iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 4 comparison

The iPhone 6 Plus was unveiled just a few days after Samsung announced its own new large-screen smartphone: the Galaxy Note 4. The Galaxy Note range is the undisputed king of the large-screen phablet world. So how does Apple's entry compare to the best of the rest?

We compared the Galaxy Note 4 with the iPhone 6 Plus. This iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 4 comparison is based on the hands on time with both devices, and a good look at the specs and pricing data for each handset. (Related articles you might like: iPhone 6 review | iPhone 6 release date | iPhone 6 Plus release date | iPhone reviews.)

If you can't beat them join them. Then beat them. That seems to be Apple's response to the proliferation of large-screen Android and Windows Phone handsets. After years of holding out as the only important phone manufacturer without a phablet, Apple has gone all in. And how.

The iPhone 6 Plus is not just big, it is huge. Bringing a 5.5in display into the iOS world for the first time. It's an iPhone, so it is almost duty bound to be awesome. But it is entering a fiercely competitive world. 

iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 4

Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus: UK price

The Galaxy Note 4 is a premium high-end smartphone so it's no surprise to see it with a price tag of around £550 inc VAT for the 32GB edition. The iPhone 6 Plus costs a bit more. There are three models which start at £619 for the 16GB model. This scales up to £699 for 64GB, and £789 for 128GB. You will pay a premium for the iPhone phablet, so let's see what you get for the money.  

Galaxy Note 4

Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Key specs and performance

With the Galaxy Note 4 you get a 2.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor or Exynos 5433 octa-core processor, and 3GB of RAM. We found it to be extremely smooth and snappy when launching and switching apps.

The iPhone 6 Plus comes with a new processor, known as the A8. This is a 20-nanometer 64-bit CPU with 2 billion transistors. Early benchmarking using the Geekbench application suggests that the processor is dual core, and has a frequency of 1.4 GHz. It's paired with 2GB RAM. The iPhone 6 Plus is consummately slick and zippy in use

Don't take this to mean that the iPhone 6 Plus will be appreciably slower than is the Galaxy Note 4. iOS is more tightly coded than is Android, and so typically iPhones feel every bit as zippy as Android handsets with nominally superior specs.

But given the price differential we would like to see the iPhone 6 Plus be noticably faster than the Galaxy Note 4, and that is almost certainly not the case. And if you are getting a big-screen handset to run multiple tasks at the same time, the lack of cores will eventually tell in terms of pure performance. (See also: iPhone 5s v Galaxy S5 comparison review.)

Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Screen

The screen on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is stunning. It's a 5.7in Quad-HD Super AMOLED display. That's a resolution of 2560 x 1440, which means a whopping 515ppi pixel density. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch Retina HD screen, which means in this case a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a pixel density of 401 ppi. So again lagging behind in terms of pure specs, but will you notice the difference? Apple says it offers wider viewing angles because of its dual-domain pixels, after all.

While using the Note 4, we found that the screen had an incredible sense of depth, and we can imagine that it'll be difficult to go back to full-HD once you've used a smartphone or tablet with a Quad HD screen like this one. Which is not to say the the iPhone 6 Plus display is in any way a bad screen, just that the Note 4's is quantifiably better.

Next section: Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Design and build