • iOS 7.2 or iOS 8
  • 4.5-4.8-inch and 5 -5.5-inch displays
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB / 32GB/ 64GB / 128GB storage options
  • 3.2MP front-facing camera
  • 8-10MP rear-facing camera
  • 1,800 mAh battery
  • 802.11ac WiFi
  • Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

  • Snapdragon 800 Processor
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 5.7-inch display
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB storage option
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • 13MP rear-facing camera
  • 3,200 mAh battery
  • 802.11 a, b, g, n WiFi
  • Regular Home Button

Software

While these phones could share a similar display size, they will offer vastly different experiences thanks to the software on board.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 uses Google’s Android 4.4 KitKat update at the moment. And while it does use Samsung’s TouchWiz interface over the top of Android, it’s different than the TouchWiz found on the Galaxy S4 or the Galaxy S5 due to its S Pen stylus. Below, you can see a video that showcases the Galaxy Note 3’s impressive note taking application, S Note.

The next video details the Galaxy Note 3’s Air Command feature.

Those will give you a feel for the Galaxy Note 3’s unique software, software that will be vastly different than whatever arrives alongside Apple’s iPhone 6.

Rumors currently point to the arrival of iOS 8. This isn’t surprising given that Apple unleashes a new iOS update every year to go along with its new iPhone model.

At the moment, iOS 8 rumors are scarce though a few possible tidbits have emerged. According to 9to5Mac, the iOS 8 update will not bring a lot of visual changes. Instead, it will pave the way for health and fitness tracking something that we saw Samsung get into with the new software on the Galaxy S5.

Apple is also reportedly working on an app that is code named Healthbook which may connect with sensors in an iPhone 6 or iWatch to help users track and manage a number of things including steps taken and calories burned.

As for future software updates, Samsung usually updates phones for two years compared to Apple’s three years of support. What this means is that the Galaxy Note 3 should continue to get updated until at least the fall of next year while the iPhone 6 could potentially see updates all the way up to iOS 11.

Price

Because the Galaxy Note 3 is so new, we haven’t seen its price change dramatically since launch. Carriers still offer it for $299.99 on-contract, or, $100 more than 16GB iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 6 price could jump according to one analyst.

The iPhone 6 price could jump according to one analyst.

Chris Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group thinks the price of the iPhone 6 could jump up as much as $100 from the price of the iPhone 5s. Caso sees “the potential for the iPhone 6 price point to move higher,” adding, “we think Apple could get away with a $50 to $100 premium for a larger screen size iPhone 6.”

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If Caso is correct, it could mean that the iPhone 6, or at least one iPhone 6 model, could arrive with a price tag that’s in the vicinity of the Galaxy Note 3’s current price.

Comments

  1. Paul says

    2 totally different phones aimed at different customers/users….another pointless article from an apple user…hardly neutral. Even the screen images have been replicated on both and we all know how different the screens are…
    Gotta be mobile doesn’t offer anthing different.

  2. Hildy J says

    Why not compare the iPhone 6 with the Galaxy Note 4 and the Nexus 6? You can make up all the specs instead of just half.

    Two serious notes. First, the tradition of iPhones is to spread rumors of the next model right after Christmas. The first rumor is a 1st quarter release and subsequent rumors push that back gradually to a 4th quarter release. The 6 will most likely be released in September 2014 like the iPhones before it. Releasing it sooner would mean the 6’s first quarter would not include the Christmas bump and threaten its numbers versus previous iPhone releases.

    Second, the fantasy renders don’t for the most part, look like iPhones. After the 3 experiment, Apple went back to rectangular cross-sections for the 4 and 5 models. Especially if the screen is a new size, I would expect Apple to stay with its recognizable design trope using slab sides.

  3. Richard Yarrell says

    Truthfully everyone knows the GALAXY NOTE HANDSETS PACE THE INDUSTRY Everyone wants to be like SAMSUNG they started this craze everyone else is following.

    As we stand today the Apple iPhone is a very SAD JOKE basically nothing more than a girly feature phone with poor battery life, crappy camera, and boring day to day experience very dull and pathetic.

    The Galaxy Note 3 is the KING of smartphones period especially the category created by Samsung the PHABLET.

    Apple iphone will never compare to the Note 3 or upcoming Galaxy Note 4 with the three sided display.

  4. Jeff says

    I have to say that I am not very impressed with what I have heard so far about the Galaxy S5. I Think that the Note 3 still compeates very well with the Note 3. I am actually a little supprised at the lack of a wow factor that Samsung has brought to the table with the Galaxy S5. I think that they have left the door wide open for Apple to come out with a larger screened iPhone and take back a ton of market share. This could be a big mistake on Samsungs part not providing better Specs for the S5.

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