The iPhone 6 has now been in the public domain for a few weeks, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) can reflect on an extremely successful launch for its latest flagship smartphone. Not only has the iPhone 6 sold like hot cakes, but the critical reception afforded to this crucial release for the consumer electronics giant has been extremely positive. Last week, Time Magazine named the iPhone 6 as the world’s top smartphone, and glowing reviews have been filed all over the world in prominent media. If there has been something of an Apple backlash, it certainly seems to be over based on the reaction to the iPhone 6.
However, this verdict pre-dates the release of the latest Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) mobile, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The release date of this key mobile release is yet to be officially confirmed, but leaks have indicated that most territories in the world can expect to receive the Galaxy Note 4 in October.
Given the proximity to the release of the iPhone 6, the Galaxy Note 4 will definitely be seen as a direct rival to the Apple smartphone, even though the Galaxy S6, which will be released next year, may be a more natural competitor. So it’s interesting ahead of the release of this latest Samsung device to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of the Galaxy Note 4 versus the iPhone 6. Given the size similarity between the two devices, it is natural to compare the Galaxy Note 4 to the iPhone 6 Plus model.
iPhone 6 And Galaxy Note 4
Despite the hugely successful launch of the iPhone 6, the Apple device had to suffer one Achilles heel; namely ‘Bendgate’. The propensity of the iPhone 6 unit to bend when a certain amount of pressure is placed upon it has been a major media story over the last few weeks. Apple would doubtless claim that it is a veritable storm in a teacup given the paltry amount of units that have been affected by this, but it is possible that it may become more of an issue over time.
The Galaxy Note 4 should have a significant advantage here then, and Samsung has certainly been putting the boot in with a recent commercial campaign. However, testers of the Samsung device have apparently located significant gaps around the edges of the Note 4 which have inevitably lead to questions regarding his build quality.
The proof maybe in the pudding on this one once the Galaxy Note 4 is released but it is worth bearing in mind that Apple’s build quality has consistently exceeded that of Samsung in the past.
This is one area in which it could be asserted that the iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t quite deliver. There is nothing inherently wrong with the display in the iPhone 6 Plus, but it doesn’t impress as much as the super AMOLED Technology which Samsung arms the Galaxy range with. A quick perusal of the specs of both devices makes this clear. Although the screen size difference between the two devices is extremely negligible, the iPhone 6 Plus features a resolution of 1,080 x 1,920 pixels, while the Galaxy Note 4 exceeds full HD resolution with a pixel capacity of 1,440 x 2,560. Samsung has been very focused on producing high-quality screens, and it seems certain that the Galaxy Note 4 will win out in this department.
The Galaxy Note 4 will be a little bulkier and heavier than its Apple competitor. Typically Apple’s devices have had a superior feel to the Samsung Galaxy range, and this doesn’t look likely to change with the release of the Galaxy Note 4.
The Galaxy series certainly has its fair share of consumers and fans, and many argue that using Android on the Galaxy device provides mobile users with a much freer experience. However, the fact that Apple uniquely produces its own software optimized to run with its own hardware still gives the iPhone 6 plus a big advantage over competitors. Using the Apple device remains an unequalled user interface experience.
Apple claimed before the iPhone 6 models were released that it had greatly improved the battery life of the device, and this is true to some extent. However, although battery life is extremely difficult to measure objectively, recent testing has indicated that the iPhone 6 is still sub-par in this department, even compared to most other smartphones on the market. The iPhone 6 Plus is loaded with a more powerful battery than its smaller companion device, but the 5.5-inch HD screen certainly saps the battery power pretty rapidly.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy Note 4 will have new power saving functionality built into the device, and given that previous iterations of the smartphone scored well in this department, it is reasonable to assume that it will trump the iPhone.
This can be an extremely misleading category indeed, as if one considers the raw specs attributed to the two devices then it seems a racing certainty that the Galaxy Note 4 will deliver better picture quality from its camera. The Galaxy Note 4 will feature a 16-megapixel rear facing camera, which on paper is double the quotient of its Apple iPhone 6 rival.
However, in testing conditions the Apple iPhone 6 camera has consistently outperformed the Galaxy range. And even though Samsung is placing increasing emphasis on camera properties in the Galaxy Note series, it seems unlikely that it will usurp Apple with the Note 4. The iPhone 6 also delivers outstanding features in its camera with superb optical image stabilization, and excellent video capturing capabilities.
It is likely that the Galaxy Note 4 will retail at a slightly cheaper price than the iPhone 6. This is not being officially confirmed at the time of writing, but seems a reasonable assumption based on leaks, rumors and pre-order listings. However, in all honesty if you can afford to shell out for either device, the small amount of dollars that you will save by purchasing the Galaxy Note 4 is highly unlikely to persuade you to do so.
One of the massive selling points of the Apple iPhone 6 Plus is the forthcoming Apple Pay functionality. This is rumoured to be going live when iOS 8 is updated on October 20. Already PayPal is seemingly running scared, and many industry analysts expect Apple Pay to become a market leader. The Galaxy Note 4 will of course feature NFC technology, but it has been reported that Apple Pay is already generating buzz among consumers.
Finally, another good reason to opt for the iPhone 6 is that the Apple operating system is considerably more secure than Android. A recent Google study indicated that 97 percent of malware is on the Android platform. Using the iPhone 6 quite simply remains considerably safer than utilizing the Galaxy Note 4.
Apple continues to deliver an incredibly slick package with its iPhone series that always provides a user-friendliness and design quality that defines the mobile marketplace. However, Samsung is closing the gap, and many fans of the Galaxy range will point to its superior spec and features in certain areas. Opting for one over the other may remain a matter of taste, but critics still generally consider the iPhone 6 to be the slickest of all mobile products, so Samsung will have to produce something outstanding to deter the critics from this opinion when the Galaxy Note 4 is released.