iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 3: 5 Things Buyers Need to Know

Now that the iPhone 6 release has been confirmed, and all the details revealed, consumers are starting to weigh their options when it comes to buying a smartphone with a big display. The all new iPhone 6 Plus is the first iPhone to offer an alternative to the popular Samsung Galaxy Note lineup, and buyers will likely to comparing everything both flagship smartphones have to offer.

The Samsung Galaxy Note has been an extremely popular device over the past few years, most notable the Galaxy Note 2 and last years Galaxy Note 3. We can only assume it’s what pressured Apple into finally releasing a bigger iPhone. Now that they’re both here, below we’ll go over five key differences that buyers will want to know.

Read: iPhone 6 vs LG G3: What Buyers Should Know

A new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is on the horizon, which is expected to be released in October, but for those potentially looking to buy a new phone this month the choice is between the new iPhone 6 Plus or the readily available and impressive Galaxy Note 3. If you can’t hold out for the Galaxy Note 4, below we’ve shared all the important details regarding the Note 3 vs the new iPhone 6 Plus.

The Galaxy Note 3 is bigger than a 4.7-inch iPhone 6, but smaller than a 5.5-inch model.
The Galaxy Note 3 is bigger than a 4.7-inch iPhone 6, but smaller than a 5.5-inch model.

Leading up to the iPhone 6 release everything was a rumor. And while some were more concrete than others, the thought of Apple releasing a massive 5.5-inch iPhone seemed highly unlikely, not to mention a few rumors suggested it had been delayed or canceled. However, Apple took the stage yesterday and confirmed all the details, and showed the world its first phablet. We’ll call it the iPhablet.

If you’re in the market for a new smartphone as the summer comes to a close, and can’t wait for the Note 4 and a few other devices to arrive later this year, there’s only a few choices for those interested in a big-screen smartphone. Lately more and more phones are increasing to sizes above 5-inches, and Apple is finally one of them.

iPhone 6 Release Date

As of right now, only one of these phones is available to purchase. Which is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that’s readily available around the globe and from all major carriers in the United States. The iPhone 6 though, will be available to pre-order by the end of the week, and will be available sooner rather than later.

Sprint, AT&T and Verizon iPhone 6 pre-order details arrive.

In fact, Apple announced the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders will officially start on September 12th (Friday) and the smartphone will go on sale around the United States and across the globe on September 19th. This means that if you’re looking to get a new phone right now, the Galaxy Note 3 and its massive 5.7-inch screen is your best bet. Otherwise wait a few weeks for the iPhone 6, and then compare them both at a store near you.

It’s also worth noting that new iPhone devices usually sell out quick and are in short supply and high demand, meaning buyers may not be able to get one on day one. You might want to place a pre-order just in case.

Size

If we’re going to compare the new iPhone 6 Plus to the Galaxy Note 3 there’s two main areas of importance. That is the size, and the display. Of course price and more are important, which we’ll also talk about below. However, size is a big deal, especially for someone that’s used to using a small iPhone for the past 3-4 years.

The Galaxy Note 3 is a big phone. Its dimensions come in at 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm (5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 in) and weights around 168 grams. It’s mostly made plastic, so it’s still rather lightweight. Here’s how that compares to the size of the iPhone 6 Plus.

The iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screens are not the same.

The bigger of the two iPhone options, the iPhone 6 Plus, comes in with dimensions of 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm and weighs 172 grams. Essentially these are very similar phones in size, but the iPhone 6 is noticeable taller. That could make it hard for users with small hands to reach the top, but Android owners have been doing it without any problems for years.

The iPhone 6 Plus is slightly taller than the Galaxy Note 3, but also a little thinner, and more narrow. Both devices are huge, and you’ll likely want to try it out in stores first before making a purchase, as a screen of that size isn’t for anyone. Myself included.

Display

Another key factor is the display. While the iPhone 6 Plus is taller than the Galaxy Note 3 the screen is actually smaller. Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus comes with a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080p full HD display. Samsung’s option though, offers up a 5.7-inch 1920 x 1080p full HD AMOLED display.

The iPhone 6 release date is rumored for September 19th.

Samsung managed to keep the bezels around the screen rather thin, making the overall physical size of the device smaller than Apple’s, even though they offer a bigger screen. That may be one thing to consider when making a purchase, but at the same time many buyers will simply be happy with a bigger iPhone in general, and not concerned about the extra space gained by Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3.

Samsung’s known for making quality displays, but so is Apple, so we’ll have to wait until the iPhone 6 release to fully compare the two side by side. It’s also worth noting the new Galaxy Note 4 has a 5.7-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD Display, something Apple’s Retina HD screen can’t match, but again, that won’t be available until sometime in October.

Price & Storage

A big factor in any purchase decision is the price, and this is a huge thing you’ll want to consider with the new iPhone 6 compared to the competition. Most Android phones and everything from Samsung has a micro-SD slot, which as any Apple buyer knows, controls the internal storage and drives up the cost. The iPhone 6 Plus will cost more than the Galaxy Note 3, so you’ll need to decide if that’s worth it to you. Here’s the breakdown.

  • iPhone 6 Plus 16GB – $299
  • iPhone 6 Plus 64GB – $399
  • iPhone 6 Plus 128GB – $499
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 16GB -$199

The iPhone 6 Plus is a big phone and now has an all-new storage option delivering 128GB of internal storage. This is another first for the iPhone, and will allow you to pack tons of HD games and movies into your phone. However, a 128GB iPhone 6 Plus is $499 after you sign a 2-year contract, and nearly $1000 outright. Ouch.

iPhone-6-Plus

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 comes with 16GB of internal storage, but you can get a 128GB micro-SD card for around $100, making it a $299 purchase that offers more storage than the $500 iPhone 6 Plus. That’s a huge difference, not to mention you can swap SD cards as you’d like, and have more than one, and those looking for tons of storage will want to heavily weigh this choice.

Of course carrier payment plans in the US will make this a bit easier, but $499 on-contract is hard to swallow, no matter how you look at it.

S-Pen & Software

Comparing specs and processors on two different operating systems isn’t ideal, and trying to say which is better between Android and iOS isn’t worth the argument. To each his own. However, there are a few noteworthy differences between what the software these phones offer can actually do.

Samsung-Galaxy-S5-vs-Galaxy-Note-3-Displays-620x437

For one, the Galaxy Note 3 S-Pen stylus is a great addition to a large screen, and may buyers love it. Whether you’re taking notes, capturing screenshots, editing photos, creating v-cards, or even drawing portraits. The S-Pen has tons of functionality that makes the Note 3 not just a content consumption device, but also a content creation device. There are a lot of good apps on the App Store, sure, but there’s no dedicated S-Pen for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Multitasking is another one. Android has an excellent multi-tasking system, and of course the Note 3 lets you open two apps simultaneously using their Multi-Window mode.

Rumors suggested a split-screen multitasking system could arrive for the iPad on iOS 8, but it didn’t. It’s safe to assume that for now it isn’t coming to the iPad, or the iPhone 6. At least not yet.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot more to consider when making a purchase, but these are a few of the important ones prospective buyers will want to know about, and be aware of. The Galaxy Note 3 is available from all major US carriers, and the iPhone 6 Plus will be too, obviously. Both devices have fingerprint sensors, awesome cameras with optical image stabilization (only the iPhone 6 Plus has OIS, not the regular iPhone 6) and much much more.

In the end though, users will want to head into a carrier store and try the Galaxy Note 3 out in their own hands and pockets. It’s a big device, and one that isn’t extremely easy to hold for some. The iPhone 6 Plus will have the same problem, and it’s even taller. It’s a tough choice, as both have some of the best specs, software, hardware and features available today. Once we get our hands-on the new iPhone 6 Plus we’ll be sure to revisit this comparison.

18 Comments

  1. Josh chamberland

    09/10/2014 at 3:25 pm

    The note 3 has 32 internal storage buddy.

    Reply

    • Billy Bingham

      09/10/2014 at 4:41 pm

      and no fingerprint sensor

      Reply

      • jesse542

        09/10/2014 at 8:06 pm

        Why are you comparing it to a one-year-old phone? Compare it to its rival, the Note 4, which does have a fingerprint sensor.

        Reply

  2. john

    09/10/2014 at 3:32 pm

    Lol why don’t you do vs a note 4… Lol. You’re so stupid

    Reply

    • Cory Gunther

      09/10/2014 at 4:02 pm

      Because we already did one… and because it isn’t available yet. When people go into stores later this month they’ll see the Note 3 and the iPhone 6 Plus. But thanks for calling me stupid!

      Reply

  3. Billy Bingham

    09/10/2014 at 4:40 pm

    The Note 3 doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor….

    Reply

  4. Ku

    09/10/2014 at 5:31 pm

    Note 3 comes with a 32gb model also. You forgot to mention that.

    Reply

  5. Aelese

    09/10/2014 at 7:01 pm

    I love my Galaxy Note 3. Wonderful. Only phone you need for everything. Waiting to see what the Galaxy Note 5?

    Reply

  6. jesse542

    09/10/2014 at 8:11 pm

    “Most Android phones and everything from Samsung has a micro-SD slot, which as any Apple buyer knows, controls the internal storage and drives up the cost.” How does a micro SD card slot control internal storage? A micro SD card does drive production costs up, but the consumer doesn’t have to worry about that because it is only a minuscule amount of money.

    Reply

  7. dr. doctor

    09/11/2014 at 5:53 am

    Fair comparison Cory. The Note 3 is currently the gold standard when it comes to larger sized phones or phablets. I’m glad Apple decided to give us a bigger iPhone. But are they too late to the game? Guess we’ll see. It’ll be interesting to read the commentary from iPhone enthusiasts who repeatedly bashed the Galaxy Note series for being “too big”, “clunky” and “extremely oversized”. With a phone that size it makes perfect sense to include a stylus, at first thought to be a bad move, but turned out to be a stroke of genius. Its the S-pen that makes the Note stand out amongst the rest. The stylus is the perfect companion for a screen that size. It just makes sense, and gives the device even more flexibility. See how fast the Galaxy Mega hype blew over? With that said, the people have spoken. The phablet is a legitimate category now, and the Note 4 will likely be leader of the pack.

    Reply

  8. Jmetal

    09/11/2014 at 6:04 am

    I liked this review, despite time the Note 3 has in the market still a worthy rival to compare to any new or unreleased device.. by the way, the Note 3 is available ONLY with 32 or 64 GB.. no 16 GB.

    Reply

  9. annoying chucky

    09/11/2014 at 6:33 am

    Cory Gunther, You’re sucks writing this article. You’re embarrassing, therefore you’re fired.

    Reply

  10. Sharpy

    09/11/2014 at 6:49 am

    Love my Note 3 even though it’s capabilities are sometimes well beyond mine. It’s good to own a “race car” ‘cos it provides inspiration for us to learn more and get better! The Note 3 challenges me and let do my best to respond.

    Reply

  11. Erin

    09/11/2014 at 1:33 pm

    Apple (while it makes sturdy/reliable products) is way behind the game with cell phones. The reason I started out with my old htc hero android was because anything with an apple logo was way to expensive for me to afford back then. Now I can afford it but when you think about how much they limit their own consumers with things like not allowing someone to use a micro sd? I mean really why else would they not allow that other than to drive up cost for their bigger storage phone, I would have expected consumers of the “apple” to demand these standard options nowadays but this just reaffirms my suspicions that “apple” people are idiots lol why would you keep paying high dollar for old technology and to be limited and told what you can do? It almost seems they have brainwashed people to keep buying and defending these crap products and company, I literally laugh everytime someone asks about my phone (note 3) and then they say I have an iphone, then I feel bad because your not supposed to make fun of the less fortunate. I had a coworker who had an iphone and upgraded to note 3 and loved it at first but got too frustrated with all its capabilities and all the extra stuff it could do and went back to iphone…so the phones the best out there but he was too lazy and stupid to figure it all out and needed it to be dumbed down for him and limited lol btw lets just see how that battery in the new 6+ works, you know the one you cant remove or upgrade yourself to a better one.

    Reply

  12. Chris

    09/12/2014 at 3:59 pm

    Well it’s obvious this is yet another piece of paid for nationalist propaganda. Apple has lost its way just like the rest of Amerika, it just hasn’t realized it yet.

    Reply

  13. msd

    09/13/2014 at 9:23 pm

    Had an iphone, had windows phones, have a note 3 now. Just ordered an iphone 6. Why? a few reasons: 1. sluggish performance on the note 3 – today I wanted to grab a photo and it took 20 seconds to bring up the camera. 2. bad keyboards on android – i have tried them all and none compare with apple standard. 3. Poor battery life. 4. buggy buggy buggy.

    Reply

  14. Βασίλης Καρύδας

    09/15/2014 at 7:10 am

    MSD you have right! I am from Greece, all my friends are with Galaxy s5 and note 3. When they use them a few hours they starts to be buggy and slow performance. Apple software is more stabilize. It keeps high performance and after a heavy use.

    Reply

  15. Dan berube

    09/15/2014 at 8:58 am

    I might be a strange bird but in real world experience I’m the perfect guy. Here’s why. I hated anyone who owned a smartphone thought is was stupid, I didn’t have a clue on how to use it. Didn’t want one. But one day I got embarrassed for the umpteenth time by a home buyer. Being a 68 year old broker I knew I had to get on board. I did my research and went out and bought a Note 3 I remember the day clearly in the tmobile store I was totally lost. He said you’ve got 2 weeks to change your mind, take it home and “play”. In short after 6 months I love this phone. I do not need anything else. Will never buy a camera, gps, marine chart, boat speedo, note taker, laptop, video camera, heart monitor and on and on! This marvel of technology is fast, easy to handle, fits in my pocket easily and most of all rock solid .. With a very occasional burp. Clear out your cache now and then. He’ll I’ve had lol 50 websites open at a time. Last all day easily and I love at night head phones in, laying in bed with my leather trifold case holding the phone just right watching Netflix movies on my stomach. The only thing this phone does not do is, wash dishes, clean, and make love. Thank you Samsung. I doubt the iPhone 6 plus will be up to the task. Apple wants money for all its extras .. go to Hades Apple!

    Reply

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