Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus full review
The Galaxy Note Edge broke the mould with the introduction of its edge display, enabling users to interact with their smartphones in a new and interesting way. But how does it compare to Apple’s first phablet, the iPhone 6 Plus? Both have similar screen sizes and spec, so which will come out on top? Read on to find out.
See also: The best Android phones of 2015
Galaxy Note Edge vs iPhone 6 Plus: Design and build
The most noticeable feature of the Galaxy Note Edge has to be its curved edge display, much like the recently released Galaxy S6 Edge. It’s an interesting feature that no other company has replicated, and definitely helps the Note Edge stand out in the crowd. The Note Edge has been given a premium feel, with the Samsung signature combination of metal detailing and a leather back and is available in two colours, frost white or charcoal black.
The iPhone 6 Plus also has a very recognisable but premium design, made from a combination of curved glass and anodised aluminium in a choice of three colours: Space Grey, Gold or Silver. The iPhone 6 Plus is Apple’s first phablet, after Steve Jobs famously said in 2010 that “no one” would buy a phone with a big screen. It’s the first opportunity that Apple fans have had to experience a larger screen while using iOS, as in the past users have had to switch to Android or Windows Phone to use a phone with a larger display.
The Galaxy Note Edge measures in at 151x82x8.3mm, which when compared to the measurements of the iPhone 6 Plus gives us a good idea about which is more comfortable to hold – an important point to consider with phablets. The iPhone 6 Plus measures in at 158x78x7.1mm, making the Note Edge the shorter of the two by 7mm but when it comes to width, the iPhone is the better option as its 4mm less than the Note Edge’s 82mm, measuring in at 78mm. The iPhone is also the thinner and lighter of the two at 7.1mm and 172g compared to the 8.3mm and 174g offerings of the Note Edge.
While the level of comfort when holding a smartphone does rely on the size of the users hands, its generally better for the smartphone to be as narrow as possible to let users have the best chance of using it one handed – which in this case suggests that the iPhone is the better option of the two when it comes to one handed use.
Galaxy Note Edge vs iPhone 6 Plus: Specs and hardware
The Note Edge comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC connectivity and while the iPhone offers the same connectivity, there are differences between the two. The iPhone’s Bluetooth is only 4.0 and more importantly, NFC is limited to Apple Pay only – you can’t use it for anything else.
The Galaxy Note Edge comes packing some serious processing power with a 2.7GHz Quad Core Processor and 3GB RAM, while the iPhone 6 Plus comes packing Apple’s own 64-bit A8 chip with only 1GB RAM. While Apple are tight lipped about the frequency of the A8 chip, benchmarking using the Geekbench app suggests that it runs at around 1.4GHz.
You shouldn’t base processing power purely on benchmarking and specs though, as software has an important role to play too. For example Apple introduced Metal with iOS 8, which offers up to 10 times faster draw cell rates, which are used to render objects in a 3D game. It also brings improvement to game load times and should offer a more responsive, faster and more detailed gaming experience without using a lot of processing power.
While the Note Edge may have more raw processing power than the iPhone, it has a trick up its sleeve. The iPhone also includes a M8 motion coprocessor that tracks not only steps, but can distinguish between sports such as cycling or running. It doesn’t stop there either as it can also calculate distance and elevation by utilising the on board barometer to measure air pressure changes. This dedicated chip offloads the collecting and processing of sensor data from the A8 chip.
Sensor wise, as well as a barometer, the iPhone also has an accelerometer and a three-axis gyro. Compared to the Note Edge offering of a Gyroscope, accelerometer, UV sensor, barometer, heart rate monitor and SP02 monitor, the iPhone seems to be a bit under prepared for fitness related activities. Both phones offer a fingerprint reader, but have different executions – with Apple’s Touch ID, you simply place your finger on the home button to unlock the phone, pay via Apple Pay (US only for now), etc. whereas with the Note Edge, you have to swipe over the home button to unlock the phone, which makes for a much less enjoyable experience.
With regards to storage capacities, the options vary between the two. The Note Edge offers only one storage option, 32GB – it does however also offer a MicroSD slot which can expand the on board storage by up to 128GB. Expandable memory is a major selling point for a lot of Android phones, as Android users like the option of adding extra storage space, which is something that isn’t possible with the iPhone. The iPhone offers three storage capacities, with a slight change in its line up from previous generations; 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. We can assume that Apple upped the storage space because everything from photos to the apps we download are growing in size and 32GB doesn’t go as far as it once did.
Battery wise, the Note Edge comes with a 3000mAh fast charging battery which Samsung claims can charge up to 50% in only 30 minutes and can theoretically last a day on 10% charge. The iPhone 6 Plus offers a slightly smaller 2915mAh battery which will still get you through the day without needing a charger (with average use) but it doesn’t offer any fast charging technology. However it does utilise the higher wattage of the iPad charger, allowing for a faster charge unlike with previous generations of iPhone.
Galaxy Note Edge vs iPhone 6 Plus: Display
The Galaxy Note Edge boasts a 5.6” IPS Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display, with around 524ppi (pixels per inch) and a resolution of 2560x1440 with an extra 160 pixels for the curved ‘edge’ display. It’s also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, meaning that it shouldn’t break too easily.
The Edge display is an exciting concept, and one that we haven’t really seen on a phone before (apart from the recently announced Galaxy S6 Edge). It lets you perform quick actions like access your favourite apps or display a (to scale) ruler – the beauty of a curved edge display, eh? It doesn’t stop there though as you can customise it to display the latest stocks, caller ID and even display your latest notifications. While third party integration is currently limited, we can see the potential that it has in future.
The iPhone boasts a slightly smaller 5.5” IPS Retina HD display with a much lower pixel density than the Galaxy Note Edge, measuring in at 401ppi. Its also gone down a different route with screen protection, using Ion-strengthened glass, which is also the glass used in the Apple Watch Sport, opposed to Corning’s offering. While the iPhone has a smaller resolution, measuring in at 1920x1080, it still makes it a full 1080p HD screen – and it shows. It’s extremely crisp and bright with good colour representation, without a single visible pixel in sight.
Galaxy Note Edge vs iPhone 6 Plus: Camera
The Galaxy Note Edge has great cameras that produce crisp images with a rear facing 16MP camera that boasts smart optical image stabilisation and live HDR with a variety of shooting modes. Video wise, the back camera can support 2160p at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps or 720p at 120fps as well as dual video recording which records using both the front facing camera and rear camera at the same time.
The front facing 3.7MP camera has two selfie modes, one with a 90-degree field of vision and another dubbed ‘wide selfie’ that produces a 120-degree field of vision, allowing you to fit more people into your photo. It also records video, boasting a 1440p resolution at 30fps.
The iPhone 6 Plus rear camera has a smaller 8MP sensor with 1.5 ultra pixels which also produces amazingly detailed photos – it’s important to remember that camera quality isn’t solely down to how many megapixels the camera has. It boasts auto HDR, optical image stabilisation, a sapphire crystal lens cover and a backside illumination sensor to give you the best quality photo possible, even in low light conditions. It also uses a dual tone flash to try and minimise the yellow tint that many smartphone photos have when a flash has been used.
Video wise, the iPhone 6 Plus supports 1080p HD video at 60fps as well as Slo-mo at 240fps and cinematic video stabilisation. The front facing camera has a 1.2MP sensor that’ll record videos in 720p HD at 30fps and also has auto HDR for photos and videos.
Galaxy Note Edge vs iPhone 6 Plus: UK Pricing
Due to there being only one storage option available with the Galaxy Note Edge, there’s only one model for sale which costs £729 sim-free at Carphone Warehouse. This may seem expensive when compared to the iPhone, which starts at £619 for the 16GB model, then rises to £699 for the 64GB model and £789 for the 128GB model.
For £30 less, Apple offers double the amount of storage space available on the Galaxy Note Edge. It’s not completely down to storage space though, as you have to consider the features that both offer – the innovative curved edge display of the Note Edge or the Apple ecosystem that connects your iPhone, iPad and Mac that so many are a fan of.
Apple iPhone 6 Plus: Specs
- A8 processor chip with 64bit architecture and M8 co-processor
- 5.5-inch 'Retina HD' screen with resolution of 1920 x 1080, pixel density of 401ppi and 1300:1 contrast ratio (typical)
- Rear-facing camera ('New iSight camera') with 8Mp photos, ƒ/2.2, optical image stabilisation and 1080p video recording
- Front-facing ('FaceTime' camera) with 1.2Mp photos, ƒ/2.2, 720p video recording and burst mode
- 16GB/64GB/128GB storage
- Lightning connector
- Touch ID fingerprint scanner
- 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: Specs
- Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS
- 5.6in SuperAMOLED display with edge screen (1600x2560)
- 2.7GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU
- Adreno 420 GPU
- 3GB RAM
- 32/64GB internal storage
- 16Mp rear camera laser AF with optical image stabilistaion
- 3.7Mp front camera
- Video recording at up to 4K
- Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 4.1 LE
- Fingerprint scanner
- Heart rate monitor
- UV sensor
- 4G LTE (Cat 6)
- 11.1Wh (3000mAh) removable battery