iPhone 6 plus is slightly below Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Written by
  • 5 years ago
  • Posted: September 16, 2014 at 5:54 pm

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus are truly the hot cake gadgets for 2014 given the latest released stats that show how both phones managed to beat the previously held pre-order record of 2 million pre-orders in under 24 hours. The new record is 4 million pre-orders in under 24 hours. iPhone 5s also made a new record by selling 9 million units in the first day of sales, and judging by the new records, that record by iPhone 5s is likely to be broken too come September the 19th when both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus go on sale in a number of countries.

The high demand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus must be making you to also consider acquiring one, and so we are compelled to compare for you these phones with existing ones. We already compared iPhone 6 in relation to 10 key smartphone features and we gave it a score of 4.7 out of ten – meaning it is slightly below average given today’s spec standards for a smartphone.

Similarly we want to do justice to iPhone 6 plus and compare it against existing and yet to go on sales Samsung Galaxy Note series under the key specs including:

  • Screen
  • Body
  • Processor,
  • RAM and memory,
  • Camera,
  • Battery,
  • Key functions and
  • Price

Screen

The screen on iPhone 6 plus is made of IPS – LCD capacitive touch screen which is a screen technology mostly found in low end smartphones like Nokia Lumia 630 but Apple must have done some tweaks on it to qualify for the name Retina Display. By screen technology iPhone 6 plus compares to Nokia Lumia 1520 which used similar technology back in November 2013. The rest of the phablets, including original Samsung Galaxy Note have been fitted with advanced screen technologies.

iPhone 6 plus as a screen size of 5.5 inches. This compares to Samsung Galaxy Note 2. However, the iPhone 6 plus has a screen resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels giving it a pixel density of 401 ppi, which is almost twice as large as the pixel density on Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that has only 267 ppi from a screen resolution of 720 by 1280 pixels. The body dimensions of Samsung Galaxy Note 2 are also larger than those of iPhone 6 plus making iPhone 6 plus be better in physical dimensions.

The best phone to compare the iPhone 6 plus with, considering screen resolution and phones’ physical sizes, is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which has a similar screen resolution as iPhone 6 plus but with a larger screen size of 5.7 inches giving Samsung Galaxy Note 3 a pixel density of 386 ppi. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has dimensions of 151.2 mm length by 79.2 mm width by 8.3 mm depth and weighs 168g against iPhone 6 plus’ dimensions of 158.1 mm length by 77.8 mm width by 7.1 mm depth for a weight of 172g. It is apparent that Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is smaller in size and weighs less even though it has a larger screen.

By screen technology iPhone 6 plus is a relative of Nokia Lumia 1520 but compares closely to Samsung Galaxy Note 3 by screen resolution. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is slightly better by dimensions, weight and screen size. The fact that iPhone 6 plus has a better pixel density doesn’t count much given that it is the smaller screen size of 5.5 inches that gives it the higher pixel density.

Verdict: iPhone 6 plus screen and dimensions can only be compared against Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Nokia Lumia 1520 which are 2013 phablet devices. iPhone 6 plus doesn’t even come close to specs in Samsung Galaxy Note 4 hence iPhone 6 plus should be rated as a 2013 phablet device released in 2014.

Body

The body of iPhone 6 plus is made of anodized aluminium featuring stainless steel buttons. The design is wrapped up by an ion-strengthened glass which is a Shatter proof glass with oleophobic coating. When describing the features of iPhone 6 which is made of the same material, we concluded that no manufacturer has been able to beat Apple in body design for sleek, style and elegance. The phablets we would compare to iPhone 6 plus when it comes to design and body build are HTC One Max and Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 however slightly falls short of iPhone 6 plus iven the use of a cheaper polycarbonate back cover and the now old corning gorilla glass 3 technology for screen protection.

Verdict: iPhone 6 Plus has all the qualities of superb design and elegance and it is not in competition with any other non-Apple phone – but at the expense of non-removable battery.

Processor

The processor powering iPhone 6 plus is the same that powers iPhone 6, Apple’s A8 64-bit processor that includes Apple’s M8 co-processor. Although Apple never gives out the speed details of its processors, GSMArena lists the A8 details as “Dual-core 1.4 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based)” confirmed by Wikipedia as follows:

Early benchmarking using the Geekbench application suggests that the processor is dual core, and has a frequency of 1.4 GHz. It also supports Apple’s claim of it being 25% faster than the A7.

Other than the fact that the processor is a 6.4-bit that would make it technically be twice as better as the standard 32-bit processors in almost all smartphones, by speed and number of cores the iPhone 6 plus compares closely to the Exynos 4412 powering Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which is a quad core processor with the speed of 1.6 GHz. The quad part of the Exynos 4412 should compensate for the 64-bit architecture on Apple’s A8 given that the A8 is a duo core processor. The A8 processor however beats all the processors powering smartphones to date not only because it is a 64-bit processor but also because it is packed with almost 2 billion transistors making it a powerhouse like no other. For more technical details regarding the A8 processor see ExtremeTech’s Apple’s A8 SoC analyzed: The iPhone 6 chip is a 2-billion-transistor 20nm monster article.

In the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung has tried to compensate for the lack of 64-bit technology in its processors by providing the Note 4 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 2.7 GHz quad core powerhouse for the International version and for the Korean version it has fitted its own Exynos 5433 double quad cores at the rates of 1.3 GHz quad and 1.9 GHz quad. Some comparison reviews have termed the Samsung’s quad/octa processors as better performing compared to Apple’s A8 chip. The reason Apple’s processor may appear faster in practical tests is because the iOS is optimized for the low 1.4 GHz speed.

Verdict: The 64-bit technology gives iPhone 6 plus head start but competition has compensated for this by packing more cores in the processor. The low speed in the A8 processor makes iPhone 6 plus be slightly behind Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s 2.7 GHz powerhouse.

RAM and memory

The RAM in iPhone 6 plus is likely a 1 GB RAM but some reviewers have indicated that it is a 2 GB RAM. If we assume that it is a 2 GB RAM then iPhone 6 plus will compare to the likes of Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and HTC One Max as both Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 come packed with 3 GB RAM. The same argument that Apple has customized the iOS to work with low resources can be used to explain the low RAM provision in the iPhone 6 plus but when the extra functions found in Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and above are taken in consideration, then it will be easy to see how the RAM + functions make iPhone 6 plus lag behind in the phablet race.

The internal memory in iPhone 6 plus are in the order of 16/64/128 GB. The 128 GB internal memory gives the iPhone 6 plus more memory that no other phablet matches. This is so since even if it lacks the option for expanding memory via SD card, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that comes with a 32 GB memory only allows expansion by up to 64 GB hence the maximum memory one can enjoy with the Note 4 is 96 GB. The other phablets have a maximum of 64 GB internal memory and allow expansion with up to 64 GB hence can match the iPhone 6 plus memory of 128 GB.

However the iPhone 6 plus 128 GB variant is way too expensive compared to other phablets (see price section below) and I doubt if the extra cost to be incurred is worth the added memory.

Verdict: iPhone 6 plus compares closely to Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and HTC One Max in RAM hence lags behind modern day phablets but has an extremely expensive variant that beats the likes of Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in internal memory.

Camera

GSMArena lists iPhone 6 plus rear camera features as follows, “8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash; 1/3” sensor size, 1.5µm pixel size, geo-tagging, simultaneous HD video and image recording, touch focus, face/smile/blink detection, panorama, HDR panorama, HDR photo, [email protected], [email protected], optical image stabilization” Compare these to the features listed for Samsung Galaxy Note 2, “8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash; Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, [email protected]”.

It is clear that even though the features of iPHone 6 plus camera have a number of advantages such as 1.5 µm pixel size and added functionality of iSight, it technically does not veer far away from those found in Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Given that Samsung Galaxy Note 3 camera is a 13 MP camera and has further tweaks in functionality, I would rate the camera in iPhone 6 plus as slightly better than that of Samsung Galaxy Note 2 but slightly less than the camera on Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The gigantic 16 MP camera on Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that is capable of duo shot and 4K video recording is not up for comparison.

I won’t talk of the iPhone 6 plus front facing camera as this is not even at the standard 2 MP camera in most phablets. It will be suffice to say that Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s front facing 3.7 MP camera apart from the numerous ad ons is capable of shooting full HD video against 720p video that can be shot by the 1.2 MP camera on iPhone 6 plus.

Verdict: The numerous hardware and software tweaks added to iPhone 6 plus makes it a closer colleague to Samsung Galaxy Note 3’s 13 MP camera.

Battery

Again Apple did not provide the milliamps hours in iPhone 6 plus. The only indication of the battery packed in there is the statement that it is capable of 24 hours talk time, 384 standby time and 80 hours music play time. These specs miss in Samsung Galaxy Note 4 battery other than the fact that it is a 3220 mAh rating so we’ll go one step back and check at the time specs of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 battery that is rated at 3200 mAh.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is said to provide 420 hours standby time and 21 hours talk time. Music play time is not provided. Given that the standby time is better than that of iPhone 6 plus but the talk time is slightly less, it will be prudent to assume that the battery in Samsung Galaxy Note 3 closely compares to that in iPhone 6 plus.

But you should remember that Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has a slightly bigger screen to power (same size as Samsung Galaxy Note 4 which requires more power due to the quad HD screen resolution) hence the battery in iPhone 6 plus could be slightly less in mAh probably at the range of 2600 mAh to 3000 mAh.

iPhone users have constantly complained of the fixed battery in iPhones given that the batteries always drain very fast. But both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus have come with a better processor that is capable of saving up to 20% power and slightly less demanding screens compared to close competitions. We should expect that the battery in both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus will give more than 12 hours at medium use (no heavy browsing, gaming or watching videos).

Verdict: The talk time provided in iPhone 6 plus means its battery is at par or slightly better than that in Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Key functions

There are no significant functions that differentiate between iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus other than the ability for app icons to rotate when the iPhone 6 plus is placed in a landscape orientation. On the other hand, all Samsung Galaxy Note series offer added functionalities to the Samsung Galaxy S flagship series every year thanks to the inclusion of the S-Pen.

The S-Pen on Samsung Galaxy Note 4 not only allows you to call upon the Air view commands but also functions like a mouse where you can use it to drag drop or select sections of a website page, etc.

Verdict: Functionality wise, all Samsung Galaxy Note series are better than the iPhone 6 plus thanks to the S-Pen. More so, reviewers finally agree that the S-Pen is no longer a side accessory but a necessary part of the Samsung Galaxy Note series especially from Samsung Galaxy Note 4 onward.

Price

The prices of the previous Samsung Galaxy Note have incredibly dropped now that everyone is speaking of Samsung Galaxy Note 4. For price comparison therefore we’ll stick to Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 plus.

It is obvious that Samsung Galaxy Note 4 beats iPhone 6 plus in every bit of spec comparisons. We would therefore expect the iPhone 6 plus to be way cheaper than the iPhone 6 plus.

Unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a price tag of $600 hence likely to land in Kenya at the price of Shs 70K minus VAT or about 80K VAT included then rounded down. Right now it is quite hard to lay hands on the official price of iPhone 6 plus due to the skyrocketing bidding on eBay that have seen starting prices as  high as $10,000 thanks to the overdrive demand for the handset. However on Apple’s website the 5.5 inch device can be bought for as low as $649 making it about $50 more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The $649 price is thus that for the 16 GB iPhone 6 plus, which apparently cannot be upgraded to any better memory capacity.

If the calculations we have always done for on these phones are applicable to iPhone 6 plus, then we expect the iPhone 6 plus to someday land in Kenya at a price point of Shs 90K or thereabout.

Verdict: Although iPhone 6 plus compare to Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that can bought at Shs 50K, it is still way too expensive by Shs 10K compared to Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that is superior to it in all respects which will be sold in Kenya for around Shs 80K.

Conclusion

iPhone 6 plus closely compares to Samsung Galaxy Note 3 though there are some specs that match those of Samsung Galaxy Note 2. These low specs do not however match the pricing which is ten thousand shilling more expensive than the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I would say, iPhone 6 plus is way expensive for nothing.

What is your opinion on the topic?
Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Analytics Ltd
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Odipo Riaga is a Technology Blogger interested in emerging tech such as VR and AR, AI, Life Extension, Exponential Biotech, Immortality, Cyborgs and many others.
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GADGETS AND DEVICES · OPINION · TECHNOLOGY