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December 11, 2014

Phablet Battle: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. iPhone 6 Plus

It’s the first time that Apple created a phablet, a category that Samsung popularized since 4 years ago with the Galaxy Note. For the last 4 years, Samsung continues to dominate the category, selling millions of Galaxy Note devices each year. So the obvious question is — will the iPhone 6 Plus steal the Note 4’s thunder?

We break the scoring into several sections with each section getting one point. We then total the points and the device that gets the highest score wins the battle.

Design

Samsung changed their design signature with the Galaxy Note 4, incorporating more premium materials and better design signatures. The glass on metal with faux leather combo looks really nice on the Note 4 and is perhaps their best-looking smartphone to date.

However, Apple continues to refine the elegance and solid build of the iPhone. The all-metal on glass combination is almost perfect, save for a few minor touches that could have been given more attention.

While the Galaxy Note 4 certainly made us take a second look, the iPhone 6 Plus still wins this round.

Score: Note 4 (0), iPhone 6 Plus (+1)

Form Factor

Both devices are your typical over-sized smartphone. While the iPhone 6 Plus is the bigger one in terms of absolute size, the Galaxy Note 4 offer more screen real estate. Here’s a quick comparison of each one’s dimensions.

 Galaxy Note 4iPhone 6 Plus
Display5.7 inches5.5 inches
Height153.5 mm158.1 mm
Width78.6 mm77.8 mm
Thickness8.5 mm7.1 mm
Screen-to-Size Ratio74.4%67.9%

While the Note 4 is slightly wider and thicker, the iPhone 6 Plus is much taller but with smaller screen size. This puts the screen-to-size ratio of 67.9% for the iPhone 6 Plus and 74.4% for the Note 4.

The Note 4 feels better on the hands and with the additional S Pen stylus, provides better usability of the large screen estate.

Score: Note 4 (+1), iPhone 6 Plus (0)

Display

The iPhone 6 Plus is the first smartphone from Apple to really push more pixels into their display. With a full HD 1080p resolution, the 5.5-inch screen gets an impressive 401ppi pixel density. That’s significantly higher than the 326ppi pixel density on previous iPhones that Apple has been marketing as Retina Display.

However, Samsung went beyond full HD and introduced a quad HD resolution on the Galaxy Note 4. The 5.7-inch screen has a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels, giving the Super AMOLED display a pixel density of 515ppi. That’s 20% more pixels per inch of screen compared to the iPhone 6 Plus.

Both devices have really nice display quality, good contrast and color gamut but the Galaxy Note 4 has better visibility outdoors while the display is brighter on the 6 Plus when maxed out.

Score: Note 4 (+1), iPhone 6 Plus (0)

Performance

The Galaxy Note 4 uses an Exynos 5 Octa 5433 or a Snapdragon 805 with a 2.7GHz quad core processor. Both chipsets are pretty capable and are considered among the most powerful processors for mobile phones.

Benchmarks for both devices are really high but they only tell part of the whole story. This is due to the differences in operating system of the two. In theory, the raw power of Snapdragon 805 should equal or beat the Apple A8 chip in most cases. Passmark benchmark scores places the Note 4 a bit higher than the iPhone 6 Plus.

Score: Note 4 (+1), iPhone 6 Plus (0)

Storage

Now here comes the tricky part. We know the Apple iPhone 6 Plus comes with option for 128GB of internal storage and the Galaxy Note 4 only has 32GB but with expansion for additional 128GB via microSD card. As such, the absolute possible storage for the Note 4 would be 160GB vs. the maximum 128GB of the iPhone 6 Plus.

However, we still want to look beyond just the total storage capacity (since a miroSD card slot allows for near-infinite volume) and take into consideration the performance of the storage device (in terms of read/write speed) and the added cost.

For this round, we think the 128GB internal storage of the iPhone 6 Plus gets the slight advantage.

Score: Note 4 (0), iPhone 6 Plus (+1)

Camera

The iPhone 6 Plus has introduced some of the really nice features in the camera department. Our top favorite is the ability to shoot 240fps at 720p. That’s a feat no other smartphone can match. The 6 Plus also comes with optical image stabilization which allows it to take less shaky videos.

The Galaxy Note 4 boasts of a bigger 16MP sensor at the back with 3.7MP f/1.9 at the front. It has optical image stabilization as well and is able to take live HDR.

We liked the practical features of the iPhone 6 Plus, especially the slo-mo but the Note 4 comes with better front-camera, more detailed photos. In reality though, both image output are almost indistinguishable from each other. We call it a tie.

Score: Note 4 (+1), iPhone 6 Plus (+1)

OS & Apps

The optimizations of the iOS platform specific to the iPhone 6 hardware made it more efficient. The Galaxy Note 4, while really smooth and efficient, still relies on 3rd party OS supplied by Google. Thus the inherent limitations of Android.

Feature-wise, flexibility and adaptability, Android Kitkat on the Note 4 got the better hand. However, one can’t deny that Apple’s advantage in the smartphone market is due to the fact that they create the hardware and the software.

While we tend to lean towards Android on the Note 4, iOS 8 on the iPhone 6 Plus takes the cake in this round.

Score: Note 4 (0), iPhone 6 Plus (+1)

Battery Life

On paper, the iPhone 6 Plus has 2915mAh of battery while the Galaxy Note 4 is higher at 3,220mAh. The numbers should translate with direct proportionality with battery life. OS optimization and chip technology will also help in power efficiency.

In our standard battery bench, both devices got high scores. However, the iPhone 6 Plus got 11 hours tops while the Galaxy Note 4 lasted up to 14 hours which is pretty impressive.

The Note 4 clearly got this section by a significant margin.

Score: Note 4 (+1), iPhone 6 Plus (0)

Results.

Our final tally puts the Galaxy Note 4 with 5 points while the iPhone 6 Plus got 4 points. It’s a very close call and while we know Samsung has been the undisputed king in the phablet category, Apple’s first try is a really close one.

You can read our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review here and the iPhone 6 Plus review here.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 leaks, aims to be premium
7 reasons why the Galaxy Note 4 is Samsung's best ever
The Galaxy Note 4 bends and bends back too!

52 Responses to “Phablet Battle: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. iPhone 6 Plus”

  1. sam says:

    i almost thought iphone6 plus gonna win, I just cant see any innovation this 6 plus have! note 4 should have sweep the floor with this one but no! the 16mp of note 4 is just as equal to the 4 years old 8MP camera resolution of iphone! maybe next year another overrated 8mp of iphone will finally beat newer camera sensor worth 20mp!

    • mark says:

      wala sa number of pixels yan.

    • archie says:

      Agree with mark. Nasa physical lens din kung high quality ang pagkakagawa.

    • Sherwin says:

      Pixel count is overated. What’s important is the quality of the sensor and the lens…

    • aha says:

      Wala daw sa pixel count oh.
      May kinalaman ang pixel count dyan uy.

      Pero syempre di lang pixel count ang basehan.

      Isip isip din kahit walang time.

    • poche says:

      obvious na nagisip yun tatlo lol. saka iisa lang gumawa ng sensor ng note 4 at iphone 6 which is sony. pero now yun ibang units ng note 4 sinisingitan ng isocell sensor ng samsung mismo.

      anyways balik tau sa pixel count, tignan nio yun z3 at z3compact ng sony mismo 20mp pero dami issues sa camera like pinkish at whites, 20mp pero pag cnrop yun picture di kasing sharp ng ip6 at note4, madilim sa lowlight considering iso12800 sya etc

  2. Mulabe says:

    Samsung is going down baby! Declining sales. Lost profits. Imitations.

    • archie says:

      The article is not about sales success. It’s about who is the monster between Note 4 and iPhone 6+. Disable S-Voice and replace the Touchwiz UI and you got a super computer in your hands.

  3. pinpoint015 says:

    Di ko type design ng iPhone 6+, mas maganda yung sa 5S. So mas type ko ang design ngayon ng note 4. Masarap hawakan.

  4. phonebuddy says:

    Isa akong engineer. Kahit papano siguro nakakaintindi naman ako ng english at ok din ang logic. Kasi kahit balibaliktarin ko sa utak ko hindi ko pa rin majustify kng paano naging lamang ang iphone sa storage. Flexibility. Cost. You can buy another smartphone to upgrade an iphone to 128gb.

    • amang says:

      eh ano ngyn kung engineer ka? engineer na? does it make your comment more believable?

    • r41n says:

      160GB of the Note 4 with only 32 GB of Fast Read/Write Speed vs 128GB of the iPhone 6 Plus with fast Read/Write Speed. Parang camera lang lang it’s not the number of megapixels but the sensor and the processing of the image.

    • archie says:

      @phonebuddy At yung flexibility na madaling maglipat ng files s bagong phone pag naka microsd slot ka. Less hassle din na kailangan mo pang isync ang phone sa iTunes ang lahat ng mp3 at videos.

      @r41n Hindi mo na talaga mapapansin ang read/write speed difference sa actual applications. Pag multitasking ang pag-uusapan, doon mo makikita kung bakit hirap ang iPhones sa processing.

    • emman lobrino
      Twitter: iloveruffag
      says:

      @amang wow dude, you are stone-cold rude. try to be nicer naman minsan.

    • phonebuddy says:

      @archie Yup I agree sa flexibility. Hanggang ngayon wala pa ring music or movies ang mga ios devices sa bahay dahil walang masipag na magbukas ng computer para lang magsync.

      @r41n Ang question dyan is anong application sa mobile device ang hindi kayang i-handle ng memory cards? Keep in mind that DLSRs also uses memory cards.

    • batboy says:

      COMMON SENSE KUNG BIBILI KA NG HIGHSPEED SDCARD LIKE KAHIT CLASS10 UH1 na 128gb tsaka anong difference bakit mas mabilis sa apple? mafefeel mo ba ang difference dapat NOTE 4 unfair yung nag review nyan hinahanapan lang para magkapoint ang iphone tskkkk.

    • R.A. says:

      Engineer ka pala eh. Sana alam mo din kung gaano ka importante ang relasyon ng hardware, software at OS sa isa’t isa. Dagdag mo pa yun ecosystem advantage ng apple. So paano mo nasabi na maganda ang samsung? Eh napaka dependent nga nyan sa third party app developers. They can’t even perfectly integrate to other devices, kay Apple basic lang yan.

      Siguro madaming bago kay Samsung pero nasaan ang quantum leap achievements?

  5. Miongb
    Twitter: miongb
    says:

    In os and apps part, the author should have mentioned the multi window and the whole wide array of functionality of the s pen.

  6. john de guzman says:

    monster phones nowadays… both innovative and pretty good., its just expensive tho,, lol :)

  7. Ruben says:

    Build quality panalo ang iphone. Features panalo note 4

    • igniculus says:

      build quality? i’m not sure of that

    • archie says:

      Nag-issue na ng statement ang Corning sa phonearena. Gorilla Glass 4 ang ginamit sa Note 4 at Samsung Alpha kaya lamang na din sa build quality ang Note 4. Kakabili ko lang last monday ng Note 4 at akala ko ay GG3 pa rin ang gamit nila.

    • Gman says:

      Build quality??? Remember BENDGATE? Where you can bend you Iphone to whichever form you pleases?

  8. batboy says:

    Build quality pag nahulog yang 6+ ng walang case tingnan natin tsaka try nyo gamitin ng walang case 6+ diba magasagas at magkakadent note 4 faux leather pero mas durable naman yung likod tsaka border. kung features dapat android kung simplicity ios. dapat 1 point yung 6+. bang for the buck ang note 4 ios para sa mga taong picture fb text tawag lang ang alam tsaka yung iba nga na gusto ng ifone eh social climbers. mahal pa naman mg iphone para lang sa konting features walamg masyadong innovation.

    • archie says:

      Nakakarelate ako dito. Nung tinesting ko ang iPhone 6+ last time muntik kong mabagsak yung demo unit dahil andulas nung likod. Hindi rin maliit ang kamay ko at malakas ang grip ko kaya pag mali ang hawak mo sa isang kamay, hulog ang unit. Sa Note 4 naman akala mo sobrang laki sa picture pero nung ibinili ko ang asawa ko na maliit ang kamay, hindi naman daw siya nahihirapan hawakan dahil textured yung likod. Ang pinaka slip prone daw sa Note 4 ay yung paghawak lang sa side metal pero bihira naman ang hahawak lang sa gilid.

  9. bliss says:

    hands down panalo yung note4, bias lang author…iphone looks cheap… sa software side dapat nga na consider yung features ng s-pen dun palang talo na iphone…tapos yung camera di naman nag compare ng sample pics..overall including price mas ok na smartphone ang note 4…

  10. GalanT says:

    Si Abe pa ang nag sulat neto eh iSheep yan eh. Hahaha!
    Nanalo sa Storage ang iPhone6+? OMG!
    For a really unbiased and very detailed reviews and comparisons, go to GSMARENA!

    • Abe Olandres says:

      So why did I let the Galaxy Note 4 win, again? Does not make sense that an allegedly iSheep like me with allow the iPhone to lose in a simple comparison such as this.

    • anonym says:

      SIR ABE,

      when you have a comparison please include all things that needs to be compared not a 1 page comparison of the basic specs.

      HAVE a LOOK at GSMARENA at how they compare they think needs to be compared.

      PWEDE BA? kakaunti lng nga PINOY website na nagrereview ng MOBILE Gadgets, di pa KOMPLETO.

      PLEASE NAMAN HAVE A NICE AND PROPER REVIEW, WAG MO KAMING IPAHIYANG MGA PINOY..

    • Manny says:

      Mukhang hindi naman iSheep. Ang pagkakaintindi ko nga parang consuelo de …. Pinagbigyan ang iPhone 6+. Medyo kulang lang comparison sa mga practical features like file transfer, MHL, wifi direct, S-pen at sobrang dami pang iba na wala sa iOS… Tama yun ibang comment sobra hassle na lahat papadaanin mo sa computer/iTunes.. Sa tingin ko hindi sila mag ka-level. Isang pocketable computer at isang touchscreen phone.

    • phonebuddy says:

      I support Abe on this kasi mula pa nung time na halos sya lahat ang nagsusulat ng article dito e parang fair naman sya sa lahat. Tsaka ngayon pa na kayang kaya nyang bilhin lahat ng gadget na yan. Tingin ko kasi nagiging fanatic ka lng sa gadget kung isa lang ang kaya mong bilhin. Ang question ko lang e kung bakit mukhang mas lamang para sa kanya ang mahal na a la carte kesa sa murang buffet knowing that they serve they same food.

    • Abe Olandres says:

      @anonym – that is why we added a link to more text and explanation at the end of the article. We spent over 3,500 words on both the reviews of the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note 4 there. Please click on the link for additional reading materials.

      And we don’t do pagination in the article page so even if we wrote 100,000 words, it will still be a one-page comparison.

    • anonym says:

      yes you did link your individual reviews at the bottom, pero ang point ko why not make a thorough comparison not in merely “3,500”(looks to few to reach that number-the article) words. because we can’t obtain necessary data by such comparison, baka ma mislead pa nga readers dahil dyan?!

      Regarding pagination, upgrade the site so that when you write a review it won’t be too long, para naman walang magbasa na punta agad sa dulo ng article dahil sa sobrang haba

  11. derp says:

    oneplus one parin ako. waiting for my one. sa mga gusto ng invite, first one to reply to my comment will receive invite. post email.

  12. iSheep says:

    Kung sa built, camera and overall usability, ok nmn iphones eh. Kaso napaka boring ng iphones. Pag may android ka kasi masasabi mong sa iyo talaga ung phone, because you can just do anything you want with it.

    • mark says:

      boring ang iphone kung di ka marunong mag malikot sa iphone mo.. try mong eh jailbreak pra makita mo gano kaganda ang iphone..

      sa ios kalang makakita na kayang mapagana smoothly ang 2k13 in 512 ram.. sa android halos di mo mapagana yang nba2k13 kung mapagana mo man force close din.

  13. Jayjay says:

    Battle of the phablets ito pero walang nabanggit na popular phablet features like multiwindow, pop up window and playback, multitasking, task manager, ram managent.. etc

  14. miongb
    Twitter: miongb
    says:

    I really think this is a lopsided comparison. No doubt that note 4 wins, hands down. But to question abe’s integrity is unfair.

  15. Eroz18 says:

    Point on storage should be given to Note 4. Having a phone with expandable storage is essential. Think about this…one day your phones will give up on you and shuts down…you can still save and recover the data on your sd card.

  16. Kimihiro says:

    Samsung truly mastered the phablet game. They pioneered it. Admit it or not, iPhone 6 Plus will definitely sell better than GSN4. IF build qand software quality lang ang pag uusapan, hands down to Apple. #Bendgate is exaggerated btw. The only problem is di nila na maximize ang use ng malaking screen unlike GSN4 with it features. After all, it all boils down to your preference, iOS or Android?

  17. Kupz says:

    Opinyun ko lang….

    Samsung- bakit po parang ang babaho ng itsura ng mga gumagamit ng samsung

    iphone- bakit po parang ang yahaman nila

    • Gman says:

      Entertaining too much impressions on things is a sign of a weak shallow mind. Think deeper buddy boy. Learn to assess, evaluate, and scrutinize before you pass judgement.

      Only social climbers think that way.

    • igniculus says:

      mukhang mabaho ba naka note 4?

  18. Gman says:

    Regarding STORAGE Rating, I think Abe should not just look at the 128 internal storage. May ibang aspects na dapat tignan.

    Yung swapable expanded memory dapat MAY VALUE DIN kesa puro internal memory na di mo manlang mai-bluetooth ang mga pictures mong “sinasabing maganda” sa ibang phones.

    Kahit yung pipich na samsung siguro kaya mag 128gb + 4gb internal memory. Masmataas paring storage kesa sa IPHONE.

  19. Karl says:

    “since a miroSD card slot allows for near-infinitesimal volume”

    Infinitesimal means a number so small that it approaches zero, but not quite. You sure you used this term correctly?

  20. oel says:

    Unang gamit ko ios lahat jailbreak ko.. Then ng android root ko din lahat.. Pro ngayon naaaliw ako sa lumia windows 8.1, wlng jailbreak or root pro lahat ng apps including data pwede lahat sa sd card. Wla lng share ko lng naailiw lng stable din wlang lag…

  21. z3 satisfied user says:

    “fear not the weapon but the weilder”

    Both phone can be the best depends on the one who use it.

  22. igniculus says:

    @anonym PTL

  23. wow says:

    anything can be a dildo if you’re brave enough

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