Oh, this is so going to piss off the hordes of already insecure, delusional iFans irritatingly navigating the interwebs to find and insult anyone who doesn’t share their distorted world view. Why delusional? Well, because it only takes a modicum of common sense to realize Apple’s “it’s not about specs, it’s the user experience” rhetoric is flawed.
Of course it’s (also) about specs, and Tim Cook knows it full well. The sole reason iPhones refuse to engage in a numbers war against Android flagships is high-end components like Quad HD displays, 20 MP cameras or 4 GB RAM require much heftier investments than current production costs, which would mess with Cupertino’s precious, inflated profit margins.
Like it or not though, we will put the features of the iPhone 6s Plus under the microscope opposite Galaxy S6 Edge+’s specifications, just to show you yet again how far behind Apple is, and perhaps make the cash machine’s executives understand it’s time they brought a major upgrade to the table next year.
This probably goes without saying now, but we won’t even pretend the battle is fair, and our comparison unbiased. After all, we’re The Droid Guy, not The Apple Guy, and we stand by our lethal weapons, especially when they’re objectively better.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ vs iPhone 6s Plus – design and build quality
Without actually referencing last year’s “Bendgate” controversies, Apple assured their keynote’s attendees and the public at large a repeat is unlikely, following a move to 7000 Series aluminum, “the same grade used in the aerospace industry.”
Good for them, and while we’d never call an iPhone ugly (except for the plasticky 5c), the 6s Plus simply pales in comparison with the stunning S6 Edge+. It’s thicker, at 7.3 vs 6.9 mm, a lot bulkier (192 vs 153 grams), as well as taller and wider, yet Samsung’s flagship phablet offers the superior screen real estate, at 5.7 vs 5.5 inches.
Not to mention the 6s Plus and 6 Plus are easier to mix up than the Olsen twins. Forget “more of the same”, this is the exact same frigging design as back in the fall of 2014. Oh, yeah, and as Sammy humorously pointed out in a recent commercial, that guy’s edge sits there and vibrates, nothing more.
Display and cameras
“Retina HD” screen vs plain Super AMOLED Quad HD glass. Can you guess which is sharper? That’s right, our non-Retina, non-gimmicky 5.7-inch 2,560 x 1,440 pix res panel. The ppi sits at an impressive, although far from record-breaking 518, while the iPhone 6s Plus barely delivers a density of 401 pixels per inch.
Now, we aren’t going to claim Force Touch, aka 3D Touch, isn’t a big deal. It is, and we definitely wish Samsung could have devised similar technology first. But is it really a deal breaker that the S6 Edge+ lacks support for gestures like “Peek” and “Pop”?
Not as far as this writer is concerned, seeing as how it’s going to take users a while to get accustomed with all the new interaction methods. Besides, we’ve had a stock long press function for years, which isn’t quite the same thing, but it’s close.
In the photography department, it’s genuinely nice to see Apple recover some lost ground, but 12 megapixels are still less than 16, and 4K video recording capabilities are nothing new to us Android aficionados. Both selfie cams tout 5 MP sensors, and though Apple will try to push a so-called “Retina Flash”, that’s not a real LED flash, and it doesn’t make the front snapper better than the one slapped on S6 Edge+’s face.
Processor, RAM and battery life
The 64-bit A9 chip is allegedly 70 percent faster in CPU muscle and 90 percent in graphics performance than the A8, which sounds remarkable… if it’s true. But even if it is, the Exynos 7420 also beats its predecessors and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805, 808 and 810 with ease, so until we see benchmarks and get to test the two handhelds for real-life speed, we’ll call this battle a tie.
Which is not what we can say about memory, where Samsung almost certainly crushes Apple once again with 4 gigabytes of the good stuff. Why almost certainly? Because as usual, Tim Cook “forgot” to share info with us on the RAM front. Don’t hold your breath for 3 or 4 GB, iFans, and consider yourselves lucky if you get 2, which would be twice as much as the 6 Plus.
Battery life? Apple builds up respectable numbers, such as 24 hours of continuous 3G talk time, or up to 80 hours in audio playback, but we expect cell capacity to circle 2,900 mAh, 100 south of S6 Edge+’s ticker size.
Software, storage, and others
iOS 9 or TouchWiz-modified Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, due for a 6.0 Marshmallow makeover before long? Our choice is crystal clear, but you may be shocked to hear we understand the appeal of iOS. It’s clean, silky smooth, less cluttered than Google’s platform, easier to master for a novice, and hides more tricks up its sleeve than ever, thanks to 3D Touch.
Still, you can’t replace Android’s openness and freedom, and for once, TouchWiz enriches the user experience instead of plaguing it.
Want microSD support? Then we suggest you head over to Sony or LG’s camps. Here, internal storage space is all you get, plus cloud room, the former starting at 16 and capping off at 128 GB for the iPhone 6s Plus, and 32 and 64 respectively inside the S6 Edge+.
Something else worth mentioning? Maybe fingerprint recognition, billed by both tech giants as significantly faster than before, with increased resulting security, and very similar Samsung Pay and Apple Pay services.
Also, rapid charging, both wired and wireless, offered squarely by Samsung. In fact, iPhones don’t even support conventional wireless charging yet, but fret not, as when they’ll do, they’ll try to make it seem like they were the first there too. Snark aside, it’s tough to pick a winner in connectivity, as both giants feature LTE Advanced speeds on a myriad of global bands.
Pricing and availability
And so, it all comes down to this. Well, not really, as the Galaxy S6 Edge+ comfortably beats the iPhone 6s Plus, with or without an affordability advantage. But the final nail in Apple’s coffin is a 16 GB 6s Plus essentially costs as much as a 32 GB S6 Edge+. Namely, $749 off-contract for the former on pre-orders beginning Saturday, September 12, and $766 unlocked for the latter through Amazon now.
Try to justify that, Apple, with 3D Touch, “Live Photos”, “Taptic Engine”, Retina Flash, rose gold colors, and other marketing mumbo jumbo.