With the iPhone 6 Plus release date just days away and the Galaxy Note 4 release confirmed for October, consumers are sizing up the two big screen smartphones ahead of their arrival. While we can’t make that decision for you, we can provide you with details that could help to make you come to a quicker and perhaps better decision. This iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 4 comparison addresses the most important differences, and similarities, that buyers need to know.
Earlier this month, Samsung took to the stage in Berlin, Germany to announce several new products for the fall. First, we saw another intro for the Samsung Gear S, an Apple Watch competitor and a device that appears to be a solid alternative to current Android smartwatches. We also saw the Gear VR virtual reality headset make its first appearance.
The star of the show though was arguably the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 successor and a device that’s poised to strike in the next few weeks. As expected, the Galaxy Note 4 is a tantalizing new smartphone and one that should be tempting for those looking to grab a high-end, big-screen device.
This year is a little more complicated though. On September 9th, Apple unveiled a large screen smartphone of its own dubbed iPhone 6 Plus. It, along with the iPhone 6, will replace the iPhone 5s as the company’s new flagship smartphone options. And like the Galaxy Note 4, the iPhone 6 Plus sports some intriguing features that should help catapult it to stardom during the fall and winter months.
Consumers that haven’t already made up their mind are likely weighing the iPhone 6 Plus against the Galaxy Note 4. And while we can’t tell you what to do, we can push you in the right direction. Here, we want to do exactly that. Ahead of the iPhone 6 Plus release and the Galaxy Note 4 release, we take a look at the five most important things buyers need to know about the iPhone 6 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 4.
iPhone 6 Plus Release vs. Galaxy Note 4 Release Date
The iPhone 6 Plus release date is confirmed for this Friday, September 19th. However, there are some things to keep in mind before you head to a store to try and buy one.
First off, the iPhone 6 Plus has been on sale since Friday. That’s when Apple and its partners started taking pre-orders. From what we’ve seen, the iPhone 6 Plus is sold out at most places including Apple and carrier locations. What this means is that we could potentially see long lines on Friday as consumers attempt to snag Apple’s popular new iPhone.
Apple has admitted that overwhelming demand for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have knocked some shipping dates into October. The company is obviously going to work hard to keep delays down but it’s looking like the iPhone 6 Plus is going to be pretty hard to find this fall.
As for the Galaxy Note 4, well, it’s in a tougher spot. Samsung has confirmed the U.S. and global Galaxy Note 4 release date for October but the company and its carrier partners remain silent about specific release dates. Instead, consumers have had to rely on other sources for information about the Galaxy Note 4 release date.
From the look of things, the Galaxy Note 4 release is progressing nicely. We’ve seen several models clear Bluetooth and FCC certifications which are both required ahead of release. The AT&T Galaxy Note 4, Sprint Galaxy Note 4, T-Mobile Galaxy Note 4, and Verizon Galaxy Note 4 have all now crossed thru the FCC.
We’ve seen some specific dates emerge in recent days though none of them are confirmed. One retailer on Amazon is listing an October 3rd release date for the Galaxy Note 4. Retailers in the Netherlands are saying October 10th. And Clove UK, a retailer in the United Kingdom, is saying that distributors are prepping for a release during the week of October 13th.
So, while you can buy the iPhone 6 Plus now ahead of its release this week, the Galaxy Note 4 release remains a mystery. Our guess is that carriers and Samsung will announce details after the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 are released on Friday.
iPhone 6 Plus Size vs. Galaxy Note 4 Size
The term “phablet” is being thrown around a lot when describing both the iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy Note 4. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s a cross between the words tablet and phone. It’s a terrible name but one that has stuck around as companies shift to larger smartphones with massive screens and tablet-like features.
Indeed, the Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus are large smartphones. Much larger than last year’s iPhone 5s and larger than many of the top Android smartphones that litter the landscape, Samsung Galaxy S5 included. Here is how the iPhone 6 Plus stacks up, size wise, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s design.
Here’s how the size difference breaks down from a numbers standpoint:
- iPhone 6 Plus – 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm – 172 grams
- Galaxy Note 4 – 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm – 176 grams
The Galaxy Note 4’s is shorter, a tad bit wider, and far thicker than the all-metal iPhone 6 Plus. It also weighs a tad bit more though we doubt that you’ll be able to feel the difference. In short, both of these phones are large.
iPhone 6 Plus Specs vs. Galaxy Note 4 Specs
Not all of you will want or need to compare specs, but if you do, you’re going to find that both of these phones offer some powerful features that will help to make your decision that much harder. We’ll point out some of the key differences and some things that you probably shouldn’t dwell on in the buildup to their release.
iPhone 6 Plus Specs
- Apple A8 64-bit Processor
- iOS 8
- 5.5-inch display – 1920 x 1080 – 401 pixels per inch
- 16GB / 64GB / 128GB storage options
- 1.2MP front-facing camera
- 8MP rear-facing camera with Optical Image Stabilization
- 2915 mAh battery
- 4G LTE
- 802.11ac WiFi
- Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor
Galaxy Note 4 Specs
- Snapdragon 805 processor (U.S.)
- Android 4.4.4 KitKat
- 5.7-inch Quad HD display – 2560 x 1440 – 515 pixels per inch
- 32GB storage with support for 128GB microSD cards
- 3.7MP front-facing camera
- 16MP camera with Optical Image Stabilization
- 4G LTE
- 802.11ac WiFi
- Fingerprint sensor
- UV sensor
- Heart rate sensor
- 3220 mAh battery
- S Pen
As you can see, the screen size difference isn’t going to be much of a difference at all. Both provide tons of real estate for gaming, browsing the web, and more. One thing to keep in mind though is that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 sports a higher resolution. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to blow the iPhone 6 Plus out of the water but it does mean that it will be able to keep pace with Apple’s new Retina HD display. DisplayMate, one of the leading voices on display technology, calls the Galaxy Note 4 display the best they’ve ever seen.
Both cameras will feature Optical Image Stabilization, technology that minimizes shakiness to deliver better looking photos and video. We should point out that Samsung has added a ton of new features to its popular camera application including new models for selfies. Apple has also improved its camera app with iOS 8 though it still doesn’t offer the same amount of choice.
While the iPhone 6 Plus comes in three sizes, the Galaxy Note 4 comes in one. However, what the Galaxy Note 4 lacks in internal storage, it makes up for with its expanded storage. Users can pop in a microSD card that’s up to 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus does not come with expandable storage. Nor does it come with a removable battery.
The Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus both have large batteries. However, the Galaxy Note 4 has a removable back which means that users can easily replace the stock battery with an extended one. This is something that iPhone 6 Plus users cannot do.
iPhone 6 Plus Features vs. Galaxy Note 4 Features
Apple’s new iPhone always comes with a ton of new features. So do Samsung’s Galaxy Notes. So it’s no surprise that both of these flagships are full of powerful features.
If you upgrade to the iPhone 6 Plus, you’ll get an assortment of features that aren’t found on the Galaxy Note 4. Here, we take a look at a few of the iPhone 6 Plus features that standout from the bunch:
- Apple Pay – NFC in the iPhone 6 will allow you to pay for things with the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. The Galaxy Note 4 has NFC on board as well though it will use different solutions for mobile payments.
- Touch ID – The fingerprint sensor inside the home button provides added security and convenience. As we’ve noted, Apple’s Touch ID sensor is far better than the one that Samsung’s using in the Galaxy Note 4. It uses the same sensor that’s found in the Galaxy S5.
- Colors – The iPhone 6 Plus comes in gold, white and gray. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 will come in black and white at first with gold and pink options coming later.
Now, we want to take a look at a few of the more intriguing Galaxy Note 4 features:
- UV Sensor – Allows you to measure UV radiation with your phone. This is something that could help to prevent health issues and it’s something that isn’t found on the iPhone 6 Plus.
- Heart Rate Sensor – The Galaxy Note 4 comes with a heart rate sensor tucked away near the camera. The sensor can help track your pulse and ties into the company’s new S Health 3.5 application. The iPhone 6 Plus does not feature one.
- S Pen – This is one of the biggest differences between the two. The Galaxy Note 4 comes with a bundled stylus called the S Pen that can take advantage of unique apps. It also allows you to write and draw on the screen. It can be seen in action in the video below. Needless to say, the iPhone 6 Plus does not come with an S Pen.
iPhone 6 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 4 Software & Updates
The iPhone 6 Plus will come stock with Apple’s iOS 8 software, seen in the video below. iOS 8 is much different than the software found on the Galaxy Note 4 and because of that, software is going to play a key role in your final decision.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 runs Google’s Android 4.4.4 KitKat operating system as a base though the software has been modified with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. And not just any version of TouchWiz, a version that’s designed for the S Pen and mulitasking in mind.
Samsung’s made some significant improvements to this year’s S Pen including increased sensitivity on the Note 4 screen to make the note taking experience on the Galaxy Note 4 feel more like writing on paper. More sensitivity also leads to better looking text from handwriting. Samsung’s also made some significant improvements to the S Pen’s applications including, Air Command, S Note and Voice Memo, and more.
More importantly, the company has improved the Galaxy Note 4’s multitasking, multitasking that the iPhone 6 Plus simply cannot match. One of the reasons why is a feature called Multi-Window View. It can be seen in the video below.
Multi-Window View, at its most basic level, allows users to run multiple applications on screen at the same time. With the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung has made some admirable changes including the ability to access applications in full, split or pop-up screens. Galaxy Note 4 users will now also be able to reposition apps on the screen with just one swipe.
As we’ve pointed out, iOS 8 rumors point to split-screen multitasking for the iPad but those rumors have not pointed to a release for the iPhone or iPhone 6 Plus.