Have we got a good one for you today – the new Samsung Galaxy Note Edge goes up against the Apple iPhone 6 Plus. The Galaxy Note series defined the phablet category back in 2011 – Apple, then headed by Steve Jobs, dismissed the larger smartphones as unnecessary. Finally, Apple succumbed to the reality that people love larger displays, came out with their iPhone 6 at 4.7-inches and the 6 Plus at 5.5-inches. Then Apple acted like it was their great new idea, and people are falling for it and buying them up like crazy – it was as if Apple discovered fire. I know one thing, Apple should be giving a cut of every iPhone 6 sold to Android…but I digress.
Other than the size of the displays – the Note Edge has a 5.6-inch display versus the 5.5-inch display of the 6 Plus – the basic physical size of the devices, the fact that they both use a home button, they both have a fingerprint scanner, the fact that they are both on all major U.S. carriers and cost about the same, there is not much that these two devices have in common. The open architecture of the Android O/S and the closed iOS just do not allow their paths to cross. For instance, even when it comes to video chatting – if you both do not own an iPhone, then you cannot use their FaceTime and both must download and use a third party app, such as Skype, to video chat with one another.
Please take a close look at the specification sheet below and you will see how these two devices differ from one another. Next, we will take a look at each individual device and try to determine some pros and cons and then see if the new Galaxy Note Edge or the iPhone 6 Plus is the winner of this comparison.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
To answer the clamors that people wanted to see less gimmicks and more innovation from Samsung, they answered with the Galaxy Note Edge – basically a Galaxy Note 4 with a curved display on the right side that appears to run independent of the main display. In doing so, Samsung had to reduce the battery size from 3220mAh to 3000mAh, it still retains the S-Pen and its silo. This year, Samsung added to both the Note 4 and the Note Edge, a sculptured metal frame and kept the faux leather backing, giving it a look and feel of a solid and high-end device. There were also enormous strides to the S-Pen…doubling its sensitivity…in their quest to make it feel as though the user is actually using a pencil and 'note' tablet when writing as well as refinements in its software.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge comes with a Quad HD (QHD) Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 x 160 pixels with the curved edge (160p) and 524 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The iPhone 6 Plus has a nice display, but it is still a FHD IPS LCD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels for a 401 PPI – neither the LCD or the PPI can stand up against the Super AMOLED and 524 PPI of the Note Edge. The curve of the Note Edge's display allows that part of the screen to be used by the app developer – it can already be used as a notification panel, night-time clock/alarm or the camera controls…freeing up your display for your photo.
The processors are about evenly matched for speed, but the Note Edge uses 3GB of RAM for smooth multitasking and split screen operations, while the iPhone uses only 1GB of RAM. Storage wise, the Galaxy Note Edge comes with 32GB of internal storage, but then has a microSD Card that will allow you to expand up to an additional 128GB of storage. The iPhone 6 Plus offers a measly 16GB, then jumps to 64GB and then to 128GB if you are willing to spend $499 on a two-year contract or $949 off-contract.
There was a time when the iPhone was the only smartphone to use if you wanted a great photo, but those days are now gone. The 8MP in the iPhone 6 Plus does take a great photo, but so does the new 16MP, auto-focus, OIS, LED flash, ISOCELL technology and live HDR camera in the new Note Edge – it can take some of the best pictures of any smartphone. The Note Edge also has a larger 3.7MP wide-angle front-facing camera (FFC) for taking a group selfie or handling a conference room video chat. The batteries are close in size – with the Note Edge using a 3000mAh battery versus the 2915mAh in the iPhone 6 Plus.
Both devices have the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, fingerprint scanners and both offer VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling. The Note Edge has NFC and a standard microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data transfer. It also offers an IR Blaster, can use LTE Cat 6 Bands, 3 microphones for noise cancellation, download booster, Heart Rate Sensor, UV and Oxygen Saturation Sensor and Quick Charge 2.0. It also has an S-Pen and all of the software and features that it brings to the Note Edge phablet. It runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz overlay, is available on all major networks for $399 on a two-year contract.
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
When Apple introduced their new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, even Android users were a little relieved that their Apple 'friends' could now enjoy what we had been enjoying for years – a larger display. As expected, the Apple iPhone Plus is being touted as a engineering and technical marvel from Apple, iPhone users and iPhone websites. It is a beautifully designed smartphone, but even with as long as it took Apple to design their phablet, it still has a ways to go before it can take away the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge's crown.
The iPhone 6 Plus comes with a much improved 5.5-inch FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels – or 401 PPI, which is a far cry from their 326 'Retina Display,' but even a further cry away from the QHD display and 524 PPI found in the Galaxy Note Edge. DisplayMate Technologies, the definitive word in display testing, pronounced the Note 4 and Note Edge's displays as the best they ever tested…even against the iPhone 6's display. The processors on both phones are fairly equal – the quad-core Snapdragon 805 on the Note Edge and the Apple A8 dual-core 1.4GHz, but then the iPhone 6 Plus's processor is not asked to multitask or do multiscreen processing…nor could it with only 1GB of RAM versus the 3GB found in the Note Edge. The Note Edge offers only the mainstream 32GB of internal storage, while the iPhone, for pricing purposes, offers a 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage…however, the Note Edge offers a low cost microSD Card slot to add up to an additional 128GB of storage.
Like I had mentioned in the Note Edge information, the iPhone 6 Plus, which includes OIS (they kept it out of the iPhone 6), auto-focus and Dual-LED flash will give you a great picture. The iPhone has always been known as a great point-and-shoot, no hassles device, yielding a good picture. The only problem is, the Samsung's of the world have been working on improving their camera and on the Galaxy Note series they finally got it right, so there is no iPhone advantage here any longer. The 1.2MP FFC for selfies or FaceTime Video is not in the same league as the 3.7MP wide-angle found on the Note Edge.
The battery situation is close to being equal, with the iPhone 6 Plus using a 2915mAh battery and the Note Edge using a 3000mAh battery. Even though the QHD display can use more juice than the FHD on the iPhone 6, both batteries will get you through a full day. Samsung includes their Ultra Power Saving Mode (UPSM) to extend battery life if need be and with the Quick Charge 2.0, you can give it a quick 15 minute charge (using an optional turbo charger plug) and get back 60-percent capacity – all of which is made possible due to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus finally have NFC built-in, but of course Apple is using a proprietary Apple Pay, so it will not play nice with Android's generic NFC. Apple is working on their apps to improve performance in with the larger displays, as well as offering a landscape mode in certain apps – something Android has been using for years…but I guess if your display is only 4-inches going to landscape meant nothing.
The iPhone 6 Plus uses iOS 8 and can be purchased on all major U.S. carriers. Pricing for the 16GB model is $299 on two-year contract and $740 off-contract, $399/$849 for 64GB model and $499/$949 for the 128GB model.
…And The Winner Is…
I know this is an Android publication, but after looking at both devices, I don't understand how even an Apple website could not pick the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge in this comparison. Even with the added cost of the Note Edge, it still compares in price to the iPhone 6 Plus, but offers so many more features for your money. The Note Edge has the better display, not to mention more innovative and usable, 3GB of RAM versus 1GB, multitasking windows, the microSD card, the very capable S-Pen and all of the photo, drawing and note taking capabilities, and finally the openness of the Android OS allowing us to choose our own live wallpapers, weather apps, widgets, keyboards, and so much more…plus, it should be getting the newest Android 5.0 Lollipop very soon.
Please, do not get me wrong – the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are great devices and I am happy for those that believe that Apple is the only smartphone made. You are finally getting to enjoy the things – larger display, landscape modes, moving control of the device to one side for smaller hands – that we Android users have enjoyed for YEARS. But, in Apples own words, their screen is not only bigger, but better (than the iPhone 5's)…but what about multitasking on that larger display and what about a Stylus to write, draw or alter photos with? The iPhone 6 Plus is a giant step for Apple users, but not the giant leap it needed to outdo the Galaxy Note Edge.
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know which device you would pick as the winner and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.