iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 4 comparison

Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Design and build

When you buy a smartphone, we're sure that which colour you choose is an important decision – unless you always opt for black no matter what the device. For those who care about it, the Galaxy Note 4 a choice of black, white, gold and pink. The iPhone 6 Plus looks gorgeous. The design is roughly similar to that of the iPhone 5s, only on a grander scale, and with a generally more rounded chassis. As with all iPhones, build quality is excellent. Buttons and switches are uniformly firm and responsive, and the Ring/Silent switch produced a satisfying click.

The Galaxy Note 4 is 8.5 mm thick and weighs and 176 g. These are impressive specs but they can't compete with the only just 7.1mm thick iPhone 6 Plus, and just 172 g. Overall dimensions see the 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm Galaxy Note 4 largely match the profile of the taller but thinner 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm iPhone 6 Plus.

One small concern about the iPhone is the rear-facing camera, which sticks out a little bit and marginally spoils the integrity of the iPhone 6 Plus's profile. Laying the iPhone 6 Plus down on its back on a hard, flat surface may cause it to sit unevenly.

The key thing here is that both are big handsets, but Apple claims its is usable with one hand, the Note 4 comes with the S Pen stylus and is designed for two-handed use. It's also worth considering the fact that the iPhone may well require a case, but the Galaxy Note 4 will live without.

Overall, however, we'd say that design and build is a win for the iPhone.

iPhone 6 Plus

Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Storage

The 32GB Galaxy Note 4 comes with a microSD card slot which can take up to 128GB cards. The iPhone 6 Plus comes in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB flavourns, but has no expandable storage. Onboard storage is always better for performance, but it is reflected in the price. None the less, with the exception of the next to useless 16GB model, we prefer the iPhone's storage options.

Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Software

Android vs iOS is a conundrum. Android isn't like it used to be: if you are new to the smartphone game there's no obvious winner. These are the two most popular and best mobile operating systems around so it's about picking which one is right for you.

In essence, if you are a long-term iOS user you are probably best off sticking with what you know. You have after all almost certainly spent a lot of cash on apps that you'll have to spend again in Android. But it is worth considering that your iTunes music files will work in Android, and Android offers the opportunity of shopping around for music, movies, books and TV shows.

Galaxy Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Cameras

The iPhone 6 Plus has the same top-line megapixel numbers as the iPhone 5s: 8Mp on the rear, and 1.2Mp on the front. But some things are more important than megapixel count. Apple assures us that the new iSight camera is better than its predecessor in many ways: optical image stabilisation, is an impressive addition; as is continuous-autofocus when shooting video. We like the option of 240fps slo-mo video as well as 120fps. Improved panorama shots, face detection and low-light performance, round out Apple's claimed improvements. And burst mode has been added to the front-facing camera as well the rear one.

Samsung has improved the camera in the Galaxy Note 4, and we found the results to be quite impressive. The rear-facing camera is 16Mp, with auto focus and Smart OIS (optical image stabilisation). HDR on the Galaxy Note 4 offers a live preview, so you can see exactly what your image will look like before you capture it.

On the front is a 3.7Mp camera with an aperture of f1.9. Samsung has introduced a fun Wide Selfie mode with the Note 4, so you can capture more of the environment around you when taking those all-important and extremely popular selfies with the front-facing camera.

One thing we did find is that the size of the Note 4 means taking photographs is not an exceptionally easy task. It can get a bit clumsy, particularly if you are trying to take a photo with one hand.

On the face of it we prefer the Galaxy Note's more impressive spec. But we haven't yet properly tested either camera. So for now we'll call it a close-run thing. 

OUR VERDICT

Apple has done a great job with the iPhone 6 Plus. It is a small iPad, as well as a large-screen iPhone. It may lack some of the raw power and display performance of the Galaxy Note 4, but we don't feel that you will find it lacking in either area. And the all-round excellence of the iPad ecosystem and user experience will give the iPhone 6 Plus the edge for existing iPhone users looking for a larger screen.