With Samsung having announced the Galaxy S6 Edge+, the phablet marketplace has just hotted up significantly. Samsung has announced its range of flagship phablets slightly earlier than usual this year, and this is indicative of the fact that it engaging a continuing battle with Apple and its iPhone series. With Apple now strongly expected to build upon the encouraging sales of the iPhone 6 Plus by updating its phablet in September, Samsung clearly felt the need to get its device to market first.
We now know all of the specifications related to the Galaxy S6 Edge+, and can compare them to the existing Apple iPhone 6 Plus phablet. The iPhone 6 Plus was Apple’s first phablet release last year, and was a strong performer for the corporation, and would certainly have been a handset that was borne in mind as Samsung was developing the Galaxy S6 Edge+.
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Price and release date
The first thing to note about these two smartphones is that the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is quite weighty in terms of pricing. There has been some surprise at the price point of this handset, and it will be interesting to see whether it achieves the sales that Samsung is hoping for. In the United States, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ will be available at $300 for the 32GB model on a two-year contract.
It is hard to believe that the iPhone 6s Plus will be this expensive, let alone the existing iPhone 6 Plus, so consumers wanting a bargain could certainly opt for the existing Apple handset. It is good for Apple to know that it can possibly increase the price of the iPhone 6s Plus, yet still remain competitive with Samsung.
At present, the bargain basement off-contract version of the iPhone 6 Plus retails at around $300 less than the forthcoming Galaxy S6 Edge+, although it must be pointed out that this is for a meagre 16GB storage quotient.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ has very similar specs to the Galaxy Note 5 that was announced simultaneously. In particular, the quad HD display of the Galaxy Note 4 has been retained, resulting in a 5.7-in screen capable of displaying 2,560 x 1,440 pixels at a 518ppi density. Samsung’s Super AMOLED Technology has been praised in previous years, and this could continues to give it an edge over the iPhone series.
The iPhone 6 Plus features a full HD display, meaning that the Galaxy S6 Edge+ has a significant advantage over its rival at this time. There has been speculation that Apple could increase the resolution of the iPhone 6s Plus to quad HD, which would ensure that the quality of display in the two devices is virtually identical.
Some speculation has suggested that Apple could release a curved screen variant of the iPhone, but this seems to be an increasingly less likely prospect in this iPhone generation. So those wanting a curved screen version of the iPhone 6 Plus seemingly have no prospect of getting their hands on one for at least twelve months.
In terms of processors, the iPhone 6 Plus is based around a dual-core 1.4 GHz Cyclone series, which does sound rather puny compared to this new Samsung handset. It is rumored that Apple will introduce its first ever quad-core unit when the iPhone 6s Plus is released in September. This would help ensure that the iPhone 6s Plus is a more powerful performer ahead of the predicted resolution increase.
The iPhone 6 Plus also makes do with just 1 GB of RAM. It has been suggested that Apple will double the amount of accessible memory in the iPhone 6s Plus, meaning that this would be a 2 GB unit.
By comparison, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is powered by an Exynos 7420 octa-core processor. Samsung has also ensured that this is a weighty device in terms of memory, with 4 GB available to the system. The combination of these two factors ensures that this will be an incredibly powerful device. But in mitigation, Apple has always achieved superb performance with its iPhone range via its combination of proprietary hardware and software.
The iPhone 6 Plus lags behind in this department as well, with the snapper in the iPhone 6 Plus featuring just an 8-megapixel camera. Apple is expected to improve the camera in the iPhone 6s Plus significantly, with analysts recently suggesting that we could see a 50 percent increase in the pixel capabilities of this this phablet. This would suggest that the iPhone 6s Plus will feature a 12-megapixel snapper, certainly the most powerful camera that Apple has ever included in a smartphone range.
Regardless of the efforts of Apple, it is unlikely that the iPhone 6s Plus will match the specs of the Galaxy S6 Edge+. Samsung has armed its new flagship device with a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera, featuring optical image stabilization, with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera ensuring that the Samsung handset will take excellent selfies. This means that the Samsung device has a camera that is double that of the existing iPhone 6 Plus, although camera aficionados will obviously know that megapixel rating is not the only aspect of a camera’s specs that contributes to its overall performance.
Apple has the edge in the storage department, with a 128 GB version of the iPhone 6s available. The largest storage available in the Samsung handset is a 64 GB model, which is considered something of a disappointment by some Android fans.
Samsung hugely emphasized its new Samsung Pay system when it released the Galaxy S6 Edge+, and this technology certainly has some advantages over the existing Apple Pay. It was slightly surprising that Samsung chose not to include a stylus in this phablet release, which can be explained by the Korean corporation wanting to differentiate it from the Galaxy Note 5.
The iPhone 6 Plus is already compatible with the Apple Pay mobile payment system, although it is notable that this is only NFC-based, with no magnetic functionality as is the case with Samsung Pay.
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is an outstanding phablet in terms of specs, but the price tag might put off some users who were not that enthusiastic about Android devices. Considering that Samsung has not improved the resolution of the new Galaxy handset, the iPhone 6 Plus does not look as dated as one might have expected, and it is certainly considerably more affordable than the Samsung offering. Samsung has closed the gap between the two corporations in terms of design, and it remains to be seen whether its strategy will ultimately pay off.