In the android corner, we have the latest Samsung phablet flagship; the Galaxy Note 4 and in the Apple corner we have iPhone 6 Plus which really is Apple's first venture into the large screen phablet territory.
For Apple, the journey wouldn't have been very smooth since this being its first attempt towards the biggest iPhone ever made.Moving to a 5.5" screen meant that Apple has finally decided to join the phablet party. But it is not as quite as big as the Galaxy Note 4, the latest S pen-packed handset that arguably is one of the standout phones of 2014 and 2015 until the Galaxy Note 5 turns up. Meanwhile, the sales report from Apple also shows the that the iPhone 6 has received a great response. Let's check who has the upper hand between these two giants.
First up is the Galaxy Note 4 which for the first time embraces metal and it really pays off. While ditching the fake-stitching we saw in the Note 3 and despite packing a bigger screen, it's still one of the most manageable big phones to use in one hand.
ROUND 1: Dimensions & Weight
The Note 4 comes in a measurement of 154mm x 79mm x 8.5mm and weighs in at 176g. The phablet feels so comfortable in your hand even with a larger 5.7" display and a high 1440p resolution. With the improved Stylus S Pen and a fingerprint sensor, it has entered the phablet market to give serious trouble to its competitors.
ROUND 2: Performance
The iPhone 6 Plus has a 64 bit Apple A8 Dual-Core 1.4GHz Processor with a PowerVR GX6450 GPU and 1 GB RAM as well as a M8 co-processor.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a 32bit 2.7GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 805 Processor, an Adreno 420 GPU and 3GB RAM.
On paper the Note 4 has the most brute force. It runs on the latest Snapdragon processor, has more RAM and the latest Adreno 805 GPU to handle the most demanding mobile gaming and HD video playback.
The iPhone 6 Plus is no slouch though. It runs on the new A8 processor and with quad-core PowerVR GPU can cope with high intensity 3D gaming as well.
The story benchmarks tell is that the Note 4 us way ahead of the 6 Plus. In the Geekbench 4 tests, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 scores an impressive 3162 multi-core score as compared to the 2871 the 6 Plus manages. It's a little more even for single cores though. To live on a day-to-day basis both phones are well equipped to handle everyday tasks and more intensive elements like streaming, gaming and music playback. The Note 4's power is more suited to multitasking, one of its most impressive features.
ROUND 3: Camera
iPhone 6 Plus has a 8 Megapixel camera sensor, optical image stabilization, TrueTone flash, phase detection, 1.2 Megapixel front-facing camera1080p HD video recording.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a 16 Megapixel sensor, optical image stabilization, 3.7 Megapixel front-facing camera and 4K video recording.
Having a decent amount of time with both cameras, it's fair to say that they are both fully capable of taking great photos. You don't need to read a great deal into the megapixel count, the Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus both shoot detailed images up close or from afar.
The big change here is the addition of optical image stabilization. This is the first iPhone to include it and likewise, if you discount the Samsung Zoom range, this is the first big Samsung phone to pack it as well. The chief benefits here are to shoot better quality photos in low-lit conditions. While you don't get dedicated camera quality, its a big improvement especially for the Note 4.
ROUND 4: Battery Life
iPhone 6 Plus has a 2915mAh battery while the Note 4 packs a larger 3220mAh battery. When you compare battery sizes, the Samsung phablet has the bigger one but that's no surprise when you consider it has a larger 5.7 inch display.
Despite that, the Note 4 still manages to go for two days without tapping into the handy ultra power-saving mode. The 6 Plus boasts impressive battery life, but in more intensive testing the Note 4 manages an extra hour more than the Apple smartphone.
ROUND 5: The Build
Here Apple has an edge by far for the first in the competition. Despite having a fine leather back and smooth touch with a handsome band of metal around the edges, the Note 4 does not beat the iPhone 6 Plus which feels more substantial with its sleek curved aluminum body, thus making it nicer to hold. It is not only taller but is also significantly thinner than the Samsung phablet.
ROUND 6: The Price
The Note 4 is only available in 32GB model at 599 pounds. The iPhone 6 Plus in comparison starts from 619 pounds for the 16GB. 699 pounds for 64GB and a whopping 789 pounds for the 128GB model.
That is a whole lots of money to own an iPhone 6 Plus, even at the entry level price. If you wanted to match the Apple's top-end storage capacity, an additional 128GB SD card is going to cost you another 60 pounds pushing the Note 4 to the 660 pounds mark, which is still cheaper than the iPhone 6 Plus 64GB model.
If its value for money you are after, then the Note4 is definitely the bang for the buck.
Conclusion & Verdict
With an edge in most of the rounds, the Note 4 is our clear winner. But it doesn't take very long with the Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus to see that these two are great big phones and arguably the best options available at the moment.
If your purchase is based on innovation then Galaxy Note 4 is the one to go for. However, if your purchasing criteria is only based for design and build quality, then its the iPhone 6 Plus.
Samsung also promises the better battery life despite having a bigger, more demanding display. The fast-charging option along with the stylus adds the bonus to mix things up along.
Nevertheless, Apple's first stab at a phablet is a good one, while the Samsung Note series keeps getting better.