Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4: 6 Most Important Differences

The Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 comparison is one that many shoppers will make this year as they try to decide which phone to buy. Samsung isn’t the only player in Android smartphones, but it is one of the most popular and for consumers upgrading from a previous Galaxy device the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy Note 4 are tempting options.

Samsung borrows some Galaxy Note 4 features for the Galaxy S6, but there are many important differences that buyers will want to consider. Some users who are drawn the to smaller size and screen of the Galaxy S6 may decide to upsize their choice for a Galaxy Note 4 that offers a Micro SD card slot and removable battery.

Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones are different by definition with a clearly larger size for the Galaxy Note 4 and an S Pen that adds features and functions that the Galaxy S6 doesn’t offer. The Galaxy S6 is smaller and more of a mainstream device both in size and in price.

Here are the most important differences in the Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 comparison.

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 Size

As you can see below the Galaxy Note 4 is larger than the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. The size difference isn’t as much as you might expect, but it can be the difference between confident one hand use and needing your second hand to use the phone in most situations.

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S6 Edge size comparison.
Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S6 Edge size comparison.

The Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S6 Edge dimensions are below so you can see the comparison in size and in the numbers

  • Galaxy S6 – 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm – 138g
  • Galaxy S6 Edge – 142.1 x 70.1 x 7.0mm – 132g
  • Galaxy Note 4 – 153.5×78.6×8.5mm  – 176g

In addition to a larger and thicker size, the Galaxy Note 4 is heavier than the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. You can turn on one-handed modes to make using the Galaxy Note 4 easier, but it is still more challenging than on a phone that is the size of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 Display

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge feature a 5.1-inch display that helps keep the overall size more reasonable. The Galaxy Note 4 sits solidly in Phablet territory with a 5.7-inch display.

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge displays are smaller than the Note 4, with the same resolution.
The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge displays are smaller than the Note 4, with the same resolution.

All of these phones use a 2K display or Quad HD display that means the relatively small screens use a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution that packs a lot of pixels tightly on the screen. This means you will not see an individual pixel, but you will see way more detail on the screen than on lower resolution screens, especially when looking at high-resolution photos. The Galaxy Note 4 features 515 pixels-per-inch while the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge offer 575 pixels-per-inch thanks to a smaller screen.

DisplayMate tests the displays of smartphones for brightness, color accuracy and many other areas and after calling the Galaxy Note 4 screen the Best Performing Smartphone Display of 2014, finds that the Galaxy S6 outperforms it. DisplayMate writes, “The Galaxy S6 continues this trend, with display performance that matches or exceeds the Galaxy Note 4, which we measured to be the Best Performing Smartphone Display in 2014 along with the Best Absolute Color Accuracy.

The Galaxy Note 4 display is stunning, but not as bright as the Galaxy S6 display.
The Galaxy Note 4 display is stunning, but not as bright as the Galaxy S6 display.

One major difference is that the Galaxy S6 Edge features curved edges on both sides of the device. This is similar to the Note Edge, but the Galaxy S6 Edge does not use the edge of the screen for Edge Apps in the same way.

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge deliver a brighter display at 600cd/mm compared to 400cd/mm on the Note 4. This means the Galaxy S6 will be easier to see in the sun and other bright areas.

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 Design

The back of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are made of glass.
The back of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are made of glass.

Samsung borrows the Galaxy Note 4’s metal frame, but amps things up with a glass back for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge that features Gorilla Glass 4 for a stronger back than normal glass. This change means you cannot take the back of the Galaxy S6 off to swap batteries or to add a Micro SD card.

The Galaxy Note 4 features a faux leather back that snaps off to let users add storage with a Micro SD card and to replace the battery. Neither phone is waterproof or water-resistant like the Galaxy S5 from 2014.

Remove the fake leather back of the Note 4 to access storage and a battery.
Remove the fake leather back of the Note 4 to access storage and a battery.

Ultimately this could be one of the deciding factors for users look at buying a Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy S6. Even though the Galaxy S6 comes in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB options, the additional storage is not likely to be as cheap as buying a Micro SD card.

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 Features & S Pen

Here is a fast look at how the Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 features compare in important areas. There are quite a few shared features, but not everything is the same. Check out the lists below to see what’s new and what each device can do.

Galaxy S6 & Galaxy S6 Edge Only

The Galaxy S6 includes built-in wireless charging.
The Galaxy S6 includes built-in wireless charging.
  • Improved Fingerprint Scanner – Touch not swipe based.
  • Samsung Pay – Mobile payments almost anywhere.
  • Wireless Charging – Built in with support for multiple standards.
  • Galaxy S6 Edge Notifications – Edge of display glows to notify you of calls.
  • Take Photos Fast – Double tap home button to open camera.
  • More Galaxy S6 Features You’ll Love.

Galaxy Note 4 Only

The Galaxy Note 4 features an S Pen that lets users take notes and more.
The Galaxy Note 4 features an S Pen that lets users take notes and more.

Shared Features

  • Fast Charging – Charge fast when plugged in for quick boost of power.
  • Ultra Power Saving Mode – Last longer by using a grey screen and limiting some features.
  • Heart Rate Sensor – Check your heart rate on the back of the device.
  • Remote Control – Control your home entertainment devices.
  • Galaxy Gifts – Free apps, services and subscriptions.
  • Gear VR – Connect with a VR headset for incredible experiences.

Both phones start with 32GB of storage, but there are higher capacity options for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge ship with Android Lollipop and a toned down Touch Wiz skin. Samsung is working on rolling out Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop updates.

Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S6 Cameras

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge cameras offer handy features that users will appreciate. The camera is faster, taking a photo in 0.7 second. Combine this with the double tap shortcut and it is a recipe for quick draw captures. The new Galaxy S6 rear camera uses a 16MP sensor with Optical Image Stabilization. The Galaxy Note 4 also uses a 16MP sensor with OIS, but it doesn’t offer everything the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge bring to the table.

What you need to know about the Galaxy S6 camera.
What you need to know about the Galaxy S6 camera.

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge let in more light thanks to a f/1.9 aperture and there is an auto-live HDR option that makes it easier to see what you are looking at even in poor light. The Note 4 features Live HDR, but you need to turn it on and off.

On the front of each devices is a second camera. The Note 4 features a 3.7MP sensor while the Galaxy S6 offers a 5MP with a 120 degree wide-angle lens to fit more people into a photo.

The real challenge will be when we start to see how the Galaxy S6 camera performs in the hands of regular users.

Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S6 Price & Release

The Galaxy Note 4 release arrived in late 2014 on all major carriers. The Galaxy Note 4 price is $299 on contract from most carriers, but you can find some Galaxy Note 4 deals that cut the price. The Galaxy Note 4 is $229 on Amazon, which is a good deal compared to going direct to a carrier.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 release date is April 10th, but we are waiting for carriers in the U.S. to confirm that this will be when the device arrives. There is a Verizon Galaxy S6 pre-order on April 1st, but we still don’t know the exact Galaxy S6 price and Galaxy S6 Edge price. We do know that you can plan on buying the Galaxy S6 on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular. The biggest carriers will also sell the Galaxy S6 Edge. Expect a Galaxy S6 price of $199 on contract and a Galaxy S6 Edge price of $299 on contract, but that is subject to change.

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