The Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison highlights six key differences between the biggest iPhone you can buy and the new Galaxy S6 that features a design upgrade that puts it on par with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in looks and feel. Our iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy S6 comparison will highlight the biggest differences that we see now, weeks ahead of the official release date.
While the Galaxy S6 and the iPhone 6 Plus could almost pass as twins when you look at just the bottom edge of the device the two devices are different in many important areas that buyers need to consider. While we wait for the Galaxy S6 release date and pre-orders to start, you can use this comparison to figure out which device fits your needs best.
There are some changes from the Galaxy S5 to Galaxy S6 that remove popular features like a replaceable battery and a Micro SD card slot, which makes the Galaxy S6 a bit more like the iPhone 6 Plus, but Samsung is counting on a number of official Galaxy S6 accessories and a healthy amount Galaxy S6 features that will convince consumers to buy their offering.
After spending months with the iPhone 6 Plus we know what it can do and how well it delivers on all the iPhone 6 Plus features that Apple uses to sell the device in commercials and in the Apple Store.
Here are the most important differences between the Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 Plus comparison that we can share before we go hands on with the two devices.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 Plus Displays
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge offer a smaller display than the iPhone 6 Plus, but with a higher resolution. The iPhone 6 Plus features a 5.5-inch display with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge both offer a 5.1-inch display with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution.
The higher resolution on a smaller screen delivers more pixels per inch, which means it should be able to show more detail on an image than the larger screen. The Galaxy S6 offers 577 pixels per inch while the iPhone 6 Plus only offers 401 pixels per inch.
When comparing high-pixel density screens like this to the iPhone 6 Plus the device with more pixels can deliver a better looking image, but that doesn’t mean the iPhone 6 Plus display is bad. We enjoy the iPhone 6 Plus display, and we expect that Samsung’s 2K display will impress like the Galaxy Note 4 display did.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 Plus Design
There is no more plastic in the Galaxy S6. Samsung delivers a metal frame and a glass back that is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The iPhone 6 Plus is made of metal that wraps around the back and a chemically strengthened glass on the front.
With a bigger screen and a big bezel for the round home button the iPhone 6 Plus is larger than the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. The iPhone 6 Plus is heavier than the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge as well.
- Galaxy S6 – 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm – 138g
- Galaxy S6 Edge – 142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0mm – 132g
- iPhone 6 Plus – 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm – 172g
The glass on the front of the iPhone 6 Plus curves to the edge, but it is not a curved display like the Galaxy S6 Edge model. Both designs include a fingerprint sensor and a physical home button, a headphone jack and a single speaker on the bottom.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 Plus Software
The Samsung Galaxy S6 runs Android Lollipop, also known as Android 5.0. Samsung usually delivers a lot of added features and software, but this time around the company is keeping customizations to a minimum. The new Galaxy S6 Android Lollipop software features fewer on-screen elements and Samsung claims it is easier to get where you want in fewer steps.
“We have fewer preloaded apps and removed about 40% of the features and steps.” explained Lee Hyunyeul, VP, UX Innovation Group in a tweet shared by Samsung. There are still features like the Samsung Health app and a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device plus some pre-loaded software. The Galaxy S6 Edge can show notifications using the edge of the screen when placed face-down with a different color to show who is calling. Check out the other 25 Galaxy S6 features you’ll love to get an idea of what else the Galaxy S6 can do.
The iPhone 6 Plus runs iOS 8.1.3 and will soon run iOS 8.2 that adds support for the Apple Watch. Apple ran into a number of problems with the iOS 8 software, but the company is making strides in correcting lingering problems. With iOS 8 Apple adds in new features that open up access to third-party keyboards, the ability to quickly link into other apps and to use apps like LastPass inside Safari to log in to a web page.
You can see what’s new in iOS 8 in the video above. There are some things that the iPhone 6 Plus does better than the Galaxy S6 and some that the GalaxY S6 does better, but overall the two devices are closer in capabilities than their predecessors.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 Plus Storage
One thing that both of these phones definitely have in common is that there is no easy way to add more storage to the phone without dangling a USB drive off the bottom. There is no Galaxy S6 Micro SD card and the iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t offer expandable storage either.
One very important difference is that the Galaxy S6 storage starts at 32GB, while the iPhone 6 Plus is only at 16GB. This is very important because many users cannot use the iPhone long-term with just 16GB of storage.
Both phones also offer 64GB and 128GB options. Apple charges $100 more for each storage jump. We don’t know how much more Samsung and carriers will charge for the higher capacity Galaxy S6.
Samsung Pay vs Apple Pay
The Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 Plus both offer mobile payment options, but there is a big difference in where you can use them. Both phones include NFC that can make payments with Google Wallet or Softcard on the Galaxy S6 and Apple Pay on the iPhone 6 Plus, but the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge also offer another option. The new Galaxy S6 supports wireless magnetic card payments, through Samsung Pay. This allows users to place the phone next to a regular credit card reader to send a swipe wirelessly. This is a form of payment that will work in more places than NFC payments.
Apple Pay and Samsung Pay only work with participating banks, and now Apple Pay has a long list of banks, while Samsung Pay needs to add partnerships. Apple Pay is available today, and Samsung Pay arrives this summer. Both work with a fingerprint sensor that is built-in to the device. The iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy S6 feature similar fingerprint sensors that let users place a finger on top instead of swiping like on the Galaxy Note 4.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 Plus Cameras
Samsung delivers improved cameras on the front and back of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. There is a 16MP rear facing camera with Optical Image Stabilization and a 5MP front facing camera. Both offer a f/1.9 aperture that lets in more light than a typical front facing camera and Auto-Live HDR on the front and back cameras. The Auto Live HDR will show you what the HDR photo will look like before you take it, while the iPhone 6 Plus HDR mode only shows you after you take the photo.
The iPhone 6 Plus features a 8MP camera with focus pixels that is one of our go to cameras for shooting video and photos of review devices on the go. Even though there is a big difference in MP count, don’t let that fool you. The iPhone 6 Plus camera is incredibly good. The rear camera also includes Optical Image Stabilization to help with low light photos.
The front facing iPhone 6 Plus camera isn’t nearly as nice with just a 1.2MP sensor and 720P HD video resolution. The Galaxy S6 should take better looking selfies and deliver better looking video calling. To launch the Galaxy S6 camera double press the home button and it will open in 0.7 seconds according to Samsung. The iPhone 6 Plus camera shortcut launches with a swipe up after you turn the screen on with a press of the power or home button.
Another area of difference is the camera app. Samsung toned down the customizations and options, but the Galaxy S6 camera app still offers more options like selective focus, fast motion, pro mode, virtual shot and the ability to download new modes. The iPhone 6 Plus camera doesn’t offer as many options, and while you can add some features with other apps you cannot get to them as fast as the default camera app.
Release Date, Price & Carriers
The iPhone 6 Plus is available on all major carriers and even on smaller carriers and pre-paid carriers now. The iPhone 6 Plus is $299 on contract and then $399 for 64Gb and $499 for 128GB of storage.
The Galaxy S6 release date is set for April 10th. We know that the major carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and U.S. Cellular will offer the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Smaller carriers like Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS are getting the Galaxy S6, but not the Galaxy S6 Edge.
So far we’ve seen a $699 off contract Galaxy S6 price listing, but that is part of a contest and those can over-estimate the retail price that we see. Odds are good that the Galaxy S6 price is $199 on contract with a premium for more storage of either $50 or $100 per jump and the Galaxy S6 Edge price is likely $299 on a two-year contract if it sticks to the same premium Samsung uses to separate devices.