As we approach the month of September, consumers are staring right into the face of two massive smartphone launches, the iPhone 6 release and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release. With both launches now set for early September, we want to take a look at the 10 most important details consumers need to know about the iPhone 6 vs. Galaxy Note 4.
Over the last year, we’ve seen iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors emerge at a relentless pace ahead of their respective launches. The two smartphone series’, which arrive only once a year, have done battle during the fall and during the holidays for many years now and rumors point to a very competitive match up in 2014.
Neither device is confirmed but thanks to Apple, Samsung and a host of credible rumors regarding Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 specs and release dates, we’re starting to put together the big picture. And ahead of launch, we want to share what we know with those that might be debating between the two smartphones, both of which are expected to be high-end devices.
With just days to go before these devices land, we take a look at what we believe are the 10 most important details that prospective iPhone 6 and Galaxy Note 4 buyers need to know about. These details pertain to the Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 specs, pricing, release dates, and more, all essential to those in the hunt for a new device.
After months and months of rumor and speculation, we finally know when both the iPhone 6 launch date and Galaxy Note 4 launch date will be taking place. And as fate would have it, both devices are expected to arrive within a week of each other as Apple and Samsung grapple once again ahead of the holidays and Black Friday.
Tomorrow, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will launch in Berlin, Germany. The company is hosting an Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 event in Berlin but it’s also holding satellite events in New York City and Beijing. The event is confirmed to be the Galaxy Note 4’s launch date and there’s virtually no chance that we’ll see September 3rd come and go without a Galaxy Note 4 announcement.
Apple has also confirmed an upcoming media event, set for September 9th at DeAnza College in Cupertino. Unlike Samsung, Apple hasn’t begun teasing anything for the event though it’s safe to assume that it will serve as the iPhone 6 launch date. Media reports continue to peg September 9th as the device’s launch date and they also suggest that it will serve as the launch pad for Apple’s new wearable product.
Those in the hunt for a new device will want to circle these dates on the calendar in pen, they’re locked down as iPhone 6 and Galaxy Note 4 launch dates.
Per usual, Samsung announced that it will be holding a live stream on September 3rd that will allow those of you not in Berlin, NYC or Beijing to tune in live to catch all of the announcements as they go down. The company will host the live stream on its Samsung Mobile YouTube page and it will last through the duration of the event.
Apple’s plans aren’t clear. The company hasn’t confirmed one way or the other which means that an iPhone 6 live stream remains up in the air at this point. In the past, the company has waited until launch day to confirm a live stream so it’s possible that we’ll see information pop up sometime between now and the moment that Tim Cook takes the stage to greet those in attendance.
Given the iPhone 6’s high-profile and the inclusion of a new product type, we imagine that Apple will offer a live stream so that it can detail all of its big announcements. Remember, these events are aimed at the press but they are also sales tools that the company uses to sell consumers on its new products.
iPhone 6 Release Date vs. Galaxy Note 4 Release Date
Galaxy Note 4 release date rumors point to a fast release date, faster than last year’s Galaxy Note 3 release that took place just three weeks after the company’s announcement. Last year, the company announced the Galaxy Note 3 on September 4th and got the device out on September 25th.
Non-specific Galaxy Note 4 rumors out of Korea hint at a much quicker release this time around though they have yet to pinpoint an exact date. Rumors have singled out the week of September 15th as a possible release window for the Galaxy Note 4 though that remains unconfirmed and we remain without a rumored date.
If those rumors hold up, we could see the Galaxy Note 4 release date collide with the iPhone 6 release date. iPhone 6 release rumors have also centered on September and they too have pointed to a fairly quick release for at least one of the iPhone 6 models expected to debut on September 9th.
New information from Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo points to a September 16-19th iPhone 6 release in China that matches with the best estimates and rumors for a U.S. iPhone 6 release as well as one in Germany. Apple traditionally launches in a small set of countries before expanding later to cover a wide swath of the globe.
Apple is also known for releasing its iPhone on the third Friday in September and September 19th lines up perfectly with the iPhone 6 launch event and that release window.
We may not see both new iPhones release this day though. Apple’s larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 release date may arrive later on the last Friday in September or even a date in October.
iPhone 6 release date rumors have pointed to the use of two separate dates. The latest rumor comes from VentureBeat. The publication claims that a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 release date will happen in September with a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 release date that could arrive up to a month after the initial release. This lines up with early iPhone 6 rumors including details from respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
While this isn’t confirmed, it does mean that there is a chance Apple splits up the release dates, perhaps similar to what it did with last year’s iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display. Whatever the case, it’s looking like we could see both of these phones out in and around the same time.
Samsung changes up its flagship smartphone designs every year. Apple, every two years. So, it’s not surprising to see rumors point to new designs on both the Galaxy Note 4 and the iPhone 6.
The Galaxy Note 4 design remains a bit of a mystery leading up to tomorrow’s launch event. Rumors out of Korea suggest that the Galaxy Note 4 could come with a metal frame. These details were recently backed up by an alleged Galaxy Note 4 photo-op that shows a device with a textured back with metal edges.
We’re still a bit skeptical but Samsung’s recent Galaxy Alpha launch shows that the company is indeed committed to using new materials. The Samsung Galaxy Alpha features a combination of plastic and metal and it could certainly be a foreshadow of what’s to come.
Over the long weekend, we saw two other leaks emerge, one showing the front of the Galaxy Note 4 on what appears to be a billboard and another that shows the device inside of a blocky case protecting the real design that lurks underneath. The new media shows a large device with a physical home button at the bottom, something that lines up with rumors.
SamMobile reports that the Galaxy Note 4 will come with the same Synaptics’ Natural ID fingerprint sensor that Samsung embedded inside the Galaxy S5’s home button. Samsung will reportedly tack on new software including a new featured called Web Sign-in that will allow Galaxy Note 4 users to use their fingerprint to sign into websites. It also looks like the company will bring Screen Lock, Private Mode with fingerprint authentication, Samsung Account Verification and PayPal Payments to the Galaxy Note 4 as well.
So how will all of this compare to the iPhone 6? Well, thanks to a number of credible iPhone 6 leaks, we have a pretty good idea about what to expect from the iPhone 6.
iPhone 6 design leaks have been rampant in recent weeks as alleged iPhone 6 parts, details and more have surfaced ahead of Apple’s announcement. The new iPhone 6 is expected to have a new design that is slim, uses more metal, features the company’s Touch ID fingerprint reader inside of its home button, and larger than the iPhone 5s.
The video below, which shows supposed iPhone 6 parts cobbled together (think Frankenstein), will give you an idea about what to expect from the iPhone 6’s design and overall size.
Apple’s iPhone 6 design is also expected to feature the usual bells and whistles including metal, a Lightning port, a SIM card tray, a headphone jack, volume rocker, and a power button. The video below offers another up close and personal glimpse at what the iPhone 6’s design could look like when it arrives later this year.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is rumored to be coming with a large 5.7-inch QHD (Quad HD) display. QHD resolution will offer higher resolution gaming, something that’s key on a device of this size as it will also sharpen the look of movies, television shows and other content. Those unfamiliar can take a look at our buyers guide between the LG G3 and the Galaxy Note 3 below.
QHD resolution was recently backed up by another User Agent Profile leak on Samsung’s website, a leak that points to an SM-N910T sporting a QHD resolution display. That model number has long been associated with the Galaxy Note 4 so it’s looking more and more like the Galaxy Note 4 will come with a massive display with 1440 x 2560 resolution.
So how will this compare to the iPhone 6? Well, all year we’ve been hearing about Apple’s plans for the iPhone 6 display and just about every single iPhone 6 rumor and leak points to a much larger display than the 4-inch Retina Display on the iPhone 5s.
iPhone 6 rumors continue to point to a brand new Retina Display that measures both 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. While the increase in size appears to be significant, we don’t expect it to make a huge impact on the size of the 4.7-inch iPhone. Thanks to thinner bezels and design tweaks, that model may not be too much larger than the iPhone 5s and thus, perhaps, much smaller than the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4. The Galaxy Note series is known for its size.
As for the 5.5-inch model, it could be much larger than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and closer to the Galaxy Note 4’s large design. We’ve only seen that version of the iPhone leak out a few times and in each photo, it’s been noticeably larger than the 4.7-inch model. The photo below shows a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 next to a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6.
iPhone 6 Price vs. Galaxy Note Price
Galaxy Note 4 price leaks have been scarce though a recent leak from retailer Media Markt claims to out the Galaxy Note 4’s price tag. The retailer says that it will cost about 34,490 Russian rubles which translates to about $940. Prices in Russia tend to be higher than in other markets so this will almost certainly not be the price in the United States.
What’s important here is that this was roughly the same price that came attached to last year’s Galaxy Note 3. In other words, we could see the Galaxy Note 4 arrive with the same price tag as the Galaxy Note 3. The Galaxy Note 3 was $299.99 on-contract inside the United States and $600+ off-contract.
iPhone 6 price rumors have been far more active though they too have been unable to pinpoint Apple’s plans. Analysts have speculated that the iPhone 6 price could jump $50 to $100 due to the larger screen and the internals on board. We’ve also heard that it could stay at $199.99 with a larger iPhone priced at $299.99 to challenge the Galaxy Note.
Pricing is not confirmed for either device though it looks like both will probably be expensive.
One of the key differences between these two devices will be the S Pen that will almost certainly come on board the Galaxy Note 4 when it arrives later this year.
The S Pen is a stylus that comes bundled with the Galaxy Note and is holstered in a slot that allows for easy access. While the S Pen can act like a typical stylus, it allows users to write and draw on the display, it’s much more than that. To get a feel for what the S Pen can do, take a look at the video below.
Samsung’s teaser videos for the Galaxy Note 4 have focused in on the S Pen so we’re expecting the company to deliver new, powerful features for the Galaxy Note 4. The iPhone 6 will likely not come in possession of a stylus.
Cameras, Processors & More
Here’s a breakdown of the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 4 specs:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor/Exynos 5433
- 3-4GB RAM
- Android 4.4
- 5.7-inch QHD display
- 16GB / 32GB / 64GB storage options
- 16MP rear-facing camera with image stabilization
- Fingerprint sensor
- UV sensor
And here’s a breakdown of the latest iPhone 6 specs:
- Apple A8 processor
- 1GB RAM
- iOS 8
- 4.7-inch/5.5-inch Retina Display
- 16GB / 32GB / 64GB / 128GB storage options
- 8MP – 13MP camera with image stabilization
- Touch ID Fingerprint sensor
- Barometer & other sensors
Android vs. iOS 8
The iPhone 6 will almost certainly run iOS 8, Apple’s new version of iOS that’s expected to arrive in September. The Galaxy Note 4 is all but confirmed to be running Android 4.4.4 KitKat, Google’s latest version of KitKat.
These two operating systems will look and feel much different than each other especially when you consider the S Pen related features the the Galaxy Note 4 will have on board.
Sprint and T-Mobile both appear to be prepping for an iPhone 6 release in the United States though we expect other carrier to hop on board the iPhone 6 train when it arrives in station later this month.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is rumored for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Same as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. We don’t expect to see smaller carriers offer the Galaxy Note 4. Expect the iPhone 6 to be available on more carriers.