iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: which will be king?
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is so close we can nearly touch it, and while rival Android flagships do their best there’s only one real rival: the iPhone 6. Between them Apple and Samsung own the smartphone market, and the battle between them should be endlessly entertaining. Based on the information we have so far, is a clear winner beginning to emerge? Let’s find out in our Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 comparison.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6: design
Let’s be generous here and say that Samsung’s designs are more about function than form. There’s nothing greatly wrong with them, but Apple phones look more expensive and better designed. Will the Galaxy S6 change that? If the latest renders we’re seeing from case firms are accurate, then the S6 will still retain the familiar design cues of the Galaxy range, but it’ll be made of more attractive brushed metal, it’ll be more rounded at the edges and it’ll be much slimmer too. From what we’ve seen so far it looks rather like something you’d get if you put an S5 and an iPhone 6 Plus in a hotel room together with Barry White’s Greatest Hits, some strong liquor and a caseload of Viagra. But maybe that’s just us and our weird imaginations.
The iPhone comes in black, white or gold, and the S6 reportedly comes in black, gold, white or blue.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6: display
Rumors seem to agree on the display specs for the S6: a Super AMOLED at 5.5 inches, with QHD resolution (1440 x 2560) at 534 ppi. It won’t be curved in the standard S6, but there will be another Galaxy Edge with a curved screen later in the year. Both devices should be protected with the fourth generation of Corning’s Gorilla Glass.
The iPhone 6 – the normal one, not the larger Plus – has a 4.7-inch IPS LCD with 720 x 1334 resolution at 326 ppi.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6: processor
Samsung’s teaser trailers have made extensive use of a lightning bolt design and if you squint at it, it looks rather like the number 7. By uncanny coincidence, 7 is the number of the Exynos processor we’re expecting to see in the S6, delivering a significant performance boost over the Snapdragon 810 we’ve seen in other devices as well as improved energy efficiency. Rumors suggest cores clocked at 2.1 GHz.
As ever, Apple uses its own processor in the iPhone. This time out it’s the Apple A8 processor, an ARM v8-based system on a chip with dual cores clocked at 1.4 GHz. Graphics come courtesy of a quad-core PowerVR GX6450.
Don’t assume that the S6 will kick the iPhone’s ass in benchmarking: Apple’s control over not just the hardware but the entire operating system means that it can optimize its devices to squeeze surprising performance out of hardware that might look quite modest on paper, and we’ve seen plenty of cases where supposedly underpowered iPhones have given more powerful Android devices a severe kicking in lab tests. We’d predict a slight margin in Samsung’s favor this time round, but it won’t be as big as the processor clock speeds or core numbers suggest.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6: storage
We’re expecting the S6 to offer three levels of storage at 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB plus the obligatory microSD card slot. The iPhone 6 comes in three versions: 16 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB. Its storage isn’t expandable.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6: cameras
Teaser videos suggest that the camera is a key selling point of the Galaxy S6, which suggests that a major upgrade is coming. The tagline is about “clarity in darkness” which points to improved low light shooting, and most rumors agree on a 16 MP or 20 MP main camera with a 5 MP front facing camera for selfies.
The iPhone 6 has an 8 MP main camera with software image stabilization (if you want optical you’ll need to buy the iPhone 6 Plus), phase detection autofocus and a dual LED flash. It’s capable of HD video of 1080p at 60 fps. The front facing camera is 1.2 MP with face detection and HDR.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6: software
The Galaxy S6 will ship with Android Lollipop and its own TouchWiz UI, but Samsung has made big changes to the latter: it’s simplified and streamlined it, perhaps aware of the performance hits that previous TouchWiz versions have caused. Apple’s phone comes with the latest iOS, which is iOS 8.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6: battery life
Could the Galaxy S6 have a smaller battery than its predecessor? That’s what the rumor mill reckons, with a reported capacity of 2600 mAh. Don’t panic, though: that isn’t just to make the case thinner. The combination of a less demanding TouchWiz and a more efficient processor and operating system should mean that you’ll get the same battery life even though the battery is a bit smaller. We hope that’s true.
The iPhone’s battery is even smaller at 1810 mAh, but once again there’s been some extensive improvements to the phone’s energy efficiency – so while the battery is only marginally bigger than the iPhone 5S (which has 1570 mAh) and the screen is much bigger than before, we’re getting better battery life than before.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6: price
In Euros, the S6 is reported to cost 749 for 32 GB, 849 for 64 GB and 949 for 128 GB. The iPhone 6 is 699, 799 and 899 for 16 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB.
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6: early verdict
We’re not quite comparing apples and oranges here, but we are comparing Apples with things that aren’t Apples – and the way the smartphone market is at the moment many people have already picked sides and won’t be shaken from that decision. If you’re on board the Android bus then the Galaxy S6 is looking extremely exciting, but if you’re in the Apple car then the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the state of that particular art. It’s not that one is better than the other. It’s that they’re different products aimed at different kinds of customer.
What do you think? Could the S6 tempt Apple fans into the Android family?