Later this year, many Samsung Galaxy Note 2 users will come off contract, looking for a new device. We now know that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be one of those options and it’s looking like a brand new 2014 iPhone, an iPhone 6, could be one as well.
In August of 2012, Samsung debuted the Galaxy Note 2, its second-generation Galaxy Note smartphone and a device that replaced the iconic Galaxy Note. The Galaxy Note 2 delivered a number of new features, among them, 4G LTE connectivity for an assortment of carriers inside the United States.
When the original Galaxy Note arrived, it was only available for AT&T. Later in the year, we saw it debut on T-Mobile though the carrier quickly pulled it in favor of the Galaxy Note 2. These new options helped contributed to a successful launch inside of the United States and helped to catapult the Galaxy Note series onto the main stage.
As we head deeper into 2014, Galaxy Note 2 owners march closer to the end of their contract. With that in mind, many Galaxy Note 2 owners are likely looking at the 2014 crop of smartphones, thinking about what they might buy next.
The Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 4 are good places to start. The Galaxy Note 3 is the Galaxy Note 2’s successor and a device that improves on 2012′ Galaxy Note. The Galaxy Note 4 exists only in rumors at the moment but it’s clear that it will be arriving sometime later on this year.
Current Galaxy Note 2 users, and those who might be looking at the Galaxy Note 2 as an affordable option, have also probably seen the new Samsung Galaxy S5 which will arrive in April. And then, there are those pesky iPhone rumors.
iPhone 6 rumors continue to emerge and they paint an interesting picture. For years, the iPhone has been dwarfed by larger smartphones like the Galaxy Note series but it appears that that could change in 2014. And that’s what has current and prospective Galaxy Note 2 owners wondering about the future.
We don’t have all of the answers just yet. The iPhone 6 is still firmly in the shadows. However, there is a ton of credible information out about Apple’s next iPhone, enough to warrant an early comparison.
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 now, we take a look at how the iPhone 6 currently matches up with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
When we get asked about the iPhone 6, the first question is generally: “When is the iPhone 6 coming out?” We’ve heard it from Galaxy Note 2 users, we’ve heard it from a variety of other Android users as well. It’s a question that we hear over and over again for good reason. People want to know when they’ll be able to buy a new device. Galaxy Note 2 owners want to know when they can size their smartphone up against the new iPhone. We don’t blame them.
From the looks of things, it’s going to be several months until the iPhone 6 touches down to compete with the likes of the Galaxy Note 2. Nothing is set in stone but 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 a launch in the summer or fall. Apple is well known for its iPhone launches in, you guessed it, the summer and the fall. So it should come as no surprise that every single iPhone 6 release date rumor currently point to an arrival sometime during those two seasons.
At the moment, the 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 and that makes it a likely candidate for the next iPhone.
Recently, an Apple partner seemed to tip the iPhone 6 release for autumn rather than summer, throwing even more weight behind these iPhone 6 rumors. Summer hasn’t been ruled out though.
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 rather than one. We saw the same thing happen last year before the iPhone 5s’ arrive and as we now know, both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c arrived at the same time in September.
As we’ve pointed out, most of these release date rumors come from sources on the supply chain. Companies in the iPhone supply chain are likely on a need-to-know basis which means they’ve probably been given target dates for their own pieces to the iPhone puzzle but not the iPhone 6 itself.
The important thing to note is this. At the earliest, we’ll see a new iPhone this summer. At the latest, sometime this fall. And at this point, fall is more likely than summer.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a large piece of plastic. The device is dominated by its smooth polycarbonate plastic back plate that while nice, simply isn’t as nice as the designs found on the iPhone 5s, HTC One or even the new Samsung Galaxy S5.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 is fairly thin, checking in with a frame that measures 9.4mm. That’s a whole lot thicker than the iPhone 5s which measures a mere 7.6mm thin. It’s also a lot heavier. The Galaxy Note 2 is 182 grams. By comparison, the iPhone 5s weighs a mere 112 grams. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 weighs 145 grams. This is a heavy smartphone.
The Galaxy Note 2’s design is punctuated by a microSD card slot for expanded storage, a removable back plate that allows users to install an extended battery for more battery life, and a holster for the device’s stylus called S Pen.
iPhone design rumors typically don’t emerge until much closer to the actual launch. So, with an iPhone 6 launch rumored to be months away, it’s no surprise that rumors concerning its design are scarce. We have seen some possible details emerge in recent weeks and here is what we know about the iPhone 6 design thus far.
That 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. If true, that would mean its design would offer a more premium look and feel compared to the plastic Galaxy Note 2.
The iPhone 5s was much slimmer than the Galaxy Note 2 and it’s possible that the iPhone 6’s form factor will be too. A recent report from LEDInside of TrendForce claims that the iPhone 6 will be thinner than the iPhone 5s (7.6mm). The report cites a possible shift from 0.6 mm thick LED backlights to backlights that are just 0.4 mm thick which could make for an extremely thin frame.
Again, the Galaxy Note 2’s overall footprint is large, due to its massive display. And while iPhone 6 rumors point to a larger display, there is no guarantee that the overall size of the device will change much from the iPhone 5s.
We’ve theorized that we could see a new design with thinner bezels, similar to what Apple did with the iPad Air. This would allow Apple to keep the increase in size to a minimum. A recent iPhone 6 concept shows what a larger iPhone could look like next to the iPhone 5s.
We also have come up with our own concept that shows how little Apple would have to change the iPhone 6’s design to accommodate the larger display. Our concept uses a 4.5-inch display, the smallest rumored iPhone 6 display.
In the front, the Galaxy Note 2 uses Corning Gorilla Glass 2. The iPhone 6 is rumored to be using something different. 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, along with other credible rumors, suggests 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.
We mentioned that the reason for the Galaxy Note 2’s size is its gargantuan display. The Galaxy Note 2 uses a 5.5-inch display which is smaller than the Galaxy Note 3’s display but is still extremely large. It’s large enough so that two users can enjoy a movie at once. It’s also fantastic for gaming and multitasking.
The Galaxy Note 2 does not offer its users full HD (1080p) resolution and instead offers 720p content. The screen is no longer top of the line but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t solid. Exactly how the iPhone 6 display will compare, we can’t say, but we do have a lot of rumors pointing in one specific direction.
Across the board, sources are saying that the iPhone 6’s display will be larger than the iPhone 5s’. The Wall Street Journal believes the company will deliver two iPhones, one 4.5-inch model in addition to a 5+-inch model. On top of that, respected firm NPD DisplaySearch believes that two iPhone 6 models with higher resolution displays will be coming in 2014.
On top of that, a 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.
There is a lot to take in here but here’s 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
More recently, we saw a possible iPhone 6 display component leak. The component shows off a large edge-to-edge display that measures close to 4.5-inches in size. The component hasn’t been confirmed to be from the real iPhone 6 though and could perhaps be from a prototype that Apple is considering.
In addition to the larger size, the iPhone 6 may also use a newer screen technology, similar to the technology found on the Kindle Fire HDX 7, to deliver a better looking display. With this, and higher resolution, we could see the iPhone 6 offer better looking content than the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
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 should give current Galaxy Note 2 users and prospective Galaxy Note 2 buyers an idea about the potential bump in screen size.
The iPhone 6 will come with more than just a new display and design. We’ll likely see Apple offer its yearly hardware upgrades. In fact, rumors are already pointing to a number of potential changes from the iPhone 5s.
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 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 2
- Exynos 4 Processor
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean/ Android 4.4 KitKat
- 5.5-inch display
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB Storage Option
- 1.9MP front-facing camera
- 8MP rear-facing camera
- 3,100 mAh battery
- 802.11a, b, g, n WiFi
- Regular Home Button
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 currently runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean in the United States but at some point, it will be upgraded to Android 4.4 KitKat. When that update arrives, it will deliver new features and perhaps, some carrier-specific enhancements that work to improve the overall Galaxy Note 2 experience.
Android though isn’t what’s important here. Rather, it’s Samsung’s TouchWiz software that dominates the Galaxy Note 2 and really, all of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 utilizes a unique version of TouchWiz because the software is tied into the device’s S Pen stylus. The Galaxy Note 2 offers S Pen specific apps that allow users to easily take notes, share files, and preview files.
Thanks to its processor, display and software, the Galaxy Note 2 is a multitasking machine. In particular, it offers a feature called Multi-Window View that allows users to use multiple apps on screen at the same time. A feature called Pop Up View allows users to watch content in one window while performing other tasks on screen. These features aren’t found on the iPhone at the moment.
Given the Galaxy Note 2’s age, it’s not clear if Android 4.4 KitKat will serve as the last major update for the device. It is approaching the 18 month mark which means that there is a chance that Samsung could drop support.
The iPhone 6 has quite a bit of life ahead of it. New iPhones typically arrive with new software on board and get three years of software support before they are dropped. That means that while the Galaxy Note 2’s next update is in doubt, the iPhone 6 will likely get iOS 9, iOS 10 and iOS 11 down the road.
As for the iPhone 6’s software itself, it’s going to differ from the Galaxy Note 2’s. The iPhone 6 probably won’t come with a stylus and it will come with Apple’s iOS instead of Android.
iOS 8 is rumored to be the next iOS update which means that it will likely come aboard the iPhone 6. 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 makes sense given that Apple is rumored to be working on an iWatch, a device that will almost certainly appeal to active consumers.
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. We saw Samsung debut some health related software features with the Galaxy S5 but it’s not clear if those will emerge for the Galaxy Note 2 in the future.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 used to be $299.99 on-contract but its price is no longer than steep. Instead, the retailers that still sell it are practically giving it away now that the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5 are out.
We’re not sure how the iPhone 6 price will compare exactly but one analyst thinks that we could see an iPhone 6 price in the range of the Galaxy Note 2’s old on-contract price tag.
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.”
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 which is far more expensive than the Galaxy Note 2.