Apple has ventured into the phablet space with its recently launched iPhone 6 Plus, which is poised to take on Samsung's Galaxy Note series, the undisputed phablet king until now.
With Samsung also releasing its successor to the Galaxy Note 3 phablet, the Galaxy Note 4, which goes on sale in October, we take a look at how the two devices stack up against each other in the phablet showdown.
The U.S. variant of the Galaxy Note 4 touts a quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, which is clocked at 2.7GHz and is one of the best in the business. By comparison, the iPhone 6 Plus packs in the 64-bit A8 processor, which reportedly clocks in at 1.4GHz. However, which processor is the better one can only be determined after the benchmark tests.
The iPhone 6 Plus touts a 5.5-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. The Galaxy Note 4 betters the Apple offering when it comes to screen size with its slightly bigger 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen with a higher pixel resolution of 1460 x 2560 pixels. The Galaxy Note 4 also ups the iPhone 6 Plus in the pixel density stakes with 515 ppi vis-à-vis 401 ppi.
Both the phablets have a sturdy screen with Apple deploying an oleophobic coating and shatter proof glass. The Galaxy Note 4 uses Gorilla Glass 3.
The iPhone 6 Plus measures 6.2 x 3.1 x 0.27 inches, whereas the Galaxy Note 4 sports dimensions of 6 x 3.1 x 0.33, making the Apple offering longer and slimmer than the Samsung phablet. The width of both the handsets is the same.
However, as regards the weight, at 176g the Galaxy Note 4 is slightly heavier than the iPhone 6 Plus' 172g.
The iPhone 6 Plus will come in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB on-board storage options. This time round, Apple has done away with the 32GB option. The Samsung offering, on the other hand, will only be available in the 32GB option, but before you give the crown to Apple remember that the Galaxy Note 4 has an expandable memory option of up to 128GB via a microSD card - something which Apple's phablet lacks. This means that Galaxy Note 4 is capable of 160GB of storage.
In terms of memory capacity, the Galaxy Note has 3GB of RAM vis-à-vis iPhone 6 Plus' 1GB. However, since iOS and Android are different ecosystems, it would be unfair to compare the RAM.
The iPhone 6 Plus sports an 8-megapixel iSight camera with OIS, dual-LED flash, autofocus, HDR and several other capabilities that will lure consumers. The Galaxy Note 4, however, is not far behind and has a primary camera with a higher megapixel count, i.e. 16 megapixels. The Samsung phablet's camera also boasts OIS, autofocus and LED flash.
If you're worried about how the front-facing cameras of the two devices shape up to satiate your selfie needs, then the Samsung phablet with its 3.7 megapixels and OIS may have a slight edge over iPhone 6 Plus'1.2-megapixel camera.
The iPhone 6 Plus runs on Apple's latest iOS 8 platform, whereas the Galaxy Note 4 comes with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box.
The Galaxy Note 4 packs in a colossal 3,200 mAh battery, but the standby and talk time are not known. The battery size of the iPhone 6 Plus was not revealed by Apple, but a recent teardown by iFixit reveals that it is 2,915 mAH. Apple claims that the phablet will offer a talk time of nearly 24 hours (on 3G).
Both the Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus are NFC capable and boast a fingerprint sensor. The iPhone 6 Plus also packs in a proximity sensor and Apple Pay, whereas the Samsung phablet has UV and heart rate sensors. The distinctive feature which sets the Galaxy Note 4 apart from the gamut of phablet, however, is its S Pen stylus, a tool that is notably missing in the iPhone 6 Plus.
Availability & Price
Apple released the iPhone 6 Plus on Sept. 19 in several parts of the world. This date coincided with the Galaxy Note 4 going up for pre-order on several major U.S. carriers. The Samsung phablet, however, will hit the shelves on Oct. 17.
The Galaxy Note 4 is available in four hues: Charcoal Black, Frost White, Blossom Pink and Bronze Gold. The iPhone 6 Plus comes in three color options: Silver, Space Gray and Gold.
The Galaxy Note 4 will cost $299.99 to $349.99 on a two-year contract on most carriers, whereas the unlocked version can cost anywhere from $699.99 to $825.99. The iPhone 6 Plus on the other hand costs $299.99 on a two-year contract (16GB variant). The unlocked version will cost $749 (16GB), $849 (64GB) and $949 (128GB).
While Samsung's Galaxy Note series is a seasoned veteran and has its loyalists, the iPhone 6 Plus is a new entrant. However, given the popularity of the iPhone, it is likely that the phablet will make things tougher for Samsung's Galaxy Note 4.