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Galaxy Note 5 vs. iPhone 6 Plus: What We Know So Far



As we push towards the summer, we’re beginning to see Samsung Galaxy Note 5 rumors tease consumers in the United States and around the world. With those Galaxy Note 5 rumors in mind, we want to take an early look at how the device is stacking up against Apple’s current big screen flagship, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. This is our early Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs. iPhone 6 Plus comparison.

Last September, after a year of intense rumor and speculation, Apple took the stage and announced its brand new iPhone, the redesigned iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 comes in two different flavors, a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. This comparison focuses on the larger model known as the Apple iPhone 6 Plus.

As expected, the iPhone 6 Plus arrived with tons of new features including a new aluminum design, a massive Retina HD display, enhanced 8MP rear camera with OIS, and the company’s brand new iOS 8 operating system. In late September, Apple and its many carrier partners around the world released the iPhone 6 Plus into the wild and the device immediately became a top contender to Samsung’s popular Galaxy Note series.

iPhone 6 Plus Photos - iOS 8.2 Update -  5

The iPhone 6 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 4 debate is a big one amongst smartphone enthusiasts and those looking to buy a new smartphone though the conversation is likely to change as we progress deeper into the year. In fact, for some people, it already has thanks to the arrival of Samsung Galaxy Note 5 rumors.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 rumors have started to heat up and we’ve started to hear whispers about the Galaxy Note 5 specs, Galaxy Note 5 release date and Galaxy Note 5 carriers. There are still plenty of details that remain shrouded in mystery but we have enough to make an early comparison to Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus.

This early Galaxy Note 5 vs. iPhone 6 Plus comparison will run down the latest Galaxy Note 5 rumors and show you how they currently compare to Apple’s current flagship. Here’s what you need to know as we push into May.

Galaxy Note 5 Release Date

If you’re looking to buy the Galaxy Note 5/iPhone 6 Plus or if you’re already looking to replace the iPhone 6 Plus with a big screen Galaxy Note 5 flagship from Samsung, you’re probably in for a bit of a wait.

In 2015’s first four months, we’ve only seen one Samsung Galaxy Note 5 release date rumor emerge. The rumor, from Korean publication Daum, suggested that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 release date could land in August. If true, this would be much earlier than the Galaxy Note 4 release date. Samsung released the Galaxy Note 4 in late September.

Before circling August in pen, you’ll want to know this. First off, while Daum has been correct with rumored information in the past, the publication was wrong about the Galaxy S6 release date. It claimed that the device would arrive early in March. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge both arrived on April 10th.


Second. If you’re at all familiar with the Galaxy Note series then you’d know that Samsung typically announces its new Galaxy Note at IFA. For those of you not familiar, IFA is a massive trade show that takes place every year in Berlin, Germany. The five Galaxy Note flagships in existence (Galaxy Note, Note 2, Note 3, Note 4, Note Edge) were all announced on stage around the start of IFA.

IFA 2015 kicks off on September 4th which means that September 1st-4th are the dates you should be circling on your calendar. You can circle August too but again it’s a long shot given Samsung’s Galaxy Note release cycle.

The important thing to know is that we’re probably still months away from a Galaxy Note 5 release date. It’s still extremely early in the Galaxy Note 5 rumor cycle. Nothing is concrete but we, like many others, aren’t expecting a release until September or October. For some of you, that will make your decision a little bit easier. For others, it will only serve to complicate things.


Unlike the Galaxy Note 4, the iPhone 6 Plus is one a number of carriers in the United States. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is limited to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. The iPhone 6 Plus is on all of those carriers and a whole lot more giving consumers a whole lot of choice when it comes to their network and data plan.

Current Galaxy Note 5 rumors haven’t established a full list of Galaxy Note 5 carriers though they have hinted at a few potential destinations for Samsung’s new flagship.

Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Update Review - 7

A recent report from SamMobile outlines some potential Galaxy Note 5 release details. The site says that Samsung will use model number SM-N920F for the international version of the Galaxy Note 5. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 model number is SM-N910x which makes the jump to SM-N920x a logical one. The leak also outlines several other model numbers including those for the AT&T Galaxy Note 5 and Verizon Galaxy Note 5.

  • Galaxy Note 5 – SM-N920F EUR XX (Europe)
  • Galaxy Note 5 – SM-N920S KOR SKC (Korea)
  • Galaxy Note 5 – SM-N920K KOR KTC (Korea)
  • Galaxy Note 5 – SM-N920A NA ATT (AT&T)
  • Galaxy Note 5 – SM-N920V NA VZW (Verizon)

This all but confirms a Galaxy Note 5 release for the top two carriers in the United States and it also suggests that the Galaxy Note 5 will be coming to at least two other key markets, Europe and Korea.


The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus Retina HD display is an incredible screen and it offers 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution at 401 pixels per inch. It’s also the biggest display that Apple’s ever put on a smartphone. While the iPhone 6 Plus display is among the best on the market, the Galaxy Note 5 display could give it a run for its money.

Galaxy Note 5 display rumors suggest that we could see Samsung take another step forward in display technology. Samsung will reportedly start production on a 6-inch Ultra HD display at 700+ pixels per inch in the near future. If it’s able to get the panel ready in time for the fall, it could mean a shift from Quad HD resolution to UHD. UHD delivers a whopping 2160 x 3840 resolution.

A recent report from PhoneArena, citing slides from Samsung’s Analyst Day event, suggests that Samsung is at least considering 2160 × 3840 pixel resolution for the Galaxy Note 5 display. The company is rumored to be throwing around a 5.89-inch display for both a flat and “Edge” Galaxy Note 5 model. In other words, the Galaxy Note 5 could deliver higher resolution and more screen real estate. There’s more to the story though.

The Korea Herald suggests that Samsung is at least considering the Galaxy S6 Edge’s dual-edge display technology for the Galaxy Note series. The report cites Roh Tae-moon, executive vice president of Samsung’s product strategy team who notes that “there is a possibility that Samsung will introduce the curved display for the Galaxy Note lineup.” Apple’s iPhone 6 models do not come with bent displays.

report from China suggests that Samsung will indeed be using a flexible display on the Galaxy Note 5. In addition, an old report from Korean publication Ledwn, which accurately predicted the Galaxy S6 Edge, claims that Samsung will be putting a flexible display on the Galaxy Note 5. So, it’s pretty clear that Samsung is probably going to continue using the technology on this year’s Galaxy Note.

So, in summary, here’s how the display specs could stack up:

  • Galaxy Note 5: 5.7-inch to 5.9-inch UHD display with 2160 × 3840 pixel resolution at 700+PPI. Curved model could be similar to the Galaxy S6 Edge.
  • iPhone 6: 5.5-inch Retina HD display with 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution at 401PPI.

We recommend taking a look at our Galaxy S6 Edge review to familiarize with Samsung’s curved technology and its high-resolution AMOLED displays. And if you’re not familiar with the iPhone 6 Plus display, take a look at our review. Or, if you learn better watching video, take a look at the footage above.


Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus design mirrors the smaller iPhone 6 in that it utilizes a gorgeous all-aluminum design that features curves and one of the thinnest form factors on the market. It does not, however, come with expandable storage via a microSD card slot or a removable battery. These were once hallmarks of Samsung’s Note and Galaxy S designs. Not any more.

iPhone 6 Plus Review - 2

This year, Samsung finally made some big changes to its design language and released Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge flagships that feature glass and metal designs. They are stunning and they are certainly on par with Apple’s offerings. But they also comes with some tradeoffs that iPhone users are accustomed to. Namely, the lack of a microSD slot and a removable battery. We could see more of the same from the Galaxy Note 5.

A new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 concept is making the rounds and while it’s gorgeous to look at, the design doesn’t come from Samsung itself. Samsung is well known for keeping its designs under lock and key. Unsurprisingly, because we’re so early in the rumor cycle, we haven’t heard much about the Galaxy Note 5 design. We have, however, seen one Samsung executive hint at what the Galaxy Note 5 could entail and it sounds like Samsung will be looking to challenge top competitors like the iPhone 6 Plus.

Galaxy Note 5 concept.

Galaxy Note 5 concept.

In comments made to Pocket-lint, Samsung UK’s vice president for mobile and IT Conor Pierce offered up some interesting quotes that seem to hint at what’s coming from Samsung designs and specs in the future:

The company realised that it needed to do something different. We asked questions of people, what do they want? They want premium design, tick that box. They want the best camera, there you go. They want to solve battery issues. And they want choice. So I’m very confident that [the S6 and edge] materialised from what people want.

We’ve learned that bringing beautiful, premium innovations in design is what people want. I think the market needs this as well because the market has been very saturated.

I think it’s about us breaking new ground. It was a bold move to try to do something different, but if you go back to last year, we had the Note edge and you could see how well that was received. So we understand that this is what people want. They are looking for some inspiration, so yes you will see that across our portfolio.

He makes it abundantly clear that Samsung is very focused on these key areas and he also suggests that the company’s upcoming products could come with some of these big changes on board:

What we have noticed is that typically the upgrade cycle is every 24 months because of the contracts, and people are generally offered an upgrade around six months before that.

That’s when they start to look at the phones on the market. So it’s very important that we don’t just do our best work in this current quarter. People don’t just turn up in this quarter, or July, August or September, looking for a new phone, it’s all year round.

I think the fact that we managed to deliver a new form factor with the Note, create a new category, shows the ambition to keep changing and keep innovating. Samsung puts $40 million a day into research and development, which is a massive injection of money into R&D.

It’s a lot to digest but what’s clear is that Samsung isn’t planning to dumb down its flagship models. If anything, we could see the Galaxy Note 5 take a step up from the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge and take a seat at the table next to the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge and iPhone 6 Plus.


The iPhone 6 Plus features a 64-bit, dual-core A8 processor from Apple. The processor is powerful and extremely efficient helping to deliver excellent iPhone 6 battery life. Right now, it’s impossible to compare the A8 to the Galaxy Note 5’s CPU because we don’t know what it will use. What we do know is that Samsung always outfits its Galaxy Note with a powerful chip and the Galaxy Note 5 probably won’t be any different.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor. However, Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 doesn’t feature Qualcomm chips. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge come with Samsung’s Exynos 7 octa-core chip. This is a significant change from past Galaxy Note and Galaxy S releases which relied on both Samsung and Qualcomm CPUs.

Verizon Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Update Review - 1

A report from the hit-or-miss publication Digitimes suggests that Qualcomm is trying to get its Snapdragon chips back into Samsung flagship smartphones and according to a report from Recode “Qualcomm plans to have its next-generation Snapdragon 820 processor manufactured at Samsung’s chip-making plants.”

What this means is that the relationship between the two companies, while fractured, isn’t completely broken. The report also claims that “Qualcomm is hoping that the move to use Samsung’s factories will help it win back business for the next Galaxy S flagship” but again, it’s still not clear if it will land in Samsung’s next Galaxy Note flagship.

Either way, expect the Galaxy Note 5 to feature an upgraded processor that helps to deliver better performance and perhaps, better battery life as well. That will come in handy if Samsung opts to use its new design language with the Galaxy Note 5.

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