Apple iPhone 6s Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge Plus

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Now that Apple has taken the wraps off its latest iPhones, phablet fans will want to know how the new iPhone 6s Plus compares to its obvious rivals from Samsung, the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge Plus flagships. So, to see which one is best, let's take a look at their main features and find where the biggest differences are.

This will be a close comparison, more so than the iPhone 6s vs Galaxy S6 head to head, as Apple has significantly beefed up its new iPhone 6s Plus over last year's model, while Samsung has come up with two very strong competitors in this segment.

The Display

All flagships come with a very large display. The one fitted on iPhone 6s Plus is a 5.5-inch panel, with a resolution of 1,080 by 1,920. Both Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge Plus ship with a 5.7-inch screen, which have an even higher 1,440 by 2,560 resolution.

Pixel density comes in at 401 ppi (pixels per inch) for iPhone 6s Plus, and 518 ppi for Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge Plus.

It would seem that, if you want a big display with a high resolution, Samsung's offerings come out on top. However, iPhone 6s Plus has a neat trick up its sleeve. Called 3D Touch, it is a technology which allows the device to distinguish between a light tap and a deeper press, allowing apps to react depending on how hard you press.

There is no clear winner here, unless you are partial to a screen size or want a more touch-sensitive display. Of course, for those who must have a stylus Galaxy Note 5 is the obvious winner, seeing as it is the only one here which offers this feature.


Apple has equipped the new iPhone 6s Plus with a 12 MP camera on the back, which enables 4K video recording for the first time on an iPhone. It also has optical image stabilization, and an f/2.2 aperture lens.

Both Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge Plus feature a 16 MP, optically-stabilized, shooter on the back, which has a larger f/1.9 aperture lens. In practice, this should allow the two to perform better in low-light conditions compared to Apple's offering.

In reality, much of how an image looks depends on software processing, and this includes low-light pics. I expect all three smartphones to perform similarly, which is to be expected at this price point.

In terms of front facing camera performance, iPhone 6s Plus has a 5 MP FaceTime shooter with an f/2.2 aperture lens while Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge Plus pack a 5 MP sensor with an f/1.9 aperture lens. Samsung's offerings also get 2K video recording, while Apple limits its device to 720p.

Overall, Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge Plus take the crown in the imaging department.

Performance, Connectivity and Battery Life

All devices come with very powerful internals. There is an A9 chip inside iPhone 6s Plus, and an Exynos processor in Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge Plus. All should perform very well when it comes to outright speed.

Same goes for battery life, which is a strong suit of the Galaxy Note series -- and, Galaxy S6 edge Plus, seeing as its basically the same device, with the exception of the stylus -- and, lately, of the bigger iPhone(s). In practice, two-day battery life is not out of the question with these devices.

Needless to say, they are also very similar with regards to cellular performance. All devices support 4G LTE Advanced. They also support Wi-Fi 802.11ac. No surprises here, but also no clear winner.

Storage Options and Cost

Apple has kept the 16 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB storage options for iPhone 6s Plus, while Samsung sells Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge Plus in 32 GB and 64 GB trims only. For flexibility, iPhone 6s Plus takes the first spot, although Samsung's offerings are better if we are comparing the base models, offering double the storage capacity. None offers a microSD card slot for expansion, so keep this in mind.

The most expensive is iPhone 6s Plus, which kicks off at $299 on a two-year contract. Installments start at $27 per month. Galaxy Note 5 can be had for $249.99 and and Galaxy S6 edge Plus for $299.99 or $349.99, on a two-year contract with AT&T or Sprint; installment costs vary depending on the carrier.

Clearly, if cost is an issue, Galaxy Note 5 makes the most sense. The base model has more storage and a lower price tag than iPhone 6s Plus or Galaxy S6 edge Plus.

Size and Weight

Since we have talked about the differences in display sizes and resolution, we should also compare their actual footprints and weights. Let's kick off with iPhone 6s Plus.

Apple's latest phablet comes in at 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm and 192 grams. Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge Plus measure 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm and 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9 mm, respectively, and weigh 171 grams and 153 grams, respectively.

As you can see, iPhone 6s Plus is the biggest and heaviest of the tree. Given that phablets are not small devices, the differences should not matter. However, if they do, go for Galaxy S6 edge Plus.

Which Is the Better Phablet?

This depends. Do you want a phablet with a stylus? If so, then go for Galaxy Note 5. But, what if you just want a sleek phablet? Again, it depends.

The new iPhone 6s Plus is the better option if you are already part of the iOS ecosystem and like a more polished user experience. Galaxy S6 edge Plus comes out on top if you, however, like Android more and want more flexibility in the software department.

Ultimately, it is a matter of personal preference which one you end up getting. Personally, I would go with Apple's new iPhone 6s Plus.

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