Two of the biggest rumored devices of the year, the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4, appear to be on a collision course. The devices remain firmly inside of the rumor mill but here, with prospective buyers in mind, we want to take a look at how the rumored iPhone 6 is stacking up with the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Every year, Apple releases a brand new iPhone. Last year though, Apple went with a two-pronged approach and announced an iPhone 5s, its flagship model, and a plastic iPhone 5c aimed at emerging markets and those that want to save $100 on-contract. With that in mind, it’s not surprising to learn that Apple has a new iPhone, or perhaps, new iPhones up its sleeve for 2014.
Rumors suggest that Apple will be coming to market with at least one iPhone 6 though if rumors are accurate, we could potentially see two new iPhones emerge before everything is said and done. iPhone 6 rumors suggest that the device could arrive with a much larger display than the iPhone 5s and if true, it would help to put the iPhone firmly in the sights of those who want a ton of real estate for gaming, watching movies and surfing the web.
One of the preeminent devices for those types of activities is the Samsung Galaxy Note series. Every year, Samsung releases two flagship Galaxy smartphones. Last year, it was the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3. Both are high-end models though the Galaxy Note 3 is marketed to those that want more screen and a stylus. The S Pen is one of device’s unique features.
With the iPhone supposedly encroaching on the screen sizes on the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note, consumers are keeping a close eye on the rumor mill. And there has been no shortage of leaks.
The iPhone 6 and the Galaxy Note 4 are two heavily rumored devices. They are also two devices that consumers are likely weighing as their next smartphone. While we can’t profess to know everything about these two smartphones, they’re still rumored, there is enough credible evidence to warrant an early comparison.
It’s our job to make sure that upgraders are as prepared as possible and today, we want to take a look at how the iPhone 6 rumors compare to the Galaxy Note 4’s.
This comparison aims to help set the expectations of current smartphone owners as we head deeper into the year and closer to both of these launches.
The Samsung Galaxy Note display has always been much larger than the iPhone display and the Galaxy Note 3 and iPhone 5s have continued that trend. While the Galaxy Note 3 comes with a massive 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display, the iPhone 5s’ Retina Display measures a mere 4-inches. The size difference can be seen in the photo below.
Rumor has it, the iPhone 6 may close the gap a little bit with a sharp increase from the size of the iPhone 5s’ display. Rumors suggest that Apple could be coming out with two different display sizes.
One iPhone 6 model is rumored to have a display that’s between 4.5-inches and 4.8-inches in size. A majority of rumors point to a 4.7-inch display and the general consensus at this point is that this will be the size of one of Apple’s new iPhones. The 4.7-inch model is rumored to have full HD resolution display that’s on par with the top Android devices on the market including the Galaxy Note 3.
Rumors also point to a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 that would directly compete against Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung’s other Galaxy Note models. What’s frustrating is that it’s still not clear if both of these iPhones will launch this year. Rumors suggest that the 5.5-inch model could debut in late 2014 or, perhaps, 2015. More on that below.
Apple will also 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.
So how might the Galaxy Note 4 contend with that? Well, rumors suggest that it could battle large iPhones in a few different ways.
Reports state that Samsung is at least considering a QHD display for the Galaxy Note 4. QHD display resolution translates to 2560 x 1440 resolution and that means sharper looking on-screen content. QHD resolution is rumored to be on board the LG G3 and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Prime but it’s not rumored to be coming with the iPhone 6.
Another other upgrade could be a “bent” three-sided display. Back in January, a Samsung executive told Bloomberg that the Galaxy Note 4 could come with a new display type that would allow for better viewing angles. Since then, a series of Galaxy Note 4 rumors have pointed to a “bent” three-sided display. A recent report suggested that this feature was still in play for the Galaxy Note 4.
Recent patent filings show new form factors that Samsung could be playing around with in the lab but they aren’t a definitive look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
While Samsung is known for putting cutting edge technology on board its smartphones, Apple is known for taking a much more methodical approach. For instance, it waited to put LTE on the iPhone. The company has also has waited to super size the iPhone’s screen. In other words, if the Galaxy Note 4 does come with a three-sided display, don’t expect Apple’s iPhone 6 to match it.
The Galaxy Note 4 display should match the iPhone 6’s in terms of quality, the size difference isn’t clear. Samsung’s Galaxy Note probably isn’t going to shrink so for the moment, consumers should expect there to be an inch difference between the iPhone 6 display and the display on the Galaxy Note 4.
It’s clear that Samsung has begun to shift away from its glossy, polycarbonate plastic designs. Last year’s Galaxy Note 3 featured a faux leather plastic design and this year’s Samsung Galaxy S5 arrived with a perforated black plastic matte material that is much improved over the design found on the Galaxy S4. The moves were necessary because the metal designs on the HTC One and the iPhone 5s simply blow away Samsung’s plastic.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors suggest that we’re going to see more change later this year. Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung’s product strategy team, recently told Reuters that the Galaxy Note 4 will be coming with a “new form factor” when it arrives later on this year. There was no elaboration but rumors suggest that Samsung is considering a few different changes.
One report claims that the Galaxy Note 4 will come with an IP67 certification, just like the Galaxy S5. What this means is that it will be dust and water resistant, something that the iPhone 5s does not have, and something that hasn’t been rumored for the iPhone 6.
Again, Galaxy Note 4 rumors, which have been fueled by a pair of patent filings, suggest that this new form factor could be dominated by a brand new three-sided display. The photo above gives consumers an idea about how the Galaxy Note 4 could look if it does incorporate a three-sided display.
The photo below, based on another filing, offers another take on the design of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
If the iPhone 6 comes with a larger display than the iPhone 5s, it will almost certainly come with a larger overall footprint. And while it may be larger, it still may not come close to the size of the Galaxy Note 3. The video below will give consumers an idea about how big a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 might look compared to the Galaxy Note 3.
The image below shows a supposed iPhone 6 mockup next to the Samsung Galaxy S5. While the Galaxy S5 is smaller than the Galaxy Note 3, the image will give consumers a good idea of the size. The Galaxy S5 utilizes a 5-1-inch display.
A recent Macotakara report shared two possible sets of iPhone 6 dimensions for both the 4.7-inch model and 5+inch model. Here is how those rumors stack up with the measurements of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3′s design. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 dimensions haven’t leaked.
- iPhone 6 (4.7) -140 x 70 x 7mm
- iPhone 6 (5.7) – 160 x 80 x 7mm
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm
Well known leakster Sonny Dickson claims that the iPhone 6 may be as thin as 5.5mm. 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.
iPhone 6 design rumors also suggest Apple may be able to deliver a new iPhone that is up to 26% thinner than the iPhone 5s. A recent leak from Ukrainian website suggests Apple is aiming for a smartphone as thin as 6mm, but Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes a 6.5 – 7mm thickness is easier for Apple to achieve.
Alleged iPhone 6 photos and mockups claim to show the exact look of the upcoming iPhone but thus far, they are inconclusive given that they could be based on rumors rather than inside information.
As for the rest of the design, iPhone 6 rumors point to Apple including Touch ID fingerprint technology on the iPhone 6 and on an array of rumored upcoming Apple products. Early Galaxy Note 4 rumors pointed to the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor and the arrival of a fingerprint reader on the Galaxy S5 makes one likely.
- Apple A8 64-bit processor
- iOS 8
- 4.5-4.8-inch and 5 -5.5-inch Sapphire displays
- 1GB/ 2GB RAM
- 16GB / 32GB/ 64GB / 128GB storage options
- 3.2MP HD front-facing camera
- 8-10MP rear-facing camera
- 1,800 mAh battery
- 802.11 ac Wi-Fi
- Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor
Reports indicate that the Galaxy Note 4 could come equipped with some powerful hardware as well. The device’s specs are said to possibly include LTE-Advanced for faster data speeds. LTE-A offers faster data speeds for compatible devices but it also requires networks to offer the capability. U.S. carriers have been slow to adopt the new technology though Verizon plans to deploy LTE-A by the middle of 2014.
To compete with the iPhone 5s and rumored iPhone 6, the Galaxy Note 4 could come with a 64-bit processor. 64-bit processors can handle more memory than 32-bit processors, something that is important for high-performance devices like the Galaxy Note.
Galaxy Note 4 camera rumors haven’t been specific but iPhone 6 camera rumors have been. A new rumor indicates that the iPhone 6 could take dramatically better photos thanks to new image stabilization that takes multiple photos which software could combine to deliver a “super-resolution” photo.
At this point, we’re not sure what the Galaxy Note 4 software will look like but we are pretty sure about a couple of things. First, it should feature applications that are related to the device’s S Pen. The S Pen is the stylus that comes bundled with the Galaxy Note. The Galaxy Note 3′s S Pen experience can be seen in the video below.
Second, it should feature some of the things that Samsung delivered with the Galaxy S5 software. The Galaxy S5′s software is focused on health, camera upgrades, and more. Those that aren’t familiar can check out the Samsung Galaxy S5′s software in action next to the Galaxy S3 in the video below.
As for the iPhone 6, it likely won’t come with a bundled stylus nor will it come with Android. Rumors suggest that it will come with Apple’s brand new iOS operating system, currently known as iOS 8.
The current version of iOS is iOS 7.1 but the iPhone 6 will more than likely run the next version of Apple’s software. iOS 8 is widely expected to debut on June 2nd at Apple’s WWDC 2014 conference in San Francisco though that remains unconfirmed.
iOS 8 is expected to be an extensive upgrade to iOS 7 and those that haven’t been following the iOS 8 update on its journey to WWDC can get caught up by watching the video below.
In November, shortly after the iPhone 5s release, Chris Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group said that he believed that the price of the iPhone 6 could jump up as much as $100. 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. Others believe that the iPhone 6 might stay at $199.99.
In our opinion, if Apple releases two iPhone models, we’d expect the larger 5.5-inch model to the be the device that is priced at $299.99 on-contract. Why? Because that’s where the Galaxy Note series is priced and it’s a potential price point for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, the device that it would compete with.
These two devices appear to be on a collision course this fall. Galaxy Note 4 rumors point to an arrival in the second half of the year and iPhone 6 rumors all point to a debut after WWDC.
Samsung has all but confirmed the Galaxy Note 4 release for the second half of the year. The company historically has used the IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany to launch its Galaxy Note and rumors suggest that it’s at least considering the event for the Galaxy Note 4 launch. Last year’s Galaxy Note 3 arrived at IFA, just a few days before the iPhone 5s launch.
IFA 2014 kicks off on September 5th and prospective buyers will want to circle that date in pencil. As for the release date, Samsung usually releases a device three to four weeks after the announcement date. What this means is that Samsung Galaxy Note 4 may not hit shelves until September or October.
Apple could be planning something similar. Several weeks ago, the CEO of a company that partnered with Apple to sell the iPhone in Russia claimed that the iPhone 6 release would land in September. The rumor was extremely interesting given that this is the second Apple partner to point to the fall iPhone 6 release date.
His comments follow a long line of iPhone 6 release date rumors that point to the fall. Here are a few of the more recent reports that point to an iPhone release this fall:
- 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
- iPhone 6 scheduled for the fall in September – Industrial Commercial Times
Rumors suggest that Apple may have two iPhone release dates up its sleeve. 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 could have been pushed into 2015.
A more recent report from The India Times suggests that we could see it arrive in September, just a month after the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 arrives on shelves.
So at this point, buyers should expect at least one iPhone 6 to be out to compete with the likes of the Galaxy Note 4 and it could be that we see them both arrive in and around the same time this fall.
After absorbing all of that, we recommend doing a couple of things. First, go and get hands-on with the Galaxy Note 3. The device may not look or feel exactly like the Galaxy Note 4 but we’re not expecting the Galaxy Note 4 to shrink down or ditch the S Pen. The S Pen is one of the things that sets the Galaxy Note apart from devices like the iPhone and consumers will want to make sure that it’s absolutely necessary.
Finally, be patient. Keep an eye on iPhone 6 and Galaxy Note 4 rumors but try not to let expectations get out of hand. Rumors will often start big and bold before ultimately settling in the latter months of the rumor cycle.