iPhone 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3: What We Know Right Now

As we head deeper into 2014, we’re starting to learn more and more about Apple’s plans for the coming year. Among them, a brand new iPhone that is currently being called the iPhone 6. With rumors flying around, we want to take a look at how the rumored iPhone 6 is stacking up next to the biggest names on the market and today, we compare the rumors to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

In March of last year, Samsung hosted an Unpacked Episode 1 event wherein the company debuted a brand new Samsung Galaxy S4, a device the replaced the Samsung Galaxy S3. The Samsung Galaxy S3 was the device that helped to put Samsung up on the same pedestal as Apple and its iconic iPhone.

For much of the year, the Samsung Galaxy S4 took on the likes of the iPhone 5, HTC One, and the Nexus 4. However, as we moved deeper into the year, the Galaxy S4 was introduced to new foes, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which launched in September at Samsung’s Unpacked Episode 2 event.

The Galaxy Note 3, like the Galaxy Note models before it, debuted with a massive high-resolution display, bundled S Pen stylus, and an assortment of hardware and software features that caused us to deem the Galaxy Note 3 Samsung’s most powerful smartphone. Even now, six months after its release, the Galaxy Note 3 remains a solid option and one that many consumers would be wise to consider as their next smartphone.

That said, current Samsung Galaxy Note 3 owners and prospective Galaxy Note 3 buyers probably have their eye on this year’s crop of devices and one of the bigger names to come out of the rumor mill is Apple’s iPhone 6. iPhone 6 rumors suggest that Apple might be ready to make a big leap up in screen size, something that will make the decision for many smartphone shoppers that much more difficult.

The iPhone 6 release is still several months away at least but there are still enough credible rumors to warrant an early comparison to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. This comparison aims to help set the expectations of current Galaxy Note 3 owners who might be thinking about making a change. It will also help prospective Galaxy Note 3 buyers put things into perspective as we head deeper into the year.

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Release Date

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has been out on shelves for six months now and will remain on shelves for much of 2014. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors put a launch firmly inside the second half of the year, perhaps in September at the annual IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany. Even after the Galaxy Note 4 launches, the Galaxy Note 3 will remain on shelves, likely as a budget option.

What this means is that it will still be an option when Apple gets around the launching its next iPhone. Unfortunately, shoppers who are looking to physically compare the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the iPhone 6 are going to have to wait a few months before being able to do so.

iPhone 6 launch and release rumors exclusively point to the fall though there are some that believe we could see an arrival in the summer time. As we’ve pointed out several times, the rumors make sense given that Apple’s past three iPhones launched in the fall. The company also tends to stick with a very particular release cycle. At this point, the fall makes more sense than the summer.

One of the more credible iPhone 6 release date rumors comes from the CEO of a company that partnered with Apple to sell the iPhone in Russia. Earlier this year, he claimed that the iPhone 6 release date would land in September, 2014 though he declined to offer a release date, probably because he doesn’t have one.

This is the second Apple partner to point to the fall iPhone 6 release date and it represents the most direct iPhone 6 release date claim because it comes from a company that has an instrumental role in helping Apple sell the iPhone.

A new iPhone 6 concept based on rumors.

A new iPhone 6 concept based on rumors.

While iPhone 6 release rumors have pegged its arrival for the fall, they haven’t been very specific. In other words, it’s not clear exactly how long Galaxy Note 3 owners and potential Galaxy Note 3 buyers will have to wait before they can make an informed decision. At the very least, it’s looking like several months.

We’ve seen a number of recent iPhone 6 release date rumors emerge but here is a rundown of the latest:

  • iPhone 6 release date as early as September – Nikkei
  • iPhone 6 release date in August or September - Steve Milunovich UBS via Barrons
  • iPhone 6 release in the fall - Andy Hargreaves at Pacific Crest via Business Insider
  • iPhone 6 scheduled for third quarter 2014 – ZDNet Korea

Display

When Apple released the 4-inch iPhone 5 back in 2012, it was the first time that the company had increased the size of the iPhone’s display. Every iPhone that came before it offered users a 3.5-inch display, much smaller than the average Android smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 isn’t your average smartphone.

The iPhone 5s shown next to a Galaxy Note 3 offers perspective to what a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could look like.

While most flagships hover in and around 5-inches, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 provides a massive piece of real estate for gamers, for multitaskers and for content consumers. Its 5.7-inch full HD display is a monstrosity and one of the biggest found on a flagship, mainstream Android smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 display isn’t as good as the 5.1-inch Super AMOLED Plus display found on the new Galaxy S5 but it still offers gorgeous looking games, movies and more.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 display towers over the 3.5-inch iPhones and it makes the 4-inch iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 look small by comparison. The iPhone 6, though, might close the gap. iPhone 6 rumors almost universally point to an increase in size from the 4-inch Retina Display that’s been around for two years.

Reports suggest that Apple could introduce two new iPhones at two new sizes. One iPhone 6 model will supposedly will come with a display that’s between 4.5-inches and 4.8-inches. A majority of rumors specifically point to a 4.7-inch display. That model is rumored to have a higher 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution which would put it on par with many of the top Android smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Rumors also point to a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 that would compete against Samsung’s Galaxy Note. However, this larger iPhone model may not arrive in 2014.

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6 concept vs. iPhone 6 concept.

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6 concept vs. iPhone 6 concept.

A report from Reuters claims that while Apple is planning a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 release for this fall, the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may be delayed. In fact, rumors are starting to point to two possible release dates. EMSOne, Reuters, Ming-Chi Kuo, Steve Milunovich from UBS, and a new report from The Commercial Times all point to a delayed release for the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6. The Commercial Times suggests that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may have been pushed into 2015.

So while we may not see a Galaxy Note 3 sized iPhone 6 arrive in 2014, we’ll almost certainly see an iPhone with a screen size that’s a little bit closer to the Galaxy Note 3′s. There still will be a significant size difference between a 4.7-inch iPhone and the Galaxy Note and the video below will put that supposed size difference into perspective.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3′s screen is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 but the iPhone 6 may offer something a little bit better than that. Apple will reportedly utilize sapphire for the iPhone 6 display.

A Sapphire display would mean a more scratch-resistant display. If true, we could wind up seeing a iPhone 6 that not only comes with a bigger sized, higher-resolution screen but a display with improved battery efficiency and image quality.

Design

If the iPhone 6 comes with a larger display, its overall footprint is going to be larger than the iPhone 5s’ but probably won’t come close to the overall size of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

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

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

iPhone 6 design rumors remain inconclusive despite several alleged iPhone 6 photo leaks. A recent Macotakara report shared two possible sets of iPhone 6 dimensions for both the 4.7-inch model and 5+inch model.

While it might come with a larger overall size, the device may be thinner than the 8.3mm Galaxy S4 while still offering room for components and a larger battery. The rumored iPhone 6 dimensions are listed below, compared to Samsung’s Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

  • iPhone 6 (4.7) -140 x 70 x 7 mm
  • iPhone 6 (5.7) - 160 x 80 x 7 mm
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 – 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 – 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm

Well known Apple leakster Sonny Dickson claims that the iPhone 6 may be as thin as 5.5mm, down from a 7.6mm thick iPhone 5s. This smaller size could come in part from new display technology that reduces the thickness needed for display backlighting, as shared in a report on LEDInside of TrendForce.

Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, in a note shared by MacRumors, says that he believes that the iPhone 6 will come with a power button on right side and narrower bezels. The thinner bezels could potentially lead to an edge-to-edge display, something that we’ve seen pop up in rumors as of late. Kuo accurately predicted many of the iPhone 5s’ features and is considered a trusted source.

This is what an iPhone 6 could look like next to the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8.

This is what an iPhone 6 could look like next to the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8.

So, the iPhone 6 will probably be smaller and perhaps thinner than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It also will probably use completely different build material. With the release of the iPhone 5, Apple shifted away from its plastic designs and offered a premium metal design to consumers.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is made of plastic that is meant to replicate leather. It’s better than some of Samsung’s previous Galaxy Note designs but it’s a design that Apple probably won’t copy.

Camera

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 13MP camera is solid. It can take good photos, videos and performs reasonable well in low-light and noisy environments. Not only does it come with 4K video recording, it comes with a solid camera application that offers users a ton of different options, many of which are not found in Apple’s stock camera app.

While Apple may not join the race to push more megapixels in 2014, the iPhone 6 camera should be improved over the iPhone 5s’. AppleInsider reports that Apple is planning to focus on “image-enhancing components” based on discussions with people familiar with the matter. So while the iPhone 6 may not have a 13MP camera sensor like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, its camera could still be on par, or better, than Samsung’s shooter.

iPhone 6 rumors also suggest that the iPhone 6 will arrive with Optical Image Stabilization, a feature that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 doesn’t have. Only a few flagship smartphones boast OIS including Google’s Nexus 5 and the LG G2. None of Samsung’s devices, including the Galaxy S5, come with the technology on board.

A new rumor suggests Apple could offer optical image stabilization in the iPhone 6 to improve photos.

A new rumor suggests Apple could offer optical image stabilization in the iPhone 6 to improve photos.

If the rumors pan out, the features would allow users to take better looking photos and videos and enhance low light photography by using a special gyroscope and technology.

Specs

The iPhone 6 is probably going to come with more than just a new display, a new design and a new camera. We’ll likely see Apple perform its yearly hardware maintenance (just like Samsung) and offer some improvements over the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5. In fact, rumors are already pointing to a number of potential iPhone 6 feature upgrades.

A 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may not arrive in time to compete with the Galaxy Note 4 on day one.

A 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may not arrive in time to compete with the Galaxy Note 4 on day one.

Here, we take a look at how the iPhone 6′s rumored specifications compare to the specifications that are on board Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3. The point is not to make the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 look bad, it’s to highlight potential differences.

iPhone 6

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

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Processor
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 5.7-inch 1080p display
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB storage options (U.S.)
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • 13MP rear-facing camera
  • 3,200 mAh battery
  • 802.11ac WiFi WiFi
  • Regular Home Button
  • S-Pen Stylus

Software

Maybe the most unique things about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is its software. While it runs Android 4.4 KitKat like many other Android smartphones, it also comes with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI over the top. And not just any version of TouchWiz either.

galaxy-note-3

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 come with a bundled stylus called the S Pen. It functions like a typical stylus and allows Galaxy Note users to write and draw on the screen but it’s much more than that thanks to the device’s software. The S Pen allows users to take notes, control apps and even create a small multitasking window. There are a lot of Galaxy Note 3 S Pen functions,  The video below will give consumers an idea about how the S Pen works.

Apple’s iPhone will run iOS, not Android, and rumors suggest that it will arrive with Apple’s new iOS 8 update on board. This does not come as a surprise given Apple’s propensity to include the latest iOS software on the latest iPhone hardware.

iOS 8 is expected to debut at WWDC 2014 alongside a new version of OS X and the software is thought to have a number of big time features on board.

This Healthbook mockup shows what Apple's app may look like in iOS 8.

This Healthbook mockup shows what Apple’s app may look like in iOS 8.

Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac recently shared many details about the new version of Apple’s iPhone and iPad software. Health and fitness are a major focus and a collection of iOS 8 mock ups show what a Healthbook feature could look like.  Gurman and his sources also hint at plans for a better Apple Maps, a standalone iTunes Radio app and more.

There is also talk of a much improved Siri. Techcrunch recently reported that Apple bought Novauris last year for an undisclosed sum. Apple is also rumored to be including Shazam support inside iOS 8, a feature that would let iPhone and iPad users use Siri to detect the song that is playing. There is also talk of VoLTE support.

Price

Thanks to its massive high-resolution display and bundled S Pen, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is currently one of the most expensive smartphones on the market. The device, on-contract, commands a $299.99 price tag through most carriers. And while there are discounts to be found, even Amazon charges around $150 on-contract for the six month old Galaxy Note 3.

When the iPhone 6 rolls around, we’ll be getting close to the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 which means that the device’s price should be slashed. And that means that there is a very good chance that the Galaxy Note 3′s price will either be on par or cheaper than the iPhone 6 price.

The iPhone 6 price is a hot topic, with analysts predicting different decisions by Apple.

The iPhone 6 price is a hot topic, with analysts predicting different decisions by Apple.

Apple’s new iPhones have historically landed for $199.99 on-contract, or $100 cheaper than the price of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. This year’s iPhone 6 could break the mold, according to some analysts.

Way back in November, Chris Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group made a bold prediction. He claimed that the price of the iPhone 6 could jump up as much as $100 from the price of the iPhone 5s. He also added that “the potential for the iPhone 6 price point to move higher,” and that “we think Apple could get away with a $50 to $100 premium for a larger screen size iPhone 6.”

Caso’s prediction was recently backed up by well known Jefferies analyst Peter Misek who says that he also believes that there is a potential for a $100 price jump. A $100 price jump would put the iPhone 6 at $299.99 on-contract, or, the current price of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Quick Rundown

So to wrap things up, we’ve bullet pointed five of the biggest things that prospective Galaxy Note 3 buyers and upgraders want to keep in mind as we progress into the new year.

  • iPhone 6 will likely launch in the fall, possibly around the same time as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
  • Apple’s new iPhone will likely come with an upgraded display that offers higher-resolution content.
  • There might be a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 in the works but it may not arrive this year.
  • The Galaxy Note 3 is expensive right now, but will be cheaper later in the year. The iPhone 6 will probably be the more expensive option.
  • The S Pen is something that new buyers need to extensively look into. Many people won’t need it while others will fall in love with it.

Comments

  1. Ben says

    Well iphone 6 is the phone that everyone is waiting for. I have iphone 5S from last 6 months, which I find much better than any Android phone whether it is a Galaxy Note3 or Galaxy S4 or HTC M8. It is already confirmed that iphone 6 will launch with big sapphire screen display and inbuilt wireless charging pad compatible that will definitely give tough competition to all flagship phone of major brands. Just wait for next 5 months everything will be cleared.

  2. Paul says

    And i have the original galaxy note 1 running jellybean 4.1.2 and i have used ios and couldnt really use it. That no back button is a nightmare. One Huge advantage Android has not just galaxy phones is otg ready. I cant see how anyone in this world wouldnt find this the most realistic simple way of doing something on a phone. You can take hours of home made movies on your phone and pictures copy or transfer straight to a usb flash drive and watch within secs of filming on your 50inch Full HD screen. The iphone and apple in general dosent support this. Beaming to a tv is good for a little while until your phone stars beeping and ringing! useless. I can download movies from the playstore and send to the flashdrive. I couldnt go back to a device that dosent have this it would be madness!

  3. Paul says

    And by the way you have 2gb of ram for the galaxy note3, it has 3gb ram and my Australian galaxy note3 has 128 gb storage so iphone specs still look outdated!

  4. Enamul says

    I have purchased a Samsung Note-3 on 21.03.2014.I like to inform you with great regret that I, recognized my first mobile default (touch screen not work properly) after two month of my purchase date. I send it for servicing on 04.06.2014. After that, they reply me on 06.06.2014 to handover the set. But unfortunately I have faced another kind of problem (hang frequently and touch screen not work properly). As a result I have to return the set again (for solving those problems) on 18.06.2014. It is great remorse for me

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