The iPhone 6 is one of the most popular smartphones on the market but what can Samsung do to challenge it with its 2015 flagship? Here’s our iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6comparison preview.
It’s just a matter of days until MWC 2015 where Samsung and other major players in the smartphone arena will announce their new top of the range handset. Samsung is holding its Unpacked 2015 event on 1 March where is will unveil ‘The Next Galaxy’, in other words the Galaxy S6 (and probably variations of it).
Although the Galaxy S6 hasn’t been made official, there are plenty of leaked details about the smartphone which enable us to take a look at how it might compare to Apple’s iPhone 6. Leaked information can, of course, be way off the mark but time and time again we find it to be spot on.
Have a pinch of salt ready but don’t be surprised if Samsung announces exactly what the rumours say it will.
iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Design
Going by the leaked images, the Samsung Galaxy S6 will retain the style of a Samsung Galaxy S flagship but with a normal amount of small tweaks and changes. Although it clearly looks like a Samsung phone, Apple might be getting its lawyers ready because the metal frame looks rather reminiscent of the iPhone 6 with a rounded shape.
As you can see below, the bottom of the Galaxy S6 appears to be almost identical to the iPhone 6 with drilled holes for the speaker, a central USB port and the headphone jack. Various leaks suggest the Galaxy S6 will be 6.9 mm thick (not including the camera which will stick out a little) which is, funny enough, exactly the same as the iPhone 6.
At 4.7in the iPhone 6 has a relatively small screen. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is bigger at 5.1in and Samsung is tipped to jump up to 5.5in making the difference even bigger – although that will match the larger iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple used a strange sounding 750 x 1334 resolution in order to retain its ‘Retina’ quality 326 ppi. Samsung already offers a higher pixel density on the S5 and rumours suggest an upgrade to Quad HD for the Galaxy S6. That’s 1440 x 2560 and would mean an impressive 538 ppi matching the LG G3.
With two versions of the iPhone 6 available in different sizes, Samsung is likely to also offer different S6 models. A Galaxy S6 mini is on the cards and so are a Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S6 Active.
Processor and memory
For a while it seemed like Samsung would go with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor which is due to debut inside the LG G Flex 2. However, reports of overheating issues mean it looks like the firm will go with its own Exynos 7 with the possibility of later batches getting the 810 if the problems are sorted.
Either way, the Galaxy S6 will be 64-bit and octa-core so it will be a good battle with the iPhone 6 which uses Apple’s own A8 processor which is 1.4 GHz dual-core and 64-bit. In terms of RAM, Apple uses less than most Android rivals with 1 GB so a whopping 3 GB in the Galaxy S6 is quite the difference but they run on different software.
With only two models of the Galaxy S5 to choose from (16- or 32 GB), rumours propose Samsung will expand the selection of storage capacities to 32-, 64- and 128 GB. That almost matches the iPhone 6 but has double the amount for the cheapest model. Apple offers 16-, 64- and 128 GB on both iPhone 6 models.
An important difference is that Samsung will almost certainly offer expandable storage via a microSD card slot. All of its high end devices have the feature apart from the Samsung Galaxy Alpha.
Over the years Apple has proven that megapixels aren’t everything. The iPhone 6 still offers 8 Mp which is the same resolution available on some budget phones these days. However, the quality is far superior to those cheap handsets with tech like a BSI sensor and Focus Pixels.
Samsung has a history of producing excellent cameras in the Galaxy S range and is rumoured to move from 16 Mp to 20 Mp for the Galaxy S6. Although that sounds like a big difference compared to the iPhone 6 we’ll have to wait and see what it can do.
Video recording looks like it will be a key area as the iPhone 6 doesn’t have optical image stabilisation but does offer 240 fps slo-mo and time-lapse and maxes out at Full HD 1080p. New features of the Galaxy S6 camera remain to be seen but it will certainly offer up to 4K resolution.
Beyond the normal set of hardware which any smartphone offers, manufacturers needs to make phones stand out from the crowd with additional features. The iPhone 6 offers the latest wireless including 11.ac Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth 4.0 – there’s no doubt the Galaxy S6 will be equipped with the same so we’re interested in other things.
Although the iPhone 6 has NFC, it’s currently for Apple Pay only. Samsung will offer NFC on the Galaxy S6 and although it looks like the firm is working on a rival payment system with Visa and LoopPay, it won’t be restricted to just this functionality.
The iPhone 6 has a fingerprint scanner in the form of Touch ID and the Galaxy S6 will also have a similar feature moving from swipe to touch. Three things which are likely to be on the Galaxy S6 but not the iPhone 6 are an IR blaster, UV sensor and heart rate monitor.
iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Software
It’s a given that software will be a major difference between these two heavy weight smartphones with Apple running its own iOS (currently iOS 8 but the iPhone 6 will get upgraded to iOS 9 later this year). Samsung uses Google’s Android OS and the Galaxy S6 will come pre-loaded with version 5.0 Lollipop.
Samsung overlays Android with is TouchWiz user interface which for the Galaxy S6 is rumoured to be stripped back a lot to be close to stock Android as found on the Nexus devices. That sounds good to us and even better is the possibility of less bloatware so things like S Note, S Health and S Voice won’t be pre-loaded but Microsoft apps might be.